The Valero Texas Open last week resulted in Jordan Spieth finally securing a victory for the first time since the 2017 Open Championship. He looks to vanquish some demons this week at the site of his epic 2016 Masters collapse on the back nine. This week, the azaleas are blooming and Masters week has finally returned to some normalcy in its usual April time slot.
Well, except perhaps the group of players who more or less dominated the field. Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 player, posted the lowest four-round score in tournament history, shooting 20-under-par to win his first green jacket by five strokes over Cameron Smith. Other big names helped round out the top five with Justin Thomas recording a fourth-place finish and Rory Mcllroy finishing tied for fifth.
— The Masters (@TheMasters) April 7, 2021
After winning last week to break his long victory drought, Spieth joins DeChambeau (both +900) to sit at the top of the odds board, with reigning Masters champion and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (+1100) close behind.
Spieth will be a name thrown around a lot this week, but the time to bet him for this event was months ago with him in the +4000-+5000 range. At 9-1, there is little to no value on Spieth to win his second green jacket this week. DeChambeau had difficulty with Augusta in November and that makes him a risky play as a co-favorite, although he’s proven he can never be counted out, especially in one of golf’s four majors. Johnson is a great golfer and is obviously capable of winning any event, but his form has been slightly off of late, making him a risky bet as well.
A full look at tee times and groups for the first two rounds of #theMasters.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) April 7, 2021
The first name worth a wager is Jon Rahm (+1200). Rahm warned everyone that he would leave the tournament this week if his wife was about to go into labor, but thankfully for Rahm, his wife gave birth last week. It is only a matter of time before Rahm wins a major, If he can keep his mind off the newborn, this could be the time and place for it. Augusta has been kind to him, with Rahm picking up a fourth-place finish in 2018. He has the ball striking and putting skills to end this tournament with the green jacket on his shoulders.
Rory Mcllroy (+1800) and Patrick Cantlay (+2200) are intriguing at their current prices, but both have too many concerns regarding their recent form to be worth an investment. Brooks Koepka (+2300) rounds out the favorites, and while he is always worth a look in majors, he just had surgery on his right knee and there are no guarantees that he is fully healthy. Rahm clearly is the golfer among the favorites with the best chances for the right value.
Best Value Plays
There are plenty of big names in this range, with reigning PGA champion Collin Morikawa (+2700) and former Masters champion Patrick Reed (+3300) leading the way in this area of the odds board.
But the first golfer worth a bet is Viktor Hovland (+3300). Hovland has come close to a breakthrough performance in numerous events over the past two years, and is surely going to win a major sooner rather than later. The Norwegian’s golf game fits the course at Augusta National very well, with the only concern possibly being his chipping touch around the greens.
The next golfer worth a bet in this range is Sungjae Im (+3500). Im finished tied for second in his first ever Masters back in November, showing he is not afraid to attack this historic golf course. The South Korean typically excels with his irons, but has recently used his driver off the tee more often and more efficiently to help move himself up leaderboards. If Im can get similar iron play to what he had here in November, he has a good chance to win the green jacket.
The last middle tier golfer worth a bet is Tyrell Hatton (+5000). Hatton is fantastic with his irons and has shown excellent form as of late. This number is likely to be bet down by the time he tees off on Thursday, so do not hesitate to jump on this right now.
Augusta is expected to play incredibly fast and firm this time around, and that plays right into the style of golf Tommy Fleetwood (+6000) plays. Fleetwood has not been very sharp since the PGA Tour returned to action last summer, but a top-10 finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational suggests that the Englishman has made the right tweaks to his game to be competitive again. While his best finish at The Masters is a T-17, he tends to play his best golf during majors and this seems like as good a year as any to pick up his first top 10 at Augusta.
The Longshots and Other Plays
There aren’t many longshots worth a play when it comes to the majors, but one possibly worth placing a small bet on this week is Justin Rose (+10000). Rose was listed as questionable earlier in the week because he’s been battling some back soreness, but in truth most of his recent struggles appear to be related to an equipment change he made back in 2019 that he since has moved away from to return to his old clubs. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, further throwing his game into disarray.
If he’s healthy enough and can rediscover some of his old form (granted, two big IFs), Rose has the ability to win this tournament. He has finished no worse than tied for 14th in six of his last nine Masters, which includes runner-up finishes in both 2015 and 2017. He’s worth a small play at these high odds.
While Adam Scott is more familiar with Augusta, his recent form is far from how he was playing when he won the green jacket in 2013. Scott is 40 years old and this week the young gun is going to be able to use his youth to his advantage and score significantly better than the veteran but aging Australian.
And not to pile on Scott too much, but a first-round matchup vs. DeChambeau (-1/2 stroke, -135) appears to greatly favor DeChambeau. The Mad Scientist has been gearing up for this Masters and will be coming in more prepared than ever. If he gets out of the gate with a couple birdies early, he will bury Scott in the opening round.