DraftKings Director Talks Masters Odds Movement, New Betting Options

For sportsbook operators, gamblers, and golf fans, nothing beats the magic of the Masters.

The next renewal, starting Thursday, should be the best ever. Enhanced technology, expanded betting options, and a melting pot of angles accent the summit of champions at Augusta.

This four-day tournament sports the dominant angle of Scottie Scheffler, the lure of mid-priced players like Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, and the epic realm of nostalgia.

Here is Tiger Woods, who won the first Masters of the legalized sports-betting era in 2019 at odds of better than +4000.  The Masters odds for Tiger is +14000 (140-1) this year, and it would still draw money at +140000.

Other blasts from the past include 53-year-old Phil Mickelson, who turned back the hands of time by finishing third last year at +8000. He’s +20000 (200-1) now at DraftKings.

Live Odds at DraftKings: Woods | Mickelson

Unlike regular tour stops, the Masters is a reunion — a blending of eras. Fans marvel at new talent, while older icons make their peers feel younger when they get hot.

“This might be the greatest collection of players you can ever get together for one tournament, and that’s why it is so exciting to us,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “When else do you find a Dustin Johnson at +4000  or a Justin Thomas at +4500? These players are certainly capable of winning. There are some tournaments that you might watch more in the final two rounds, but this is one in which I want to get up early Thursday and follow it.”

Four days of anything can happen.

Related Pages: How to Bet on the Masters | Implied Probability Calculator | Fastest Payout Betting Sites

Scheffler Commands Center Stage

The 2022 Masters winner reminds Avello of Woods in his prime.

Scottie Scheffler () has done so much for golf,” Avello noted. “Nobody is as much on their game right now as he is with his. He is enjoying the same type of popularity Tiger has. Scottie has been phenomenal this year. But that doesn’t mean other players can’t step up.

Brooks Koepka () made some comments this week about having been able to put his game together, and bettors jumped on that. We went from 20-1 to 18-1 on him shortly after that came out.”

Big names are one thing on the betting board. Big composure is another on the course.

Avello believes weather conditions — or the lack of them — can impact play.

“Some of the younger players struggle with Augusta,” he said. “Lately, some of them have gotten good rounds when wet. But when it’s not wet, those greens are fast and firm. For the most part, that’s not good for guys who don’t know the course that well. I am not sure a lot of players are that accurate.”

The LIV Angle

Former champions dot the field. So do 13 LIV players, which creates the betting variable of endurance. The LIV group plays 54 holes all season.  What does that mean for Bryson DeChambeau, defending champion Jon Rahm (), Brooks Koepka, Tyrrell Hatton, Sergio Garcia, and others regarding stamina?

They haven’t played 72 holes in a long time.

Endurance matters in other sports. Why wouldn’t it be a factor, at least from the mental standpoint, in the Masters? 

Related Pages: Georgia Sports Betting | Best Sportsbook Promos | Top Parlay Apps

New DraftKings Offerings on the Masters

One is called Finishing Position, Ties Included. This is an important designation.

Under normal conditions,  a bettor who takes a golfer to finish in the Top 10 must split the payout several ways if the golfer finishes tied for 10th. A four-way tie, for example, would substantially reduce the payout.

But in the Ties Included section, the player gets full payout, regardless of how many others he is tied with. This is partially reflected in the price, as Scheffler is -105 to hit the Top 5 with ties, and +105 without ties. In this case, with ties is a better way to go.

DraftKings Sportsbook odds are already up on a player’s score on every hole. The breakdown is par, birdie or better, and bogey or worse. A player will record par most of the time, but a hunch on birdie or bogey will pay well when it happens.

Avello also likes the three-way matchup wager, in which each player has plus numbers. Just pick out the winner amongst three players and gain a reasonable price.

First Round Leader: Think Longshot

It’s rarely the chalk or eventual winner. Somebody from out of the pack usually notches a hot opening round. Scheffler, for example, is +1200 to be leading after the opening round despite being the +450 tournament chalk. He usually gains momentum late in the second and most of the third rounds.

Golf Headlines Six-Figure Anecdote

Ah, those dream collections that spur the gambling mystique.

A golf wager in February launched a lucrative four-game parlay that concluded Monday night at DraftKings. It covered the PGA, UFC, men’s and women’s college basketball, and spanned nearly two months. 

“A bettor takes a $100 four-team parlay starting with Hideki Matsuyama to win the Genesis Invitational back in February,” Avello recalled. “Matsuyama comes through for the bettor at a big number, 66-1 (+6600.)

“So then he rolls in Ilia Topuria to win his UFC fight at +105 over Alexander Volkanovski. That happens.

“The next leg is the South Carolina women’s team to win the national championship. They were +125 at that time, even though that price was closer to $3 (or -300) when the Final Four came. They deliver.

“And then he caps it off with UConn winning the men’s tournament on Monday night. At that time of this bet, UConn was +650,” he added about a time in which Houston was the top team in the country and looked unbeatable.

“So you wonder what it pays? This bet pays $231,678. What a terrific collection, and it all started with a golf bet.

“The Masters and the beginning of the golf season reminds me of bets like that.”

Matsuyama, incidentally, is in this field at +2000.

Portions of the interview have been edited for style and clarity.


About the Author
Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, who has covered the sports industry since the 1970s. He won the Sam Taub Award for Excellence in Boxing Broadcasting by the Boxing Writers Association of America in 1997, and is in the New Jersey and Atlantic City Boxing Halls of Fame. Bontempo has broadcast major fights all over the world. The advent of legalized sports wagering shifted his focus to this exciting new industry in 2018.

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