Masters Odds 2014: Breaking Down Best and Worst Selections in Augusta Field

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Masters Odds 2014: Breaking Down Best and Worst Selections in Augusta Field
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In sports, there are stark differences between the favorite and what the odds tell you will happen. That's especially true for golf, a sport that's nearly impossible to predict because the course conditions change every week. 

Players who rely on power and hit the ball long off the tee aren't going to fare as well on a shorter course that requires accuracy and precise putting. 

In the case of the Masters, which requires length off the tee, accuracy in the fairway and putting ability, the field narrows considerably when you start breaking things down. Here is a look at current odds for the field at Augusta, who's getting overrated and underrated. 

2014 Masters Odds
Player Odds
Rory McIlroy 10-1
Adam Scott 10-1
Field 15-1
Phil Mickelson 15-1
Jason Day 15-1
Dustin Johnson 15-1
Jordan Spieth 20-1
Zach Johnson 20-1
Brandt Snedeker 25-1
Bubba Watson 25-1
Matt Kuchar 25-1
Justin Rose 30-1
Jason Dufner 30-1
Henrik Stenson 30-1
Charl Schwartzel 30-1
Louis Oosthuizen 40-1
Hunter Mahan 40-1

Full odds can be found at Vegas Insider.

 

Best Value: Matt Kuchar

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

There are two ways to look at Matt Kuchar's performance at the Shell Houston Open last week. On the one hand, he did let a four-shot lead evaporate in the final round before losing to Matt Jones in a playoff. 

On the other hand, Kuchar's second-place finish in that tournament gave him six top-10 finishes in nine PGA Tour events this season. He was also a master at saving his shots, finding greens in regulation 88.9 percent of the time. 

Kyle Porter of CBS Sports ranked all 97 golfers taking part in the Masters this year, with Kuchar coming in at No. 4. saying, "This five-year stretch is put up or shut up time for the Georgia Tech grad. I can think of few golfers this title would mean more to."

Kuchar has been on the cusp of stardom and immortality for a long time, as Porter alludes to, with five top-10 finishes in major tournaments since 2010 that includes a third- and eighth-place finish at Augusta the last two years. 

One of these years everything will fall into place for Kuchar, so why not this year?

 

Worst Value: Phil Mickelson

Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Here is one of those cases where the name of a player inflates the odds, because there's nothing in Phil Mickelson's performance this year that suggests he should be directly behind Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott. 

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Lefty rarely connects his natural raw talent with the mentality needed to win a major event, which is why it took him so long to win one and makes him an overrated favorite heading into the 2014 Masters. 

It also doesn't help Mickelson's case that he's coming into the Masters with an oblique injury suffered two weeks ago. It didn't flare up at the Shell Houston Open, so perhaps he is a fast-healing machine. 

Speaking of the Houston Open, Mickelson shot a respectable seven-under par for the tournament and earned raves from analysts like ESPN's Alf Musketa (subscription required), who loved Lefty's approach shots and putting, after finishing 12th. 

No matter how strong Mickelson looked at times in the event, he still finished outside the top 10 and hasn't cracked that barrier all season. Don't expect that trend to be broken at Augusta. 

 

Deep Sleeper: Angel Cabrera (50-1)

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

It may be cheating to call a previous Masters champion and last year's runner-up a deep sleeper, but based on the odds listed, Angel Cabrera isn't getting the credit he deserves. 

Of course, some of that is Cabrera's own doing. The 44-year-old has made just two PGA Tour cuts in eight events this season, finishing outside the top 10 both times and looking like a complete mess on the course. 

But if you are optimistic, going back to ESPN's Alf Musketa, Cabrera just needed last week's Shell Houston Open to get his feet back under him. 

I'm convinced he used last week in Houston strictly as a tuneup. Fast-forward to this week with his son on the bag again at Augusta and four top-20 finishes in the past four years. Cabrera is a great value at 50-1.

Cabrera loves playing at Augusta, with six top-10 finishes since 2001, including last year's second-place finish, so if ever there was an event to get the veteran back on track, it would be the Masters. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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