Complete Masters 2021 Betting Guide, Predictions & Tips
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It’s been two long years since the world’s best gathered with pollen in the air and the azaleas in bloom at Augusta National.
Dustin Johnson captured his first Masters win just five months ago in November after the annual spring tradition was postponed, but the first major of the year returns to its normal spot on the calendar this week at long last.
Johnson earned even more every-man cred by choosing pigs in a blanket for an appetizer at this year’s Champions Dinner, but he’s no ordinary player. The World No. 1 is a +950 Masters betting favorite to successfully defend his green jacket at a course where very few have played as consistently strong as Johnson over the years. He’ll have plenty of pursuers - so many of the PGA Tour’s biggest stars are currently in strong form that the board seems to include endless opportunities for golf betting enthusiasts to sink their teeth into the action at Augusta National.
After a year in which so much has changed, it’s time once again for a tradition unlike any other.
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Top Masters 2021 Odds
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Masters 2021 Bets to Consider
Jon Rahm to Win
Rahm warned bettors to be cautious last week considering he was expecting the birth of his first child this week and might have to withdraw at any moment. However, Rahm and his wife welcomed a baby boy Saturday, and he’s now locked in for the week. Rahm has been excellent throughout most of the season, logging seven top-10s in 11 starts. He was also the only top-ranked seed to make it out of group stage at the Match Play.
Furthermore, Rahm loves this course and the creativity it allows with his vast shot-shaping skills. His face lights up when he talks about it. And of everyone in the field who’s played more than one Masters, Rahm has the best career scoring average at 70.25 in 16 rounds played. We believe Rahm will win multiple green jackets over the course of his career, and this could be the year he adds the first.
Will Zalatoris Top-10
We wouldn’t be surprised at all to see Zalatoris make a run in his first career Masters. The 24-year-old proved last year he can handle the big stage with a T-6 at the U.S. Open, his only major appearance in 2020. He’s played consistently well all season with five top-10s and 10 top-25s in 14 events. He’s fifth in Strokes Gained: Approach, a great indicator of Augusta National success. And he’s still off the radar among so many big names entering his Masters debut.
We think the price is right at BetMGM on Zalatoris to contend as he has looked the part all season long.
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How This Masters Is Different For Bettors
The famed Augusta National foliage and floral layout wasn’t the only thing that looked different in November. The numbers on the leaderboard were incomparable by week’s end.
Johnson’s 20-under-par 268 was the lowest winning score in Masters history, seven shots better than Tiger Woods’ 13-under 275 in 2019. Cameron Smith also became the first player ever to shoot four consecutive rounds in the 60s and now shares the record for best runner-up score in Masters history alongside Sungjae Im at 15-under 273.
We don’t expect that trend to continue this week and wouldn’t be surprised to see the winning total hover around 10-to-12-under given the tournament committee has complete control over the golf course this time of year.
There will be noticeable absences this year as well – Woods is unfortunately out for the foreseeable future while recovering from injuries suffered in a February car crash. Woods picked up his fifth green jacket when the Masters was last played here in April, knocking off career major No. 15 in the most spectacular way possible. His absence will be felt at every turn.
Brooks Koepka looked like he may be unable to play having undergone knee surgery last month, but the four-time major winner arrived at Augusta over the weekend and will attempt to give it a go. Koepka was a runner-up in 2019 and finished T-7 in November, but there is uncertainty with the injury considering Koepka hasn’t played a tournament in more than a month.
Keep that in mind when looking at any and all Koepka odds – he’s currently ninth on the board with +2800 odds.
There will also be fewer patrons, the preferred nomenclature for fans around property. Augusta National is limiting fan attendance after cutting it off entirely in 2020, which will play a factor during the final round. Players can generally tell where they stand based on the direction and volume of roars throughout the back nine Sunday. Dustin Johnson, for instance, didn’t look at any leaderboards last year and was able to remain completely out of the loop on where he stood throughout the day. It certainly didn’t hurt his focus levels, whatever that’s worth.
Lastly, the circumstances will be very different for one of the usual Masters suspects.
Jordan Spieth was in bad shape entering the 2020 Masters, lost in a horrible slump and in danger of falling outside the top 100 in the Official World Golf Rankings. However, Spieth is back in a big way and capped an out-of-nowhere two-month surge up the rankings with a win at last week’s Valero Texas Open.
Now the 2015 Masters winner should have plenty of swagger entering the Champions locker room this week at Augusta, and a confident Spieth in this tournament is always can’t-miss TV. Spieth has now gone from afterthought to main storyline in just a matter of weeks, checking in at third on the betting board with +1150 odds.
2021 Masters Betting Tips
The Masters isn’t just the most beloved major championship on this side of the pond – it’s also the biggest betting week for golf at the sportsbooks. With no shortage of odds, matchups and prop bets to consider, here are some general betting tips for the 2021 Masters.
1. Know Your History
The Masters is special in that it’s the only major played at the same venue each year. Most players in the field have now compiled at least some experience around Augusta. It’s important to check past results here considering it’s such a unique course that may not be for everyone.
Players who can’t consistently hit a draw off the tee are generally in trouble as so many holes call for it – The par-5 second, the par-4 ninth, the par-4 10th, and the par-5 13th are not conducive to guys who exclusively fade it with the driver.
2. Iron Men
Strokes Gained: Approach is now widely considered the most important statistic entering most tournaments, perhaps none more so than the Masters.
Augusta features wide fairways and plenty of room for recovery shots on stray drives on most holes. But there’s no room for error on approach to these greens complexes. The windows a player must hit in order to have a good look at birdie are much smaller than normal, and an otherwise decent shot could roll off the green entirely if it lands in the wrong quadrant for a particular pin position.
Most holes allow players a strong chance at birdie assuming they can hit those windows on the greens. The top five in Strokes Gained: Approach among this Masters field are Collin Morikawa, Justin Thomas, Matt Wallace, Will Zalatoris and Tyrrell Hatton.
3. Rookies are Ready
While history is important, the notion that a player must spend years acquiring course knowledge at Augusta before he’s ready to contend on Sunday doesn’t really apply anymore.
Sungjae Im contended as a rookie in his first Masters last November, finishing T-2 in his maiden Augusta voyage. Morikawa, meanwhile, already has a major championship at age 24 and checks in at 10th on the betting board with +3150 odds despite the fact this is only his second Masters.
All we’re saying is it would be unwise to completely count a player like Will Zalatoris (+7500) out solely because he’s making his Augusta debut this week.
4. Form Matters
This not a course where players go to find a spark that’s been missing in recent months. It’s such a challenge throughout the bag and somehow always seems to identify the players in peak form at the right time. Any uncertainty in terms of shot shape or precise iron distances will be drastically penalized around here.
It’s tempting to think that Rory McIlroy could turn things around this week and finally achieve the career grand slam 10 years after he blew a four-shot lead in the final round. But McIlroy has clearly been fighting the swing lately and shot 79-75 to miss the Players Championship cut at +10. He also failed to advance out of group stage two weeks ago at the Match Play.
It’s fun to root for storylines at Augusta, but bettors should be careful when backing players who haven’t looked like themselves in recent weeks.
5. Distance Isn’t Always King
Driving distance has been the talk of the Tour for a few years now. The conversation has accelerated thanks to Bryson DeChambeau’s new approach of swinging as hard as he can to rack up some insane numbers off the tee.
That approach was somewhat vindicated when DeChambeau cruised to a 2020 U.S. Open win at Winged Foot, and he’s one of the biggest betting favorites again this week – tied for second alongside Jordan Spieth at +1150. While he figures to have a big advantage hitting short irons and even wedge into the gettable par-5s around Augusta, distance hasn’t been the best indicator of success in recent years.
Of the last five Masters champs, only Dustin Johnson has cracked the top 10 in distance the year he won it, at T-10 in 2020. The others have all been mostly average relative to the field. Woods was 71st in distance when he won it in 2019 and Patrick Reed was T-83 in 2018. Sergio Garcia was T-30 in 2017 and Danny Willett T-11 in 2016.
Notice that none of them have been outside the top 100 in distance, which shows the importance of having enough length to neutralize some of the important scoring holes. But with so much emphasis on the approach shot and short game creativity, players don’t need to bomb it way past the field in order to have a chance to slip on the green jacket come Sunday.