Odds To Win The 2011 Farmers Insurance Open and Abhu Dhabi Championship

A few years ago, the US Defense Department planned an experiment that would have had large numbers of people betting on the likelihood of various geopolitical events. The DOD’s theory was that where individual “experts” might (likely will) miss something when analyzing a situation, the combined wisdom of crowds—in which each person has but a small chunk of information—could possibly create a better picture. The experiment was abandoned when members of Congress got wind of it and decided to grandstand about the DOD “betting” on terrorist events. Like many things, the members of Congress just didn’t get it.

What the DOD was proposing was a prediction market, which takes advantage of some of the principles of crowdsourcing. That’s all explained pretty well in a couple of books I’ve read on the topic: Crowdsourcing: Why the Power of the Crowd Is Driving the Future of Business and The Wisdom of Crowds

I relate this story by way of explaining why I post betting odds for various golf events, even though I am not a betting man. Indeed, I think that gambling is just a tax on stupidity. The system is set up so that you lose.

But that’s not to say that the numbers are not worthwhile. I like to look at the odds to see what the crowd seems to think about about various players’ chances of winning. Reading articles written by “pro golf experts” relies on just one person’s information. And no matter how informed that person is, there still are holes in the data. With the odds, I imagine a large group where some know a thing or two about the course, and others, about the players’ health, or their caddy relationship, while still others have considered equipment changes, weather, and so on. The combined knowledge (and their commitment to that information) then is reflected in the dollars the bettors put down on the game, and thus in the odds.

All that said, the bettors favorite for the weekend at the Farmers Insurance Open are Phil Mickelson and Nick Watney, coming in at 14/1. They’re followed by Hunter Mahan, at 18/1, Brandt Snedeker at 22/1 and Ben Crane at 25/1. What all of this says to me is that its anyone’s game and no player is a particular favorite. Briny Baird and Billy Mayfair, on the other hand, at 175/1 are getting practically no action at all.

Over in Dubai, Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy are the favorites at 13/2. Tiger is just a little behind, at 7/1. Considering that in his heyday, Tiger often was a 3/2 favorite (meaning a bet of two pays 3) or better, this doesn’t express a lot of confidence. Lee Westwood and Luke Donald are 12/1, while Sergio Garcie is 25/1.
Lee Westwood

The complete betting odds for the Farmers Insurance Open and Abu Dhabi Championship are below, courtesy of Bovada.

Player Odds
Phil Mickelson 14/1  
Nick Watney 14/1  
Hunter Mahan 18/1  
Brandt Snedeker 22/1  
Ben Crane 25/1  
Rickie Fowler 28/1  
Bubba Watson 28/1  
Dustin Johnson 28/1  
Ernie Els 33/1  
Charles Howell III 33/1  
Geoff Ogilvy 33/1  
Keegan Bradley 33/1  
Bill Haas 33/1  
Justin Rose 33/1  
Camilo Villegas 33/1  
Gary Woodland 33/1  
D-A Points 40/1  
Aaron Baddeley 50/1  
Anthony Kim 50/1  
Robert Garrigus 50/1  
Y-E Yang 50/1  
Fredrik Jacobson 50/1  
Bo Van Pelt 50/1  
Bud Cauley 66/1  
Stewart Cink 66/1  
Brendon De Jonge 66/1  
Marc Leishman 66/1  
Robert Allenby 66/1  
Stephen Marino 66/1  
Ryan Moore 66/1  
Pat Perez 66/1  
Bryce Molder 66/1  
Chris Kirk 80/1  
Spencer Levin 80/1  
John Rollins 80/1  
Vijay Singh 80/1  
Sang-Moon Bae 80/1  
Ryuji Imada 80/1  
Trevor Immelman 80/1  
Michael Thompson 80/1  
Jhonattan Vegas 80/1  
Kyle Stanley 80/1  
Angel Cabrera 100/1  
Matt Every 100/1  
Jeff Overton 100/1  
Stephen Ames 100/1  
Greg Chalmers 100/1  
David Hearn 100/1  
Charley Hoffman 100/1  
John Mallinger 100/1  
Nick O’Hern 100/1  
Chez Reavie 100/1  
Andres Romero 100/1  
J.B. Holmes 100/1  
Kevin Streelman 100/1  
Charlie Wi 100/1  
Seung-yul Noh 100/1  
Scott Piercy 100/1  
D.J. Trahan 100/1  
Ricky Barnes 125/1  
Kevin Chappell 125/1  
Chris Dimarco 125/1  
Harris English 125/1  
Garth Mulroy 125/1  
Justin Leonard 125/1  
William Mcgirt 125/1  
Josh Teater 125/1  
Brendan Steele 125/1  
Brandt Jobe 125/1 
Cameron Tringale 150/1  
Stuart Appleby 150/1  
James Driscoll 150/1  
Bobby Gates 150/1  
Paul Goydos 150/1  
Ted Potter 150/1  
Kevin Sutherland 150/1  
Jimmy Walker 175/1  
Chris Couch 175/1  
Billy Mayfair 175/1  
Briny Baird 175/1  
Player Odds
Martin Kaymer 13/2  
Rory Mcilroy 13/2  
Tiger Woods 7/1  
Lee Westwood 12/1  
Luke Donald 12/1  
Sergio Garcia 25/1  
Jason day 28/1  
Charl Schwartzel 30/1  
Alvaro Quiros 33/1  
Graeme McDowell 33/1  
KJ Choi 33/1  
Peter Hanson 35/1  
Branden Grace 40/1  
Padraig Harrington 40/1  
Robert Karlsson 40/1  
Anders Hansen 50/1  
Francesco Molinari 50/1  
Nicolas Colsaerts 50/1  
Alexander Noren 66/1  
Jaco Van Zyl 66/1  
Joost Luiten 66/1  
Shane Lowry 66/1  
Simon Dyson 66/1  
Thomas Aiken 66/1  
George Coetzee 80/1  
Miguel Angel Jimenez 80/1  
Richard Green 80/1  
Thomas Bjorn 80/1  
Danny Willett 100/1  
David Lynn 100/1  
Edoardo Molinari 100/1  
Henrik Stenson 100/1  
Jamie Donaldson 100/1  
Marcus Fraser 100/1  
Rafael Cabrera -Bello 100/1  
Ross Fisher 100/1  
Thongchai Jaidee 100/1  
Tom Lewis 100/1  
Anthony Wall 125/1  
David Drysdale 125/1  
Gonzalo Fdez-Castano 125/1  
Gregory Havret 125/1  
Johan Edfors 125/1  
Lorenzo Gagli 125/1  
Matteo Manassero 125/1  
Pablo Larrazabal 125/1  
Paul Lawrie 125/1  
Raphael Jacquelin 125/1  
Richie Ramsay 125/1  
Robert Rock 125/1  
Steve Webster 125/1  
Bernd Wiesberger 150/1  
Chris Wood 150/1  
David Horsey 150/1  
Gregory Bourdy 150/1  
Hennie Otto 150/1  
Jbe Krugar 150/1  
Jeev Milkha Singh 150/1  
Jose Manuel Lara 150/1  
Marc Warren 150/1  
Mark Foster 150/1  
Peter Lawrie 150/1  
Rhys Davies 150/1  
Ricardo Gonzalez 150/1  
Romain Wattel 150/1  
Soren Hansen 150/1  
Stephen Gallacher 150/1  
Tommy Fleetwood 150/1  
Darren Clarke 175/1  
Bradley Dredge 200/1  
Robert-Jan Derksen 200/1  
Soren Kjeldsen 200/1  
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