A TRADITION UNLIKE ANY OTHER

masters 2Every golfer on the planet, no matter his or her skill level, dreams of one day playing a round or two of golf at the Augusta National course in Georgia. It is, to many players and fans, golfing Mecca.  The course is an awe inspiring and beautiful setting for one of the world’s greatest sporting events, the PGA Masters Tournament.

This year the greatest players in the game are all primed and ready to take on the challenge of the Augusta National course with its narrow tree lined fairways and those perfectly manicured greens that seem to get quicker and slicker with each passing year.  It’s pretty much every golfers ideal dream golf course.

Tiger Woods will be there.  He has only won the Masters four times. Woods has shown signs of returning to his winning ways this season with huge crowds following him around every time he swings a club.  That must be both exciting and a bit maddening, especially for a guy who named his boat ‘Privacy’.  But he hangs in there, pitching and putting with the best of them and is currently listed as one of the top favorites to win the 2019 Masters with odds of 14-1.

Oddly enough, excuse the pun, Rory McElroy, who has never won at Augusta, is listed as the favorite this year at 7-1 with Dustin Johnston at 10-1 and Justin Rose at 12-1 rounding out the top four at this point.

Rory took home a fat first place prize from the Players Championship back in mid March. The $12,500,000 purse at TPC Sawgrass yielded almost $2,000,000 to McElroy. Not bad for four days work.

As we have seen so many times before, golf is a game where any of the top players, and sometimes an unknown, can ‘get hot’ on any given day and pull away from the field while the rest just watch and wonder.  That’s why PGA Golf is such a difficult sport to wager on and such a fascinating sport to watch. You just never know who is going to have the hot putter that day.

Jordan Spieth won at Augusta in 2015 when he was only 22 years old.  He also won the U.S. Open and came in second for the PGA Championship that year.  Although Jordan has been in a bit of a slump of late, he is still listed at 20-1 and a lot of folks would like to see him make a run at The Masters and another Green Jacket this year.

One of the most interesting new players showing up this season has been Bryson DeChambeau, the guy who wears the funny hat.  Bryson and his team have broken down the game of golf into a scientific study like no one else on the course, and he has had quite a lot of success with his cutting edge methodology.  DeChambeau is also listed at 20-1 along with Spieth and Tommy Fleetwood.  The field is tight.

All of the ‘big boys’ will be there at Augusta this year.  We will be treated to four beautiful days of championship golf on one of the worlds’ most beautiful venues featuring those guys plus Justin Thomas, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Bubba Watson, Brooks Koepka, Rickey Fowler, Jon Rahm and Jason Day among others. It should be a good one. Enjoy!

TEXAS TECH BETTOR COULD WIN $300,000

cbsn-fusion-march-madness-2019-ncaa-tourLast November a young guy strolls into The Sportsbook at the Westgate in Las Vegas and places two wagers on the outcome of this year’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, aka ‘March Madness’.  First he bet Wisconsin at 100-1.  His other wager was on the Red Raiders from Texas Tech to win it all.  Texas Tech had opened at 40-1 but, lack of action saw that number fall all the way to 200-1.

Obviously this guy was not attending his first rodeo here.  He was already known at The Sportsbook as a high roller futures player.  When he placed his wager on Texas Tech he had to settle for a $1500 wager, although he wanted to bet more. Westgate’s John Murray said no because, “He is a well known player who takes a lot of futures positions with us”.  As the odds on the Red Raiders were then at 200-1, Mr. Murry said, “No, I think to win $300,000 is pretty good”.

Fast forward to March this year.  Four months have passed and, against the odds, Texas Tech will be playing for the National Championship against the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Monday evening. That little prop slip has evolved into quite the hot ticket of the tourney.  Dez Bryant offered the guy $50,000 for the prop, he said no, thank you.

However, the bettor did post his prop slip on a site called ‘PropSwap’ where, after beating Michigan State on Saturday, someone offered him a cool $125,000!  Once again, the bettor declined the offer and held onto his golden ticket.  Give the guy credit for sticking to his guns, and having a lot of guts.

PropSwap is a relatively new site which serves as a secondary marketplace for sports betting futures tickets.  Anyone with what they believe to be a valuable ticket can post it on PropSwap and have folks bid on it.  The bids are non binding and the seller has the right to decline any offer at any time.

Regardless of how the game comes out, this bettor will likely never forget this particular wager.  Either he walks away with three hundred grand, or he laments the $125,000 that he turned down. This guy is a real player.

Although the bettor prefers to remain anonymous, he did an interview in which he claimed that wagering on sports is just a hobby that he started some eight years ago for fun.  He especially likes to wager on college basketball futures bets because of the large variety of teams and the long odds available.

Texas Tech held the Michigan State Wolverines to only 51 points in Final Four action and looked very strong indeed.  No wonder this guy won’t sell his golden ticket, at any price!

THE 2019 NCAA FINAL FOUR MEANS MONEY

final 4 minniIt’s still cold up in Minneapolis. But tickets for the NCAA Final Four contests between Virginia and Auburn followed by Texas Tech taking on Michigan State at beautiful US Bank Stadium are going like hot cakes, albeit at $22,245 for a ring side seat.

However, excellent lower level center court seats can still be had for a mere $14,950, and those are going fast.  You can still get good seats right behind the team benches for a little under $10,000 apiece, but I don’t think that includes parking, popcorn or beer.

Corner seating, which gives you a rather long distance diagonal view of the action, can be had for between $4000-$5000 a ticket while seats behind the goal, which some fans actually like, are genuine bargains at around $400 apiece.

Mezzanine seating prices around the middle level of US Bank Stadium, which they call their ‘Club Level’, range from $1707 up to $2415 per person, while the ‘cheap seats’ on the upper level all around the top can be had for under $400.  The Stadium holds 66,860 fans for basketball games.  If they sell out, which is likely, a bunch of money stands to be made off of these three games.

Speaking of money to be made, one Texas gambler took a notion to bet on his home team back in November and put down a future wager of $1500 on Texas Tech to win the NCAA Tournament for 2019.  Back then he got the Red Raiders at 200-1, therefore, should Texas Tech actually pull it off, this guy will take home a cool $300,000!

Nowadays, what was a 200-1 Texas Tech team has evolved into the number three contender left in the mix for the national title at +285.  The Virginia Cavaliers are listed as tourney favorites at +110 with the Wolverines of Michigan State nipping at their heels with +140.  Poor ole Auburn is listed at +500, but these Tigers just might surprise a lot of people in the next few days.

Of course we first have to get through the Saturday games before knowing which teams will be competing on Monday evening at US Bank Stadium for the national title.  Currently Michigan State is favored over Texas Tech by only 2.5 points while Auburn will face Virginia as 5.5 point underdogs.  Tight spreads and tight games.  In reality these games could go either way, so good luck wagering on them. Any way it goes, a lot of money is about to change hands.

 

THERE IS ONLY ONE AUGUSTA NATIONAL

Augusta1

Augusta National Golf Course is one of the most beautiful sports venues on the planet.  It’s probably on more peoples bucket list than the Grand Canyon.

Spring is almost here and the PGA tour goes back to the Augusta National for the 2019 Masters in early April.  No event in golf brings more prestige to the golfer.  No prize is coveted more than that iconic green jacket.

After his solid victory at the World Golf Championship at the Chapultepec Country Club in Mexico City, Dustin Johnson is now the number one favorite to walk away with the Masters title this year.  Johnson has been knocking on the door at Augusta for the last three years in a row by finishing in the top ten each year.  His best finish so far was tied for fourth place back in 2016.

Las Vegas odds makers have set Dustin Johnson as the favorite at Augusta at 10 to 1 odds, with Tiger Woods, Rory McElroy and Justin Rose close behind him at 12 to 1.  The top three young American golfers Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth follow at 14 to 1 and 16 to 1.

Last year Tiger Woods made it onto the favorites list for the Masters based more on his reputation and past performances than was realistic.  Even after shooting a blistering three under par 69 on the final day, Woods still finished at one over par and 16 strokes behind the 2018 winner Patrick Reed.

Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and the Spaniard Jon Rahm finished out the top 4 in the 2018 Masters and all four will be back at it again on April the 11th this year vying for a lions’ share of the huge $11,000,000 prize, the largest payout on this year’s PGA tour.

Weather the winner turns out to be one of the favorites or some long shot coming out on top, he is going to walk away a wealthy man.  Top prize this year will reach almost two million dollars to the winner. The runner up still gets over a million bucks and even coming in 14th place still nets the golfer over $200,000!  The Masters is rarefied air in more ways than one.

There are lots of folks who would like to see Tiger Woods come back and win the Masters once again.  Every time the Tiger hits the links there is a huge crowd cheering him on, sometimes to the point of distraction. Even the boys in Las Vegas are rooting for Mr. Woods.  Betting is always brisker when Tiger is in the mix and this year at Augusta is setting up to be a record outing.

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