2018 Masters Betting Guide

in #golf6 years ago

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When gambling on golf, the size of the fields pretty much forces you to hedge your bets. Only a fool would tell you they know someone can win on a given week.

Tiger Woods has won roughly a quarter of his PGA Tour starts. Once you get past the shock of how absurd that statistic is in a golf sense, in a betting sense, does that really encourage you to bet the farm on one guy? I hope not.

Or, just look at last year’s Masters. Dustin Johnson was the hottest player on the planet before he slipped in his rental home and wrenched his back before the tournament even started. He withdrew on the first hole. Basically, shit happens, plan accordingly.

So, when betting on golf, you must embrace your inner cake decorator and start sprinkling... The Palmer Invitational has just wrapped up and Rory McIlroy blitzed the back nine with 5 birdies in the last six holes to take the win. The highlight of my weekend came when I actually had an hour to myself to chill, fire up the French press, and watch golf uninterrupted. An absolutely stacked field made it even better.

After what I’ve seen, I’m pretty content to lock in some picks even though there are two tournament weeks prior to the Masters. Why? I’m glad you asked:

  1. The WGC in Austin next is the Match Play event. While I dig this event, and love match play in general, it works nothing like a normal stroke play tournament and you shouldn’t read into results too much. Most guys are just there to cash their guaranteed cheque, then take a week off before they hit Augusta.

  2. The Shell Open in Houston is the week before Augusta. Any top tier players there just treat it as a bit of a tune-up (the tournament is known to speed their greens up to Augusta-like conditions), and maybe press the flesh at some sponsor events.

So, barring a Dustin Johnson episode, the pieces are pretty much in place. Usually I like to just grab a couple top-tier players, some good value picks in the middle tier, and a couple flyers from the long-odds section. For the 2018, the field is so wide open it’s going to be an absolute crapshoot. That said, I’m going to sprinkle my available dollars across these 10 picks:

Top tier:

Rory McIlroy (8-1) – I actually had this draft started on Friday of Bay Hill, and had Rory pencilled in before he went ballistic on Sunday. I grabbed him at 12-1, but his line is already up to 8-1 after that performance… ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Regardless, I like this pick. His wedding is out of the way this time around, his BFF is on the bag, and his putter is heating up at the right time. I can easily see Rory slipping on a green jacket in Butler Cabin Sunday. Maybe watch to see if the odds come down in the next week before you pounce.

Justin Rose (12-1) – The guy has been like clockwork for… a year? Two? I’ve kinda lost track to be honest. He’s been on fire and his last three years at August were: 2, T10, T2. So obviously he can bring it at this track. Earlier this year, he also caught my eye when he dropped a Sunday 62 at the Indonesian Masters. Yes, that’s a bit of a B-squad event, but that almost makes it more impressive. The guy just wants to win, whether it’s a green jacket, or he’s playing for the post-round bar tab. I dig that.

(Alternate) Jon Rahm (20-1) – If you didn’t get your bet in for Rory at a reasonable price, look to Jon Rahm for some good top tier value. He turned pro less than two years ago, and is ranked 3 in the world. That’s not by accident.

Mid tier:

Henrik Stenson (35-1) – Watching Stenson and Mickelson go shot for shot with each other at the Open in 2016 was maybe the best golf I’ve ever seen. I always thought Stenson was a great golfer, but he was 40-years-old, and looked like a candidate to finish his career without a major. After he won that day, I realized he was nowhere close to done, and I will never underestimate him again.

Tyrell Hatton (75-1) - His record is actually bonkers right now. He is: T3, MC, 3, T15, T8, T19, T16, T11, 1, 1, T8, T3 in his last 12 events. The missed cut came at the Honda after flying in from Dubai. This dude is rolling right now. People will discount the high Euro Tour results, but I made bank on Danny Willett’s Masters win by having faith in his strong Euro starts. Betting line is at 75-1. No brainer for me.

Brandt Snedeker (100-1) – Seems to play quite well at Augusta. Currently top-10 in scrambling right now, which is a great trait for that course (it worked for Mike Weir!). He’s been a little quiet lately, but I like the value at 66-1.

Alex Noren (75-1) – Like with Hatton, I’m putting the stock in his Euro Tour results. Haters will disagree, but they’re wrong. The Euros play a wider variety of course styles, in a wider range of weather, with worse (read: longer) travel conditions. Euro fields may be a little weaker, but those guys grind just as hard or harder than PGA Tour players and deserve credit when it’s due. Noren has also spent most of 2018 stateside and played quite well. Give him a look.

Brian Harman (125-1) – The little man has been very quietly leading the PGA Tour in top 10s this year. He also balled out on a very long Erin Hills course at last year’s US Open and hung with the bomber/winner, Brooks Koepka. Very impressive performance for a shorter hitter. Plus he’s a Georgia native, and played his college golf down the road in Athens, and a lefty to boot (Augusta sets up quite well for lefties). Great value play at 125-1.

Patrick Reed (60-1) – This fucking guy. I really can’t stand Patrick Reed. Whether it’s the cheating from his college days, his Ryder Cup villainy, or even his horrific taste in interior design , I just don’t like the guy. But even I will admit he’s playing solid golf lately. His Masters record isn’t that great, but he’s done well in the Ryder Cup pressure cooker, so I don’t think nerves will get him. 60-1 is decent value, so I’ll take the emotion out of it and put him on the bet slip. (seriously, what the fuck is going on in this living room?)

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Flyer picks:

Matthew Fitzpatrick (150-1) – Call it a hunch. He was stellar in late 2017, and has the talent. Also has a top 10 at Augusta (2016).

Bernhard Langer (500-1) – I sometimes wonder if Langer gets bored decimating the Champions Tour. He’s automatic there and gets to keep coming back to Augusta by virtue of his green jackets from ’85 and ‘93. He was T8 in 2014, T24 in 2016… looks like it’s another even numbered year to me! At 500-1, why the hell not?

Honourable mentions:

Branden Grace (150-1) – Something about this guy. He just seems to lurk around at majors, and has some sneaky high finishes in the last three years. Go look. Not the best track record at Augusta specifically, but he seemed to make strides last year. He’s also 7th in strokes gained putting, which bodes well.

Matt Kuchar (100-1) – Has quite a few high finishes at Augusta, but other than a T5 at the Waste Management he’s started the season a little slow. Take a flyer on him if you’re feeling his good history at the tournament.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (125-1) – I love this guy. He won $15,000 at his first tournament, then on the way home, he and his dad swing into the Ferrari dealership and throw it all down on a $150,000 F340. Then he had to go out and try to win the rest of the money. The guy obviously gives zero fucks – and he was T15 in his first ever Masters last year. I dig it.

Avoid:

Tommy Fleetwood (28-1) – I like his playing just fine right now, but he is a very trendy pick. Could certainly win, but feel his odds are overvalued right now.

Thomas Pieters (66-1) – Normally a big fan of his, but his record is pretty spotty coming into this year’s tourney. He had a backdoor T4 last year, so you never know, but I will steer clear this time around.

Rickie Fowler (20-1) – I’ve learned to steer clear of betting on Rickie. He’s a great golfer, but the value play is not often there because he’s such a popular pick.

Mark Leishman (50-1) – Normally like his sleeper potential, but his stats are presently scaring me off (Driving, and GIR are not in a great place). I’m also not going to read into his decent play at Bay Hill as he seems to dig that course.

Hideki Matsuyama / Brooks Koepka / Martin Kaymer – All three have suffered wrist injuries of varying degrees recently, and I’m not confident they will find their form in time.

Tiger Woods (9-1) – I actually loved what I saw from Big Cat at Bay Hill. His iron play was vintage, he fired at pins and his short game looked nice. His driving distance is unreal for a 42-year-old with a robot back, though the accuracy is clearly not back yet, and ultimately cost him his tournament. I would love a Tiger win at much as the next fan, but his betting line is just not a value play.

So there you have it – a bunch of picks that will look very stupid when Justin Thomas takes down Jordan Spieth in a playoff. But seriously, this year’s field is scary deep. Other than Rory, I like most of these picks from a value perspective. Nowhere in here have I even mentioned Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm, or Paul Casey – all winners already this year, who could easily take this thing. I can’t think of recent Masters when so many of the world’s top players are firing on all cylinders. Here’s hoping for a stacked leaderboard Sunday… Happy betting.

Fin.

ps. If you have comments/thoughts, I’d love to hear them.

(note: I am using Bodog.eu for all betting odds – they are up to date as of writing, but keep your eyes peeled).

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No Spieth?

Hey, thanks for taking the time to do this, we're going to follow you on hopes you keep it up.

It's scary how different our approach led us vs yours, but we share Kuchar! Check it out...
https://steemit.com/sports/@tenhanger/masters-beater

I'll pay you 0.01 Steem if any of your picks (that we don't have) wins, if you agree to pay us 0.05 steem if we have a winner you don't have. those odds in your favor as you have way more golfers than us, but just for fun. agree to that in an hour, and we're on!

also, thanks for the Bodog mention, always wonder where people are shopping.

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