The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the PGA stop most recognized for its fans and its investment in the future.
With credit for being “the greenest” tournament because of the next-level commitment to recycling, the event at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course now will be embraced for something once considered taboo: golf betting on the broadcast.
NBC Sports, the PGA TOUR and PointsBet have joined forces for the first betting show to be aired in concert with a PGA Tour event.
It will be a live, second-screen experience they’re calling “NBC Sports Edge BetCast,” to be made available on the network’s Peacock Premium.
It’s a natural next step in a sports-gambling wave that has grown substantially since the federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada was overturned in 2018.
In-game wagering has become a staple for the new breed of sports fan: They want to watch their favorite sports but, just in case their attention-deficit issues bubble to the surface, they want the option of adding some action to the action.
Companies such as DraftKings have made the procedure secure and readily accessible.
The point spreads change as the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL games move forward, and that opportunity leads to additional action; as much as a bettor could want.
A Significant Step Towards Normalizing Sports Betting
But this is different. This is taking the next big step toward “normalizing” sports betting during a game or event. By adding this element to a broadcast, NBC is saying it’s more than OK to become involved.
To illustrate the progress in the public’s acceptance of sports wagering, NBC Sports now trumpets PointsBet as the network’s “official sports betting partner” and an official betting operator of the PGA Tour.
You didn’t see that coming 10 years ago, although betting has been a vital component among many golfers for as long as the game has existed.
The eagerly anticipated BetCast production will air simultaneously with the telecasts of the Phoenix Open on Golf Channel and NBC. The show begins at 3:45 pm ET Thursday through Saturday, and 2 pm ET on Sunday.
“The NBC Sports Edge BetCast stream on Peacock Premium is another step forward for our sports betting strategy,” said Norb Gambuzza, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Media and Gaming. “We are extremely excited to produce and distribute specialized betting content as a companion to our linear and digital coverage with our partners at NBC Sports and PointsBet.”
PointsBet Sportsbook senior editor Teddy Greenstein told NBC’s Jimmy Roberts this week that there will be a wide variety of menu items, including a number of props.
“We’re gonna be talking about the shifting lines, with the outright winner … things like longest drive, over/under on number of birdies at No. 16,” Greenstein said, adding that the PointsBet head trader will also be aboard to talk generally about the growing sports-betting presence.
“As we continue to embrace sports betting,” Gambuzza said, “the Tour will continue to innovate and find new ways to engage fans around the world.”
The aim for the network is to bring the wildly popular world of sports betting further into the mainstream, as one NBC Sports exec said during the announcement of the endeavor.
In fact, “content strategy” is part of his executive title.
“We are excited to debut this unique betting show with our partners at the PGA Tour and PointsBet,” said David Preschlack, President, NBC Sports Regional Networks, and Executive Vice President, Content Strategy, NBC Sports Group.
“With TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course as the backdrop, we look forward to a compelling sports betting presentation on Peacock Premium as a companion to watching the world’s best golfers competing on some of the most iconic holes on the PGA Tour.”
Where is the Early Money Going?
The top contender for the Phoenix Open title are Jon Rahm, a former Arizona State star playing near his college campus. He’s listed as the favorite at 13/2.
Second on the list at 9/1 is Justin Thomas, who has long been expected to reach the top on Tour. Since 1960, only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus have reached 13 career wins at a younger age than Thomas, who is now 27.
First-time Phoenix Open participant Rory McIlroy brings an international flavor as the co-third choice, at 11/1 along with Xander Schauffele.
Stay tuned to Peacock Premium as the tournament begins and the odds begin to shift.
Should be fun.