The Masters

  • Betting on the group of favorites may prove to have little value.
  • Odds on the second tiered grouping offer better, but still too little, value
  • PGA Tour Expert’s picks provide surplus value, especially if top favorites win.

AUGUSTA, Ga.The Masters tees off on Thursday for the 86th time in the major’s illustrious history. Nearly all the big names are playing, and nearly everyone is excited to know that five-time winner Tiger Woods is expected to play as well.

The Masters teeing off also means that online sportsbooks are offering major betting options, including betting on groups of players to win versus the field.

World’s Top Players Versus The Field

Legal online sportsbooks are offering a grouping of top-ranked players: John Rahm, Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler, Dustin Johnson, and Cameron Smith versus the field.

Top Players Versus The Field To Win Odds

  • John Rahm/Justin Thomas/Scottie Scheffler/Dustin Johnson/Cameron Smith +225
  • The Field -275

With a payout of +225 to bet on any of the five players with the shortest sounds great in theory, but when looking at their current world golf ranking, best finishes at the Masters, and their own individual odds it may not be the smartest bet.

Golfer Current Ranking: Best Finish: Individual Odds:
John Rahm 2 4 +1100
Justin Thomas 7 4 +1200
Scottie Scheffler 1 T-18 +1800
Dustin Johnson 8 1 +1800
Cameron Smith 6 T-2 +1800

This is a case of getting a discounted payout based on the grouping of players. Betting on each player individually, with the exception of John Rahm, with one unit would payout more than grouping the players and betting five units on any of them to win.

The average odds of this group is +1540 versus multiplying the odds of any of the group winning (+225) by five (the number of players in the group) it comes out to +1,125, which shows a steep discount on the payout.

Betting on the favored field to win may be the main focus of this bet. It can be difficult to find odds on betting against individual players to win, so finding a group of five players to bet against may prove to be more valuable than betting on the underdog grouping of the individual favorites.

Second Tiered Players Versus The Field

Betting on some of the players that oddsmakers have indicated as the second tier of golfers versus the field offers slightly more value than betting on the top tier, but there is still more money to be earned betting on individual players instead.

Betting on this group of players is interesting because the group has won the Masters twice before (both by Jordan Spieth) versus the group of favorites that have only won the Masters once (Dustin Johnson).

Second Tier Versus The Field To Win Odds

  • Rory Mcllroy/Brooks Koepka/Collin Morikawa/Viktor Hovland/Jordan Spieth +370
  • The Field -360

This is a very interesting group as Brooks Koepka is the only player with odds shorter than +2000, and he is the only player that betting on individually that wouldn’t increase the payout.

Golfer: Current Ranking: Best Finish: Individual Odds:
Rory Mcllroy 9 4 +2000
Brooks Koepka 17 T-2 +1800
Collin Morikawa 3 T-18 +2200
Viktor Hovland 4 T-21 +2200
Jordan Spieth 18 1 +2200

When calculating how much to bet on these individuals at the Masters versus betting on this group the odds don’t add up either. The average odds of the group is +2,080 versus +1850 when multiplying the number of players in the group and the group’s odds.

Experts Pick Groups Versus The Field

The experts on the PGA’s website all made their picks on who to win the Masters, and online sportsbooks are allowing patrons to bet on any of them to be proven correct versus the field.

Experts Pick Groups Versus The Field To Win Odds

  • John Rahm/Justin Thomas/Cameron Smith/Brooks Koepka +285
  • The Field -360

Betting on this group to win is mostly a bet on either John Rahm or Justin Thomas, as both their odds are shorter than the implied odds of each individual, which are +1,475 using the odds multiplied by players formula used earlier.

Those implied odds show that this bet clearly gives the best payout of any of the three group pairings, and that doesn’t even take into account how accurate these “experts” may be.

Golfer: Current Ranking: Best Finish: Individual Odds:
John Rahm 2 4 +1100
Justin Thomas 7 4 +1200
Cameron Smith 6 T-2 +1800
Brooks Koepka 17 T-2 +1800

Betting on any PGA Tour event can be very confusing, but the Masters is the most popular betting and individual major out there. With all the betting options available, it may seem overwhelming and flat out easier to bet on groups of players to win, but that may prove to only be true when betting on the field or on the experts.

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