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Odds against first-round leader Justin Rose winning Masters

Updated April 8, 2021 - 8:56 pm

Don’t fret if you didn’t bet on first-round leader Justin Rose to win the Masters.

Only one of the previous 23 outright leaders after the first round has gone on to win the green jacket since 1985, and just three Masters champions in the past 36 years had a share of the first-round lead.

Rose, who went off at 125-1 at the Westgate sportsbook, shot 9 under in the final 11 holes en route to a 7-under 65 and four-shot lead. He was reposted as the 4-1 favorite after the first round, but Westgate vice president of risk Jeff Sherman doesn’t expect the Englishman to win the year’s first major.

“He played a phenomenal stretch there,” Sherman said. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if, by tomorrow, he’s back in the mix with everybody else.”

A William Hill bettor in New Jersey has a $1,000 wager to win $125,000 on Rose to win the Masters.

Jordan Spieth, the wire-to-wire winner of the 2015 Masters, is the +750 second choice after grinding out a 71 that included a triple bogey on the ninth hole.

“He held it together, unlike some others,” Sherman said.

Over par, under expectations

A plethora of pretournament favorites failed to break par, with Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy shooting 76, defending Masters champion Dustin Johnson 74, Justin Thomas 73 and Jon Rahm 72.

Rahm is 12-1 at updated odds to win, and Johnson is 18-1.

“Rahm is the same price he was preflop. And the value is still gone on Spieth, too,” handicapper Wes Reynolds said. “Basically what the oddsmakers are saying is they think Rose is going to come back to the field. I kind of think so, too.”

Reynolds (@WesReynolds1), co-host of VSiN’s “Long Shots” golf betting show, said he would consider taking Thomas at adjusted odds. He’s 20-1 at William Hill, where he went off at 10-1.

“Justin Thomas was 1 over on the par 5s and still shot a 73,” Reynolds said. “I wouldn’t think he’s going to play another round without a birdie on a par 5.”

Top 10 trend

Another interesting trend is that the past 16 Masters winners have been in the top 10 (including ties) after the first round.

If that pattern continues, the champion will be one of 12 golfers who broke par Thursday: Rose; Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama at 3 under; Will Zalatoris, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Webb Simpson and Patrick Reed at 2 under; and Spieth, Jason Kokrak, Shane Lowry, Si Woo Kim and Tyrrell Hatton at 1 under.

Reynolds said the value plays from that group are Simpson (18-1) and Hatton (30-1).

“Webb Simpson finished fifth here two years ago and 10th last year,” he said. “Those are the best finishes of his career at the Masters.

“Hatton got bet against in a lot of matchups. Maybe he’s peaking at the right time.”

Looking down the board, Reynolds said Xander Schauffele, who is 22-1 after shooting 72, might be worth a play.

“He hit 14 of 18 greens. Only Spieth hit more,” Reynolds said. “The last nine years, the winner has been a player in the top 16 or higher in the world golf rankings. All three (Simpson, Hatton, Schauffele) fit that criteria.”

Looking at the top 12 on the leaderboard, Sherman recommends taking a shot on Harman (25-1) and Zalatoris (40-1).

“Guys won’t be talking about them, but they both have a shot at hanging around at decent prices,” he said. “Harman has been playing great, and Zalatoris has been a top-10 and top-20 machine.

“You can probably even go down to guys who are 3 over. If they can get back to even-par range (Friday), there’s still a lot of golf to be played. With conditions like this, they just need to make the cut and see what happens on the weekend.”

Ace in the hole

The popular hole-in-one prop cashed Thursday when Tommy Fleetwood aced the 16th hole.

“That always draws interest in the majors,” Sherman said. “We opened -180 on the ‘yes’ and closed -170. We had some people bet the ‘no.’”

Circa posted updated yes/no props on players to win the Masters. Will Rose win? No is a -455 favorite.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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