Monday, April 5, 2010

How To Bet $100 on This Year's Masters

Phil Mickelson, $40 at 10/1

We like Phil here because as far as "true odds" are concerned, and our feeling that Tiger has no chance to win this week, "Lefty" is the true favorite. And considering Tiger has been the favorite at every major he's played in for 11 years now, usually as a 2/1 or 9/5 "chalk", getting Phil at 10/1 is like stealing.

Phil's putting has been off this year, but his record at Augusta is almost as sick as Tiger's. During the 10 year stretch from 2000 to 2009 in which Tiger won 3 green jackets and recorded 8 Top 10 finishes, Phil won 2 green jackets and recorded 9 Top 10 finishes.

Phil will be the fan favorite, in light of Tiger's "off season", and will benefit down the stretch if in contention on Sunday. Expect the Phil Mickelson who closed this past weekend's final round in Houston with a back nine 32, that included 6 straight birdies, to be the Phil Mickelson who shows up this week.

Retief Goosen, $25 at 22/1
The Goose has 5 Top 10's in 7 starts this year, and he seems to be back in a zone after a sluggish couple years. Short of winning a green jacket, Goosen's accomplishments at Augusta have been nothing to sneeze at. From '05-'07 at Augusta, Goosen had three straight Top 3 finishes.

Maybe taking a cue from the resurgence of fellow countryman Ernie Els, the two time US Open Champion can be a sick puppy with the putter, and if in contention going into Sunday, will be a tough player to fend off.

Camilo Villegas, $20 at 33/1
"Spiderman" is sporting a shorter crop, and more importantly, an impressive start to the 2010 season. Through 5 starts, Camilo has won once already, and has 3 top ten finishes. He is second in total scoring average, and has made 7 straight cuts in majors, including Top 10's in the '08 US Open and PGA Championship, and a T-13 in last year's Masters. Villegas' putting has always been feast or famine, but if he comes into this week 'rolling the rock', 33/1 is a very good price.

Mike Weir, $15 at 66/1
"Canadian Lefty" is certainly not as sexy of a pick as his American counterpart, but when it comes to sports handicapping, sometimes beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And at 66/1, Weir in this spot is one hot piece of ass.

Weir has only one Top 10 finish in 7 starts this year, but two factors intrigue us: (A)He's currently ranked 1st in total putting- a key to winning at Augusta, and (B) He's won at Augusta before. In fact, Weir has two Top 5 finishes at Augusta over his past 7 starts there.

Who We Wouldn't Lay Cash On

Tiger Woods, 4/1
There is no way he wins after a 5 month layoff that included the train wreck that's become his life. Besides, Tiger's favorite course is not Augusta, nor Pebble Beach for that matter. His favorite course is "intercourse". And assuming he hasn't had much of that lately, a Top 10 finish (at best) would be a successful week for the fallen star. Spend your money elsewhere; like on a grand slam breakfast at your local Perkins.

Ernie Els, 11/1
Ernie has certainly found his game again, winning twice already through 8 starts, but that's part of the reason we don't like him here; the law of averages. For a 40 year old resurgent to win his 3rd tournament in 9 starts, seems a bit out of the realm of possibility. And considering that circumstance, 11/1 is a little too chalky for our wallets.

Geoff Ogilvy, 30/1
The one time US Open winner, and 13th ranked player in the world, has yet to crack the Top 10 at Augusta in 4 starts.

Ian Poulter, 28/1
In 22 starts in Majors, Poulter has just one Top 5, and two Top 10's. And he's never cracked the Top 10 at Augusta. This is from a guy who once claimed, "Once I hit my stride (with regard to golf), it will be just me and Tiger."

*Odds courtesy of Bodog Sportsbook

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