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


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.

Down the leaderboard, there are ties galore. Four guys tied for fifth at last year’s Masters. Four tied for 20th in 2018. And these ties can affect your betting portfolio 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.

But not BetMGM. It’s the only major U.S. sportsbook we know of that pays out all ties in full. It’s available in Colorado, New Jersey, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Let’s look at an example from last year’s Masters.

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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 a longshot to win last year at 100-1.

Simpson ended up tied for fifth at -11, with four total players occupying the final spot among the top 5. There were already four others who finished ahead at -13 and -12.

Most books would you divide your bet by four and pay you out at 5-1, instead of 20-1. But not at MGM. They’d pay out Simpson wagers in full.

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

The prices may be slightly worse at MGM for certain players, but overall, the hold is going to be the same. That’s true for the 2020 Masters, as well.

Hold refers to how much, on average, the sportsbook will keep on that bet. The higher the hold, the more unfair the pricing, and bets like this 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%.

You’ll usually find a better price on favorites at books besides MGM. Jon Rahm is -250 to finish in the Top 20 at BetMGM (and FanDuel, which does not pay ties in full) but -222 at Unibet.

However, Francesco Molinari is +300 at BetMGM, which is tied for the best line in the legal U.S. market (at least among books available in more than one state).

Here is the hold for a few books for Top 20 bets at the 2020 Masters.

Sportsbook Hold
MGM 19.70%
Unibet 16.57%
FanDuel 19.83%
PointsBet 20.50%
William Hill 17.87%

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 stake, 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 $500 instant deposit match.

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