I'm no writer but I do enjoy writing on my day off about golf which conveniently is on Wednesday's, the day before golf tournaments start. I also find it helpful for working through my research and breaking down players. Follow me on Twitter (@TheFav_orite) and instagram (@SportsbettingUniversity) for more content. - Matt Flagg
The popularity of the Masters can be summed up by “isn’t that the one where you win the green colored jacket?” - my mom. It’s a major sporting event when mothers and non sports fans alike know details of the event. From a gambling perspective, it really should be looked at as just another tournament. Nothing compares to The Masters and Augusta National; from the all day coverage with no commercials, the fake bird noises CBS pipes in, the frozen azaleas, blue dye in the water, amen corner, Rays creek and of course the great tradition of the par 3 contest that is going on now (Over 4.5 -125 hole in ones). The Masters is a magical event with a long blemish free history, but again it’s just another tournament so don’t go forcing any bets.
When looking who to bet during the Masters I tend to weigh course history and course fit over other factors including recent form. It’s very tough to compare Augusta to other stops on tour. Normal season stats typically don’t translate on Augusta and some players perform above their average and some shrink. I think now more than ever a lot of players are just using regular tour stops as tune-ups for the majors, not to say they don’t want to win the farmers insurance open but it’s all about the majors. The Masters will have the top 80 some odd players undivided attention and max effort. You can even bet Jason Day without fear he will withdraw after playing 6 holes with an imaginary injury.
Drive for show putt for dough, This couldn’t be more accurate on Augusta National. The greens are big at Augusta but just hitting the green won’t get the job done, you have to be on the right parts of the green. Approach shots and putting are the keys to this tournament but obviously finding the player(s) that posses these attributes before
Thursday is what’s important, I always love when you hear someone say; so and so putts great on Bermuda greens, a week after that player just putted amazing.
I prefer matchup bets and top 20/10/5 finish bets over to win the tournament bets. Oddsmakers can’t balance action in golf so the favorites are always heavily juiced and I rarely see value in outright winners. Normally I like to look towards fading some of the bigger names who I think may not have “it” that week but this week is different. The field is top heavy and most of the world's top golfers check a lot of boxes and are currently in great form. Below are some of the bets I’ve made this week that I feel are good enough to list publicly, I forced a bunch more but that's because it’s the Masters!
Justin Rose +275: He checks off course history and course fit but also he will have his long time caddie back on the bag for the first time this year after recovering from heart surgery. This will be a story we hear more about when Justin is atop the leaderboard come the weekend. If there is any tournament when caddies play a bigger role it’s definitely at the Masters.
- Jason Day +275: I’m high on J.Day this week and his solid putter and the course fits his eye. Like I touched on above, If he wasn’t such a hypochondriac (confirmed by other tour players) I’d probably have him top 5 as well but unfortunately he’s hangnail away from WD but again this isn't the run of the mill tournament so he can tough that out.
- Hao-Tung Li +1000: This is one of my favorites and I keep adding $10 more on him to finish top 10, currently ranks 20th in one putt percentage and seems like he’s always in the mix this year with top finishes. If he was an American with the same finishes and a twitter account he’d be talked about a lot more but lucky for us he’s a relatively unknown but that’s going to change come Sunday.
- Jordan Spieth -130 over Francesco Molinari: Course history and course fit are polar opposites here which as I said above I weight higher than recent form. Spieth loves this track and Molinari has struggled here and I’m looking to fade the Italian across the board, Spieth gets the nod in this match up.
- Patrick Cantley -140 over Cameron Smith: Augusta sets up great for Cantley, great iron player and streaky putter, I think he will be flag hunting this week and have a lot of tap ins. As for Cameron Smith, without double checking I believe he’s finished +6 and +9 in his last two starts and don’t expect a relative newbie on Augusta to perform above and beyond.
To win Tournament
- Tony Finau +4000: Top 5 last year with a dislocated ankle after celebrating an ace during the par 3 contest. Go check out the video if you haven’t seen it, it’s gross and while you are there watch his recent guest appearance on “Feherty” and I dare you not to throw $10 on him. Lastly I told a lot of people he will win the Masters after he came up shy last year so the money would be nice but the I told you so will be better.
Players I’m Avoiding
Bryson DeChambeau, Chesco Molinari, Brandt Snedeker
Tee Times & Pairings