2021 Masters Sleeper Picks: Our Favorite Longshot Bets at Augusta National
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Bubba Watson
- While the last two years have belonged to the favorites, longshots do have a history of winning at the Masters.
- Will we see another sleeper come through this year?
- Here are our favorite longshot bets at Augusta National:
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.
While it’s hard to imagine a longshot winning in this loaded field, there are plenty of interesting names deep on the oddsboard this week. And it’s not like sleepers don’t win Green Jackets. Charl Schwartzel and Danny Willett both cashed at triple-digit odds in the last 10 years.
Here are our favorite sleepers and longshot bets for the 2021 Masters:
Corey Conners (+9500)
As I wrote in my piece analyzing 10-year Masters trends of betting odds and final results, over the past decade there have been 112 players who claimed top-10 finishes at this event (including ties, of course). Of those 112, a fairly substantial 31 of them – 27.7 percent – owned triple-digit pre-tournament outright odds. What that should tell us is that this is a good spot to take some chances.
Hell, just five months ago, C.T. Pan was 1000/1 outright and claimed a T-7 result, while three others at 100/1 or more – Sungjae Im, Cameron Smith and Dylan Frittelli – were each top-five. As tempting as it might be to go all-chalk up top, it never works out that way.
Conners isn’t exactly an out-of-nowhere no-name, but he’s at least a name below the superstar level who should ascend this leaderboard, based on his elite-level ball-striking and strong run of recent results.
He’s already been-here, done this, too, having finished T-10 at last November’s edition of this event.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+5000)
His number isn’t crazy, but I like Fitzpatrick at this number based on his current form. He’s had four starts in stroke-play events on the PGA TOUR in 2021 and has finished 11th or better in all of them.
Fitzpatrick has never tore up Augusta — though he has a top-10 finish to his credit — but this will be his seventh start here so he should have a good feel for the course by now.
Bubba Watson (+9000)
I have covered my Adam Scott angle a couple of times, and I agree with everything Matt says below around that pick, so I’ll cover a different player with a similar pedigree at Augusta National.
Bubba has two Green Jackets in his closet from 2012 and 2014, but he isn’t getting any respect from oddsmakers this week. He is listed below several players making their Masters debut, and we know that the last Augusta rookie to win was Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.
The reason Bubba’s odds have drifted is based on his poor form coming into Augusta. He doesn’t have a top-20 finish yet in 2021 and he’s missed the cut in three of five starts. I tend to throw some of that out the window for Bubba as he’s shown there are courses that just suit his game, and this is definitely one of them.
Watson also showed signs of breaking out of that funk at the Dell Match Play where he escaped from his group, and lost a heartbreaker to Brian Harman in the Round of 16.
I’m willing to take a chance that he has the game heading in the right direction into a week at a course he loves, especially when I am getting it at nearly triple-digits.
Adam Scott (+7500)
Adam Scott should never be 75-1 at Augusta National. The Australian hasn’t missed a cut here since 2009 and has seven top-20 finishes at The Masters including a win in 2013.
Augusta is a track that requires a winning strategy and course knowledge, and Scott has an advantage on most of the field in both of those areas.
Admittedly not in the best of form, Scott’s most recent start at the Honda Classic gave us a reminder of what makes him so special: his stellar iron play. He gained 7.2 strokes on approach on his way to a 13th-place finish at PGA National. Scott went into the week looking to find some positive momentum leading into The Masters and he may have found something. He has been open in the past about how desperately he covets another major championship and is running out of prime years to get it done.
If the 40-year-old gets in the mix down the stretch this week, he has just as good of a chance to win as just about any golfer in the field.
Tommy Fleetwood (+6000)
Fleetwood is flying under the radar this week as he hasn’t been great for the better part of six months now. However, he played really well at the API and then followed that up by making the quarterfinals at the WGC Match Play. He’s been pretty good at Augusta over the years as well, posting two top-20s in four trips.
The Englishman ranks 14th on approach in this field over his past 12 rounds and we have seen him pop big time in major championships before, evidenced best by his solo second-place finish at the 2018 U.S Open at Shinnecock Hills, in what were insanely tough conditions. He then finished as the runner-up to Shane Lowry at the 2019 Open Championship.
The Merseysider has a penchant for showing up in big spots, and with all the spotlight surrounding the top of the betting market this week, the No. 24 player in the world could shock the world and earn his first career TOUR victory.
Justin Rose (+10000)
He’s rested for a full month since a sore lower back forced him to retire during his third round at Bay Hill. Forgotten in its wake was that he sat T7 at the API midpoint. The 40-year-old is a two-time runner-up at Augusta National (2015, 2017), he shared runner-up honors in Saudi Arabia two months ago and I don’t mind the impact of the personal motivation to excel in the absence of injured friend and five-time Masters champion, Tiger Woods.
What’s more, in a tournament in which a favorite usually prevails, that you can belly up to the Brit at 100/1 is a bonus.