The Masters, for many, is the greatest weekend in golf. Some may have other opinions but the majority still believe it’s the first major of the year that really starts the Tour season. Tiger opened up 2018 at 100/1 to Win at Augusta. That number has since shot down to 10/1 (William Hill US). While many fans want to see Tiger win to “reestablish his dominance,” there are many candidates in this year’s field that have a legitimate chance to wear the green jacket. In this article we will discuss our thoughts on where to find value in golfers as well as some match ups and other prop bets.
Augusta National is a tough track, but not for the reasons many would think. Rough isn’t a huge issue for the players because pine straw doesn’t really bury a bad tee shot. Augusta National is listed at 7,435 yards but it can play longer with all the elevation changes, dogleg holes and bunkers. A misplaced approach shot is more likely to hurt a golfer than a missed fairway (unless you’re constantly landing in the sand). None of us will ever forget Jordan Spieth’s epic collapse in 2016 on holes 11 and 12. The speed and elevation of the greens from longer distance can cause standard two-putts to get away from the golfers and become three and four-putts. Managing the round safely will be the key to selecting winners rather than just choosing the big names or the heaviest hitters. Past history will have a huge effect for the field as the general layout of the course does not really change all that much.
Tiger is currently going off in the 7/1 to 10/1 range depending on the book. Many feel that “Tiger’s back” but skeptics are waiting to see more before agreeing with that sentiment. Augusta has Tiger’s stamp all over it, winning the Green Jacket four times, last in 2005. There is a lot of money being laid on Tiger to win this weekend. Seems like a sucker bet to me. Not enough sample size and the odds don’t provide enough value. I’ll pass.
Golfers in the 10/1 – 30/1 range
You’re most likely to see the winner come from this area. They are either well known golfers or they’re currently playing great golf right now and the books don’t want to get hit too bad. These are my picks from this range.
Dustin Johnson – One year ago, DJ was the overwhelming favorite to win the Masters. A freak accident caused him to withdrawal and we were treated to Sergio’s first Major Win. In 2016, Johnson finished T-4 so we could see him take the next step and win it all this year. Odds 11/1
Justin Rose – Runner-Up to Sergio last year, Rose has finished 2nd at Augusta twice (also in 2015 to Spieth). With 21 career wins including a US Open title, Justin is a well developed and established golfer looking to put last year behind him and finally get the Masters title he’s been searching for. Odds 17/1
John Rahm – Rahm is one of the few golfers who has both the power and the approach to tackle Augusta. Jon Rahm is one of the up and comers in the game, with some believing that he’s already there. Weekly he can compete with the best athletes on Tour, but he’s gone very quiet in Majors over his career. He’ll have a good chance in this field if he can maintain his composure. Odds 22/1
Golfers in the 35/1 – 100/1 range
Longer shots who could find themselves in contention come Sunday. If a few strokes fall their way, you could have a nice payday on your hands, or at least a fun sweat.
Alex Noren – Noren has risen fast in the golfing ranks thanks to his victories on the European Tour. He has yet to be victorious stateside though. Many had him as a dark horse candidate in last years Masters and he promptly missed the cut. I’m giving him one more chance to have a good showing before I completely quit on the guy. Odds 40/1
Adam Scott – At first glance, you’re saying “What the hell?” I get that. Scott, a former Masters champ and former #1 player in the world, has kind of fallen off the map the last few years. Some of that was due to expectations and some due to starting a family. Scott has refocused his energy and says he is ready to get back to competing at a high level. If there’s ever a time to get your name back amongst the best in the game, it’s 2018 at Augusta. Odds 65/1
Golfers 100/1 or better
The Longest of shots… but hey, you never know!
Kevin Kisner – The Georgia native will play his third Masters this year. He will be paired with his buddies Kevin Chappell and Charley Hoffman, so that could make him feel relaxed and able to put up a couple decent numbers headed into the weekend. He’s not a long hitter but his approach shots are some of the best on tour. Odds 100/1
Sandy Lyle – The 1988 Masters winner is going off at 2000/1. For a whopping 5 whole dollars (believe me, i’ve spent more on less) I could have a HUGE payout on my hands if Lyle decides to celebrate his 30th anniversary of the 1988 championship with another Masters title. Odds 2000/1
I’ll put a little sprinkle on each of these former Masters winners hoping for a big payday.
Charl Schwartzel – The 2011 champ also finished 3rd in 2017. Odds 125/1
Danny Willett – The unlikeliest of Master winners, Willett took advantage of Spieth’s epic 2016 collapse. Odds 350/1
Angel Cabrera – Because he is one of the most entertaining men on tour and with his odds, the books are just begging me to light some money on fire with Cabrera. Odds 500/1
Masters Prop Bets
Tiger Woods 1st Round Score: Over/Under 73
If Tiger gets out to a hot start, then more eyeballs will flock to the screen. The PGA is hoping for this to happen. I’ll play along.
Under 73 -120
Make/Miss CUT: Charl Schwartzel
Schwartzel seems to be very up and down at Augusta. Since his victory in 2011, Schwartzel has gone T50, T25, CUT, T38, CUT, 3RD. What a roller coaster. I’ll lean that he makes the weekend and lay the juice.
Nationality of Masters Winner
This one could be interesting. Americans represent a majority of the field, however Europeans have won the last two green jackets (Garcia and Willett) as well as finished runner up in the last three years (Rose x2, Lee Westwood). I’ll sprinkle a bit on this just for fun, so don’t go crazy on this prop.
Top 10 finish for Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas is a wildcard in this tournament. He put it all together to win his first major in 2017. He’s played 9 events this year, winning two and finishing 2nd in another. He’s made all 9 cuts and seems to be playing the best golf of anyone this season. But there’s something about him, in my opinion, that signals a Rory McIlroy like implosion at Augusta this year. I feel like he’s due for a bad weekend of golf. He will make the cut but finishes outside the Top 10.
NO – 110
It’s a tradition unlike any other… lighting money on fire this weekend and drowning my sorrows in Jack Daniels and CostCo Vodka.