MOST punters will be chasing massive odds with a bet in the winner market but there are plenty of ways of making a profit from the Masters.
In just a few days the world will fall quickly and strongly in love with golf when the year’s first Major gets under way in the ludicrously photogenic setting of Augusta.
As the only Major that is always played at the same venue our Masters memories are perhaps stronger than the other three – The Open, US Open, USPGA. The cast changes but the setting remains the same year after year.
A bet on the Masters is a must for even the most part-time of sports fans. At the odds, every player – yes, even Tiger – would bring tasty returns and with each-way bets paying down to fifth place (six with Paddy Power) in the winner market there’s every chance of getting some money back when it’s all over.
Of course, there are a massive array of markets on Betfair and it’s not just about finding the tournament winner. There are countless ways of making a profit but with so many to pick from how do you make your selections?
Here’s a run through a handful of betting options ahead of the big tee-off on Thursday and my each-way selections will be on another post.
British, or perhaps more specifically, English golf has been one of the least heralded sporting success stories of the last few years. In Luke Donald and Justin Rose, England boast two of the top four players in the world, while Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter are both in the top 20.
All four have Augusta form. Poulter has been top 10 two of the last three years, Westwood was third last year and second in 2010, Donald finished fourth in 2011 and Rose was eighth last year and has gone top five before (2007).
At 17.0 to back in the fixed odds the Betfair market likes Rose’s chances best with Donald a couple of ticks off at 31.0.
Westwood trades at the same price while Poulter can be backed at 46.0. Of the four Westwood has been playing the most golf and looks to be coming on well.
The course suits his powerful, accurate long game and while he will undoubtedly miss a few tiddlers he won’t be the only one to do so. An each-way bet on Westwood looks the sensible play.
Most golf fans will know about Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan but they hardly resonate beyond the confines of the sport. Nevertheless, they could be among the wiser bets you strike this week.
The home challenge looks especially strong this year and these two are likely contenders over the four days at Augusta. Both are class performers and regular tournament winners – Kuchar defeating Mahan in the final of the high-profile WGC Match Play this year.
Tougher courses tend to suit these two and Augusta is just that. Kuchar’s third last year shows an aptitude for the Georgia masterpiece, while Mahan has finished top 10 two times in the last four years and 12th in 2012. Playing it safe, Top 10 bets on either look sensible – Kuchar trades around 4.0 while Mahan is a tick bigger @ 5.0.
Run for your money
This has been a quietly impressive season for Peter Hanson who could just serve up an Augusta treat at big odds. This Ryder Cupper has produced top 10-finishes in the US and the Middle East, missing just one cut this season.
Third last time out it wouldn’t surprise to see this hugely consistent golfer go close once more. Hanson is 100.0 to win on the exchange, 61.0 on fixed odds, but the best way to profit from this steady Swede may be a back at 8.0 to finish as Top Continental European.
Do the obvious
Let’s face it, the best bet is a winning bet and Tiger’s the one you want to be on. With three tournament wins to his name this year the great man is back on his best form and 5.4 is a bigger price than he would have been in his pomp. Four Green Jackets are in the cupboard chez Woods – they’ve probably taken his measurements already haven’t they?
Back Lee Westwood each-way @ 31.0
Back Matt Kuchar @ 3.9 to finish Top 10
Back Hunter Mahan @ 5.0 to finish Top 10
Back Peter Hanson @ 8.0 to finish as Top Continental European
Back Tiger Woods @ 5.4