Odds are Quinn has best shot | RecordCourier.com

Odds are Quinn has best shot

by Becky Regan
bregan@tahoedailytribune.com

Prominent stars and sports legends are flooding the celebrity golf tournament this week, but behind the autographed footballs, glitzy girlfriends and designer labels, there are two relatively unknown men who have more influence and power than any of the big names.

Dave Cudney and Steve Schorr set the odds for the 24th annual American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, held today through Sunday. For the past decade, these two gentlemen have been the masterminds behind every tournament prediction, matchup and ranking. Every year, they wield their odd-setting powers to formulate lines with incredible accuracy.

Cudney and Schorr have earned their ACC line privileges at Harvey's Race and Sports Book. They've set odds in Lake Tahoe for more than 20 years, Cudney for the ACC since its first year in 1990.

"He should really be president of odds setting," Schorr said of Cudney.

If there were such a title, Schorr and Cudney would both be in the running.

The two start the ACC process in April, sitting down to pour over meticulous notes that Cudney collected all year. Changes in this year's lineup, past performances, expected summer playing time and even an inside NBC source all factor in.

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Then it's just Schorr and Cudney, hashing out the order and tinkering with the final product until the few remaining hours before tee off.

"It's just a long process," Schorr said. "Dave says the actual sitting down starts in April, but really it's a yearlong process."

The two talk celebrity golf in passing all year. The ACC is, after all, the Super Bowl of odds setting in Tahoe. It is the only time Cudney and Schorr are single-handedly responsible for setting odds. They base all other sports predictions on early lines released in Las Vegas or overseas. Celebrity golf is strictly the Schorr and Cudney show.

"If we lose on a football game, everybody loses, but if we lose on celebrity golf, it's because Dave and I did the line," Schorr said.

Either way, finest or worst hour, the list is out starting with No. 1 Dan Quinn (7/2) and ending with No. 90 Charles Barkley (500/1).

Quinn, a former NHL star, seems ready to defend his 2012 title. He spent a week caddying for Ernie Els at the U.S. Open last month, and has played golf nearly every day since.

"The hockey players become great golfers after they retire," Cudney said.

Which is why Cudney also mentioned former NHL player Grant Fuhr (No. 13) as someone who could pull off a long-shot win. There's no black-and-white answer though, just the top 15 and then the rest of the pack.

"It's hard for a long shot to win this thing. So when you ask for a long shot who really has a chance, I would take a look at the top 15," Cudney said. "I would go with (John) Smoltz. Or, if it's a windy day, (Rick) Rhoden really plays well in the wind. Then again, (John) Elway is a really good athlete and so is (Trent) Dilfer."

Rhoden is known to play with precision through Tahoe's windy afternoons. The former MLB pitcher owns a tournament-best eight wins and is right on Quinn's heels in the odds, ranked No. 2.

"The fun one for me is watching Rhoden," Schorr said. "Just watching him and how he plays in the wind. A younger generation of golfers has come and kind of overtaken him, but he's still always up there. It's fun for me to watch a guy like that, who's older but a great, great golfer, competing against the Quinns and the Tollivers."

A mere 10 points separates Rhoden and Quinn's opening lines in their celebrity matchup. Jack Wagner (No. 5) versus Billy Joe Tolliver (No. 3) will also be a close matchup.

The matchups are always a crowd favorite and also the trickiest part of the odds setters' job.

"That's the place where we have a chance to get hurt the most, the one-on-one matchups," Schorr said. "We worry about that because somebody could be smarter than us. Dave and I put a lot of effort into it, but there are guys who are playing together all the time and they see what's happening on a weekly basis."

For celebrities who make that matchup list, it's an honor in itself. Cudney only selects the most competitive golfers for the pairings.

"If you look at the matchups when they come out you'll notice that they're pretty much at the top of the leader board most of the time," Cudney said.

The matchups are always a heavily debated topic. Cudney and Schorr usually hear what the celebrities think about their matchups via the grapevine. But like the rankings, there is a method to matchups.

"We would never have a Charles Barkley against a Dan Quinn because that's a lot of points and it's tough for us to manage," Schorr said with a laugh.

Of course, expect a few surprises this year too.

"It seems like every year there's somebody that we don't know that much about who shows up on the scene and is really good," Cudney said. "Last year, it was Smoltz. I think the year before it was Mark Mulder, and I remember one year Mark McGwire, we had him 50/1, and he turned out to be almost a professional golfer. We get some scares in there sometimes."

LeftAlign.11LeftAlign.118Harveys odds to win

1 DAN QUINN 7/2

2 RICK RHODEN 4/1

3 BILLY JO TOLLIVER 9/2

4 JOHN SMOLTZ 5/1

5 JACK WAGNER 6/1

6 MARK MULDER 8/1

7 MARK RYPIEN 10/1

8 JOHN ELWAY 10/1

9 JEREMY ROENICK 12/1

10 TRENT DILFER 12/1

11 MIKE MODANO 15/1

12 TIM WAKEFIELD 15/1

13 GRANT FUHR 15/1

14 BRETT HULL 18/1

15 STERLING SHARPE 20/1

16 CARSON PALMER 20/1

17 JOE SAKIC 25/1

18 MARSHALL FAULK 25/1

19 DEREK LOWE 25/1

20 TREVOR HOFFMAN 30/1

21 JERRY RICE 30/1

22 RYAN SUCCOP 30/1

23 KELLY SLATER 30/1

24 GARY WILLIAMS 30/1

25 VINCE COLEMAN 30/1

26 JOE THEISMANN 30/1

27 KENNY LOFTON 40/1

28 RAY ALLEN 40/1

29 VINNY DEL NEGRO 40/1

30 JOE BUCK 40/1

31 STEVE KERR 50/1

32 ALFONSO RIBEIRO 50/1

33 VINNY TESTAVERDE 50/1

34 DETLEF SCHREMPF 50/1

35 JOE CARTER 50/1

36 TIM BROWN 50/1

37 ROBBIE GOULD 50/1

38 GOOSE GOSSAGE 50/1

39 PENNY HARDAWAY 50/1

40 JIM MCMAHON 50/1

41 CHIPPER JONES 50/1

42 ANDRE REED 50/1

43 AARON RODGERS 50/1

44 LUCAS BLACK 50/1

45 BRET SABERHAGEN 50/1

46 GREG MADDUX 50/1

47 STEPHEN CURRY 50/1

48 OZZIE SMITH 60/1

49 BILL ENGVALL 60/1

50 JOE DON ROONEY 60/1

51 AHMAD RASHAD 60/1

52 SEB. JANIKOWSKI 60/1

53 BRIAN URLACHER 100/1

54 MARCUS ALLEN 100/1

55 DENNY HAMLIN 100/1

56 DONOVAN BAILEY 100/1

57 DAVID LEE 100/1

58 FRED MCGRIFF 100/1

59 KEVIN MILLAR 100/1

60 BODE MILLER 100/1

61 ALEX SMITH 100/1

62 DAVID WELLS 100/1

63 DERON WILLIAMS 100/1

64 JOHN FOX 100/1

65 DAN QUAYLE 100/1

66 MICHAEL WALTRIP 100/1

67 MICHAEL PHELPS 100/1

68 DAVID JUSTICE 150/1

69 RODNEY HARRISON 150/1

70 JAMIE MOYER 200/1

71 JEROME BETTIS 200/1

72 MARTIN BRODEUR 200/1

73 DAN JANSEN 200/1

74 JOHN LYNCH 200/1

75 LARRY (CABLE GUY) 200/1

76 STEVE SPURRIER 200/1

77 ANTHONY ANDERSON 300/1

78 SHANE BATTIER 300/1

79 BRIAN BAUMGARTNER 300/1

80 MIKE ERUZIONE 300/1

81 URBAN MEYER 300/1

82 JOHN O’HURLEY 300/1

83 RAY ROMANO 300/1

84 MIKE SMITH 300/1

85 A.J. HAWK 300/1

86 HERM EDWARDS 300/1

87 TRENT GREEN 500/1

88 JAY DEMARCUS 500/1

89 KEVIN NEALON 500/1

90 CHARLES BARKLEY 500/1

91 FIELD (ALL OTHERS) 20/1

Harveys celebrity matchups

JOE THEISMANN +1.10

MARSHALL FAULK -1.40

Always entertaining these two Super Bowl champs will be fun to watch.

JEREMY ROENICK -1.20

MIKE MODANO -1.10

These two NHL All-Stars each accumulated over 500 goals in their careers. They hope for similar success in this year’s tourney.

JOHN SMOLTZ -1.50

MIKE MULDER +1.20

All-Star pitchers with ties to Michigan are both looking to compete for this year’s championship.

JOE SAKIC EVEN

BRETT HULL -1.30

As two-time Stanley Cup Champions, these two NHL snipers keep up the tradition of hockey players being great golfers.

MARK RYPIEN -1.15

JOHN ELWAY -1.15

In a match-up of Super Bowl MVP’s these retired QBs are still very competitive on the golf course.

GOOSE GOSSAGE -1.10

GREG MADDUX -1.20

World Series champs and MLB All-Stars meet in the power vs. finesse matchup.

BILLY JOE TOLLIVER -1.30

JACK WAGNER EVEN

Three-time champion Tolliver goes up against two-time champ Wagner in a matchup of top contenders.

DAN QUINN -1.20

RICK RHODEN -1.10

Defending champ and five-time champion Quinn, former NHL player, takes on MLB All-Star and eight-time champ Rhoden in a battle of celebrity golf’s best.

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