The Masters is considered by many as the unofficial start of the golf betting season and while avid golf fans live for this weekend, even non-golf enthusiasts know about this epic tournament.
Famed Augusta National plays host to its 77th Masters this week. Back in the day, hitting the ball a mile would be the greatest asset a player could have. And even though the yardage has increased from 6,985 yards in 2001 to 7,435 yards today, bombing it is no longer the edge.
Ball striking, hitting greens and putting are the biggest factors in succeeding. Only three times in the last 12 years has the winner finished outside the Top 22 in driving accuracy and only twice have they finished out of the Top 10 in greens in regulation.
It is hard to go against Tiger Woods (+300) since he’s playing like the Tiger of old. He had his worst finish in a major as a professional here last year as his putting was horrific. That is no longer the case and he leads the tour in strokes-gained putting. He has won at Augusta four times and, even though the last was in 2005, he just looks ready. Three wins in 2013 will do that.
Despite being ranked third in the world, Justin Rose (+2,500) is not getting a lot respect here. He has not finished lower than T8 in his three medal play events on the PGA Tour this year, including a solo second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last time out. He has also cracked the Top 25 in 12 straight starts worldwide. Rose has never missed the cut at Augusta and has finished T11 and T8 the last two years.
Keegan Bradley (+2,500) knows how to win a major, taking the 2011 PGA Championship, even though the Masters is a totally different ballgame. After a relatively slow start to the season, he is peaking at the right time with finishes of T10, T3, seventh and T4 over his last four starts. He was a Masters rookie a year ago but still finished T27 and that was only because of a Friday 77.
Is it finally time for Lee Westwood (+2,500) to win a major? He has knocked on the door numerous times but because he’s been overtaken in the world ranking by others, he is no longer the best player without a major win on his resume. He’s still very good and has had success at Augusta. His last three starts have resulted in a T3, T11 and solo second. Westwood has fallen off the radar which has given him value.
Jason Day (+6,000) is getting incredible value as he looks to be back to his old self. No Australian has ever won the Masters but two years ago, Day, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy all placed in the Top 4 with Day sharing runner-up. He has not missed a cut this year and has three Top 10s. He hasn’t been at his best over his last three starts but a week off hopefully has recharged the batteries.
Bo Van Pelt (+10,000) will be the long-shot pick this week. He’s not playing his best but a return to Augusta can help with that. He’s played at the Masters only three times and after missing the cut in 2005, he responded with a T8 in 2011 and a T17 last year thanks to a Sunday 64 which was the low round of the entire tournament. Carrying that memory into this week could be the spark he needs.
Recommended tournament win six pack at the Masters (all for one unit)
Tiger Woods (+300)
Justin Rose (+2,500)
Keegan Bradley (+2,500)
Lee Westwood (+2,500)
Jason Day (+6,000)
Bo Van Pelt (+10,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 11 events: +1.6 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Tampa Bay Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -1.5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units