Masters 2019: The safest Masters bet you can make (and 14 others we like too)
AUGUSTA, Ga. — This week is one of history at the Masters. Yes, partially because of the inaugural Augusta National Women's Amateur, which was a rousing success. But, for a certain sect of wagering enthusiasts, this event marks a separate benchmark: the first Masters that gamblers can legally bet on in the United States. "Yes sir!" indeed.
We barreled through the myriad of props available for the 2019 Masters. Below are 15 of our favorites, including a sure-fire lock to pad your bank account.
Number of Holes in One during Par-3 Contest: Over 3.5 -135, Under +105
There have been 94 aces during the contest's history, including a record nine in 2016. Though we don't envision double digits this spring, five to six seems about right.
Par-3 Contest winner goes on to win Masters: Yes +2000, No -6600
Were you aware no player has won the Par 3 AND the Masters in the same year? True story. Anyway, the club will change its famed green jackets to tartan before this spell is broken.
Player to miss Masters due to Par-3 Contest Injury: Yes +1400, No -4000
Damn, a low blow to Tony Finau, who still managed to fire a four-under 68 after his disastrous ankle roll last year. And if Finau was able to bounce back from that, there's nothing that's going to transpire that will keep a competitor from teeing it up on Thursday.
Jack Nicklaus' Ceremonial Tee Shot Hits Fairway: Yes -325, No +250
There are few truths in this life. But one incontrovertible fact is this: Never, ever bet against Jack Nicklaus.
Number of Players Finishing Under Par: Over 17½ +110, Under -140
Twenty-seven players finished in red figures last season, 15 the year before and just six in 2016. So … yeah, Vegas knows what it's doing.
However, as you'll see below, we're forecasting fireworks, and a lot of them, this weekend. Over is the play.
Leading Round 1 Score: Over 65½ -160, Under +130
Historically, Saturday and Sunday have given up the lowest rounds in tournament history, but going low on Day 1 happens more than you think. This decade alone has seen Jordan Spieth, Charley Hoffman, Rory McIlroy, and Álvaro Quirós (!) break the 65.5 barrier. Since we're going big on low scores this week, coupled with the +130, you know where we stand.
Player to be Disqualified from the Masters: Yes +600, No -1000
Augusta National is a sanctuary from the rest of golf's nonsense. But no one escapes the Year of Rules Fiascos unscathed.
Will Tiger Woods Make the Cut? Yes -800, No +500
Chances are you're a Tiger fan. Imagine, if you'll entertain us for a second, the thought of Woods missing the cut. Nightmare, right? Though he's certainly trending in the right direction—a quarterfinals appearance at the WGC-Dell Match Play , sixth in strokes gained, third in GIR percentage—and hasn't missed a cut at this tournament as a professional, rainy weather can do a number on bad backs. So it behoves you to alleviate part of your (possible) despair by profiting off it.
New Course Record of 62 or Lower: (Yes +1400, No -4000)
This was in Spieth's sights last year before his birdie defied physics and stayed out of the hole on the 17th. With wet confines, and the club possibly looking for justification to severely lengthen the 13th hole, don't be surprised if Augusta National's defenses are lowered compared to years past. It's a gamble … but not that big of a gamble.
Will Jordan Spieth Finish in the Top 10? Yes +190, No -240
Yes, Spieth is stumbling into Augusta, his last top-25 finish coming in September. But this is his happy place, owning a win, two runner-ups, a third-place finish in five appearances. History suggests Spieth snagging a second title might be a bridge too far, but making the cut, and perhaps backdooring his way up the board, is certainly in the realm of possibility.
Length of Winner's Final Shot: Over 3½ Feet +115, Under -145
As my colleague Christopher Powers proved, the finishing hole usually turns out to be anti-climatic. Conversely, consider us a Masters romantic, and we'll be damned if we're going to advocate for a tap-in for the W.
Flagstick to be left in for Winner's Final Putt? Yes +1000, No -2000
If you firmly believe Bryson DeChambeau is going to win, and have bet that way, parlay this wager into your sheet. Otherwise, that bad boy will be out.
The Masters Winning Nationality: USA -115, The Field -115
Americans have won just five of the last 11 Masters, and with seven Internationals among the world's top 14 players, there's a good chance a flag besides the red, white and blue goes up.
But a Yankee has won seven of the last nine majors, and our pick for this year's tournament hails from the good ole U.S. of A. Speaking of which …
First Hug for Winner, excluding caddie: Wife/Girlfriend +160, Child +225, Wife/Girlfriend holding Child +325, Parent +650, No hug +750
No hug? How long does that extend? Like, forever? Also, notice "Trackman" is not an option. So much for Bryson bringing home the jacket.
Yet we're going with "Parent" because that's who Justin Thomas, your 2019 Masters champ, is sending his love to first. He's quietly third in strokes gained, first in birdie average (which fits into the low-scoring affair we envision) and, in his fourth Masters appearance, has enough reps under his belt to tackle this beast with aplomb.
However our safest, put the house on it, lock of the tournament is...
Will Justin Rose finish in the Top 10? Yes +115, No -145
The man finishes in the top 10 by getting out of bed, with 15 such finishes in his last 21 starts. The current World No. 1 has enjoyed similar dividends at Augusta, with five career top 10s—including three in his past four appearances. Mentioned above, we are going with Thomas as our Masters pick, meaning Jim Nantz's "A Rose blooms in Augusta!" victory call will have to wait another year. But you better believe—and bet—the Englishman will be in the mix this weekend.