It's 'Moving Day' at the Masters and the leaderboard points to a typically exciting weekend at the season's first major. Paul Krishnamurty recommends a series of outright trades and 2-ball bets...
"Branden Grace is a potential future major champion and, having fought back from an opening 78 to make the cut, is fancied to post a respectable finish on his Augusta debut. Grace's 70 from yesterday was better than anything Glover has managed in 14 rounds here and most of those were played during happier spells of his deteriorating career."
For a while, it looked like Tiger Woods, (or others), might slip the field before the Masters even reached halfway, but it hasn't worked out that way and the result could be a trader's paradise. Five shots separate the leading 26 players, including almost all the pre-tournament principals. Take out leader Jason Day, who has only ever won one tournament, plus the pair of rank outsiders in second, and three shots separate the next 23.
There is one rather significant problem, however. At the time of writing, it seems Tiger may incur a penalty or even be disqualified, which obviously is playing havoc with the outright market. The following plans were written and bets placed before this news emerged so, if Tiger is disqualified, the odds will be shorter.
We have seen this kind of weekend leaderboard many times before in majors during the Tiger era. He will almost certainly play a part in the finish and therefore always take a sizeable chunk out of the book. Usually in these scenarios, it is quite easy to build up positions on other candidates as their odds fluctuate, simply by backing high and laying low.
Of course successful trading is more complex than that and requires picking the correct challengers but it won't take too much for certain players to shorten up. Angel Cabrera, already a Find Me a 100 Winner selection, strikes me as the best value. He's in the penultimate group, so likely to shorten even before beginning his round if others start slowly, and perfectly capable of hanging around in contention over the weekend.
Similar comments apply to Jason Dufner at 34.033/1. Although an inferior candidate to the mass of stars alongside him on -3, Dufner won't be frightened of this company. Last season he was rarely out of contention and, in 2011, he nearly won the PGA. A case could be made for at least a dozen others but I'd prefer to cheer on existing positions and wait to see which of Tiger, Snedeker, Rose, Westwood and Schwartzel are there on the final day before adding any of them at shorter prices.
Instead, I'm trying a dual trade on Cabrera and Dufner, staking ten units, then placing lay orders on both men at 8.07/1 for 15 units.
Outright already advised
8u Matt Kuchar @ 14.5
7u Adam Scott @ 17.5
The day's betting begins with the nap selection in this early pairing. Branden Grace is a potential future major champion and, having fought back from an opening 78 to make the cut, is fancied to post a respectable finish on his Augusta debut. Grace's 70 from yesterday was better than anything Glover has managed in 14 rounds here and most of those were played during happier spells of his deteriorating career.
Like Grace, Stenson fought back impressively during the toughest spell yesterday and is fancied to carry on the good work. Vijay, on the other hand, has enjoyed ideal soft conditions to reach his halfway position, but may start moving backwards as the greens dry out and test his fragile putting.
It's anyone's guess which Garcia will turn up, as illustrated by starkly contrasting rounds of 66 and 76, so the value must lie in opposing him at short odds-on. Sergio's Augusta record is poor and his fragile mood could be at breaking point after surrending the lead so tamely yesterday. I don't expect anything special from Langer but arguably the most meticulous player in history can at least be guaranteed to focus properly on every shot.
Back Angel Cabrera to beat Marc Leishman 5u @ 1.855/6
As the Masters pressure hots up, who would you rather be on? A twice former major champion and seven times top-20 finisher, or a middle-ranking player with minimal Augusta pedigree or experience of the circumstances? For my money, as the outright bets suggest, it's a no-brainer.