2008 Masters, Augusta National Golf Club, April 10-13. ESPN/CBS.
by Matt of Predictem.com
The PGA Tour’s first Major is next up on the schedule with the Masters getting underway Thursday from Augusta National in Georgia. We’ve laid out the player previews for the outright win bet, now, let’s take a look at the matchups and some props out there at the golf sports books. We’ll layout the trends that will give you the info to make your picks.
Matchups available at Bovada (All matches are for entire tournament.)
Vijay Singh (-120) v. Ernie Els (EVEN)
Small edge here to Vijay as a past champion and Els coming in off a MC and 75th at PODS and WGC-CA Championship. Ernie with a MC in ’07 Masters and Vijay has been no worse than T13 since 2001. Pick: Singh
Padraig Harrington (-120) v. Adam Scott (-120)
We picked Harrington as a good bet for a win at 25 to 1 coming off his ’07 British win and his T7 here last year. Paddy averages a full stroke less than Scott at Augusta, 72.5 to 73.5, and Scott has yet to break 70 in any round. Scott also withdrew from last week’s Shell Houston due to illness. Pick: Harrington
Jim Furyk (EVEN) v. Geoff Ogilvy (-130)
This could be the closest match on paper, both are listed at 33 to 1 to win and are coming off a 1-2 finish at the WGC-CA with Ogilvy earning the win. Advantage Furyk in terms of experience with 11 Masters appearances to Ogilvy’s 2. Furyk has made the cut in 10 of those and never finished worse than T29, averaging 72.2 stokes. Ogilvy has fared well with T16 and T24, but the scores haven’t overwhelmed, including an 81 last year. Pick: Furyk
Luke Donald (-120) v. Henrik Stenson (-120)
Donald likes Augusta with a T3 in ’05 and a T10 in ’07 in three Masters starts, he also comes in as the Tour’s second ranked putter at 27.5 per round. Stenson posted a MC in ’07 and has averaged 74.67 strokes in 2 career appearances, Donald almost two strokes better at 72.83 a round. Pick: Donald
Steve Stricker (-120) v. Zach Johnson (-120)
Johnson riding on the good memories of his win last year, but the results haven’t been there so far in ’08, with a T9 at the WGC-CA his only top 10 in eight starts. Stricker has been going better with 5 top-10’s in 9 starts this year. Neither player has solved Augusta with both averaging 73 and change per round, Stricker has the edge in greens hit and putting. Pick: Stricker
Mike Weir (-120) v. Rory Sabbatini (-120)
Weir is the ’03 champion and has been in the top-25 in 5 of his 8 starts. Sabbatini had his best result with his T2 last year, but has missed the weekend in 3 of 5 starts overall. Weir averages a solid 72.3 stroke average with Sabbatini lagging at 73.79 per round. Pick: Weir
Tim Clark (-120) v. Stewart Cink (-120)
Clark has the better single finish with a 2nd in ’06, but Cink has the better body of work at Augusta. Cink has made 8 of 10 cuts, with 6 top-25’s to his credit, and has been inside the top-20 every year since 2004. Cink has the lead in Masters scoring average, 72.97 to Clark’s 73.75. Pick: Cink
Paul Casey (-120) v. Andres Romero (-120)
Romero is making his first Masters appearance, and didn’t know he was going to be here before his win in Louisiana two weeks ago. Casey will be making his fourth start, with 2 cuts made leading to a T6 in ’04 and a T10 last year. Augusta has a history of being unkind to first-timers and Casey has a respectable 73.8 scoring average given the higher scores of the past few years. Pick: Casey
Stuart Appleby (-120) v. Lee Westwood (-120)
Appleby is coming off his best Masters with last year’s T7, and although he has been a little spotty with only 6 of 11 cuts made, he has been inside the top-25 in 4 of the 6. Westwood has seen the weekend in 5 of 8 starts at Augusta but has logged only 2 top-25’s and has not recorded an under-par round since 1999. Pick: Appleby
Scott Verplank (-120) v. Fred Couples (-120)
Verplank is a solid Tour pro, but hasn’t seen much success at the Masters. His best finish came in ’03, a T8, but has only 3 top 25’s in 12 starts with a 74.25 stroke average. Couples, on the other hand, has never missed a cut in 23 previous starts with a 71.97 overall average. It may be easy to think that the ’92 champion hasn’t had much to say here of late, but a T6 in ’04 and a T3 in ’06 suggest he has something left. If this were baseball, Couples would be Greg Maddux. Pick: Couples
Masters Props @ Bodog.
Will Tiger Woods get a Hole In One during the tournament? (Yes +3500)
Could be a fun shot in the dark with a killer potential return. Woods does not have a career ace at Augusta.
Will Tiger Woods lead after day 1? (Yes +450)
Tiger’s best opening round is a 70. Many unknowns have gone low on day one and vanished thereafter. Another “fun” one and Tiger is obviously capable.
How many birdies will Tiger Woods card? (over/under 16.5 (-120)
Remember, birdies only, If Tiger is really on, eagles could keep this under the number.
How many Bogeys or Worse for Tiger? (over (-138)/under (EVEN) 11.5)
I like the under, as rain but low wind is forecast, allowing opportunities to be aggressive and hold the greens instead of going through.
What will Tiger’s first round be? (over (-150)/under (+110) 70.5)
Again, Woods has never been lower than 70 in round one, leading to an overall round one average of 72.69 in 13 events.
How many rounds will Tiger break 70?
0 – 9 to 4 Has happened 4 of 11 times in Pro Masters (36%)
1 – 15 to 8 2 of 11 (18%)
2 – 5 to 2 3 of 11 (27%)
3 – 7 to 1 2 of 11 (18%)
4 – 16 to 1 Zero times
Tiger likes rounds 2 and 3 best, breaking 70 in 5 of 11 and 6 of 11 times respectively.
I like the 3 rounds bet, including round 1.
Will there be a Hole In One recorded in the 2008 Masters?
There have been 18 Holes in One since 1934. I’m calling one on 16, with the funnel pin location.
Will the 2008 Masters be decided by Play-Off?
There have been 13 Masters decided by a Playoff, roughly 20% of the time. There have been only two (’03,’05) since 1990. Probability shades to Yes.
The Big 6 versus the Field. (Woods, Mickelson, Singh, Els, Harrington,
Goosen) v. Field.
Big 6 -275
The Field +200
Only one other golfer (Adam Scott) is on the board at less than 30 to 1 to win other than the members of the Big 6. Could be the year of the chalk considering the four #1’s in the NCAA Tournament.
Any Player to have same score in all 4 rounds? (+1400)
Long odds with only four such occurrences in Masters history. Last in 1989 by George Archer with 75 each day.
Similiar matchups can be found at Linesmaker along with single day matchups available after each rounds completion. Currently available:
Tiger Woods (-450) v. Phil Mickelson (+325) 72 hole match
Not much to say here with the favorites squaring off. This is the only Tiger v. anyone match available and pretty good if you like Phil at +325.
Tiger Woods (+120) or
The Field (-150)
I’ve picked Woods for the win in ’08 since the ’07 Masters ended. What else is there to say but Good Luck!