2015 Masters Props Odds with Expert Betting Picks and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 4/7/2015
I will do my normal PGA Tour event preview for the 2015 Masters, the Super Bowl of golf, on Wednesday as usual. Today, however, I will examine some of the hundreds of player props available at the sportsbooks -- taken from Bovada and Sportsbook.ag. This is always one of my favorites betting weeks of the year with the college basketball National Championship Game, baseball's Opening Day and the Masters.
Tiger Woods Props
Even though Tiger doesn't look close to being a relevant contender at this stage of his career, he's still going to be the biggest story line in any tournament he enters. To no surprise, Woods is going to play his all-time favorite tournament, his first official competition since February. Tiger hasn't it made it to the weekend in his two official events this season, missing the cut at the Waste Management Open in Phoenix on Super Bowl weekend and then withdrawing from the Farmers Insurance Open. I don't think he would dare play at storied Augusta if not feeling comfortable about both his game and health. You can get Tiger at +450 to withdraw at any point in the tournament and -600 not to. No way he W/Ds this because then Woods might as well retire. Tiger is -135 to make the cut and +105 to miss.
Tiger is given a first-round score of 73.5, with the "over" a -120 favorite. He has never been great in the first round at Augusta as Woods has broken 70 only once: in 2010 when he shot an opening 68 on the way to finishing fourth. He has shot over that 73.5 number five times, last with a 74 when he won for the last time in 2005. If it matters, Tiger will go off at 1:48 ET on Thursday with Jamie Donaldson and Jimmy Walker.
You can also get Tiger hole specials for Round 1. At the par-4 first, he is at -200 for a par, +175 for bogey or worse or +1000 for birdie or better. Tiger parred the first hole in 2013 in Round 1 in his last Masters. He didn't bogey it at all that year and birdied in Round 3. Woods to hit the fairway on the first hole is -150 and to miss is +115. You can also get first hole Round 1 scores by Tiger (+250) against Rory McIlroy (+225) with a tie the solid -105 favorite.
My picks: Under 73.5 (I lean 71-72 at +400 on Sportsbook.ag), Tiger does make the cut, par on the first, hits the fairway and tie with McIlroy on that hole.
The total winning score for the tournament is set at 277.5, with under a -120 favorite. It's important to monitor the weather when looking at props like this. Thursday it's going to be really, really hot (temps around 90) with an 80 percent chance of storms. Friday the temperatures might be a tad cooler, but there's only a 20 percent chance of rain. Saturday: high of 80 and 70 percent chance of rain. Sunday: high of 78 and 50 percent chance of rain. Golfers like the rain as it softens the course. Wind is the problem, and that doesn't look to be a major issue. The winning score hasn't been under 277.5 since 2011 when Charl Schwartzel won at 274. Last year, Bubba Watson finished at 280, tied for the highest total since 2008 (Trevor Immelman).
The 36-hole cut score is 147.5, with over the -150 favorite. The low 50 and ties within 10 strokes of the leader qualify for the final 36 holes. Last year the cut was 148 as it was in 2013. It was 149 in 2012 and 145 in 2011. the lowest-single round score by any golfer is O/U 65.5, with under a -165 favorite. The course record is 63, done a couple of times.
My picks: Over 277.5 and 147.5, under 65.5.
A maiden Masters winner is priced at -600. You get some pretty strong players in that group, led by McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day to name four. A first-time major winner is -200 with a past major winner at +150. A past Masters winner is +375.
Will there be a hole-in-one on No. 16 (+175)? There have been 15 there, last done in 2012 by Adam Scott and Bo Van Pelt. That's yes-only at +175. Any albatross, which can't include a hole-in-one, is +1400. There have only been four in tournament history. Will there be a slow play penalty handed out to anyone? That's +800.
England's Ian Poulter has speculated that the reason that Europe hasn't won the Masters in so long is that the setup favors lefties (Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson). That a lefty wins this year is +700. A wire-to-wire winner is +1600. That has happened just four times. How about a senior golfer like a Fred Couples prevailing? That pays out at +7500. Couples and Miguel Angel Jimenez are the +200 favorites to be the top senior player.
My picks: I don't want to give away my overall winner yet, but I will say that I am leaning toward a past major winner but not so much a previous Masters champion. I would take that hole-in-one prop as well as whether there will be one at all in the tournament (-130). My pick for the top senior guy -- not winning -- is former champion Bernhard Langer at +450. He was T8 last year.
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