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Why You Should Bet Masters Top 5s, Top 20s at BetMGM

Why You Should Bet Masters Top 5s, Top 20s at BetMGM article feature image
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Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Webb Simpson

There are lots of ties in golf. We just don’t realize it because there’s always one winner. But it matters for the golfers’ themselves, and bettors.

Down the leaderboard, there are ties galore. Three players tied for 10th at the 2020 Masters. Four guys tied for fifth in 2019. Four tied for 20th in 2018. And these ties can affect your betting results in a big way.

That’s because most sportsbooks apply dead-heat rules to finishing position bets like Top 5s, Top 10s and Top 20s. That means they will chop your payouts depending on how many players tie for the final spot.

BetMGM is the only major U.S. sportsbook we know of that pays out all ties in full. It’s available in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Indiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Washington D.C., West Virginia and Wyoming.

Let’s look at an example from the 2019 Masters.

Position Player Score
1 Tiger Woods -13
T-2 Dustin Johnson -12
T-2 Xander Schauffele -12
T-2 Brooks Koepka -12
T-5 Jason Day -11
T-5 Webb Simpson -11
T-5 Francesco Molinari -11
T-5 Tony Finau -11

Say you bet Webb Simpson to finish Top 5 at the 2019 Masters at 20-1 (he was 100-1 to win the tournament that year).

Simpson ended up tied for fifth at -11 with three other players. There were already four other players who finished ahead at -13 and -12. That means he shared the fifth spot with four other players.

Most books would divide your bet by four and pay you out at 5-1, instead of 20-1. At MGM, you’d be paid 20-1.

What If I’m Getting a Worse Price at MGM?

The prices will be slightly worse at MGM for certain players, but overall, the pricing will be in range with many other sportsbooks.

Hold refers to how much, on average, the sportsbook will keep on that bet. The higher the hold, the more unfair the pricing for the bettor, and bets like Top 20s have lots of hold baked into them that are hidden to the naked eye.

An average NFL point spread market has a 4.55% hold; golf futures will have north of 25%.

For the 2022 Masters, MGM definitely has the worst price on some of the favorites, but down the board a bit, it’s pretty similar to other books.

Here is the hold for a few books for this year’s Masters:

Sportsbook Hold
DraftKings 17.23%
PointsBet 18.43%
FanDuel 18.87%
Caesars 21.25%
Bet365 23.17%
BetMGM 23.59%

Which Books Do What?

Ties getting paid in full is a tremendous advantage for bettors, assuming the prices are comparable to other books.

Again, most books won’t pay ties in full. Here’s how it breaks down in New Jersey.

Most books will cut your stake — if you bet $100 on Patrick Reed to finish Top 20 at +200 and he finishes in a two-way tie, you’ll lose $50 and the other $50 will be a winner at +200. Others will cut your odds, meaning that +200 would be bumped down to +100.

This may not sound like it matters, but it especially can with favorites, when you’d want your amount wagered returned in full.

Legal U.S. books with no dead heat for finishing position bets:

Odds are cut, not the stake:

Books where the stake is cut:

Bet365 will cut the odds, not the stake, for certain bets like first-round leaders.

FanDuel, on the other hand, will cut the stake for FRL bets.

Ready to bet the Masters? Sign up now at BetMGM and get a $1,000 instant deposit match.

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