Masters Betting Preview: Two Favorites Worth Backing to Win
Betting the best players at the the Masters has traditionally been a winning golf betting formula.
Nine of the last 11 Masters winners have ranked in the Top 16 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and the exceptions, Patrick Reed (24th) and Hideki Matsuyama (25th) weren’t far off.
But this Masters will be unique with LIV players in the field. Many of the top players who left the PGA Tour in favor of LIV fell down the golf rankings because the OWGR does not recognize it.
But it’s fair to wonder how they will fare after playing 54-hole events on tour and not playing in as many high-stress situations like the Masters. There’s no precedent for something like this, so I will look to stick with backing the top players in the OWGR.
Here are two players worth a look at.
Jordan Spieth +1800 BetMGM
Few modern golfers have had a better run at Augusta National than Jordan Spieth. He entered the record books in 2015 with his historic victory, tying Tiger Woods’ then-record of 18-under 270 and became the first wire-to-wire winner at the masters since Raymond Floyd in 1976. Spieth also set records for the most birdies in a tournament (28) and had the lowest opening round by a winner (64).
Spieth’s creativity and efficiency around the greens have made him a regular contender at the Masters. He has turned in other memorable performances, including two other runner-up finishes, and has five top-fives in nine starts.
Spieth has yet to regain the form that made him the best player in the world in 2015, but his recent shots gained numbers point to a potential return to him contending this week. When Spieth struggled to a T-21 finish in 2018 and 2022, his shots gained from January through March were 0.23 and 0.33. By comparison, from 2014 to 2018, when he finished T-2, first, T-2, 11th, and third, his shots gained during that same month leading up to the Masters were 1.56, 2.48, 2.00, 2.38 and 1.59. This year Spieth’s shots gained from January to March is at 1.47.
Of course, it will come down to his putting, which has been erratic at times, especially from five feet and in. But Spieth has gained strokes putting in three of his last four events.
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Collin Morikawa +2800 FanDuel
At The Players Championship in March, Collin Morikawa found his swing. Ranked as the second-best iron player according to Data Golf, Morikawa shot a seven-under, bogey-free opening round to earn a spot in second place. He credited the strong start to finding a rhythm to his golf swing that led to his PGA Championship in 2020 and British Open title in 2021.
“I would say, for the most part, all 2023, I'm back to playing how I used to,” Morikawa said. “I'm trying to enjoy it. I would say this week, what I found earlier this week, my swing hasn't looked this good, probably since 2019.
"I've played very well in 2020, 2021, but position-wise, I just love where I'm at right now and just freeing everything up, just allowing me to look up at my target and hit the ball, and hopefully it goes where I want it."
Morikawa finished T-13 at TPC but ended up leading the field in shots gained: approach (+2.53). With Augusta National considered one of the premier second-shot courses, Morikawa is worth a play, considering his recent form with his irons.
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