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SPORTS BETTING INDEX was founded in 2000 to help punters with all aspects of internet betting as the phenomenon of online gambling took off.
Whilst the site has changed and developed over time the core beliefs remain the same: being independent, honest and open.
Newsletter 22
The US Masters is the first of the four Majors and in theory should be the easiest to predict and therefore bet on. The same course Augusta National is used at the same time of year and the field is set relatively early. It is also the smallest sized field of the Majors with only around 90 competitors and with some ageing past winners we can immediately dismiss. If you are looking to have a bet here are some Do’s and Don’ts to help guide you, I must admit I am struggling to find anyone worth backing at the moment and I will either have to break one of the ten rules or see what's available in the side markets on the week.

Don’t back any player who is a debutant at Augusta National - it is a well documented fact that Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 remains the only player to win on his first appearance. It comes as no great surprise as it is a course which a player needs to know before performing well on with so many nuances it is unlike any other golf course.

Don’t bet on the Par 3 contest which takes place on the Wednesday. To put it simply the field is unknown as not all Masters contenders play and there are various past champions and honorary invitees who take part. Also and most importantly you will often find players allow their five year old sons/daughters/nephews etc to putt out hence rendering their scores null and void.

Don’t bet on the winner of the par 3 contest - not one player has won on the Wednesday and gone on to win the full title on the Sunday. Padraig Harrington has to tell himself not to play well in the par 3 contest which he has won three times recently - he then might give himself another chance at a Major.

Don’t back defending champion Bubba Watson unless you think he is a player of the highest calibre. The only players to win back to back so far are - Nicklaus 65/66 Faldo 89/90 Woods 01/02 so if you don’t think he belongs in such illustrious company give him a swerve.

Don’t back players who have passed their 40th birthday - the last fourteen winners have all been in their 20’s and 30’s. The last winner in his 40’s was Mark O’Meara back in 1998 and he was only 41 and was at the peak of his career winning the Open Championship later that year

Do make sure your player made the cut at last years Masters as all the winners bar one in the last twenty years made the cut at Augusta the year before. The only player to have missed the cut was Tiger Woods in 1996 so I guess that is one exception we can accept.

Do now wait until the week of the tournament to have a bet as bookmakers will offer greater value and enhanced place terms (ie top 6 or even 7) to attract new clients. I only bet antepost on the Masters several months before and have actually only had one bet so far and that was Brandt Snedeker when he hit form in January and was 66/1. There is no value in the 20/1 price quoted now and I know Skybet have laid him as low as 14/1!

Do check the weather - not just the forecast compared with tee times as to who might get the most favourable conditions such as wind strength but also look at what the weather has been like running up to the tournament. If it has been really wet and Augusta National is playing even longer than normal then you can rule out the shorter hitters.

Do bet in running - all bookmakers will be doing this through all four days but try and wait until your player is through the 12th hole. The reasons are fairly straightforward as the all time hardest holes are the 10th followed by the 12th and then the 11th . After that tough challenge things ease down a little as the 13th is the second easiest and the 15th the easiest.

Do look closely at Hole in One betting - in the last ten years there have been seven holes in one in total but only in four different years. Last year odds were around 10/11 Yes and 10/11 No so there will probably be value on a No bet. In 2004 Chris Dimarco had an ace on the 6th hole but all the others have been on the 16th and usually when the pin is in its Sunday position - so you will probably have to sweat things out!

 

 

 

 
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