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Pick Details

Masters Tournament 3:00 AM | Sun, Apr 11 2021
Sport: PGA | Star Rating: 5.0 Evaluation: Loss (-500)
100 (True) - Masters (Futures) @ Multiple Sportsbook

And so here we have the Golf Insider's first bets for the 85th edition of the US MASTERS.

Today he's covering off the Tournament Winner (Outright) market... and then tomorrow he'll come back with further advice for the Speciality Markets - such as the Top 20, First Round Leader and R1 3-Balls.

In the cold light of day, this week can be seen as "just another golf tournament" and backing the winner is like any other success. But the added drama and excitement of landing a winner at Augusta, always adds a little extra to the pot!

Right onward to the 1st tee...

Here's a quick preview of the action in the "Peach State"...

The Tournament - Usually the first of the four golf Majors held each year, the Masters is the only one of the quartet to be held at the same venue each year - which is the Augusta National. The tournament was first held in 1934 and has become famous for its various unique traditions like the Green Jacket given to each winner (which started in 1948), the pre-tournament Champions Dinner (first held back in 1952), the curtain-raising Par 3 event, played on the eve of the Masters (staged for the first time in 1960) and the ongoing practice of all the caddies wearing identical white "overalls" with the name of their golfer on the back (players could only bring their own caddies to Augusta since 1983).  Unlike the other Majors the field here is classed as an entirely invitational line-up, with no pre-qualification, and the numbers are limited to less than 100 players - the exact number varies slightly depending on how many former champions and exempt players attend. There have been 84 winners to date... 62 USA, 5 Spain & South Africa, 4 England, 2 Germany and 1 from each of Scotland, Wales, Fiji, Canada, Argentina & Australia. Jack Nicklaus leads the way with 6 career wins, Tiger Woods has 5 wins, and Arnold Palmer (4) comes next on the list.

The Course - The permanent base for the US Masters is Augusta National GC, Augusta in Georgia. Founded back in the 1930's the course was built on the site of a nursery (hence all the holes are named after a flower, tree or shrub). The original design was by Rees Jones but the layout has been tinkered with over the years - mainly in terms of length - the latest by Tom Fazio in 2002. The 18 holes now stretch out to 7,475 yards with a host of signature holes and areas (e.g. Amen Corner), water hazards (e.g. Rae's Creek) and strategically placed bunkers. The set-up of the course year-on-year tends to put more emphasis on driving distance than accuracy off the tee, but what is tested on every hole is the ability of the players on their approach to, and their play around, the lightning fast greens - good putting and scrambling are key ingredients to success at Augusta.

72-Hole Record - 268, Dustin Johnson (2020).

18-Hole Record - 63, Nick Price (1986), Greg Norman (1996).

Last 10 Winners (and Top 5 places) -

(2020)  Dustin Johnson     (Im, Smith - Thomas - Frittelli, McIlroy)
(2019)  Tiger Woods         (Johnson, Koepka, Schauffele - Day, Finau, Molinari, Simpson)
(2018)  Patrick Reed         (Fowler-Spieth-Rahm-McIlroy, Stenson, Smith & Watson)
(2017)  Sergio Garcia       (Rose - Schwartzel - Kuchar & Pieters)
(2016)  Danny Willett       (Spieth & Westwood - Casey, Holmes & Johnson)
(2015)  Jordan Spieth       (Mickelson & Rose - McIlroy - Matsuyama)
(2014)  Bubba Watson      (Blixt & Spieth - Jiminez - Fowler & Kuchar)
(2013)  Adam Scott          (Cabrera - Day - Leishman & Woods)
(2012)  Bubba Watson      (Oosthuizen - Hanson, Kuchar, Mickelson & Westwood)
(2011)  Charl Schwartzel  (Day & Scott - Donald, Ogilvy & Woods)

The Field - A standard field for the US Masters which means around 90 players will go to post (88 are priced up at the moment). Dustin Johnson is the +900 market leader.

The Weather - There is the slight chance of rain on all four days (the forecast reads reads 20%-50%-40%-20%) but what rain that falls should be later in the day. The good news is temperatures will be seasonally good, reaching the low-to-mid 80s, and the wind will be barely a factor at around 10-12mph all week. So some rain aside (which, if anything, will soften up the greens), it's a pretty decent week weather-wise in Georgia.

The Bets - There are a total of five bets ranging from +1250 to +6000.

Here are the details...


(starts Thursday)

Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +1250 DraftKings
Top 10 Odds: +125 DraftKings

"Instead of trying to make a case for Thomas this week, it's damn hard not to think of reasons why the American won't challenge! He has the winning pedigree (14 career wins in 166 starts), current form (winning the Players Championship on his last strokeplay appearance), state form in Georgia (with multiple Top 10's in the Tour Championship), and of course form at Augusta (steadily improving 39-22-17-12-4 in five starts). There's no reason to think that Thomas can't win a first Green Jacket this week, other than the strength of the field he's up against. A number of players are hitting the ball really well right now, so it comes down to fine margins and value judgement about his ability relative to his price, and the odds of others near the top of the market. It's very hard though to see Thomas not finishing highly, and covering the Top 10 is virtually a bet to nothing. Along with DJ, he looks the best of front half dozen, and the man from Louisville, Kentucky is well worthy of backing this week."

Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +4000 Betvictor
Top 10 Odds: +275 DraftKings

"Berger has reached a level of consistency over the last 12 months that should see him challenging and winning majors very soon. All parts of his game are excellent, with no obvious weakness, which is obviously a great recipe for success. Berger has played six strokeplay events in 2021, winning at the AT&T Pebble Beach, and finishing in the Top 10 on three of the other five occasions - the most recent of which was 9th at the Players Championship. Berger was knocked out at the group stage of the World Matchplay a fortnight ago, but actually played superb during those first three matches shooting 12-under cumulatively. Berger has played Augusta three times, and has finished no worse than 32nd, and this year he arrives in the form of his life with his game at another level. Despite playing a predominant fade, Berger should be relishing the prospect of a firm, fast Augusta as his all-round game is of an elite level. Berger looks a cracking bet with so much going for him this week. His form is great, his game is world class, and he's enough experience here to challenge those at the front of the market."

Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +3500 Bet365, Betvictor
Top 10 Odds: +300 Bey365, William Hill, Betvictor

"Casey is a player who often ups his game in the biggest events, and especially when it comes to the Masters. Casey has a superb record at Augusta finishing in the Top 10 on five occasions. His recent form is eye catching too with form figures of 1-12-5-10-5, which is as good as any player in world golf right now. What's most encouraging for Casey backers is the fact that the putter has been working superbly of late, to go along with his supreme ball-striking, that rarely lets him down. Casey has ranked 5th, 53rd, 10th and 10th in Strokes Gained: Putting on his last four starts, which for him is as good as it gets. If Casey can bring this high level on the greens, there's every chance he could claim the Green Jacket, and his first major title. Another huge plus for Casey is the fact that there will be lots of fans at this event. Casey openly admitted that he found it hard to motivate himself for events where there were no crowds, because he loves to feed off their energy. This week should provide Casey with added motivation and incentive now that the patrons are back.  At around +3000, the Englishman looks a no-brainer given his record here and exceptional recent form."

Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +6000 Fanduel, Caesars, DraftKings
Top 10 Odds: +450 Fanduel, DraftKings

"The 2017 Masters Champion is having a great 2021, which is largely down to his phenomenal tee-to-green play. Garcia has four Top 12 finishes in 2021 from seven starts, the latest of which was a 9th place finish at the Players Championship, where he had every chance of winning heading into Sunday. The numbers behind this consistent 2021 form are even more impressive with the tee-to-green numbers as good as you'll see from anyone. Garcia has gained over 50 strokes from tee-to-green from seven starts, which is an average of more than 7 strokes per event! You'll do well to find a player who has gained more this year on average than the Spaniard.  The last event he played in was the matchplay, where he made the quarter finals after defeating Westwood in a group stage playoff with a hole in one. His confidence is high right now, and hopefully the Augusta greens, which are often a huge leveler, can help ease his putting woes. With the Top 10 part of our bets this week so lucrative, it's players like Garcia who produce high levels of consistency in the big events that are worth getting onside. While I appreciate Garcia will have to play very well to win a second Masters title, the place part of the bet represents superb value, when you consider how well he's playing and his ability to churn out high finishes."

Bet: Place 0.5 unit to win, plus 0.5 unit on Top 10 (total stake 1 unit)
Winner Odds: +6000 Caesars
Top 10 Odds: +450 DraftKings

"The sweet swinging Englishman has found some form at just the right time, as he goes in search of his first Major title. He recently finished 10th at the Arnold Palmer, where he actually had a great chance of winning before a shocking Sunday 77 saw him fall to 10th spot on the leaderboard. He was last seen reaching the QFs of the WGC Match Play, which leads him nicely into this week. Fleetwood has played great here for the last three years until Sunday, where he's slipped back down the leaderboard after shooting Sunday 74's on all three occasions. He's still managed to finish 17th, 36th and 19th, despite these poor Sundays, so it's definitely a venue Fleetwood knows how to play well. Fleetwood has a superb Major record with three Top 4's from his last 15 Major starts, which also includes three more Top 20's. His long game is good enough to compete anywhere in world golf, and although he's not playing his best right now, there are definite signs of improvement in recent weeks. Once again the quotes of 50/1 with multiple places on offer are just too good to ignore on a player re-discovering his form, who plays Augusta extremely well, and who knows how to play well in the biggest events."US


What does ‘Star Rating’ mean?
Star Rating is the number of units the handicapper is risking on the bet. Therefore, if the Star Rating is 7.0, it is a 7-unit pick. On plus odds picks, the handicapper is risking their Star Rating unit amount. On negative odds picks, the handicapper is betting enough to win their Star Rating unit amount.
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