The Masters Odds & Picks: Bet Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Shane Lowry, More at Augusta National
Via Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Thomas of the United States looks over a putt on the sixth green during the first round of the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia.
Even with wind and rain in the forecast all week, this should still be the best golf week of the year because the Masters and Augusta National are back in our lives.
Tiger Woods is back in the field for the first time since Riviera, Rory McIlroy is chasing the career grand slam, and the LIV golfers are back on the big stage. The only thing longer than the list of storylines is my betting card for the week.
Augusta National Golf Club is a par-72 that measures 7,545 yards. The club lengthened the 15th hole last year and then lengthened the 13th hole this year. Both of these par fives have water hazards, which makes the second shot a lot more difficult. We’ve already heard players say that they might have to lay up on the 13th hole, so it will be interesting to see how the changes play out throughout the week.
The course has always been fairly open off the tee and the “rough” is essentially as long as the intermediate cut on most golf courses. Golfers will have to hit out of the pine straw and may have tree trouble if they stray too far offline, but distance has always been a premium over accuracy at Augusta.
With the lengthening of the par fives and the potential for the course to play soft with the rain, distance should play an even bigger factor in the 2023 edition of the Masters.
Many view this as the best second-shot golf course in the world because you have to be extremely accurate with your irons in order to make birdies. The greens are large, fast and contoured. This creates very small targets that golfers need to hit. There are runoff areas around the green that repel errant shots, and plenty of holes have hazards in play if you miss the green.
We want golfers who can get it out there off the tee, gain strokes on approach, and get up and down around the green. Even the best ball strikers will be scrambling a number of times each round. Consequently, many of the winners here have been magicians around the green. While golfers will need to make putts to contend, this is a course where bad putters have a chance. I’m focusing more on tee to green than on putting this week.
Now, let’s get to the betting card.
Masters Tournament Outright Picks
Justin Thomas +2200 (Caesars)
JT is getting overlooked by most of the betting community because he is in perceived bad form. However, a deeper dive into his statistics shows that it’s been the putter that has been holding him back recently. As noted earlier, bad putters can play well at Augusta, and we know JT is capable of gaining strokes on the greens (he’s won THE PLAYERS and two PGA Championships).
He’s elite on approach, he’s elite around the green, and he has enough distance off the tee. He’s finished in the top eight here in two of the last three years and could benefit from the bad weather, as he’s one of the best shot makers on Tour.
Jason Day +2800 (FanDuel)
Day has yet to win during this resurgence (and hasn’t really been in contention), but he is playing some great golf. He has finished T21 or better in 12 of his last 13 events on the PGA Tour.
During that stretch, he is first in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and top 10 in Strokes Gained: Putting. He’s plenty long off the tee and has a very high ball flight, which is always helpful on these greens. He’s made eight of his last 10 cuts here with three top-five finishes during that stretch.
Pick: Jason Day +2800
Shane Lowry +6500 (0.5 Units at FanDuel)
I wasn’t expecting to bet Lowry this week, but he really sticks out when looking at his recent form, course history, and success in bad weather.
He has gained at least six strokes from tee to green in three of his last four starts, he has finished T25 or better in three straight Masters (including a T3 last year), and he’s from Ireland. He’s very used to playing in the cold, the wind and the rain. He’s a major winner, and some of his best results have come in poor conditions.
Pick: Shane Lowry +6500
Si Woo Kim +12000 (0.5 Units at FanDuel)
The potential for wind, rain and delays could increase the variance of this year’s Masters. That’s great news for a golfer like Kim, who won THE PLAYERS in similar circumstances a few years back. He was 200-to-1 to win that week and outlasted everyone in the crazy weather. He has become a much more consistent golfer since then and has made five straight cuts at the Masters.
Pick: Si Woo Kim +12000
- Jason Day -110 (BetRivers)
- Viktor Hovland +130 (FanDuel)
- Shane Lowry +200 (FanDuel)
- Si Woo Kim +260 (FanDuel)
First-Round Leader Bets:
- Jordan Spieth +2500 (0.5 units DraftKings)
- Jason Day +3500 (0.5 units DraftKings)
- Corey Conners +4000 (0.5 units DraftKings)
- Justin Rose +5000 (0.5 units BetMGM)
- Shane Lowry +5500 (0.5 units BetRivers)
- Si Woo Kim +6600 (0.5 units BetRivers)
Enjoy the week everyone; we only get to experience the Masters once a year.
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