2023 Masters Round 2 Odds, Expert Picks: Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, More
Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland.
The first round of the 2023 Masters Tournament certainly didn’t disappoint. The leaderboard is stacked with stars and features Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka all tied at the top at -7.
Of the three, a suddenly resurgent Koepka had the most impressive day statistically. After a win last week at LIV Orlando, the four-time major champion led the first round of the Masters in Strokes Gained: Approach, gaining a sensational 5.15 strokes on the field on his competition.
After an inexplicable four-putt, double-bogey to begin his day, Rahm bounced back in a big way. He gained 9.4 strokes between holes two and 18 after the disastrous start. By the end of the round, he looked like the unbeatable force fans have grown accustomed to after his win at Riviera earlier this season. The Spaniard didn’t miss a fairway all day and hit 17-of-18 greens. The one green he did miss, he chipped in for birdie.
Matchup Bet: Abraham Ancer (+140) over Viktor Hovland
Hovland also had an incredible round, but he did so in an uncharacteristic way. Typically poor around the greens, Hovland gained 0.95 strokes around the green and 4.19 strokes putting, which led the field by almost a full stroke. The young star deserves a ton of credit for his impressive round, but the fact that he gained 5.4 strokes with his short game is a bit concerning for his prospects heading into Friday. For that reason, I’d look to target Hovland in a head-to-head matchup for Round 2.
Bet: Shane Lowry to win outright +4600 (FanDuel)
I am pretty content with the pre-tournament 9-1 ticket on Rahm , but there are some intriguing players on the board in terms of outright considerations.
Shane Lowry, who finished third in last year’s Masters, looks like he’s ready to contend once again. He shot -4 on Thursday and he has experience winning a major championship in cold, wet and windy conditions (2019 Open Championship). In Round 1, the Irishman gained 3.06 strokes from tee to green, and was excellent in all important statistical categories.
His outright odds are extremely fair going into Round 2 — he’s worth a bet.
Pick: Shane Lowry to win Masters
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Bet: Winning score -14 or worse +124 (FanDuel)
Scoring was excellent on Thursday, but I wouldn’t expect that to remain the case beginning later on Friday afternoon and into the weekend. Starting at 4:30 p.m. ET Friday, gusts are expected to be in the 22-32 mph range for the rest of the round with some intermittent rain potentially in store as well. This could make it difficult for players to keep up the scoring pace.
Additionally, since 2016, there has only been one winning score better than -15 at the Masters — Dustin Johnson’s win in 2020. That season the tournament was played in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Augusta National won’t go down without a fight, and I anticipate a tougher rounds of scoring Friday-Sunday.
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