2024 Masters Round 2 Data-Driven Picks: Best Bets for Friday (April 12)

2024 Masters Round 2 Data-Driven Picks: Best Bets for Friday (April 12) article feature image

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images) Pictured: Tony Finau.

From experience, major championship events often generate soft pricing in the head-to-head market.

It doesn't necessarily mean those events will turn out to be profitable. Some of the more significant losses I have taken in the space have been derived from running below expected value when the boards have seemingly opened up and presented excellent "value opportunities." Nonetheless, sports betting is about taking those edges and attacking when possible.

We will see if we can accomplish that goal in round two for a board that I thought had some pricing errors, but remember, we are still talking about human error on all sides of that answer.

Let's dig into the Masters odds below and highlight the best bets for round two on Friday, April 12.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

2024 Masters Round 2 Matchup Predictions

Tony Finau -115 over Justin Thomas (FanDuel)

I have been alluding to this fact all week that I am trying to find a way to oppose Justin Thomas in this value-heightened market because of the public perception of his game in windy conditions.

Sure, my math will tell the same story that Thomas has been a long-term savant when the gusts pick up for the week, but this isn't the 2022 PLAYERS Championship version of the American, and there are real concerns about the way he is striking his irons.

My model placed him 54th when calculating his Expected Proximity for Augusta National pre-event. I know that generated some head-scratching responses since in-form Thomas is one of the better approach players in the world, but that value was presented in an even worse light Thursday when Thomas landed 76th in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach after losing 1.37 strokes to the field.

While he did salvage an otherwise sub-par round because of a putting stroke that produced above my baseline projection for him on similar green complexes, the wind might not be the benefit we believe it to be if the game isn't as pristine as years past.

Si Woo Kim -120 over Denny McCarthy (bet365)

Si Woo Kim has been known to provide implosion rounds with his putter, but Thursday's performance was weird for a golfer who performed with his flat stick around my baseline projection for him but erupted with one of his safer skill sets.

My model placed Kim ninth in this field for Weighted Strokes Gained: Around-The-Green and fourth in that category over only his past 24 rounds. However, we didn't get that production Thursday after he graded inside the bottom five options in this field with his touch around-the-green.

I am always going to be the person who values ball-striking over the more volatile areas of production, and my math actually pushed this wager further into the territory of Kim over McCarthy from a math perspective after the American placed a projected 72nd on this leaderboard.

Byeong Hun An -120 over Sergio Garcia (DraftKings)

I am also okay with Harris English -105 over Sergio Garcia if you can't access the play listed above.

In round one, Garcia landed as one of the biggest overachievers on this leaderboard. You are going to see that sentiment over and over again for golfers that my model was already much lower than the consensus for the week. Still, these are the value spots I am willing to attack since books are acting a little more aggressively than usual.

It doesn't mean any of these options win Friday, but value is the name of the game when we can grab an edge greater than three percent.

Here is the entire list of top-15 overachievers:

2024 Masters Outright Predictions

Joaquin Niemann 33-1 (PointsBet/FanDuel)

A board with Scottie Scheffler lurking is a board that is asking to be flipped in anger. Think along the lines of when you are playing Monopoly and you land on a family member's hotel duplex to bankrupt you for the game. Not fun times…

I realize all that as we enter round two, but I essentially had three golfers who graded as a positive value at their current prices.

The two that I didn't take were Tony Finau and Tyrrell Hatton. I decided to go with the Finau over Thomas matchup play for my exposure at this moment over anything else. We can always circle back to this later in the week, but there was a ton to like about Joaquin Niemann's returns after 18 holes.

My model placed the Chilean first overall in expected scoring output after adding his baseline short-game metrics and comparing them to his actual ball-striking returns. I wouldn't be shocked if Hatton ended up holding that slot after he plays his final four holes Friday for round one, but the Englishman might be the only person who gets more angry on a daily basis than I do when I lose a board game.

We don't need that anger at a scenic place such as Augusta National.

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