2022 Masters Lookahead: Stay Away from Tiger Woods, Buy Now on Viktor Hovland, Daniel Berger
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland
We’ve just made the turn from the fun parts of fall into the dark days post-Daylight Savings time where winter feels like it will last forever. In the sports world, there’s really only one event that signals the arrival of the spring.
The Masters Tournament in April.
The azaleas in bloom and the world’s best players teeing it up at Augusta National Golf Club make for a time-honored milestone in the sports calendar. Some bettors may be antsy to look ahead to the most anticipated golf tournament of the year.
I’ve poked my head around the current odds available to find an outright winner from a variety of sportsbooks. There are a few trends that stick out and already some names that make for enticing bets five months before play begins.
Stay away from Tiger Woods
The betting market surrounding Tiger Woods at the 2022 Masters is baffling right now. Yes, Woods is the greatest golfer to ever pick up a club, but right now, the thought of him competing in a major championship is beyond my imagination.
Following his horrific car crash in February of this year, there has been nothing but rumors that Woods is even able to walk a golf course, let alone play a 72-hole tournament.
We’re all rooting for Woods to make a full recovery and compete at Augusta again as soon as possible, but it’s far from likely to happen in 2022. Seeing him offered at about the same odds as Sam Burns, the 18th-ranked player in the world with two wins and seven top fives this calendar year, just doesn’t make sense.
Save your money and leave Tiger off your Masters card this year.
Aussie! Aussie! Aussie!
It’s too early to find books offering nationality-based props, but it’s never too early to start evaluating trends that could work in your favor.
Since Adam Scott’s victory at the 2013 Masters, there have been 12 top-10 finishes by Aussie players in nine Masters played, with just one year that an Aussie didn’t finish inside the top 10.
Last year, both Marc Leishman and Cam Smith posted top-10 finishes. They did the same thing in 2018, and in 2020, both finished in the top 13. Leishman has played in nine Masters and finished T13 or better four times. Smith has been even better, playing in five Masters, making all five cuts, and nabbing three top tens.
Right now, you can find Smith to win as high as +3500 at DraftKings and Leishman all the way up at +6600 at PointsBet or BetMGM. Once books start offering a market for other finishing positions, find these two names.
Buy Now: Viktor Hovland
The most recent winner on the PGA TOUR has a chance to elevate his place in the world of golf and will be a hot name at every major this year. Augusta is just as likely as any other course to host Hovland’s first major championship victory. He’s only played in the Masters twice, once as an amateur and once as a pro. He made the cut each time and finished in the top 25 last year.
With some added course knowledge and his game rounding into form, now could be a great time to invest in Hovland’s chances in April.
You can find Hovland as high as +3300 at Parx.
Two Undervalued Americans
If you aren’t enticed by some of the favorites atop the board, two of the less-heralded names on the US Ryder Cup squad are worth your attention.
Daniel Berger is listed at +4000 at most books right now. He is a top-20 player in the world and hasn’t missed a cut since, well, last year’s Masters. That was the first time he failed to reach the weekend in four tries at Augusta, with his worst finish in three prior tries clocking in at T32.
Even if he doesn’t catch your eye right now, he’s a name worth monitoring as the tournament draws closer.
Similarly, Harris English may be the most undervalued name in this market right now. He’s the No. 16 player in the world and is being offered between +8000 and +9000.
You’d expect a troubled past at Augusta to come with those odds, yet he’s played in the tournament three times, made the cut twice, and 2021 was his best finish yet (T21). There’s no reason English has similar odds to Brian Harman and Garrick Higgo.
Outlier Odds Available at PointsBet
As I scoured the offerings at a variety of sportsbooks looking for prices that stood out, one book continually had more customer friendly prices. If you’re in a state where PointsBet operates, they should attract your attention first.
PointsBet is the only book offering Jon Rahm at +1000 – everyone else I saw had him at +900. They also have longer odds than competitors for Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, and a few of the players I have called out above, like Leishman and English.