US Masters Betting: Tight Market for First Major of 2018
We’ve already seen some brilliant golf on the PGA Tour this season so the 2018 edition of the US Masters should prove to be an absolute classic. It’s the first Major of the year and as always, we have a strong field battling it out in Augusta from Thursday onwards.
With so much world class talent on show, it can be tough to pick a winner but it does mean that there should be some value in the markets so let’s get on and see if we can take advantage.
The bookies are finding it hard to split four players at the top of the outright betting with all of the following golfers finding some form at the start of 2018. Right now, Jordan Spieth leads the way at best odds of 10/1 with Sun Bets and Bet365 for the win and that’s a number that has shortened considerably after his third place finish in the Houston Open at the weekend.
Rory McIlroy had been favourite for some time following his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month but Spieth’s move has seen the Irishman drift to 11/1 with Unibet and BetBright. Marginally further back is Justin Thomas at a best of 12/1 with Ladbrokes while Dustin Johnson is just behind at 25/2 with MarathonBet.
While those four have all tasted success in golf’s Majors, only Spieth is a Masters Champion having taken the Green Jacket in 2014. They also feature highly in the Power Rankings and are at the top of the game’s individual rankings so are obvious favourites for this week.
Behind the tightly-bunched top four, Justin Rose is at 16/1 with BetFred and SportingBet while Tiger Woods is also at 16/1, this time with Ladbrokes. Rose was runner up to Sergio Garcia here in 2017 and ended the season strongly with wins on the European Tour but has yet to really find the same form so far this year.
Meanwhile, Tiger’s latest comeback shows greater promise than any of his previous attempts. He’s won the Masters on four previous occasions and a strong performance in the Valspar Championship last month suggests he can still add to that tally.
Also in the mid-range bunch are Bubba Watson at a top price of 18/1 with SportingBet and Phil Mickelson at that same 18/1 with Unibet and 10Bet. Both men have won on the PGA Tour this season and are therefore showing the type of form that makes a Masters Champion.
Unlike any of the leading pack, Mickelson and Watson are also multiple Masters winners so we’ll be coming back to at least one of them at the end of this preview.
There are so many names who could be in with a chance of taking the Green Jacket this year and it will be impossible to name all of them but there could well be some outstanding value among the outside punts.
For many, that value will start with defending champion Sergio Garcia who starts at a top price of 33/1 with Ladbrokes and 188Bet. The Spaniard eased out Justin Rose in a dramatic play off but unlike the runner up his 2017 ended in more subdued fashion and that’s why his odds have drifted.
Other names to look out for include a clutch of European golfers who have performed well on the PGA Tour over the previous 12 months. These include Paul Casey who won the Valspar Championship last month and can be taken at best odds of 25/1 with Ladbrokes.
Also worthy of consideration are Alex Noren and Tommy Fleetwood, both of whom are at best odds of 50/1 with MarathonBet and BetFred while Tyrrell Hatton is quoted at a tempting 80/1 with William Hill and Unibet.
Coming down from there we have two golfers who are ranked inside the top ten but Jon Rahm at 28/1 with BetFred and Rickie Fowler at 25/1 with William Hill are considered to be outsiders as far as the Masters betting is concerned.
Course Guide and Trends
The Augusta National is one course on the PGA Tour where distance hitting is rewarded while inaccuracy off the tee is rarely punished. That would bring big hitters such as Bubba Watson into play and the left hander proves that having won the event twice in recent years.
Scrambling, Greens in Regulation and Putting are also key stats however so we’re looking for a solid all-rounder who is showing some decent form right now.
Of the top four in the betting, all have a case but Jordan Spieth’s return to form at the Houston Open does make him the more tempting. Tiger’s battle back to fitness has also been impressive so we’re certainly not ruling him out.
Woods for a Top Ten finish is our first confirmed tip and we expect Phil Mickelson, who has been consistent all season, to finish in single figures also. As for the winner, we’ve been following Rickie Fowler for some time and while his start to 2018 has been disappointing, some decent early form in Houston suggests he may be peaking again and he has the game to match most of the key stats that we’ve mentioned.
If you want to play safer, Rickie Fowler Each Way looks a strong option at that 25/1 price and along with our Top Ten suggestions, he could lead us to a profitable tournament.