Sobel: My 20 Favorite 2019 Masters Matchup Bets
USA Today Sports. Pictured: Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka
- Jason Sobel breaks down his 20 favorite matchup bets for the 2019 Masters.
- He's fading a few players with some of the best odds to win at Augusta.
AUGUSTA, Ga. — Picking outright winners of golf tournaments is difficult.
Picking matchups is, well, slightly less difficult.
Whether you’re a longtime golf bettor who understands the value of head-to-head wagering or a newbie trying to figure out some smart ways to make cash during this week’s Masters Tournament, everyone will be looking for an edge.
My unscientific formula: Try to stay away from most of the elite players (any of ’em can play well on any given week) and don’t give up too much juice (I’d rather gobble up underdogs).
Here are my 20 favorite tournament matchups, ranked in order of confidence.
1. Paul Casey over Brooks Koepka (-115)
I have Casey at No. 12 in my field rankings, but I can easily see him pulling a top-10. This is also a Koepka fade, as poor form and lots of weight loss shouldn’t be a great formula coming into this week.
2. Cameron Smith over Gary Woodland (+130)
All Smith did was finish T-5 last year, while Woodland has never cracked the top-20 here.
3. Kevin Kisner over Patrick Reed (+125)
4. Henrik Stenson over Patrick Reed (-110)
That’s right — I’m fading the defending champion.
We all know how tough it is to repeat, but two weeks after starting to work with a new swing coach, I can’t imagine Reed’s game is dialed in right now.
5. Viktor Hovland over Shugo Imahira (-115)
There’s a ton of value in the lesser-known players. Hovland is the world’s third-ranked amateur and a college superstar at Oklahoma State, while Imahira has only competed in three events so far this year.
6. Martin Kaymer over Kevin Tway (-110)
Kaymer is close to finding his game again, but I can’t say the same for Tway, who has missed six consecutive cuts.
7. Corey Conners over Jimmy Walker (-115)
The last man into the field is literally playing with house money, but his ball-striking stats could lead to a nice week. Walker, on the other hand, has been ice cold for a while.
8. Francesco Molinari over Jordan Spieth (Even)
Forget their history on this course, which has been a stark contrast: Molinari is playing the best golf of his life and Spieth decidedly isn’t.
This shouldn’t be tough.
9. Kevin Na over Alex Noren (-120)
I’m not sure what’s been bothering Noren, but he’s been a completely different player this year, struggling in all aspects of his game.
10. Branden Grace over J.B. Holmes (-120)
The South African tends to play his best golf in some of the bigger events while Holmes hasn’t seen a Sunday round since winning at Riviera.
11. Paul Casey over Tommy Fleetwood (-115)
12. Francesco Molinari over Tommy Fleetwood (+115)
Look, I love Fleetwood’s game and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him win a major this year, but his game sets up much better for the other three than it does for the Masters.
13. Matthew Fitzpatrick over Webb Simpson (+110)
Not a huge difference here, but I like getting plus-money on the 24-year-old who isn’t too far removed from playing some really solid golf.
14. Adam Scott over Tony Finau (-110)
I get it: Everyone loves Finau, but a year removed from badly spraining his ankle and still finishing T-10, he’s still seeking his first top-10 of 2019.
15. Justin Thomas over Dustin Johnson (+140)
16. Jon Rahm over Dustin Johnson (+130)
I know I wrote in the intro that I don’t like betting elite-player matchups, but this number is simply too high. I’ll take both of these bets and call it a profit if I just win one of ’em.
17. Larry Mize over Sandy Lyle (Even)
An old-dude wager!
Lyle looked great during the Par-3 Contest, but Mize is a little younger, has made the Masters cut more recently and should have a slight advantage here.
18. Kiradech Aphibarnrat over Aaron Wise (+120)
I don’t love the Barnrat this week, but I do love him at this price over Wise, who has seemed like a different player from his impressive season of a year ago.
19. Lucas Bjerregaard over Zach Johnson (+125)
Shot in the dark on a guy who looked great at the WGC-Match Play against a former champ who has struggled a bit this year.
20. Billy Horschel over Tyrrell Hatton (-105)
These are two of the more fiery guys in the game, but Horschel’s ball-striking skills should offer a bit of an advantage.