2012 Masters Vegas Odds – Favorites, Dark Horses, Sleepers and Bets to Avoid: As the 76th Masters prepares to tee off Thursday at Augusta National, it is hard not to think back to last year’s tournament. Rory McIlroy exploded into the mainstream, dominating the field for three rounds, only to endure one of the most painful collapses in Masters’ history. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods saw a Sunday surge come up just short thanks to a faulty putter, and Charles Schwartzel emerged to win his first-ever major championship with a birdie on No. 18.
While it may be impossible for this year’s tournament to live up to the drama and seemingly endless storylines of the 2011 event, the Masters is always special. Every professional golfer aspires to win the green jacket, and winning the Masters can turn one of the sport’s greats into a legend and a no name into a star.
Augusta National is the perfect course to hold such an event. It rewards aggressive play, allowing for players to surge up the leaderboard with a couple of strong holes. However, the course is also loaded with traps, waiting to ruin someone’s round. The Masters is a major championship for a reason, and it is one tournament that a golfer can’t luck into winning.
The Favorites – 2012 Masters Odds, Lines and Predictions
Despite an epic collapse in the final round of last year’s Masters when he blew a four-shot lead, Rory McIlroy is still one of the favorites to win the green jacket this weekend. He has spent time as the No. 1 golfer in the world and has added a major to his resume since his Masters collapse. McIlroy’s power off the tee will play well at Augusta, and he has already shown that he can dominate the competition at the course – at least for three rounds. As long as the mental gremlins don’t creep back up, he could easily atone for last year’s debacle.
It has been a wild couple of years for Tiger Woods, but with his winless drought finally over, he finally seems to have the game to win another major championship, rather than just the reputation. His putter hasn’t been perfect, but he is hitting the ball long and straight off the tee right now. Woods is a four-time winner of the Masters, and even during his slump last season, he managed a fourth-place effort at Augusta. He isn’t the overwhelming frontrunner he used to be, but Woods is as close to top form as he has been since all the drama began.
The Dark Horses – 2012 Masters Odds, Lines and Predictions
Of all the top golfers in the game today, Phil Mickelson is about as streaky as they come. When he is on top of his game, he is tough to stop and has two victories at Augusta to prove it. Unfortunately, “Lefty” has been as up and down this year as ever, winning one event, finishing second in another, and finishing 24th or worse in every other start. With his aggressive style, there is no middle ground with Mickelson. He is either going to be in the hunt for the green jacket or a nonfactor.
He enters the Masters as the No. 1 golfer in the world, and Luke Donald is arguably the best player without a major title. He doesn’t drive the ball overly long off the tee, but he is a solid all-around golfer with a very reliable putter. More importantly, Donald had a strong showing at Augusta last season, finishing fourth. It is always risky to back a guy that has never sealed the deal in a major championship, but at one time, every golfer was looking for their first major.
Sleeper Specials – 2012 Masters Odds, Lines and Predictions
Although he has never won a major, Justin Rose is enjoying one of the best years of his career and seems to be coming into his own as a golfer. He currently ranks in the top 50 in driving distance, in the top 20 in greens hit, and second in per round scoring average. He already has one win in 2012 and has climbed to ninth in the world rankings. Rose hasn’t exactly been on the cusp of winning a major, but with as well as he is playing heading into Augusta, he could ride the momentum to a surprise victory in the Masters.
His putter has been known to let him down at times, but Bubba Watson crushes the ball off the tee. In fact, he ranks first in driving distance at more than 316 yards and first in greens reached in regulation. Augusta has been known to yield big scores to aggressive players, and Watson’s length of the tee allows him to take risks other players can’t. If his putter holds up for four days, Watson could literally power his way to a green jacket.
Big Name to Avoid – 2012 Masters Odds, Lines and Predictions
He has been ranked in the top three in the world for several years, but Lee Westwood has yet to take the next step and win a major. Not surprisingly, he looks great on paper, ranking in the top 10 in scoring average and greens reached. However, he has had a nasty habit of coming up small in the majors. More importantly, he isn’t known as an aggressive player, and at Augusta, it is tough to win by playing it safe. Westwood is at his best when he plays safe and conservative, but that isn’t a recipe for winning the Masters.
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2012 Masters Odds to win – April 5th-8th
Odds to win the 2012 Masters
501 Tiger Woods +515
502 Rory McIlroy +615
503 Phil Mickelson +1015
504 Lee Westwood +1815
505 Luke Donald +1615
506 Justin Rose +3050
507 Hunter Mahan +2550
508 Adam Scott +2850
509 Keegan Bradley +3250
510 Jason Day +4050
511 Charl Schwartzel +4050
512 Sergio Garcia +5050
513 Bubba Watson +3550
514 Steve Stricker +4550
515 Dustin Johnson +5250
516 Nick Watney +5050
517 Martin Kaymer +6050
518 Webb Simpson +4050
519 Matt Kuchar +5250
520 Graeme McDowell +5250
522 KJ Choi +6050
523 Louis Oosthuizen +8550
524 Padraig Harrington +10550
525 Kyle Stanley +9550
526 Angel Cabrera +8550
527 Brandt Snedeker +8050
528 Rickie Fowler +9050
529 Bo Van Pelt +6050
530 Zach Johnson +9050
531 Bill Haas +9050
532 Ian Poulter +8550
533 Geoff Ogilvy +8550
534 Jim Furyk +10550
535 Trevor Immelman +10550
536 Aaron Baddeley +10550
537 Paul Casey +12550
540 Alvaros Quiros +12550
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