With Tiger Woods Out, Adam Scott And Rory McIlroy Are Masters Favorites

Tiger WoodsThe odds for this year’s edition of The Masters had to be retooled when it was announced that four-time winner Tiger Woods was withdrawing due to back surgery. Still, the rest of golf’s best players will be at Augusta National when the tournament tees off next Thursday.

Course

This year marks the 78th edition of The Masters, which kicks off on April 10 from the picturesque Augusta National course. The course was recently lengthened to counter today’s big hitters, but there are still plenty of scoring opportunities. The tournament also remains steeped in traditions, like Amen Corner (holes 11-13) and Rae’s Creek, which runs through Amen Corner. And don’t forget, the winner gets to wear the prestigious Green Jacket.

Favorites

Defending champion Adam Scott (9-1) and Rory McIlroy (7-1) lead the way on the odds at Bovada. McIlroy hopes to become the seventh first-time Masters winner in eight years, but he has never cracked the top 10 at Augusta. Who can forget his final-round collapse in 2011? Scott’s win here in 2013 was his third straight top-eight finish at Augusta, and he recorded top five finishes in three of the four majors last year.

Phil Mickelson (12-1), Jason Day (14-1) and Dustin Johnson (16-1) are next in line on the odds. Mickelson won the Masters in 2010 and completed the Grand Slam by winning the British Open last year, but the lefty has struggled so far this year. However, he does seem to raise his game for Augusta regardless of how he’s playing. Day’s third place finish last year was the first of three top-eight results in the majors. He also finished T-2 at Augusta in 2011. Johnson’s T-13 at Augusta in 2013 was his best Masters result, and many feel it’s just a matter of time before he wins his first major due to his massive length off the tee. If he can make some putts, watch out.

Sleepers

There are a ton of sleepers worth wagering on at Augusta next week. Jordan Spieth (25-1) was the 2013 Rookie of the Year, and even though he is making his first Masters appearance, the 20-year-old is fearless. Zach Johnson (25-1) and Bubba Watson (20-1) won in 2007 and 2012, respectively, so they have to be considered. Justin Rose (25-1) and Jason Dufner (40-1) are now Major winners too, so they know what it is like to deal with the pressure of a Sunday back-nine in these tournaments. Henrik Stenson (18-1) could be worth a look too, as he was the best player in the world at the end of 2013 and finished in the top three of the US Open and PGA Championship.

If you’re looking for a couple dark horses, check out former champs Angel Cabrera (50-1) and Fred Couples (150-1). Cabrera won the 2009 Masters and his playoff loss to Scott last year was his third top-seven finish at The Masters in five years. Couples is 54 years old, but his 1992 Masters win is his lone major championship. He has finished in the top 15 in each of the last four years. If his back holds up, the fan favorite could make some bettors very happy on Sunday of the final round.

Yardbarker

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