Seeing Cody Ohl enter the NFR in the No. 3 hole makes him a tempting pick. After making waves at the past two NFRs and giving himself good chances at the gold buckle, he’s become everyone’s favorite upset pick.

The perception is that Ohl came into the Finals and used Sid Miller’s great horse, Pearl and his own veteran savvy to put the pressure on the young guns. In reality, in 2011 Ohl entered the NFR in sixth and finished the world in sixth. In 2012, he came in third and finished third. Last year, he was trailing by $40,000. This year, it’s about the same.

“If Tuf wins $70,000, Cody’s got to win $110,000,” Joe Beaver said. “I think Cody is going to win a lot this year, but I don’t know if he can overtake him. Tuf is just too far ahead right now. If Cody would have rodeoed a little more, won a little more and got a little more done, Cody could have gotten him. But a $40,000 lead? Cody’s got to win a lot to get him. I’m going to stick with Tuf.”

The first year Tuf Cooper won a world title, he protected at $30,000 lead. The next year, he overcame a $20,000 deficit to Justin Maass. This year, he’s got a $37,000 lead to protect.