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5 questions with a Masters oddsmaker

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The Masters is both the most widely watched and widely wagered PGA Tour event of the season. As such, I wanted to know a little bit more about what’s going on behind the scenes at a major sportsbook.

Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager, Kevin Bradley was kind enough to answer a few questions for me about golf oddsmaking in general and Masters odds in particular.

I’m always interested in what exactly goes into setting odds. Can you tell me a little about the process of odds-making for golf in general?

We normally offer every player for every event. Depending on the field, the top players are normally at the top such as Rory, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth. We also monitor how the betting comes in on certain players early and adjust while taking into consideration how certain players play certain courses. It is very comparable to doing an outright market for any other sport such as Super Bowl Odds or World Series Odds, just over a few days rather than a few months.

Is that process different for the Masters in particular?

Not much difference except we take a ton more money, so we may have bigger liabilities than usual. We also offer so many more markets and props that it is much more time consuming.

How much more wagering is there on the Masters than a standard PGA Tour event? What’s the second most widely bet golf tournament?

It is not even close. It is the Super Bowl of Golf, and especially since Tiger is in it, the handle will be exponentially more. The second most would be the U.S. Open.

Next to the Super Bowl, the Masters has some of the best prop bets. Can you tell me a bit about prop betting and share a couple of the more interesting prop bets currently offered on Bovada?

Prop betting is something we have grown over the years to the point it impacts how we do overall each year more and more. The Super Bowl Prop bets accounted for one third of all Super Bowl bets, which is very significant. The Masters is not that high, but maybe one fifth.

We offer so many props daily for each game in each sport and have diversified that to such things as U.S. Election betting, Dancing With the Stars, even today we are posting odds on George Clooney filing for divorce.

What interesting trends are you seeing in Masters betting?

Well, no matter what odds we have him at, Tiger Woods is always heavily bet, especially this year when he was as high as 40-1. He’s now down to 25-1 and is by far our biggest liability. As expected, no doubt, we are cheering against him. He has taken in more money than any other player, three times more than Rory and four times more than Dustin, who are next two in terms of action.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. jedidiahs mom

    Apr 9, 2015 at 9:16 am

    bookies are gonna be rolling in it when tiger misses the cut

  2. The dude

    Apr 8, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Pretty cool article….

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