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2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers    
By Drew Sharper

AUGUSTA, GA (TheSpread) – The first and most prestigious major championship of golf takes place this week as The Masters tees off on Thursday. Here is a look at the odds to win this event.

According to oddsmakers, Tiger Woods is the favorite to win this major with 7/2 odds. Other short odds to win are Rory McIlroy (5/1), Phil Mickelson (8/1), and Luke Donald (15/1).

Woods is seventh in the world rankings. He has placed in the top 5 in five of the last seven tournaments he has finished. Woods has won this tournament four times and he has placed sixth or better in the last seven Masters Tournaments.

McIlroy is second in the world rankings. He has finished in the top 5 in 11 of his last 12 tournaments. McIlroy had a huge lead entering the final round of last year’s Masters, but fell apart and ended up 15th. He has since won the U.S. Open and climbed to No. 1 in the world rankings at one point.

Mickelson is 14th in the world rankings. He has placed in the top 5 in three of his last four tournaments. Mickelson is a three-time Masters champion, and his last win came in 2010. Mickelson has placed in the top 10 of his event in 13 of his last 17 Masters outings.

Donald is the top golfer in the world rankings. He is coming off a win in his last outing. Donald has never won The Masters or any major in his career. He has two top-5 finishes at this tournament and he has three top 10’s in seven Masters outings.

The Masters takes place from Thursday, April 5 to Sunday, March 8 from Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia. For complete odds for each golfer to win the The Masters, see below.

2012 The Masters Odds to Win

Tiger Woods 7/2
Rory McIlroy 5/1
Phil Mickelson 8/1
Luke Donald 15/1
Lee Westwood 18/1
Hunter Mahan 20/1
Adam Scott 25/1
Keegan Bradley 25/1
Justin Rose 25/1
Dustin Johnson 30/1
Bubba Watson 30/1
Charl Schwartzel 40/1
Jason Day 40/1
Nick Watney 40/1
Webb Simpson 50/1
Matt Kuchar 50/1
Brandt Snedeker 50/1
Louis Oosthuizen 50/1
Sergio Garcia 50/1
Steve Stricker 50/1
KJ Choi 50/1
Martin Kaymer 60/1
Jim Furyk 60/1
Graeme McDowell 60/1
Bo Van Pelt 80/1
Geoff Ogilvy 80/1
Bill Haas 80/1
Angel Cabrera 80/1
Aaron Baddeley 80/1
Rickie Fowler 80/1
Ian Poulter 100/1
Paul Casey 100/1
Trevor Immelman 100/1
Padraig Harrington 100/1
Mark Wilson 100/1
Zach Johnson 100/1
Jason Dufner 100/1
Gary Woodland 100/1
Peter Hanson 125/1
Sean OHair 125/1
Martin Laird 125/1
Ryo Ishikawa 125/1
Fred Couples 125/1
YE Yang 125/1
Ryan Palmer 150/1
Jonathan Byrd 150/1
Thomas Bjorn 150/1
David Toms 150/1
Robert Karlsson 150/1
Francesco Molinari 150/1
Charles Howell III 150/1
Alvaro Quiros 150/1
Fredrik Jacobson 150/1
Henrik Stenson 150/1
Lucas Glover 200/1
Ross Fisher 200/1
Robert Garrigus 200/1
Edoardo Molinari 200/1
Ben Crane 200/1
Vijay Singh 200/1
Miguel Angel Jimenez 200/1
Kyung-Tae Kim 200/1
Tom Watson 250/1
Tim Clark 250/1
Scott Verplank 250/1
Stewart Cink 250/1
Anders Hansen 250/1
Brendan Steele 250/1
Kevin Chappell 250/1
Scott Stallings 250/1
Harrison Frazar 250/1
Darren Clarke 250/1
Patrick Cantlay 250/1
Jose Maria Olazabal 250/1
Bernhard Langer 250/1
Mike Weir 250/1
Rory Sabbatini 250/1
Mark OMeara 250/1
Field (Any Other Golfer) 12/1

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Re: 2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

The Masters Preview and Picks
By Matt Fargo
Covers.com

The 2012 golf season kicks off this week for some as the first major is upon us.

This is a special week for players, fans and everyone in between as the anticipation leading up to the Masters is over. While avid golf fans live for this weekend, even non-golf enthusiasts know about this epic tournament and what it means. Its beautiful simplicity makes it the greatest golf tournament in the world.

Famed Augusta National plays host to its 76th 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 decisive edge. Ball striking, hitting greens and putting are the biggest factors in succeeding. Only three times in the last 11 years has the winner finished outside the top 22 in driving accuracy, and only twice has he 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. 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. Just look at recent winners Trevor Immelman, Mike Weir and Zach Johnson. 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 began. 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 Sunday's leaderboard.

History plays a big part as you will see names near the top that you rarely see in other events. Successful players here are usually successful every year. Forty-seven Americans are in the field but only one U.S. player has won in the last four years, Phil Mickelson in 2010. While the Europeans have dominated the golf rankings lately, a European hasn't won here since Jose Maria Olazabal in 1999. We can also rule out first-time participants as a Masters rookie has not won here since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

No Australian has ever won the Masters, but last year was the best overall showing as Jason Day, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy all placed in the top four, with Day and Scott sharing runner-up. Day (+4,000) is not playing great but does have three top-20 finishes in his last three starts. Scott (+2,500) last played the Cadillac with a T13 and Ogilvy (+8,000) is the longshot of the bunch as his best finish this year is a T16.

Rory McIlroy (+500) and Alvaro Quiros (+15,000) shared the lead after Thursday last year, both shooting 65. Coming out of the gates strong is always good but there has not been an outright wire-to-wire winner since Raymond Floyd in 1976. Trevor Immelman (+10,000) had a share of the lead in 2008 with Justin Rose and he went on to win by three shots over Tiger Woods. Finally healthy again, Immelman finished T15 here last year.

The defending champion is Charl Schwartzel (+4,000) who birdied the final four holes on Sunday to win by two strokes over Jason Day and Adam Scott. His first Masters was in 2010 where he finished T30 after an opening round 69, so last year's win was no fluke. He has top-five finishes this year at the Honda and the Cadillac but has missed the cut in his last two events, including last week at the Shell.

The favorite is Tiger Woods (+350), which should come as no surprise as he has won here four times. But he hasn't donned the green jacket since 2005 when he defeated Chris DiMarco on the first playoff hole. Woods won in his last start at Bay Hill by five shots over Graeme McDowell and it was the first sign that dominating performances from Woods may finally be returning.

Phil Mickelson (+800) is a three-time winner of the Masters and he seems to be in the hunt nearly every year. He has seven top-three finishes, 13 top tens and his worst finish was a T46 back in 1991. He is coming off a disappointing T27 last year, which came right after winning the Shell Houston Open. At the Shell this year, he was in the hunt but an average weekend left him with a T4 finish.

While Woods looks tempting, we will go with Rory McIlroy (+500) as our short-price out; the value with Woods in non-existent. Everyone certainly remembers McIlroy's Sunday meltdown last year at Augusta but it is a safe bet to say he has forgotten it. He has top-three finishes in three events on the PGA Tour this year and is no doubt at the top of his game. It would be a great comeback story.

Hunter Mahan (+2,000) is coming off a win last week at the Shell, which vaulted him to fourth in the world. He is the first two-time winner on tour this year as he also won the Accenture Match Play. History is not on his side, as only twice has any player won the previous week and then won the Masters. History is made to be broken, though. He finished T10 in 2009 and T8 in 2010 before missing the cut here last year.

Justin Rose (+2,500), as mentioned, shared the lead in 2008 after Thursday and he is in great form to capture his first major. He won the Cadillac Championship last month and has four top-15 finishes so far this year. In that 2008 Masters, he ended up T36 as he followed that 68 with a Friday 78. He didn't get the invite in 2010 but sandwiched around that is a T20 in 2009 and a T11 last year.

Of that Australian trio from before, we are throwing Adam Scott (+2,500) into the mix. He has seen limited action this year in the U.S., but it is hard to overlook how his game has come around over the past year. It started last August with a win at the Bridgestone Invitational, Steve Williams' first event carrying his bag, and he certainly knows something about Augusta. Scott has missed the cut only twice at the Masters in 10 starts.

Sergio Garcia (+5,000) once had the title of best player never to win a major but he lost it after some tough times. He has regained some of his old form and if his putter is consistent, he could finally break through. His best finish this year is a T4 at the Northern Trust Open. While his recent Masters results are average (best finish T35 since 2005), El Nino certainly has the game to compete and win.

We used Bo Van Pelt (+8,000) two weeks ago at Bay Hill but he was forced to withdraw. He has been as consistent as they come when he plays, as he has four top-tens this year already. He has played at Augusta only twice. After missing the cut in 2005, he responded with a T8 last year and it could have better if not for an opening round 73. He is a darkhorse with exceptional value this week.

Recommended Tournament Win Six Pack at the Masters (all for One Unit)

Rory McIlroy (+500)

Hunter Mahan (+2,000)

Justin Rose (+2,500)

Adam Scott (+2,500)

Sergio Garcia (+5,000)

Bo Van Pelt (+8,000)

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Re: 2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

Books ready for The Masters
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

Everyone has Tiger fever right now, which is making this weekend’s Masters the most anticipated golf major ever or at least according to how action is coming in at sports books around town.

“This is the highest handle we’ve ever had for any tournament since I’ve been around,” said Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH) Super Book assistant manager Jeff Sherman, who has nearly 20 years of bookmaking experience. “We’ve had great response and most of it centers around Tiger Woods.”

To help satisfy the public demand, Sherman and the LVH have offered dozens of propositions on the Masters with Woods being the centerpiece. Anything that can be found in the box score next to Woods name can bet on.

Bettors can take their shot on the first round score of Woods (70 ½), bet a YES-NO prop on Woods winning (YES +450), or even bet whether he’s make the cut (No +1000) at Augusta. 

Sherman also paired Rory McIlroy and Woods together on a YES-NO prop asking if either of the pair would win the Masters with ‘NO’ being -300.

The anticipation of the Masters took on an entirely new shape after Woods broke a winless streak of nearly three years by winning at Bay Hill two weeks ago. Up until that point, McIlroy was the favorite to win at 5/1, but now Woods has gone from 7/1 all the way down to the 9/2 favorite.

Other top betting choices include Phil Mickelson (12/1), Luke Donald (15/1) and Lee Westwood (20/1) with everyone else at odds of 25/1 or higher.

The LVH will be offering updated odds to win after each round as well as match-ups for the next day. On Sunday they will be offering live odds on the final round where you can bet on adjusted odds with each putt.   

LVH Super Book Props - THE 2012 MASTERS

AUGUSTA NATIONAL GOLF CLUB - AUGUSTA, GEORGIA

WINNING SCORE:
(*72 holes must be completed for action)
OVER        275.5  EVEN
UNDER       275.5  -120

WHAT WILL THE 36 HOLE CUT BE?
(*36 holes must be completed for action)
OVER        146.5  EVEN
UNDER       146.5  -120

LOWEST COMPLETED ROUND SHOT BY:  ANY GOLFER
(*Full round of 18 holes; 72 holes must be completed for action)
OVER         65.0  -130
UNDER        65.0  +110

WILL THERE BE A HOLE IN ONE?
(*72 holes must be completed for action)
YES                +115
NO                 -135

WILL THERE BE A PLAYOFF?
(*72 holes must be completed for action)
YES                +270
NO                 -330

WILL TIGER WOODS WIN THE 2012 MASTERS?
(*Tiger Woods must tee off for action)
YES                +450
NO                 -600

WILL RORY McILROY WIN THE 2012 MASTERS?
(*Rory McIlroy must tee off for action)
YES                +550
NO                 -750

WILL TIGER WOODS OR RORY McILROY WIN THE 2012 MASTERS?
(*Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy must tee off for action)
YES                +250
NO                 -300

LOWEST COMPLETED ROUND SHOT BY:  TIGER WOODS
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed)
OVER         67.5  -130
UNDER        67.5  +110

HIGHEST COMPLETED ROUND SHOT BY:  TIGER WOODS
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed)
OVER         72.5  -130
UNDER        72.5  +110

72 HOLE SCORE BY:  TIGER WOODS
(*Must tee off for action; Tiger Woods must complete 72 holes for action)
OVER        278.5  -110
UNDER       278.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  TIGER WOODS
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER          5.5  +105
UNDER         5.5  -125

FINISH POSITION BY:  RORY McILROY
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER          6.5  -110
UNDER         6.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  PHIL MICKELSON
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER          9.5  -110
UNDER         9.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  LEE WESTWOOD
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         14.5  -110
UNDER        14.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  LUKE DONALD
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         13.5  -110
UNDER        13.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  ADAM SCOTT
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         20.5  -110
UNDER        20.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  JUSTIN ROSE
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         19.5  -110
UNDER        19.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  BUBBA WATSON
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         27.5  -110       
UNDER        27.5  -110

FINISH POSITION BY:  CHARL SCHWARTZEL
(*Must tee off for action; Includes ties; If golfer withdraws, is disqualified, or misses the cut, 'over' is the winner)
OVER         27.5  -110
UNDER        27.5  -110

WILL TIGER WOODS MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES               -1500
NO                +1000

WILL RORY McILROY MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES               -1300
NO                 +900

WILL PHIL MICKELSON MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES               -1000
NO                 +700

WILL JASON DAY MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -300
NO                 +250

WILL SERGIO GARCIA MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -260
NO                 +220

WILL DUSTIN JOHNSON MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -260
NO                 +220

WILL NICK WATNEY MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -220
NO                 +190

WILL HUNTER MAHAN MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -360
NO                 +300

WILL RICKIE FOWLER MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -175
NO                 +155

WILL RYO ISHIKAWA MAKE THE CUT?
(*Must tee off for action; cut decided after 36 holes)
YES                -125
NO                 +105

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  TIGER WOODS
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         70.5  -110
UNDER        70.5  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  RORY McILROY
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         70.5  -110
UNDER        70.5  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  PHIL MICKELSON
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         70.5  -140
UNDER        70.5  +120

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  STEVE STRICKER
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.0  -110
UNDER        72.0  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  MATT KUCHAR
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.0  -110
UNDER        72.0  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  KEEGAN BRADLEY
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.0  -110
UNDER        72.0  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  WEBB SIMPSON
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.0  -120
UNDER        72.0  EVEN

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  PADRAIG HARRINGTON
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.5  -130
UNDER        72.5  +110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  JIM FURYK
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.5  -110
UNDER        72.5  -110

1ST ROUND SCORE BY:  FRED COUPLES
(*Must tee off for action; Full round of 18 holes must be completed; Whenever played)
OVER         72.5  -130
UNDER        72.5  +110

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Re: 2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

Round 2's Best Matchup Bets
By Matt Fargo
Covers.com

Round 1 is in the books and it is already looking to be a wide open tournament for the 76th edition of the Masters.

Thursday was filled with incredible shots as well as incredible duffs, but we have become accustomed to that. The day started with former Masters champion Craig Stadler atop the leader board at +1 after one but he only got that distinction because he holed the first bogey of the group. The Walrus is T93 at +9.

As for some contenders, Henrik Stenson was looking like a candidate after posting two eagles on the front and eventually going out in 31. He even followed that up with a birdie on 10. The wheels fell off soon thereafter as he bogeyed 14 and 16 and then after duck hooking his tee shot on 18, had to settle for a quad on the finishing hole. He fell from -5 to -1 and brought everyone back in the mix.

The way it was looking, the morning groups had the best edge as they were staying ahead of the bad weather that never materialized.

Lee Westwood took advantage despite some afternoon wind and walked away with the 18-hole lead at -5 by hitting 12 of 14 fairways and 16 of 18 greens. He is first on a leaderboard which is sans many notable Americans.

The two best U.S. chances were with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson but it was an uneven day for both. Woods finished bogey-bogey to close at even while Mickelson posted a triple on 10, then rallied and finished +2. Bubba Watson, Ben Crane and Jason Dufner are the three Americans in a tie at 3 under, two back from Westwood heading into Friday.

Weather was supposed to be an issue Thursday and after big rains the last few days, the course will not be as receptive as it was in Round 1. Friday may be more challenging as the course should firm up and the pins will only be tougher.

Charles Howell III +110 over Jason Dufner

Jason Dufner looked like Terry Francona out there Thursday based on the size of his big league chew and he was very solid with a three-under par 69. Things started to unravel near the end but he closed -1 over the last four holes and after his implosion at last year's PGA Championship, you never know what could happen here. However, Howell could be out for a big day as he went -2 on the back and the Augusta kid should get into contention.

Greg Woodland -115 over Henrik Stenson

The fact that Woodland is favored here should be no surprise and we are getting a good price. It was painful to watch Stenson put up a snowman on 18 but at the same time, there is thinking on our end that it carries over into Friday and we profit from it. Stenson was beside himself after his third shot in the pine straw and it is safe to say, he is done. Woodland wasn't consistent Thursday but his game is so close.

Graeme McDowell +105 over Louis Oosthuizen

Are we going to see another Louis Oosthuizen runaway like we saw in the Open Championship two years ago? It's highly unlikely. He nearly pulled off a Charl Schwartzel from Sunday of last year as he birdied four of the last five holes to pull to one back of Westwood. McDowell was horrible Thursday with a 75 but he has been playing so well this year that a big round on Friday will not be unexpected.

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Re: 2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

Round 3's Best Matchup Bets
By Matt Fargo
Covers.com

After some very low scores on opening day, it would have been very feasible to think that someone in that group would go low again and create some separation.

It didn't happen and now we are involved in what looks like an incredible finish. The three leaders after Thursday failed to break par and with big moves from others, we have a logjam with 23 players within four shots of the lead.

Heading into Friday, the talk was on numerous ends about who would make that move. Lee Westwood shot 67 Thursday and many thought he could back that up with another stellar round. It didn't happen. Tiger Woods was just five strokes off the pace and after a bogey-bogey finish Thursday, some said a Tiger prowl is imminent. It started that way with birdies on two of the first three holes but Woods went five over the rest of the way.

Friday was all about Fred Couples as he once again showed that age means nothing. Couples posted the low round of the day with a 67 as he birdied five of the last 12 holes to not only get back into contention, but to go into Saturday with a share of the lead. Ironically, he shot a 67 on Saturday 20 years ago and he went on to win the 1992 Masters.

It is a feel good story for sure but Couples still believes he can win. We were robbed of then-59-year old Tom Watson winning the Open Championship three years ago in what would have been a story for the ages. Well, we are there again and Couples still possesses the same smooth swing from 20 years ago even if there is a lot more gray hair beneath the cap. Turn on your TV Saturday and give Freddie some support.

Couples has a chance to become the oldest player to win a major championship as the Masters win in 1986 by 46-year old Jack Nicklaus still holds the record. Couples is a mainstay here and a fun fact from the Masters tells us that 20 players in the field weren't even born when Couples played his first Masters back in 1983. The story is a great one but we still have 36 holes left.

Masters picks to date:

1-1-1 Thursday

1-0-2 Friday

Tiger Woods -138 over Charl Schwartzel

This is more juice that we like to go after in these matchups but after a 75 on Friday, moving day could be a big one for Woods. He was off his game badly in the second round but the way he has been playing prior to this, we know what he is capable of. He said he is going low on Saturday and we believe it. The defending champion Schwartzel has been off all week and being paired with Woods could doom him.

Aaron Baddeley -105 over Peter Hanson

Take away a triple on five on Saturday and Baddeley would be tied for the lead right now. He closed with four birdies over the last 11 holes including a 33 coming in and he is right in the hunt. His missed cut at the hell Houston Open is ancient history now. Hanson shared the lead at one point on Saturday but going four over on his first five holes on back nine hurt Friday. His first ever weekend at the Masters will show.

Miguel Angel Jimenez +140 over Matt Kuchar

Kuchar is fun to watch as the smile alone knows he is just out there having fun. He has been as consistent as they come over the last few years and after going -4 over his last 24 holes, he has put himself right into contention. While the Couples story is fantastic, Jimenez is no joke as he seems to be always there on the weekend. His bogey on 15 Saturday was tough but he is the epitome of a grinder. And at a great price.

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Re: 2012 The Masters Odds To Win: Tiger Woods Favored By Oddsmakers

Round 4's Best Matchup Bets
By Matt Fargo
Covers.com

Saturday was certainly a strange day at Augusta and not because our matchup plays were putrid.

It was a day that saw the leaders take a big step back while players that needed to make a move on moving day actually did. While it was expected there would be a 65 out there on Friday, it never happened. Saturday was a different story as Peter Hanson put up the low round of the day as well as the tournament with a 65. The nine-shot improvement from Friday is by far the best of anyone.

Things were not looking great for Phil Mickelson after posting an even par 36 on the front but then the magic came out. Lefty shot a masterful 30 on the incoming nine as he posted four birdies and an eagle to find himself just one shot back heading into Sunday.

The three-time Masters champion has a huge edge in this final grouping based on experience and it is interesting to note these two squared off in the 2010 Ryder Cup in the Sunday singles with Mickelson winning the match 4 and 2.

Oh Tiger. Woods birdied three and four on Saturday and a lot of us thought moving day would be his.

However, it was not meant to be as he finished with two bogeys going out and played the back even par, consisting of nine consecutive pars. Overall, 15 players posted a 70 or better to at least give themselves a shot on Sunday but realistically, only a handful are within striking distance. After Friday, 23 players were within four shots of the lead but after Saturday, only eight players are within five shots of the lead.

Matchup picks to date:

1-1-1 Thursday

1-0-2 Friday

1-2 Saturday

Zach Johnson -115 over Aaron Baddeley

Aaron Baddeley was even par after an eagle on 13 and then the wheels fell off. He played the last five holes at five over to knock himself out of the tournament and trying to recover on Sunday will be tough. Zach Johnson shot a 75 Saturday but he was consistent in doing so as he finished with three bogeys and 15 pars. He is just two over in his last 27 holes and is in good shape for a solid Sunday.

Jonathan Byrd +110 over Jim Furyk

Jim Furyk was making a Saturday move as he made the first page of the leaderboard after going out in 34 but the back nine was not as good as two bogeys were followed up by an eagle on 13 which was followed up by another two bogeys to post 38 on the finishing nine. Jonathan Byrd is at -1 also but he has not posted an over-par round and after a very inconsistent Friday, he was better Saturday with two birdies and two bogeys.

Louis Oosthuizen +110 over Bubba Watson

Louis Oosthuizen has been outstanding since early Friday as after putting up a +3 after five holes, he has gone -6 over his last 31 holes. A bogey on 18 on Saturday was a killer but he has been playing extremely consistent and let's not forget he is already a major champion. Watson closed with birdies on three of his last six holes on Saturday to gain some momentum but he will be outclassed here.

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