People who bet on sports regularly know that in a lot of sports the biggest event comes at the end of the season. In the PGA, though, tournaments don’t get any bigger than the Masters, and that tournament comes in early April – just about a third of the way into the season. Every golfer wants to win the Masters, so they are forced to try to peak early in the season. That can lead to a letdown after the Masters ends – a Masters hangover. For many golfers the letdown can lead to reduced focus and play below their potential. For some guys it just lasts for an event, while for others it lasts for weeks. Public bettors often don’t take the Masters hangover into consideration, so bettors who have a good sense of it and the impact it has can have a nice edge in the weeks following the Masters. Here are five factors for PGA bettors to consider when looking to determine the impact of the Masters hangover on different golfers:
Was there a letdown at the Masters? – The potential for a lasting hangover after the Masters can be more significant if the golfer suffered a real letdown at the Masters. There are a number of ways that this could happen. They could have come into the Masters playing well and with high hopes for a big result, but they faltered in the tournament. Or they could have been in serious contention in the tournament before faltering – maybe a bad round, or crumbling down the stretch on the final day, or even a loss in the playoff. That kind of setback when a chance to win it all – perhaps a once in a lifetime chance – is so close can be crushing for a golfer.
How does the player handle setbacks? – History can teach bettors a lot about what might happen here. By looking back at how they have handled adversity in the past then you can get a sense of how they might manage it here. For example, how have they bounced back when they have lost in a playoff in the past? Or when they have led early and then collapsed? The more scenarios you can find like that, the more useful insight you can gain, and the better your chances of having a good sense of what will happen this time.
How has he performed after the majors in the past? – There is some degree of hangover after each of the majors, so you can get a sense of how a player may respond by looking at what has happened after majors he has played in in the past. The Masters will obviously be the most informative, but all four tournaments can give some insight. Have they played in an event right after the majors, or have they taken a break? Have they played well in their next tournament, or have they struggled? How long does it take them to get back in top form after the major? Does it matter how well they performed in the major?
What is his short term schedule? – Golfers – especially experienced ones – will have a sense of where they are at after the majors, and they will set their schedule accordingly. If a veteran player plays a heavy schedule right after a major then you can be reasonably confident that he can bounce back well – though you should still do your homework to be sure. If they take a decent break after the major, though, then they probably feel like that is what they need. It’s with less experienced golfers, or veterans that don’t have the luxury of taking a lot of time off because they need all the earnings they can get, that you really need to pay close attention to.
Did the public perception shift? – As with all sports betting, you need to be very aware of what the public is thinking, and what impact that has on how lines are set and how they move. In this case what you particularly need to be interested in is how perceptions of players have changed. If the golfer did better than expected then the public may have an inflated opinion of the player – like if a relative unknown was a contender right to the end and finished in the top ten. If they aren’t likely to bounce back well then there could be value in betting against them given the increased public affection. On the other hand, if they had a particularly poor Masters then the public could be down on them – like if they are a big name player that missed the cut. If you have good reason to expect them to experience little hangover then there could be real value in betting on them because the public could be somewhat soured on them.