2011 Masters – Betting Preview

This year marks the 75th installment of the Masters Tournament from Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. Golf’s first Major of the season kicks off with first round action this Thursday, April 7 and concludes with the fourth and final round on Sunday, April 10.

The pairings for the first two rounds will not be released until Tuesday, but you can guarantee there will be some interesting matchups for one of the most prestigious tournaments in the sport. The two main story lines for this year’s Masters will revolve around defending champion Phil Mickelson’s quest for a fourth Green Jacket, as well as Tiger Woods’ ability to once again contend for a Major. There are several young guns waiting in the wings for their shot at instant stardom, while a couple of wiley old veterans are out to prove they still have the game to tame Augusta.

The following is a brief look at a couple of players that could come away with this year’s Masters’ title along with their current odds as provided by Bookmaker

Mickelson comes in as the odds-on-favorite at +550 to successfully defend his 2010 title and the rare opportunity to present the ‘Green Jacket’ to himself. His game is at peak form after winning the Shell Houston Open this past week, but it will still be a tall task to repeat as champion given that Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods are the only players to accomplish this feat in the past 20 years. It is never a good idea to bet against a man that has won this event three times, but the value at +550 is not that great.

Speaking of Woods, despite the fact he has not won a tournament since 2009, he is the second favorite to win this week at +1000. Woods finished tied for 24th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational two weeks ago, which was the last time he played a competitive round. He continues to struggle with consistency both off the tee and on the greens, but he still has four Masters’ titles to his credit with the last one coming in 2005. He is another guy you hate to bet against, but Woods’ recent game does not instill the kind of confidence you would normally have in him when playing in a Major. This tends to sap most of the value out of his +1000 odds.

The current No.1 player in the World Rankings comes in at +1800 to win his first Masters. Martin Kaymer has been all the rage over the past two seasons including a victory in the 2010 PGA Championship to notch his first Major. He added a win in this year’s Abu Dhabi Golf Championship to his impressive resume, but his past track record at Augusta has not been that good. He missed the cut all three times he has played here. Regardless of the past, this 26-year old is the kind of young gun that could break through the pack this week and is definitely worth a second look at +1800.

Another player in search of his first Masters, or first Major for that matter is Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. He comes in at +2500 to win this week and could be a solid value pick if you are looking for a moderate longshot. McIlroy has come close to winning a Major in the past with third-place finishes in two PGA Championships and one Open Championship. He missed the cut last year at Augusta, but finished 20th in the 2009 Masters, which was his first crack at winning a ‘Green Jacket’.

Update 4/5/2011 – Current 2011 Masters Odds From Bookmaker.Com
PHIL MICKELSON    +600

TIGER WOODS    +1000

LEE WESTWOOD    +1600

NICK WATNEY    +1500

MARTIN KAYMER    +2000

DUSTIN JOHNSON    +2300

LUKE DONALD    +2500

RORY MCILROY    +2800

HUNTER MAHAN    +2500

PAUL CASEY    +3300

MATT KUCHAR    +3000

JUSTIN ROSE    +2500

BUBBA WATSON    +3300

GRAEME MCDOWELL    +4000

PADRAIG HARRINGTON    +4000

ANTHONY KIM    +3500

STEVE STRICKER    +4000

IAN POULTER    +5000

AARON BADDELEY    +5000

RETIEF GOOSEN    +6000

GEOFF OGILVY    +6000

MARTIN LAIRD    +6600

ERNIE ELS    +6000

RICKIE FOWLER    +6000

KYOUNG JU CHOI    +6000

JIM FURYK    +6000

SERGIO GARCIA    +6000

ADAM SCOTT    +5500

FRANCESCO MOLINARI    +7000

FIELD  ANY PLAYER NOT LISTED ABOVE    +150

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Cole Ryan

Cole Ryan

Cole started off as a part time handicapper and a full time computer programmer. After developing a computer program that consistently provided winners in NFL, NBA, MLB, and college sports Cole went into full time handicapping. The computer program and his knack for winners made him a rising star in the handicapping world. His complex computer program based on algorithms and analytical calculations have led to a 60% ATS rate.

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