2020 Masters Odds & Picks: Murphy’s Best Bets for Friday at Augusta National
Jamie Squire/Getty Images. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau.
After a seven-month wait for the 2020 Masters, we saw about 30 minutes of action before we had to wait even longer due to a heavy rain and lightning storm. Three hours later, they got back to golf and man, it was worth all of the waiting.
While the lack of patrons and a roaring crowd made everything feel a bit odd at first, it was just great to see golf back on the grounds of Augusta National.
It seemed that all eyes were on Bryson DeChambeau to start the first round, but Tiger Woods quickly took over the stage and never relinquished it. The defending champion shot a bogey-free, 4-under 68, finishing his round just three shots behind the current leader.
That leader is Paul Casey, although much of the afternoon groups from Thursday will finish their first round up on Friday morning after play was suspended due to darkness. Casey also had a clean card, which featured an eagle and five birdies to post 7-under.
Ultimately, 27 players with Thursday morning tee times shot under par, as soft conditions thanks to early rain made Augusta National more accessible than usual. Most of the afternoon wave is about halfway through their round, and another 20 players are under par from that group. I would expect the sub-air system to be cranking full blast overnight tonight in an attempt to dry out the course.
As fans, we get the luxury of getting to see all of the players from Thursday afternoon back on the course at 7:30 a.m. ET, setting us up for golf from sun up to sun down at Augusta.
While it’s a bit of a struggle for the tournament and players playing catch up as they try to get back on schedule the rest of the way, I think there’s a gambling edge to be had. In all markets, you’ll have rounds finishing mid-day with new matchups and live odds, as well as the new DFS Showdown contests starting.
We also have the new Masters’ app that literally allows you to see every shot of every player in the field to get the best feel for their game as they go. It’s truly a gamblers paradise this weekend, and there’s no better time to capitalize.
Since we don’t have strokes gained data or much of anything on the stats side, the write-up will look a little different this week. I’ll focus on my favorite bets between rounds to see where we can gain an edge and as you know, it’ll feature plenty of chasers.
I was one that bought into the hype for DeChambeau coming into this week after getting burned by him at the start of the U.S. Open. He’s my top owned player in DFS this week, and I have been keeping an eye on his odds for a spot to buy him at a decent number.
As all of social media went crazy during his double-bogey seven on the par-5 13th today, I tweeted that it may have been the best time to buy in on him. Bryson’s odds doubled from his +750 before the tournament to +1500, which wasn’t quite enough for me to bite, but it highlights the value that opens from hole to hole.
DeChambeau ended up getting a couple of birdies to make the turn at even par before finding a couple more to finish his day 2-under. Honestly, he couldn’t have played much worse, spraying tee shots and missing a bunch of short putts, yet still broke par.
DeChambeau goes into Friday five shots back of the leader, and that deficit is likely to grow before he tees it up again, which should lead to a rise in his current +1400 odds as well. I’m buying that his real par around Augusta National is about 67 and while he was three shots above that today, I think Thursday will be the worst round we see from him this week.
The first player that jumped out to me was Justin Rose. As I started writing this, he was hitting his approach into his ninth hole in near darkness. I thought we might get him coming out to a 15-foot birdie putt to start tomorrow morning. Instead he decided to putt it, drained it and the +7500 that was available is now down to +4000 on both BetMGM and DraftKings.
While Rosey has had an up-and-down season, he has generally been able to hold his good form throughout an event when he’s on his game. We saw that most notably at the PGA Championship at Harding Park, where he was in contention throughout and finished in a tie for ninth.
The Englishman has had several opportunities to capture his first green jacket but ended up the bridesmaid in both 2015 and 2017. He’s averaged 8.8 total strokes gained at the Masters over his last five appearances, including last year’s missed cut. There isn’t much more to ask for from a guy just four shots back heading into the easier back nine on Friday morning still listed at 40-1 to win.
If you’re looking for a true longshot heading into Friday, look no further than Matt Wallace. He posted a 3-under 69 on Thursday, after coming out of the gates slowly.
Wallace, normally known for his sharp short game, showed some nerves early as he missed a six-footer for birdie on No. 2, then yipped it around the green to bogey No. 3. He would eventually settle in and reel off a birdie-birdie-eagle stretch on the back nine to finish the day in a tie for 13th.
I was really encouraged by Wallace’s play on the back nine, as he started to find his ball striking and touch on and around the greens. I know he isn’t as well known stateside, with his wins and most of his play coming in Europe, but he also has two top-15 finishes in majors, including a third-place finish at the PGA Championship in 2019. He also finished fourth at the Memorial last summer, showing he has the game to compete on this stage and in these top fields.
Wallace is currently listed at +10000 on DraftKings, and that’s simply too high a number for a player with his pedigree who has already posted a strong first round.