Best bets for the 2023 Masters Tournament

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Best bets for the 2023 Masters Tournament

 

 

Collin Morikawa to win (33/1 @ Circa)

Matt Youmans: It’s time for the two-time major winner to make a comeback and remove the scar tissue from his blown lead (up six strokes after 54 holes) in Maui in January. Morikawa, who has not won on the PGA Tour since the 2021 British Open, recently said his swing is as good as ever. His iron play is in an elite class with Tiger Woods, and approach shots are an important element to winning at Augusta. His erratic putting could be a problem. Still, Morikawa is trending in the right direction in this tournament, finishing in the top 20 in 2021 before climbing to fifth last year.

Wes Reynolds: It is hard to believe that it has been almost 18 months since Morikawa has won anywhere (2021 DP World Tour Championship). It looked like he was going to open 2023 with a victory before losing a nine-shot lead in the season opener at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Meanwhile, Morikawa is back as one of the world’s best iron players ranking No. 2 for Strokes Gained: Approach, No. 4 for Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, and No. 4 for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green over the last 36 rounds.

 

Max Homa 32-1

Kelly Bydlon: It’s amazing to me you can still find Homa at 30-1 or better. Yes, Scheffler, Rahm, and McIlroy are the three best golfers in the world right now and in a tier by themselves, but Max Homa belongs in that next tier down right now. He has four wins on tour over the past season and a half, and he enters this tournament in great form. 

Here are his finishes in 2023: 

3rd (Sentry Tournament of Champions)

1st (Farmers Insurance Open)

39th (Waste Management Phoenix Open)

2nd (Genesis Invitational)

14th (Arnold Palmer Invitational)

6th (THE PLAYERS Championship)

No, he does not have the experience at Augusta that you’d ideally look for in an outright bet, but he is also not close to the golfer he was three years ago. Over the past 24 rounds, he ranks 2nd in the field in SG: Approach, 11th in Greens In Regulation, 7th in Scrambling, 2nd in SG: Par 4s, and 3rd in Bogey Avoidance. At these odds, and in a condensed field, Homa is a guy I cannot pass on. 

Matt Brown: Homa has arguably been the most consistent golfer on the PGA Tour over the last 12 months. Over that span, he has three wins to his credit, while missing the cut only once. So far in 2023, he’s gone T3, Win, T39, 2nd, T14, T6 and T9. His ball striking has been the best of his career, reflected by his 5th ranking in Stroke Gained: Approach this season. But the advanced stats love him in several areas. He’s 10th in Strokes Gained: Putting, 6th in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, and 3rd in Strokes Gained: Total. And though he’s not the longest hitter on tour (avg 301.7 yards), he’s got the length necessary to tackle Augusta National. A proven winner, he’s in the best form of his career, and his confidence level has never been higher. The only thing missing from the trophy case is a major. 

 

Tony Finau 29/1 (Circa Sports)

Wes Reynolds: Finau has been close many times in majors with a top five in all four majors and 10 top 10s in the 26 he’s played. The difference between those majors and this one is that Finau now has win equity and more confidence. He has won three times on the PGA TOUR since playing his last major—The Open Championship at St. Andrews.

Finau ranks 3rd for Strokes Gained: Approach this season, that stellar iron play helping him to a ranking of 5th overall for Strokes Gained: Tee To Green.

 

Rory McIlroy Top 10 finish (-140 @ DraftKings)

Matt Youmans: Banking on McIlroy to win a major, something he has not done since 2014, requires a big leap of faith. Asking him to contend and hit the leaderboard on Sunday is realistic. He’s got course form and current form working in his favor. In his past nine Masters starts, McIlroy has seven top 10s. He finished second last year and tied for fifth in 2020, so he’s knocking on the door to Butler Cabin.

 

Jordan Spieth Top 10 finish (+165 @ DraftKings)

Matt Youmans: Course form is a handicapper’s friend at Augusta — there is plenty of data to review because this is the only major played on the same course every year. Spieth debuted in 2014 with a tie for second and won his first major at the Masters in 2015. He placed second in 2016 and recorded third-place finishes in 2018 and 2021. Few players have a stronger track record.

 

Will there be a playoff? (Yes +300 @ DraftKings)

Matt Youmans: This is wishful thinking as much as anything because major playoffs are as dramatic as it gets, and the Masters is due. The last playoff at Augusta was in 2017 when Sergio Garcia beat Justin Rose on one of the darkest days in golf history. (Garcia winning a green jacket was a black eye for the sport, and it arguably got worse a year later when Garcia slipped the jacket on Patrick Reed.) The five-year playoff drought is somewhat uncommon. In a five-year span starting in 2009, there were three playoffs at Augusta.





Patrick Cantlay or Justin Thomas, if you can find mid-20s odds on either 

Kelley Bydlon: The Cantlay argument would be very similar to Homa. He’s playing great golf this year with 3 straight top-20 finishes. However, he’s had mixed results at Augusta. 


JT plays Augusta great and could very well be adding a green jacket to his closet very soon. In the last five Masters played, he has finished T8, T21, 4, T12, and T17. Tee-to-Green, Thomas has been awesome this year, and if he can catch a hot putter for a week, I absolutely expect him to be in contention. 

 

Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy 

Kelly Bydlon: I’ll be looking to add these live. These three are the short shots in this tournament for good reason. Each has great course history at Augusta, and all three have played incredible golf since December. I would maybe consider betting one of these guys before the tournament started if I thought one had a big advantage over the other two, but because I don’t, and because of where their pre-tournament odds sit, I’ll look to see if one gets out to a slow start and potentially add in-tournament. I’ve also made outright bets throughout the last few months on the following:

Max Homa 32-1 


Jason Day 85-1 

Corey Conners 85-1 

Brooks Koepka 99-1 


Obviously that Jason Day number is long gone, and I probably would stay away unless you can find a 30-1 or better on him.