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Rick Zamperin: Tiger Woods is favoured to win The Masters

Vegas oddsmakers have made Tiger Woods the favourite to win The 2018 Masters.
Vegas oddsmakers have made Tiger Woods the favourite to win The 2018 Masters. AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili

This is a total snow job.

Oddsmakers in Las Vegas have made Tiger Woods the favourite to win The Masters in three weeks.

He’s been listed by a few sportsbooks as an 8-to-1 favourite to win his fifth green jacket at August National, ahead of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (9-1), 2017 PGA Tour player of the year Justin Thomas (9-1), and 2016 Masters champion Jordan Spieth (12-1).

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Last August, when no one knew if Woods’ surgically repaired back would ever allow him to play competitively again, his odds to win The 2018 Masters was 100-to-1.

But after Tiger finished in a tie for second place at last week’s Valspar Championship, bettors started putting money on the 42-year-old to claim the PGA’s first major of the year from Apr. 5-9.

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And when the 14-time major champion shot a 4-under 68 in the opening round of this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, well, Vegas heard the same roar that accompanies Tiger on the course.

It doesn’t mean Vegas thinks Tiger is going to win The Masters. Oddsmakers have to take into account how much action Woods is getting and are moving to protect their house.

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The last major championship he won was the 2008 U.S. Open. That was almost 10 years ago. He was 32 and well on his way to smashing Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors. But his extramarital affairs, failed marriage and back issues quickly derailed his career.

Do I think Woods has a better chance to win The Masters than everyone else in the field? No, but if he remains healthy and plays even a little bit better than he has this season, it’s a possibility.

Mind you, I wouldn’t bet on it.