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Perry’s Guide to the Masters Betting Favorites: The Big-Name Players Who Have My Attention

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Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tommy Fleetwood

  • The betting favorites for the 2019 Masters include Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth.
  • Joshua Perry analyzes the top of the Masters board to see if there's any betting value before the tournament gets underway on Thursday.

For months leading into The Masters, the top of the betting board was in flux.

We saw moments where Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose and Dustin Johnson held the distinction of being the favorite. But it will be Rory McIlroy, who has finished in the top-six of every stroke play event in 2019, atop the board at 7-1 as we head into Augusta.

McIlroy has been incredibly consistent this year and finally found the winner’s circle with a marquee victory at The Players last month.

There are about a half dozen players right on Rory’s tail at the top of the board, all listed below 20-1: Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler are all between 10-1 and 18-1 at most shops.

Looking at the aforementioned, we’d figure that winner would be in that group most years. But the Masters just hasn’t been a favorites tournament since Tiger’s dominant days. Woods’ last win was in 2005 and since then, only three of the 13 winners teed off at under 20-1 (Phil Mickelson twice in 2006 and 2010 and Spieth in 2015).

It’s easy to get caught up in the big names, but this tournament is pretty wide open among about 35 guys and the winners tend to fall closer to that mid-tier between 25-1 and 66-1.

With the talent at in the middle range, I usually end up fading all players at the top because I really don’t see much value with any of them.

If you decide to jump into this range, I think recent form is the most important thing to look at. A player doesn’t necessarily need to have a win coming in, but he definitely needs a few high finishes coming in the past couple months to show he’s close.

Players don’t really show up at Augusta and win out of the blue. There are usually signs leading up to it.

That doesn’t really eliminate any of the big names outside of Spieth, who is probably the worst bet on the board. Books know people will put money on him here because of his history at the Masters. But Spieth’s form has never been anywhere near this bad heading to Augusta.

If you’re wanting to bet one of the favorites, two players stand out the most.

The Masters Favorites Who Have My Attention

I like Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas the most, but I’d need their odds to drift north of 20-1 before I consider betting them pre-tournament.

Wednesday update: I snagged J.T. at 20-1.

While Thomas has been a little off in the past month, but he’s had good results this season and is capable of playing well here. Same goes for Rahm, he’s had a string of solid results in the build-up to the event and was fourth here a year ago.

I think those two have the best chance to slip through the cracks. Casual bettors will back Rory, D.J. and Tiger. Rickie will have his fans who will bet him because they think he’s due for a major. Then there’s the group who will still bet Spieth because he might have some course history magic going. But Rahm and Thomas two might not draw the same type of action as others in this range.

With the Masters, you want to go against the grain a bit. Lately, the winners at Augusta haven’t been popular selections: Not many were picking Patrick Reed, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett to secure their first Green Jacket. Among the elite guys, I think Thomas and Rahm fit the best with that narrative.

In that second tier of guys between 20-1 and 30-1, things start to get more interesting. Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, Tommy Fleetwood, Bryson DeChambeau, Paul Casey and Jason Day all come in this range.

I’ve got both Koepka and DeChambeau already from futures last summer at 50-1 and 100-1, respectively. The numbers have obviously dropped, but neither has been in the greatest form in recent months, so I don’t see much value at their current numbers.

Of these guys, Fleetwood and Casey probably interest me the most, but not at their current numbers. I’d want mid-30s on either before I’d consider it. There’s probably no chase of getting there with Fleetwood, he’s a pretty popular bet at this point. But Casey could drift given the stigma surrounding his inability to close out tournaments. It’s hard for the public to bet on a guy to win if they think he’ll choke when he gets into contention.

At this point, there’s nothing new to add to the card in this range, but Thomas, Rahm, Fleetwood and Casey will all have my attention throughout the week and potentially as live adds in the middle of the tournament. We’ll just be waiting to see where the numbers move as the week progresses.

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