Sobel: DJ, JT Live Plays at Ripe Odds Heading into Masters Weekend
Rob Carr/Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.
It was the great Lee Trevino who famously said, “There are two things that won’t last long in this world and that’s dogs chasing cars and pros putting for pars.”
With apologies to Trevino, we can probably add one other chase, too: Those who are betting live outright favorites to win a golf tournament.
Through one-and-a-half rounds of this week’s Masters — thanks to that 3-hour weather delay Thursday, the second round still isn’t complete — two of the current leaders are understandably among the tourney favorites, though it might take an iron stomach to bet Dustin Johnson or Justin Thomas right now.
With 36 holes left to play for each player, DJ is +450 and JT is +600, which aren’t terrible prices, considering Johnson cruised to an early lead in the second round and was as low as +110 at one point.
Each player is attempting to embark on a breakthrough victory. Sure, they both have major championship victories already – Johnson at the 2016 U.S. Open and Thomas at the 2017 PGA Championship – but a win this week could elevate either one into a new stratosphere.
After all, another major victory on either player’s respective résumé would undoubtedly mean a Hall of Fame induction, at the very least, somewhere down the line.
Both players, who are tied with Cameron Smith and Abraham Ancer atop the leaderboard with about half of the field still left to complete the second round, seem happy with their position, but not overjoyed so far.
“I feel like I played a little bit better than my position right now, but you know, I’m still happy with the way I’m swinging it, how I’m controlling the golf ball and everything I’m doing,” said Johnson, who posted a 2-under 70 in the second round. “You know, rolling the putter good. Just hopefully can see a few more go in over the weekend.”
“Definitely not as low as I feel like I could or should be,” added Thomas, “but we’re in good position going into the weekend.”
All of which leads to the question you’ve been asking while reading all of this: Which of these two players — if either — should I bet leading into the final 36 holes?
My answer to this is the same answer a psychologist might give to a patient: Go with your gut. Do what you feel. Don’t listen to outside influencers.
If you were leaning toward DJ before this tourney started, don’t be afraid to grab him at more than 4/1 at the midway point. If you were siding with JT, then don’t be scared to get after him at 6/1.
Granted – and here’s the biggest issue with these plays, of course – players such as Jon Rahm and Patrick Cantlay and Sungjae Im and Hideki Matsuyama and, yes, Smith and Ancer, are right there with these one-time major winners, so this edition of the Masters remains wide open.
That’s not such a bad thing, though.
With more players in the mix, the prices on DJ and JT have remained palatable.
In most circumstances, chasing the leaders after Round 2 would be akin to a dog chasing cars, but with more players in the mix, going after these players at these numbers might not be a bad idea – especially if you’re hedging a pre-tourney bet on another contender.
This event remains wide open, with more than 36 holes left to go for some players. Johnson and Thomas might not be bargains right now, but they’re hardly overpriced in the marketplace.