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Masters Odds

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I don’t gamble. Well, I don’t anymore. I haven’t since Q convinced me to put a 20-spot on OSU at -3 to beat A&M in football last year. I don’t believe I need to remind you of how that game ended.

That being said I wanted to take a look through some of odds for this year’s Masters, including what Vegas thinks of a few current and former Oklahoma State players.

So here are some of the more interesting lines along with all the OSU guys and my evaluation at the bottom:

Tom Watson +40000
Peter Uihlein +30000
Mike Weir +30000
Justin Leonard +15000
Chad Campbell +15000
Bo Van Pelt +15000
David Toms +12500
Fred Couples +8000
Zach Johnson +8000
Adam Scott +6000
Jim Furyk +5000
Retief Goosen +5000
Vijay Singh +4500
Anthony Kim +4000
Rickie Fowler +4000
Hunter Mahan +3000
Bubba Watson +2500
Rory McIlroy +2000
Dustin Johnson +2000
Matt Kuchar +1800
Lee Westwood +1500
Martin Kaymer +1500
Nick Watney +1000
Phil Mickelson +1000
Tiger Woods +800

Just so we’re clear: the + number next to each golfer’s name is the amount you would win if you put down $100 on that golfer and he won the tournament.

This list really speaks to the ushering in of the new golfing era. I for one couldn’t be more excited about it. I know a lot of fans are going to become more disinterested the more Tiger becomes uncompetitive but you couldn’t really ask for a better young crop of pros between McIlroy, Watson, Johnson, Kuchar, Fowler, and the rest.

Tiger though, for the time being, is still the odds on favorite (note: some books dropped Mickelson to +750 after his Shell Houston Open win but the one I gathered info from didn’t). Makes a lot of sense, considering he hasn’t won a tournament since September 2009. I think books have him this low because he gets bet on so often by people professional gamblers like to call “squares” who are, according to one definition, “unsophisticated bettors, who will generally lose money over the course of the season.” Fun for everyone!

I’m confused by Nick Watney at +1000. Yes he’s had five Top 10 finishes in 2011 so far, but there’s a big difference between posting a -15 at the Phoenix Open and trading 3-woods with Lefty on Sunday afternoon at Augusta. Plus, his best finish at the Masters is 7th and Thursday will only be his 13th competitive round there. Remind me I wrote all this on Sunday when Phil is fitting him for his jacket.

Furyk and Retief at +5000 seem like interesting wagers. Goosen especially because he’s finished in the Top 3 four times in his career here. Both have faltered of late though, Furyk missing the cut last year and Goosen finishing T38.

I’m in love with Toms at +12500. Mostly because I’m in love with Toms but he also finished T14 last year. It’s not like the course sets up great for him (he’s currently 169th in driving distance) but if his putter gets hot for any amount of time he’ll be in the thick of things on Sunday.

Fowler and Mahan seem to be appropriately placed in the betting hierarchy. It’s going to be tough for Fowler considering this is his first time playing the course in a competitive tournament. No first-timer has won it this century and only Fuzzy Zoeller, Horton Smith (in the first ever tournament), and Gene Sarazen (second ever tournament) did it in the last.

I’m not saying he won’t be in contention on the weekend but it would take some pretty fortuitous breaks for him to be walking up 18 on Sunday with a lead.

Mahan on the other hand has a legitimate shot. He’s finished T8 and T10 in the last two events. My concern with him is not “can he win?” but rather “how will he respond to the back nine on Sunday afternoon?” I think we all remember the disaster of a chip he had against Graeme McDowell in the Ryder Cup last year after Fowler handed him a chance at what would have been the most heroic last three holes in Ryder Cup history.

Van Pelt has played well this year (finishing 17th in the Accenture Match Play Championship) but not well enough to warrant putting down even $1 on him to win. His only Masters appearance came back in 2003 so for him to win would probably be the most statistically improbable thing that’s ever happened at this tournament.

The same goes for Uihlein. The amateur record score is -7 set by OU graduate (and Ardmore native), Charles Coe in 1961. That’s a little misleading considering Coe played in 19 Masters tournaments as an amateur but for Uihlein to make a run at that number would be ridiculous.

Weir and Watson are intriguing wagers. Both have won it before and Watson playing well would absolutely cause an entire generation of gambling men in top-heavy bucket hats to chase him around the course on Sunday afternoon trying to eke one more big one out of him. Can you imagine the drama?

If I had to put a hundred on one guy I think I’d put it on Westwood because he was due about a decade ago and still hasn’t won a major. There’s no way that lasts more than two more years. For value though, I have to go Toms and Furyk.

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