Betting The Masters Is a Fool's Game

But I do it anyway. I admit it -- I always lay down a little scratch on The Masters. Other than, well, just about every fight, it’s my most time-honored way to donate my hard-earned money to the random gambling gods of the internet. ↵

↵I’ve won only once in about 15 years of Masters wagers. That was in 2002 when, visionary that I am, I tried to cover my action by putting down a c-note on The Only Guy Who Is Ever Favored to Win the Masters, Tiger Woods. ↵

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↵The odds I got on that Benjamin predictably were not good. After all, Tiger had just won his second green jacket the year before, and at that point, there was a feeling in the air that he might just win all the rest of The Masters until he died. I think I took home about $120 on my hundy, which did not recoup my losses as I recall. I remember that because I went heavy that year on Davis Love, had him at like 25-1, and he had the lead after the first round, and I was feeling so Large that I picked up a huge check that night against my earnings. Then Love, as he will, went out and crapped the bed on Friday. ↵

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↵This year if you’re planning on winning big on Mr. Woods, you better bet big, because as usual, you aren’t going to cover your nut on Tiger’s odds. Right now, I’m seeing 7-4, less than 2-1, on Woods to win. Man, that is something right there, when a man comes back from reconstructive knee surgery and after a month out on the course he’s under 2-1 to win The Masters. Although, you can’t blame the oddsmakers on that one. Even in a wheelchair with nothing but pool cues in his bag, you got to figure Tiger as your favorite at Augusta. ↵

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↵Next up you got Phil at 8-1, which might seem like a sweetheart bet until you consider the bogeyfest Lefty went on in Houston last week. Not much has been shown to accurately predict one’s performance at The Masters, but I’d say when you got ole Butch making an emergency fly-in for a few intensive swing sessions five days before the first tee, smart money is running elsewhere. Paddy Harrington is probably your likelier choice if you want to hunt with the big dogs, 16-1 to keep on rolling towards the Paddy Slam. I am definitely going to grab me a piece of Harrington pie. He’s hot, obviously, but he also strikes me as just the sort of low-key temperament to hold on when the tigers and the lions start chasing him down that back nine on Sunday. ↵

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↵Some oddities from the oddsmakers -- Henrik Stenson, with a best Masters finish of 17th and only one win on the PGA Tour, comes in among the top 10 favorites to win at 33-1. I’m sure there’s some strange reason for that, but I’m having none of it. And look at our defending champion, Trevor Immelman: 80-1. Can a dude in a green jacket get a lapdance over here or what? Myself, I’m tremendously impressed with Trev and I have a feeling he might make them eat those odds with at least a top 10 scare, but I don’t think he’s going get any Large dollars for the effort. I just can’t quite believe that the cosmos has back-to-back green jackets in store for a man named Trevor Immelman. ↵

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↵All right, so who am I betting then? Well funny you should ask. My racing form isn’t quite filled out, but here’s how I’m leaning. Keep in mind that I’m a married Large now with a little Large at home, so I don’t splurge with the bookies quite the way I used to. I’m thinking I can slide one crisp Benjamin past the lazy eyes of Mrs. Large, and so that is my furtive plan. Here’s the breakdown: ↵

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↵1.⇥Forty on Paddy
↵2.⇥Twenty on Adam Scott at 66-1
↵3.⇥Twenty on Chad Campbell at 100-1
↵4.⇥Ten on Soren Hansen at 125-1
↵5.⇥And to close it out, ten on Rocco Mediate at 150-1 ↵

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↵Paddy and Scott are very trendy bets right now, and though I’m wondering if I’m not being too much of a sheep in climbing aboard the Scott train, something is telling me to go with him and if I defy that instinct and then he wins, woo boy I’ll be pissed. Campbell – I’ve been hitting him for about four years now. Betting on Campbell to win The Masters is starting to seem like betting my birthday with Lotto. It’s gotta come through one of these years. Rocco is my sentimental longshot, and Hansen is a tradition of mine, a tradition that involves betting on at least one person with long odds whom I’ve barely heard of. All I can tell you about Hansen is that I know he’s a Ryder Cupper and I know I’ve seen his name on at least one major leaderboard, although I couldn’t tell you which. But whatever -- he sounds like a pony with legs to me. ↵

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↵My only other feelings are that my gut is telling me that if you take Paul Casey at 22-1 because of Houston, you’re a sucker. But K.J. Choi at 66-1 has the ring of a decent bet to me. Seems like Choi has hovered around the top of the board a couple of times at Augusta. If I were going to ignore my jones for Adam Scott (a jones which I am willing to admit may be at least 30% mancrush), I would probably turn that 20 over to Choi. ↵

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↵All right folks, that’s my tally. I’d love to hear who y’all got out there, and be sure to check back in with me on Monday, when no doubt I’ll be $100 lighter and wondering why the hell I didn’t put down at least a fin on our new Masters champion, K.J. Choi. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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