2014 Masters Betting: Top-Five Finish Futures Odds
by Dave Schwab - 4/8/2014
This Thursday at the storied Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia, play gets underway with the first of four rounds in this season's Masters Tournament. The Masters is professional golf's first of four Majors that are played throughout the season and one of the most prestigious events in all of sports.
Betting on the Masters has become almost as popular as the event itself, and BetOnline has you covered with a full set of futures odds and prop bets for this year's event. Picking an outright winner for the Masters is a daunting task to say the least with a very deep and talented field. The pressure that is generated by trying to put together four solid rounds on a stage this big can easily overwhelm even the best golfers in the world.
If you are looking for some true value in the current betting odds, you might want to focus your full attention on the numbers for a Top-5 finish. At the top of this list for this year's event are Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott at +225. They also happen to be the top two favorites to win this year at +900.
McIlroy is probably the most talented golfer in the field, but he has proven to be an all-or-nothing bet when it comes to majors. He finished second at this year's Honda Classic, and he is coming off a seventh-place finish in last week's Shell Houston Open, so current form remains an added value to his odds.
Past performance at this event is the wildcard when betting on a finish in the Top 5 of this year's Masters. His closest run towards winning a Green Jacket came in 2011 when he led the tournament after the first three rounds. A complete meltdown on the back nine of Sunday's round dropped McIlroy into a tie for 15th. He wound up tied for 40th in 2012 and tied for 25th in last year's event. Given these past results, I would pass on Rory this week as far as finishing in the Top 5. Instead, you might want to gamble on that all-or-nothing approach by making a very small wager on an outright win.
Scott comes into this year's tournament as the defending Masters' Champion, which adds some tremendous value to his current odds to place fifth or higher. However, the last time someone won back-to-back titles in the Masters was Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002, so a bet on an outright win for Scott could be a reach. Current form adds value to his odds as well with three Top-10 finishes in five previous events, including a third-place finish in last month's Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Scott's breakthrough win at Augusta last season followed an eighth-place finish in 2012 and a second-place near-miss in 2011 after firing back-to-back rounds of 67 on the weekend. Given these kind of credentials, he is definitely worth a Top-5 play at +225 odds.
The third favorite to finish in the Top 5 of this year's Masters is Phil Mickelson at +300. Always a fan favorite, his odds usually get inflated higher than his actual value, which in turn makes him less attractive to wager on. When you add in his current form, the value goes down even more. His best finish of the season was second at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January, and he did finish 12th last week in Houston, but there is nothing that jumps out about his current game that gets me excited for a big week by the lefty at Augusta.
There is no denying the value in Mickelson's odds when you look at his past track record in this event. He already has three Green Jackets hanging in his closet, so he knows how to win at Augusta. He has also finished in the Top 5 in seven additional Masters, including a tie for third in 2012. I would hate to completely discount his chances to add another Top 5 this time around, but I would only go with a small play at best.
The odds for a Top-5 finish for some of the other top contenders in the field include Jason Day at +350, Matt Kuchar at +400, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson at +500 and a group of four players at +625 that is made up of Henrik Stenson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose and Zach Johnson.
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