Welcome to a betting week unlike any other.
Golf is an emerging market in sports gambling. It still lags behind the NFL, college football and the NBA in terms of mainstream betting interest, but each week more and more people are starting to realize that perhaps no sport gives you the type of bang-for-your-buck entertainment that golf provides. Just ask anybody who was holding a Carlos Ortiz ticket last week.
This week will be different, though. The Masters is easily the most-bet golf tournament of the year and given the fact that people have had to wait 19 months since the last one, you know that the action is going to be flying in at sportsbooks around the world.
We at GolfBet always like to say that the money you win on the John Deere Classic is just as green as the money you win on the Masters, but it’s hard to deny the feeling you get when your guy puts on the Green Jacket. It’s like you’re right there with him.
Looking to bet the 2020 Masters? Check out Action Labs to compare betting lines and find +EV opportunities with real-time odds for multiple sports and sportsbooks!
Enough pageantry, though. Let’s get to the betting board.
You can expect a lot of new and casual money to hit the market this week and there’s a good chance that a big chunk of that money will go in the same direction — towards the 17th-favorite and defending champion Tiger Woods at +4500 (also written as 45/1; a $10 bet wins $450).
It’s always worth remembering that bookmakers know that people will bet Woods no matter the number — also known as the “Tiger Tax” — so if they think they can get away with a 45/1 on Tiger at the Masters, it does make you wonder what his true odds are. Either way, there will be a lot of money flying in on Tiger this week and with a big number next to Woods’ name, you better believe that a back-to-back for Eldrick would be bad news for the guys in the desert.
A lot of eyes were on Dustin Johnson at last week’s Houston Open. While a lot of players in the Masters field skipped out on a trip to Memorial Park, DJ had every reason to be there. After missing out on the CJ Cup and Zozo Championship with the coronavirus, Johnson was shaking off a two-month layoff by the time he teed off in Space City. He picked up right where he left off. Johnson briefly held the lead on Sunday before finishing second to Ortiz.
That was all bookmakers needed to see to install Johnson as the Monday morning co-favorite with Bryson DeChambeau at +900.
With two wins and seven top-10 finishes since June, DeChambeau’s renaissance has been a sight to behold. The 27-year-old has also seemed to peak at the right times, finishing 4th at the PGA Championship and then winning his maiden major at the 2020 U.S. Open.
It’s never a bad thing to be the favorite, but Augusta hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for the guys at the very top of the odds board recently. In fact, no pre-tournament favorite has donned the Green Jacket since Woods did so in 2005.
Bryson and DJ have plenty of company near the top of the board. There are five other players currently priced under +2000 at DraftKings: Jon Rahm (+1100), Justin Thomas (+1300), Rory McIlroy (+1400), Xander Schauffele (+1600) and Brooks Koepka (+1700).
Of that group, McIlroy seems to present the most interesting betting conundrum.
The Northern Irishman famously is one Green Jacket shy of the career slam but his current level of play is well short of his lofty standards. You’d be foolish to think McIlroy, who was the favorite at Augusta in 2019, can’t win, but this is a short price to pay for a player in iffy form, especially in this field. I’d be surprised if Rory garners much interest — relative to his peers — in betting and DFS this week.
With so much attention being paid to the fellas at the top of the board, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Tyrrell Hatton (+2500) sort of slip under the radar, either. Hatton is in a bit of a no man’s land on this board as he’s bridging the gap between the favorites and a bunch of popular players in the 30/1 range.
That said, look past Hatton at your own peril. The native of High Wycombe, England has turned himself into the most consistent players on TOUR and is coming off a win at the BMW PGA Championship last month. According to FantasyLabs, Hatton is third in the field in Strokes Gained: Approach (SG:APP) over the last 75 weeks behind only Thomas and Collin Morikawa, who checks in at +3500 this week.
I’d expect Morikawa, Patrick Reed (+3000) and perhaps Webb Simpson (+4000) to all be in a similar situation to Hatton. There are a couple of very popular players in this range, so bettors may look right past those four and go right to two-time champion Bubba Watson and the always-popular-at-majors Tony Finau at +3300.
Like Finau, Tommy Fleetwood usually gets a lot of betting support ahead of major championships. I’m not so sure that will be the case this week as Fleetwood, who has finished T62-T17-T36 in three starts at Augusta, has drifted to +5500. The discount in price — Fleetwood was 35/1 at the U.S. Open — could attract some attention, but it seems like the Merseysider’s pedestrian form in 2020 will keep punters away.
Bettors take course history into account more at Augusta than perhaps any other track on the planet, so it’ll be interesting to see if Rickie Fowler (+7000) and Jordan Spieth (+7000) take some money throughout the course of the week. Neither player has been in good form over the past 18 months, but it’s hard to argue with their results at Augusta.
In addition to his win back in 2015, Spieth has finished runner-up twice, third-place once and has never finished worse than T21. Fowler may not have a Green Jacket in his closet, but he may have the best resume of any non-winner at this tournament. Fowler was runner-up in 2018 and has finished inside the top-12 in four of the past five years.
If the Masters was played in its original spot on the calendar you could be sure that Sungjae Im (+10000) would be a lot closer to the top of the board than he is now. Im’s game has been wobbly over the past six months, but he’s shown signs of putting things together and was a popular outright bet at the Houston Open last week. Im finished T50 with a 3-over par at Memorial Park, so you can expect the Sungjae Love to cool off at Augusta.
One triple-digit longshot who could generate some buzz is Canadian ball-striking specialist Corey Conners at 150/1. Beating this field is almost certainly too big of an ask for Conners, but his elite ball-striking could make him a popular first-round leader or top-5/10/20 play. And you can be sure that DFS players took notice of the 28-year-old’s solid final round in Houston this weekend.
2020 Masters Odds
|Erik van Rooyen||+12500|
|Si Woo Kim||+20000|
|Charles Howell III||+25000|
|Jose Maria Olazabal||+150000|