CHIP SHOTS: Betting on the Masters

Brian Blessing (DonBest.com) was handed a mythical bankroll of $200 to bet the Masters futures board at the LVH.

Passing on Tiger

I believe Tiger Woods is back, but unless you’re going all-in, you can’t play him at 3-1 odds. This event gives us a shot to swing for the fences. These are the players I’ll be betting for real in the season’s first major. If one puts on the green jacket, I’m guaranteed to at least triple my money.

Phil Mickelson $60 at 10-1

Left-handed golfers have won five of the past 10 Masters. Lefties can hit high, soft fades into hard and fast greens. It’s tough to argue with those numbers. Mickelson’s putting can be suspect at times, but this course sets up for his game. Are you ready for a “Phil the Thrill” ride?

Louis Oosthuizen $40 at 25-1

If he had closed the deal over Bubba Watson last year, Oosthuizen’s double eagle on the second hole would have to be considered one of the greatest shots in Masters history, a la Gene Sarazen. He comes to Augusta putting extremely well and is the most consistent of the talented South African contingent.

Adam Scott $30 at 25-1

I wish his price was better, but when he’s on top of his game, Scott can handle this course and the competition. He finished eighth in 2011 and fourth in 2010. The sting of his British Open meltdown could be behind him.

K.J. Choi $20 at 80-1

This is one of the better value plays on the board. Choi played solid golf and finished sixth at the Texas Open last weekend, which could have been better with a few more dropped putts. In 2011, he finished eighth at the Masters (8 under par), and he was fourth in 2010 (11 under). He’s a cool customer and has a win at The Players Championship on his resume.

Hunter Mahan $15 at 40-1

Mahan can go flag hunting when playing well. He recorded a runner-up finish in the WGC match-play event, which has propelled players such as Geoff Ogilvy onto success in the majors.

Jason Dufner $15 at 50-1

He’s as cool as they come. His game has been a little erratic, but he is a world-class talent at a value price.

Bo Van Pelt $10 at 80-1

Despite his recent struggles, Van Pelt can be a birdie machine. He shot a final-round 64 at the Masters last year and was tied for the lead late on Sunday two years ago before stubbing his toe and finishing eighth.

Branden Grace $10 at 200-1

This South African has ability and will be shown the ropes around Augusta by his fellow countrymen — Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Ernie Els. He recorded four wins in 2012 on the European Tour and has three top-10 finishes in 2013. He has not fared well lately in North America. Grace is a strong front-runner, so the key for him is the first round.

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