Tony Romo, the two-time defending champion, is the betting favorite at this week’s American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament, but a Baseball Hall of Famer is attracting the most money at some sportsbooks, including some of his own bets.
Romo, at -130, is the odds-on favorite at Caesars Sportsbook, followed by former MLB pitchers Mark Mulder at 13-10 and John Smoltz, who has seen his odds improve from 30-1 to 7-1 after a rush of bets.
“They made a big mistake on my odds,” Smoltz said on SiriusXM’s “Out of Bounds” with Michael Collins and Pat Perez on Tuesday. “I don’t know who set the odds, but I opened at 30-1. And I couldn’t get to the place fast enough to get some money down on me.”
Smoltz is an accomplished amateur golfer who has previously qualified for the U.S. Senior Open. As of Thursday morning, 77% of the money bet on the tournament’s winner was on Smoltz at Caesars Sportsbook. Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars, acknowledged that one larger bet on Smoltz was responsible for the lopsided action but did not reveal the identity of the bettor or the amount of the wager.
“We’re inundated on [Smoltz],” Davis told ESPN in an email.
The tournament, which uses a modified Stableford format, begins Friday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada. It will be a made-for-TV event with no spectators amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Other notables in the field include Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is 500-1; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at 150-1; and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald at 300-1.
“I’ll tell you this,” Barkley said at a news conference ahead of the tournament. “If the players are really smart, they’d all bet some money on me and let me win this thing, and we would break every casino in the world. That would be my suggestion to all the players: Put a couple hundred dollars on me and find a way for me to win this thing.”
As of Thursday morning, Caesars had yet to take a bet on Barkley.