This year is obviously unlike any other. And it certainly took its toll on the sporting world.
The Masters, for example, will not take place during its traditional time slot in April, with the blooming azaleas and magnolias welcoming us both into the spring and the first of professional golf’s four major championships.
Yet it doesn’t matter when it happens: The Masters is always something special.
Even with the coronavirus pandemic forcing the tournament to take place this weekend, outside its usual April scheduling for the first time since World War II, a tradition unlike any other is upon us.
And for the first time, the Oregon Lottery Scoreboard betting app will allow bettors in the Beaver State to get skin in on the game.
Scoreboard favorites to win the Masters
This unique iteration of the Masters features the tournament’s longest-reigning champion in nearly 60 years.
Nineteen months have passed since Tiger Woods put on his fifth green jacket, snapping his 12-year drought between major championships.
One more Masters win would pull Woods into a tie with Jack Nicklaus for most ever — and within just two major titles of the Golden Bear.
Realistically, though, the expectation is that a younger player slips on the green jacket this year. And likely a first-timer.
Quick glance at the favorites
No doubt excitement surrounds Bryson DeChambeau. Coming off his first major championship, the US Open, the Mad Scientist has shaken the golf world with his massive drives off the tee and analysis on the greens.
It should come as no surprise that DeChambeau enters Augusta National as the prohibitive favorite to win the Masters.
Nor should it be that the likes of Dustin Johnson (the most recent FedEx Cup champion) and Jon Rahm (seemingly always in contention over the past few months) are nipping at DeChambeau’s heels. After all, they have done so on the leaderboard since golf’s restart.
Even longer shots such as Justin Thomas (consistently a top-10 finisher over the past five years) and Rory McIlroy (a Masters win away from completing the career grand slam) appear as reasonable bets.
While he has come up short, McIlroy has performed well at Augusta. Since winning the third of four majors in 2014, McIlroy has placed in the top 10 four times in five starts at the Masters.
Placing a Masters wager after the first round?
Perhaps bettors would rather wait for the conclusion of the first round to place a wager.
Fair enough. Values obviously decrease, but a bit more confidence sets in with one round in the books.
Consider this, then: Since 2001, 15 of 19 winners were in the top 10 after the first round. Three of those outlying victories belong to Woods, while the fourth came courtesy of Phil Mickelson.
Seventeen winners were within five strokes after 18 holes, including 11 that were within three shots of the first-round leaders.
As for banking on the opening-round leader to win it all, history does not bode well. Only five players have booked wire-to-wire victories at the Masters:
- Craig Wood (1941)
- Arnold Palmer (1960)
- Jack Nicklaus (1972)
- Raymond Floyd (1976)
- Jordan Spieth (2015)
That said, correctly predicting a wire-to-wire winner, prior to the tournament beginning, would pay +1200 via Scoreboard.
Betting on Masters hole-in-one
Sure, championships are great. The journey to a win is exhilarating. But perhaps the single-greatest story told at the 19th hole surrounds that lightning-in-a-bottle moment: the hole-in-one.
And for the Masters, the Scoreboard app offers a way for bettors to cash in on aces at Augusta.
|Will there be a hole-in-one?||Yes -225, No +165|
|Will there be at least two holes-in-one?||Yes +125|
|Will a hole-in-one occur in Round 1?||Yes +1000|
|Will a hole-in-one occur in Round 2?||Yes +1000|
|Will a hole-in-one occur in Round 3?||Yes +1400|
|Will a hole-in-one occur in Round 4?||Yes +125|
In the history of the Masters, 30 players have combined for 30 holes-in-one, from Ross Somerville acing the now-16th hole in the tournament’s debut in 1934 to both DeChambeau and Thomas accomplishing the same feat on the same hole in 2019.
That 16th hole has featured 22 holes-in-one over the years, including 14 since 2004.
Strangely, it seems such a rare occurrence has become more frequent of late. The last decade has seen 11 holes-in-one, including six since 2016.
As for when these aces occur, 13 of 16 hole-outs have come during the final round since 2004 — all on the exciting 16th hole.