Because, why not right? After the cut at the 2012 Masters, Bovada has updated their odds to reflect the current standings and smaller field. With 43 players available to bet on (and no “Field” bet option this year), it’s a lot harder to zero in on just one final winner. The current second-round leaderboard is reflected in the current odds; with the exception of Phil Mickelson, all of the current favorites are in the top 10 on the leaderboard, and all are within two shots of leaders Jason Dufner (16/1) and Fred Couples (16/1).
Yep, you read that right. The two men leading the Masters at the halfway mark are still returning 16/1 on a bet to win the tournament outright. In fact, of the seven men sitting in the lead or within one shot of the lead, only Rory McIlroy and Lee westwood are returning low enough odds that a win wouldn’t cover all your other bets.
I’ve spoken in this space before about making sure to CYA (Cover Your Ass) when placing multiple futures bets. The last thing you want to do is make four or five long-shot bets, only to watch the favorite walk away with the win and leave you with nothing. At least if you cover the favorites, you can recoup some of what you bet. And that’s what I’d recommend today, before the third round kicks off. Using the 1,000 available units method, here’s how my bets would fall:
Rory McIlroy (3/1): Bet $200 to return $600
I hate betting this much and not at least breaking even, but at least you’d get something back if the favorite wins.
Lee Westwood (6/1): Bet $200 to return $1200
I have absolutely no faith in Lee Westwood keeping it together long enough to win a major, but the reward is work the risk.
Phil Mickelson (8/1): Bet $150 to return $1200
Can’t believe he’s getting (8/1). Seriously. The dude has won this tournament 3 times – he should be the favorite even at 3 shots back.
Bubba Watson (12/1): Bet $150 to return $1800
Fred Couples & Jason Dufner (16/1 each): Bet $100 each to return $1600
Here’s where the betting public swings lines; Fred Couples seems too old to hang with the big boys, and Jason Dufner doesn’t have the name cache of a Woods or Mickelson, so even though they’re sharing the second round lead, they’re not getting respect at the betting windows.
Tiger Woods (25/1): Bet $50 to return $1250
It’s hard to imagine Tiger coming back from his club-kicking, self-immolation yesterday on the Back Nine. But I don’t want to be that guy who puts eight bets on the Masters, and forgets to bet on the player in the field with more green jackets than any other. He’s worth 5% of my overall investment.
Hunter Mahan (40/1): Bet $50 to return $2000
Considering how well he was playing coming into this tournament, it’s hard to believe that he’s five shots back (even par through two rounds), and even harder to believe that he’s returning this much. Fine by me – all it would take is a round of 66 or 67 to put him right into contention.