Betting Odds For The Chevron World Challenge and Crowdsourcing

Surprise, surprise. Tiger Woods is the odds-on favorite to win this week’s Chevron World Challenge. It’s his tournament, after all, benefiting his own charity. Tiger hasn’t played there in two years—first was the knee problem, and then the zipper problem—but given his tendency to win multiple times on the same track, it’s not a bad bet: he’s won four times there previously.

Right now, oddsmakers at Bodog have Tiger as a 7/2 favorite. Jim Furyk, the Tour’s Player of the Year, is at 9/1. Money leader Matt Kuchar is at 16/1. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Matt.

So why is a non-betting man always looking at the odds? It’s because I’m fascinated by the concept of “crowdsourcing,” mostly as a result of having read James Surowiecki’s The Wisdom of Crowds. The theory is that groups of people—each acting on their own available, but limited and independent information—can often produce better results as a crowd than the “experts.” It’s been suggested that betting odds are a good example of crowd-sourced information, since oddsmakers adjust the numbers as money piles in on one side or the other to ensure that there’s a balance between bets. If the bets are balanced, the bookie makes money regardless of the outcome—the “vig.”

At any rate, you can see the complete odds for the Chevron World Challenge below:

Odds To Win The Chevron World Challenge

Tiger Woods

7/2

Jim Furyk

9/1

Rory McIlroy

10/1

Luke Donald

11/1

Paul Casey

12/1

Ian Poulter

12/1

Dustin Johnson

14/1

Matt Kuchar

16/1

Graeme McDowell

16/1

Steve Stricker

16/1

Hunter Mahan

20/1

Nick Watney

20/1

Zach Johnson

25/1

Camilo Villegas

25/1

Stewart Cink

28/1

Anthony Kim

28/1

Sean O’Hair

28/1

Bubba Watson

40/1

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