Tuesday, April 6, 2010

2010 Masters - Odds and Expert Picks

As is our custom here at Average Golfer, I'll lead with an encouraging "Bet early and often". This year's version of the Masters may be particularly tough to handicap. The world #1 is coming off a five month hiatus. The rest of the field is relatively even with who should have been a favorite, Phil Mickelson, playing poorly, and who shouldn't have been considered, Ernie Els, on a tear.

Sticking with tradition, in a tradition laden event, we rely on our trusty British bookmakers, Ladbrokes. In an unusual tactic to attract more money, Ladbrokes, if Woods wins the Masters, will pay off a 2nd place finish as a win. You get to bet the Masters without Woods skewing the board. Interesting.

Ready, let's figure this baby out.....

Woods, 5:1 - No brainer. Of course he can win. I think the ring rust will prevent him from doing so. Still, bet against him at your own peril.

Mickelson, 14:1 - Lefty hasn't been exactly sharp. Expect him to find some here though. Won't win.

Els, 16:1 - Riding a current hot streak. Easy to root for. Could win.

Harrington, 20:1 - Seemingly steps it up for majors. Has the cajones. Could win.

Westwood, 20:1 - Popular pick. Should have bagged a major by now. Putter fails him on bathtub greens. Won't win.

Stricker, 25:1 - Find me a reason he can't win here. See? Could win.

Goosen, 25:1 - Has the short game and stomach for Augusta. Expect him to contend. Could win.

Casey, 33:1 - Another trendy pick. Suspect putter though. Great putters shine here. He's not one. Won't win.

McIlroy, 40:1 - Would be a huge story. Needs a little more seasoning. Doubt it, but maybe if....

Ogilvy, 40:1 - Two years ago, perhaps. Now, who knows? Has the tools and psyche. Could win.

Furyk, 40:1 - He's straight enough and just long enough. Needs hot putter which is no guarantee. Could win.

Poulter, 40:1 - Think he deserves better odds. Unflappable and underrated. Could win.

Kaymer, 40:1 - Under the radar. Would benefit from more looks at Augusta. Don't think so.

Villegas, 40:1 - Hard to argue. His game is better than it appears, if that makes sense. Could win.

Anthony Kim, 40:1 - Fresh off a win. Talent's there. Set birdie record last year here. Could win.

For the sake of brevity I've left anyone with 50:1 odds or greater out of the discussion. Keep in mind there's a plethora of great players in that group highlighted by defending champ Cabrera, Dustin Johnson, Mahan, Vijay Singh, O'Hair, Garcia, et al. Some relatively straight tee balls and a hot putter can bring one a long way at the Masters.

Enjoy and thank me later for the picks......

Average Golfer's Expert Masters Picks

1. Stricker
2. Poulter
3. Woods

Dark Horses

Tim Clark

Til' next,

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