Look, predicting a pre-tournament winner in golf isn’t easy. While it’s true sports bettors can find fantastic value, it’s incredibly frustrating when one of your picks doesn’t even make the cut. That’s why I’m here to help.
Every week I’ll highlight three golfers who have a good chance to win the hardware for the upcoming weekend. This week it’s everyone’s favorite tournament, the Masters.
For a full breakdown of the tournament, check out my betting preview.
Odds courtesy of Bovada.
Jordan Spieth +800
A lot of bettors will be staying away from Spieth after last year’s epic collapse on the back nine, but I don’t expect the past to resurface this time around. It’s been said that 90 percent of this game is between your ears, and Spieth is the type of golfer who’s mentally strong enough to not let it impact him.
Don’t forget – Spieth flat out owns this golf course. A year ago the Texan became the first player since Tom Watson did so in 1977-79 to boast three straight top-2 finishes at the Masters. Spieth has the best cumulative score to par at the tournament (-25) and is first in score to par, rounds led/co-led, birdies, eagles, one-putts and par 5 scoring in that span. How can you bet against that?
Jon Rahm +2200
Outside of world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, Rahm is the hottest golfer on the PGA Tour right now. The biggest breakout star of 2017, Rahm has only played in 21 events but has already worked his way up to 14th in the world rankings. The Spaniard will be playing in his first ever Masters and will try to emulate his legendary countryman, the late Seve Ballesteros, who slipped on the green jacket at the age of 22.
Only one Masters rookie has ever had lower odds than Rahm: Tiger Woods in 1997 who was +2000. Rory McIlroy was +3300 before his first appearance while Jordan Spieth was +4000. Fuzzy Zoeller’s 1979 triumph is the lone time a first-time entrant has won the Masters, but Rahm has all of the tools to buck that trend.
In his last five starts he won the Farmers Insurance Open, tied for 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, tied for fifth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, tied for third in the World Golf Championships-Mexico and lost in the final to Johnson in last week’s WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Justin Thomas +3500
Spieth and Thomas are good friends, but Thomas was quietly waiting in the wings while Spieth took the golfing world by storm over the last few years. The time is now for Thomas, though. The 23-year-old has used the 2016-2017 season as his personal coming out party thanks to three Tour victories at the CIMB Classic and back-to-back triumphs in Hawaii at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open.
At only 145 lbs, Thomas is one of the longest hitters in the game and can hit a ball longer than anyone else on the Tour not named Dustin Johnson. He’s also a fantastic putter, leading the pack in average putts per green hit in regulation.
Thomas has levelled off a bit since winning those tournaments by missing three of his last six cuts but he did tie for fifth at the WGC-Mexico. Thomas has the all-around game to get the job done in his second trip to Augusta.