2021 Masters Picks: Our Six Favorite Outright Bets at Augusta National
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy
- The question on everybody's mind this week is who is going to win the 2021 Masters? Well, here's who Team GolfBet likes.
- Check out our favorite outright bets at Augusta National this week.
The Masters is one of the biggest gambling events of the year. Bettors all over the world will be getting action down at the sportsbook, on DFS platforms, in pools at their local bars or all of the above. This is the tournament where casuals, die-hards and everyone in between gets together to have a flutter on the golf. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s going to be a fun week.
Here are our favorite outright bets at the 2021 Masters:
Jon Rahm (+1200)
Not gonna lie: I really wanted to pick Jordan Spieth in this spot. For the last month or so, really. He was my guy. Until something happened: He became everyone else’s guy, too. I still like him; I still think he has a great chance of winning this week.
But in the non-Tiger Woods category, when “everyone” is on a specific player prior to a major, it usually doesn’t work out that way. There’s also whatever the opposite of buyer’s remorse is. If you didn’t get him two months ago in the 60/1 range, it’s pretty disconcerting to pay up for whatever ridiculous price he winds up being by the time these festivities kick off Thursday morning.
All of the public zigging toward Spieth leads me to zag in Rahm’s direction instead. The reality is, I could have gone in a lot of different directions with this pick, but the form/history combo was too tantalizing to ignore.
Just a few days ago, I was fully prepared to supplement all Rahm mentions with an asterisk, since his wife Kelley was due this week with the couple’s first child and he recently said he’d withdraw from the Masters should the birth be imminent. Ah, silly me. Of course the little baby boy named Kepa wouldn’t kept his dad from competing this week, as he was born Sunday, a day Rahm called, “Without a doubt, the greatest day of my life.”
There are now some serious Danny Willett vibes going on, as the 2016 champion was planning to miss that year’s Masters if his son wasn’t born ahead of time, but the baby came early and the rest became history. Still looking for that first major, this should be the one for which Rahm has the best chance, with finishes of 7th-9th-4th over the past three years. Meanwhile, he’s finished top-10 in his last two starts, seven of his last nine and 10 of his last 14, the last of which dates back to last year’s FedEx Cup playoffs. Throw in the fact that he’s 14th in strokes gained on approach shots this season – as important as any metric this week – and that’s a lot of trends to be pointing directly at Rahm.
Here’s hoping that one week after the greatest day of his life, he’s calling this coming Sunday “the second greatest day of my life.”
Daniel Berger (+3700)
I am going with Berger at this number. His game is right where we’d want it to be ahead of a trip to Augusta and he’s got the right skillset to compete in this field. Berger is a terrific iron player and a great putter. Berger’s also been consistent with his driver and has gained strokes off the tee in every event in 2021.
Patrick Cantlay (+2200)
I am tripling down here, but I can’t say enough how much I like Patrick Cantlay this week especially at +2000 or longer. He solidified my thoughts further in his interview on Monday where he stated that he really liked firm and fast conditions, especially on the undulating greens around Augusta National.
He was the best player in the field on the weekend in 2019, going 64/68 on his way to a Top-10 finish. He started strong in November before fading on the weekend. This time, I expect he will put four full rounds together and find himself in the hunt for the Green Jacket down the stretch on Sunday.
Rory McIlroy (+1900)
The rumors of Rory’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
If someone had told me a year ago that Rory McIlroy would be the sixth golfer listed on the oddsboard at the 2021 Masters I am not sure I would have believed them.
While it’s true that he doesn’t come into the week in peak form, I don’t believe it is an indication of how he will play at Augusta National. In his missed cut at THE PLAYERS, Rory lost 6.4 stroke putting which I consider to be a bit of an aberration; and he wasn’t terrible statistically in any other areas.
Prior to that, the Northern Irishman had two consecutive top-10 finishes gaining 8.0 and 3.5 strokes on the field from tee to green in those starts. Rory also boasts an impeccable Masters track record with six top-10 finishes in his past six tries.
I also like that McIlroy’s high ball flight gives him an advantage in firm and fast conditions. This seems to be a solid buy-low opportunity on a golfer who carries extraordinary upside.
Justin Thomas (+1100)
The case for Jon Rahm has been laid out all week by many of us here so I won’t get into it, he’s a great bet this week. My favorite outright on the week, however, is JT, who has improved his Master’s finish every time he’s played it since 2016. He picked up his 14th PGA TOUR victory at THE PLAYERS a few weeks back and is on the fast track to becoming one of the greatest players ever, and that’s not hyperbole.
Thomas is locked in with his ball-striking right now, ranking No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach and No. 2 in SG: Tee-to-Green both over his past eight rounds. The Master’s is not a tournament where we look for long shots, as the winner usually comes from the top half of the betting market. It’s hard to find any holes in JT’s game at the moment and we may very well be watching Dustin Johnson place the green jacket on him come Sunday evening
Patrick Reed (+3500)
Landon beat me to JT, so consider this acknowledgment as a second. No sense echoing the love for Rahm, McIlroy and Cantlay, either. Besides, all are at shorter odds than the 2018 Masters champ. Reed not only is a polarizer inside the ropes, but he also separates fantasy circles regularly in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf at PGATOUR.com.
When he’s not the most-owned, he’s usually outside the top 10, and the latter is where he slots in this world this week, which is where we want him to be. In addition to his title at Augusta National, he also checks the box as a recent winner at Torrey Pines. It explains why I selected him in the second round of our draft.
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