Odds Against Sorenstam

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LAS VEGAS (AP) -- In the sports books along the Las Vegas Strip they list Annika Sorenstam's chances of winning the Colonial at 500-1.
 
They're being generous. The real odds are a much higher.
 
'It's actually a lot higher than that but you can't list it that high or no one will bet,' said Mike Seba, oddsmaker at Las Vegas Sports Consultants. 'People will take a chance betting it at 500-1. They won't if it's any higher.'
 
No one actually expects Sorenstam to win the Colonial, but a 500-1 shot is enough to get some casual bettors to throw a few bucks on the wager to try and make a big score.
 
Closer to reality, perhaps, are the odds that Sorenstam will make the 36-hole cut. So far, she's about a 4-1 underdog to play on the weekend.
 
Those odds -- and a variety of bets that include wagers on whether Sorenstam will shoot in the 60s or 80s on Thursday -- are drawing some interest in the city's legal sports books.
 
Small bettors are taking their chances with Sorenstam, hoping they can get some value out of the odds. The so-called 'wise guys' who make a living betting sports are betting against her.
 
A $100 bet that Sorenstam will make the cut would make a bettor $325 if she is successful. But you have to put up $450 to win $100 if you're betting she will miss the cut.
 
At the Palms hotel-casino, bettors are placing 11 bets on Sorenstam making the cut to every one that she will miss. But the bets on her making the cut are small bets, while the bets on her missing are much larger.
 
'There's a lot of people who think she's going to do better than you think,' said Jeff Sherman, golf oddsmaker at the Palms.
 
The over-under on Sorenstam's score in the first round is 76 at most sports books. Seba says the total is 75 for the second round, meaning oddsmakers think Sorenstam will do a little better on her second day.
 
'There's a lot of handle on this,' Seba said. 'People have strong opinions either way. This is a novelty for the betting public.'
 
At the Imperial Palace casino, you can get even money betting that Sorenstam will shoot a round in the 80s. On the other hand, if you think she will shoot a round in the 60s you can win $600 for every $100 you bet.

Other proposition bets include:
 
  • Sorenstam vs. Phil Mickelson. Oddsmakers at Caesars Palace give Mickelson 8 strokes against Sorenstam, and even then make him a slight favorite to beat her in the first round.
  • Holes above par. At the Palms hotel-casino, the over-under on number of holes Sorenstam plays over par in the first round is seven.
  • Holes under par. Also at the Palms, you can bet whether Sorenstam will make more than one birdie in her first round.
  • Highest score Sorenstam will make on a hole. At the Palms, the over-under is seven.
     
    One matchup taken off the books was a proposition bet pitting Sorenstam against Vijay Singh. Oddsmakers figured Singh was seven shots better than Sorenstam in the first round, but he withdrew before the tournament began.
     
    Related Links:
  • Full Coverage of the Bank of America Colonial
  • ''Everything Annika'' Feature Page
  • Annika and the Colonial Timeline
     
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