- April 6, 2016 at 12:22 pm #39353
The Masters begins Thursday at Augusta National
By Zach Cohen
Tees Off: Thursday, April 7th
Augusta National GC – Augusta, GA
The Masters Tournament tees off in Augusta on Thursday and Jordan Spieth will be going for his second straight title at this prestigious event. Spieth was absolutely dominant in winning last year, shooting an 18-under on the 7,435-yard course. He tied Tiger Woods for the best score ever shot in this tournament, but Woods will not be playing in this year’s installment. Two guys to watch at The Masters are going to be Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson. Watson won this event for the second time in 2014, shooting an eight-under to defeat runner-up Jordan Spieth by three strokes. Mickelson, meanwhile, is a three-time Masters champion (2004, 2006, 2010). Since this is The Masters, the field for this tournament will be loaded with talent. Joining Spieth, Watson and Mickelson will be guys like Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott. With that out of the way, let’s now take a look at some of the guys that could be celebrating come Sunday:
Rory McIlroy (9-to-1) – While most of this week’s talk is going to be about Jason Day and Jordan Spieth, McIlroy will have the benefit of playing with less pressure on him this weekend. The four-time major winner is still one of the most talented golfers on the planet and he will be more driven to win this event than any of his opponents. The Masters is the only major that McIlroy has not won and he will be looking to change that on Sunday. With the career grand slam being a real possibility, McIlroy is an easy player to back at 9-to-1.
Henrik Stenson (25-to-1) – Henrik Stenson has not had much success at the Masters Tournament, but he is one of the best golfers in the world and should have a real shot at winning this event on Sunday. Stenson is coming into this tournament in spectacular form, as he has shot a 14-under at each of the past two events. He finished tied for third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in the middle of March and followed it up with a second place finish at the Shell Houston Open last week. If he can keep it up then he will certainly be hanging at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday and he is receiving some juicy odds at 25-to-1.
Justin Rose (28-to-1) – Rose has had a disappointing season, but he is somebody that can play at the same level as guys like Day, Spieth and McIlroy. Rose was actually the runner-up at this tournament in 2015, shooting a 14-under over the course of the event. He is a very solid all-around player and if he can get it going on the greens then he’ll have a very good shot at winning this tournament on Sunday. It’s very tough to stay away from a player of his caliber and it’s a no-brainer to put a unit or two on him at 28-to-1.
Jason Dufner (110-to-1) – When looking for a dark horse to win The Masters, one guy that stands out is Jason Dufner. Dufner is getting some absurd odds at 110-to-1 and he is a guy that can really get hot out on the course. He won the CareerBuilder Challenge with a 25-under in January, but he has been struggling as of late. Regardless, it’s hard to find somebody with his upside and odds in this tournament. He’d be a guy that people would regret not taking if he gets off to a good start on Thursday.April 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm #39382
Full Tournament Head to Head Match Ups for One Unit a piece
Hideki Matsuyama (-135) over Zach Johnson
Sergio Garcia (-105) over Brandt SnedekerApril 6, 2016 at 5:00 pm #39395
The Masters 2016 betting preview: Tips for betting golf’s first major
By Matt Fargo
Henrik Stenson had his chances but fell one shot short for us as Jim Herman captured his first ever PGA Tour win at the Shell Houston Open as we head into the first major of the season, the 2016 Masters. This is considered by many as the unofficial start of spring and while avid golf fans live for this weekend, even non-golf enthusiasts know about this epic tournament and what it means. Its beautiful simplicity is what makes it the greatest golf tournament in the world.
Famed Augusta National plays host to its 80th Masters. Back in the day, hitting the ball a mile would be the greatest asset a player could have. And even though the yardage has increased from 6,985 yards in 2001 to 7,435 yards today, bombing it, is no longer the edge. Ball striking is now a big factor as hitting greens in the right spots can lead to easier putts. Only three times in the last 14 years has the winner finished outside the top 22 in driving accuracy, and only twice have they finished out of the top 10 in greens in regulation.
Unless you have seen Augusta National in person, you cannot appreciate the enormous elevation changes which means getting a flat lie is a rarity. Basically, it is a ‘second shot’ course which means the approaches are important just to get into position. Hitting an approach shot to the wrong place in some cases means not even being able to go after the pin, whether it be a chip shot or putt. That brings big scores into play so the thought process of shots is just as important as the physical part of the game.
Even though the course is much longer, it does not take the small hitters out of play as we have seen many contend and even win recently. Because the course has been tightened, it actually brings every player to an almost even playing field and that is what the goal has been since redesigns started taking place. The setup has made the goal pretty simple actually – hit fairways and then hit the correct side of the green and there is a good chance of being on the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday.
Past history plays a big part as you will see names near the top that you rarely see in other events as successful players here are usually successful close to every year. Americans dominated here early on with Gary Player being the only non-American to win through the first 43 years and he actually did it three times. Since then, it has been up for grabs as over the last 36 years, Americans have won the green jacket 19 times (nearly half of those by just three players) with the rest of the world not far behind with 17 wins.
The most shocking fact is that despite dominating the United States in the Ryder Cup, the European contingent has struggled at Augusta. Granted, it is a totally different experience but with the huge amount of world class players, a European hasn’t won since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999. Could this be the year that changes? In total, the green jacket has been given to only six European players (Nick Faldo three times, Jose Maria Olazabal twice, Seve Ballesteros twice, Bernhard Langer twice and Ian Woosnam and Sandy Lyle once apiece).
How do first time participants fare at Augusta? Not very well as a Masters rookie has not won here since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. But there have been some close calls, especially two years ago with Jonas Blixt and Jordan Spieth both tying for second in their debuts and Jimmy Walker and Kevin Stadler finishing T8. This year, there are 19 players making their Masters debut. Last week’s winner Jim Herman will be making his first ever start at the Masters.
The first Masters took place in 1934, won by Horton Smith by two strokes over Craig Wood for his first of two wins here. He earned $1,500 for the victory and eight decades later, the winner gets $1.8 million. To put it in even greater perspective of how far it has come, Charley Hoffman finished T9 last year and collected $270,000. Arnold Palmer played here 50 times which included four wins and took home a grand total of $279,013.
Jason Day, the winner of the most recent Major at the PGA Championship last year, is the favorite at +595.
Rory McIlroy, who is seeking his first green jacket is next at +745 while defending champion Jordan Spieth is the third favorite at +855.
Not far behind is two-time Masters Winner Bubba Watson +1,020 followed by 2013 champion Adam Scott at +1,060.
Rickie Fowler at +1,485, Phil Mickelson at +1,555 and Dustin Johnson at +1,650 round out the top eight.April 6, 2016 at 8:05 pm #39428
GOLF – ‘MASTERS MATCH UPS’
7036) C SCHWARTZEL -125
7039) H MATSUYAMA -135
7041) P REED -115
7009) R McILROY -125
7011) J SPIETH -110
7015) A SCOTT -120
7065) C HOFFMAN -130
7029) H STENSON -165
7033) J ROSE -150
7078) B WIESBERGER -125
7096) A LAHARI -150
‘TO WIN 2016 MASTERS’
JIMMY WALKER +7500
LEE WESTWOOD +9500
CHRIS KIRK +9500
($100)April 6, 2016 at 9:02 pm #39430
Picks, Trends & Preview
Masters Betting Trends
When it comes to the Masters, we have three important attributes we look at when handicapping the field:
The last time a player won the Masters in his first start at Augusta was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. The average number of career starts at the Masters for a first-time champion is five. Also, the last 16 Masters champions made the cut the year before and eight of the last 12 winners have had played in at least 20 majors in their career. Ten of the last 16 winners were ranked in the top 10 of the World Golf Ranking heading into the week, and finally, 23 of the last 25 winners had previously shot a round in the 60s at Augusta. Put it all together and you can see why past experience on this course is so crucial.
The last 13 Masters champions had already recorded a top-10 in the current season, meaning you should avoid a player who has started the season off struggling. Augusta National is not the place to shake off the rust.
Play on Par 5s:
Par-5s are vital to success in the Masters. The last 10 Masters champions are a whopping 90-under par on par-5s, as compared to 9-under on par-4s and 2-under on par-3s. And while length is important, keep in mind that course management is equally important. Driving distance is important at Augusta because the course plays longer than its actual yardage and with some windy conditions expected in Rounds 1 and 2 this year — especially on Friday when the par-5s will be playing into a stiff breeze — the big bombers will have a distinct advantage.
Fast Starts Matter:
For those making “in-play” wagers as the tournament goes along, keep in mind that over the last 30 years, the Round 1 leader has gone on to win the Masters just twice (Trevor Immelman in 2008 and Jordan Spieth last year), but the eventual winner has been in the final group on Sunday in 21 out of the last 23 years. Also, only two winners since 1998 have been outside the top 10 after Round 1 and 78 of the 79 winners were within six strokes of the lead after Round 3.
Keeping all of the above in mind, here are three players to watch this week at August, as we go with one of the favorites and then fire away at two longshots:. In addition to playing these three for a half-unit to win the Masters, we also encourage you to bet them in individual match-up wagers, as well.
Bubba Watson to WIN
You could take the top 5 in the betting market at this year’s Masters and throw a hat over all of them. Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Bubba Watson all have what it takes to win here and they all are in great form.
But if we had to choose one of them it’s Watson, whose numbers are off the charts in all of the key stats.
Not only has Bubba won two of the last four Masters, but he’s first on the PGA TOUR in greens in regulation and strokes tee to green, third on par-5 scoring, fourth on the World Golf Ranking and in driving distance. He also has four top-10s this year, including two wins. One of those victories was at the Northern Trust Open and, interestingly, 11 Masters Champions have won 21 times at that event.
The fact that lefties have won six of the last 13 Masters and Bubba has as many green jackets in his closet as the other four top contenders combined gives us a ton of value at 12-to-1.
Louis Oosthuizen to WIN
Sometimes the best moment to be “on” a golfer is the week after he misses a cut, and that’s what happened to Oosthuizen last week at the Shell Houston Open. We’re not going to overreact to that poor showing, since it was his fourth-straight week in action and he was obviously gassed from the week before when he finished second at the Match Play event and played a ton of holes.
He needed last weekend off and now he’s fresh for the Masters, a tournament he nearly won in 2012 when he lost a playoff to Watson. That finish gives him three top-25s in the last four years at Augusta. He can bomb it off the tee and he has a win on the European Tour earlier this year. With three runner-ups in the majors already on his resume, “Oozie” is ready to break through and win one
Hideki Matsuyama to WIN
Very quietly, Matsuyama has played very well in the majors in recent history with six top 20 finishes, including three last year and three in 2013. At Augusta, he was the top amatuer in 2011 and overall he’s made three out of four cuts with a fifth-place finish last year when he fired a 68 on Sunday. He loves to putt on slick greens and this year he already has three top-6s and six top-20s and his rankings in the key stats are impressive: 9th in putting average, 14th in GIR and 31st in par-5 scoring.April 7, 2016 at 9:22 am #39472
FBC Melgar + Colo Colo – UNDER 2.5
This match is happening in Conmebol
(System Record: 932-28, won last 2 games)
Overall Record: 932-725-150April 7, 2016 at 9:26 am #39474
WTA VOLVO CAR OPEN
S STEPHENS -180 D GAVRILOVA (7PM)
WTA KATOWICE OPEN
A CORNET -120 F SCHIAVONE (130PM)
ATP US MENS CLAY COURT CHAMPIONSHIP
M BAGHDATIS +140 F VERDASCO (830PM)April 7, 2016 at 9:26 am #39475
(UNDER 2.5 -127) AIK @ OSTERSUNDS FK (1PM)April 7, 2016 at 11:26 am #39479
Extra Bonus Picks:
CA Boca Juniors + Bolivar – OVER 2.5 (Conmebol)
River Plate Montevideo + Nacional Montevideo – UNDER 2.5 (Conmebol)
Racing Club + Deportivo Cali – OVER 2.5 (Conmebol)April 7, 2016 at 11:30 am #39480
Masters Matchups – Tournament:
Rickie Fowler (-125) over Dustin Johnson
Martin Kaymer (+100) over Byeong Hun-An
Phil Mickelson (+100) over Dustin Johnson
Justin Rose (-120) over Henrik Stenson
Matt Kuchar (-110) over Paul Casey
Adam Scott (-120) over Dustin Johnson
Jason Day (-130) over Jordan Spieth
Chris Kirk (-115) over Billy Horschel
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+110) over Chris Wood
Bryson DeChambeau (+115) over Smylie KaufmanApril 7, 2016 at 11:42 am #39493
1. NSA(The Legend) MLB – Red Sox +120
2. Ray “The Playmaker” Bowden MLB – Orioles -130
3. VegasSI.com NBA – Hawks -6.5
4. SportsAction365.com NBA – Suns +11.5
5. Gameday Network MLB – Yankees -115
6. Vegas Line Crushers MLB – Spurs +7
7. Gerry “Big Cat” Andino MLB – Red Sox under 7.5
8. Lou Panelli MLB – Athletics -110
9. Steve “Scoop” Kendall MLB – Dodgers -105
10. VegasSI.com Platinum Info Club MLB – Athletics -110
11. William E. Stockton MLB – Rangers +105
12. Vincent Pioli MLB – Orioles -130
13. International Sports Syndicate NBA – Timberwolves +4.5
14. SCORE MLB – Rangers +105
15. East Coast Line Movers NBA – Hawks over 200
16. Tony Campone NBA – Hawks over 200
17. Chicago Sports Group MLB – Cubs -150
18. Hollywood Sportsline NBA – Hawks -6.5
19. VIP Action NBA – Suns over 213.5
20. South Beach Sports MLB – Athletics -110
21. Z Code System MLB – Nationals -135
22. Sports Cash System MLB – Red Sox +120
23. BettingOnlineUSA.com MLB – Rangers +105
24. Sports Betting Professor NBA – Hawks over 200
25. 100 Percent Winners MLB – Yankees -115
26. NY Players Club NBA – Timberwolves +4.5
27. Las Vegas Private CEO Club MLB – Rangers under 8
28. Michigan Sports MLB – Phillies under 8.5
29. Charlie’s Sports MLB – Dodgers under 7.5
30. Fred Callahan MLB – Cubs -150
31. PointSpreadReport.com NBA – Hawks -6.5
32. FreeSportsPicksParlays.com MLB – Athletics -110
33. Las Vegas Sports Commission MLB – Yankees over 8.5April 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm #39512
AQUEDUCT #4 at 03:00 PM Eastern
Top Pick: #4 (KITAI) (5-2) – Filly is dropping back down in class and moving back in with her own sex. Four-year-old raced evenly facing males for a $40K claiming price March 10. Along with the drop, her connections are stretching her out to a mile. She gets a small edge.
2nd Pick: #1 (Violet Road) (4-1) – Strong finisher rallied to miss by less than a length going a two-turn mile at this $20K tag Jan 14. Training steadily for her return, mare is a late threat and a win candidate.
3rd Pick: #3 (Indygo Tigress) (3-1) – She ran evenly when debuting at this tag going six furlongs March 24. Trainer Gary Contessa brings her back quickly, stretches her out to a mile, and has Javier Csatellano aboard.
4th Pick: #7 (Egyptian Rose) (6-1) – Filly is lightly-raced and has some early speed. Her outside post at this one-turn mile is a plus and it’s noted that she’s taken betting action in all four appearances. In the mix.
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