Masters Odds, Tips, Trends & Ultimate 2020 Betting Guide
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It’s been 19 months since Tiger Woods pulled off the unthinkable by winning the 2019 Masters, his first major victory in 11 years. Now it’s time for his long-awaited title defense in an unprecedented November Masters at Augusta National Golf Club, which postponed the annual tournament this spring due to COVID-19.
The unique scheduling during a year in which the PGA Tour shut down for three months leaves plenty to consider when compiling a Masters golf betting strategy.
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Normally the season stats tell the whole story. This year, with such a significant layoff, it could be far more helpful to view performance through a pre and post-shutdown lens. The stats show us which players have excelled in key areas necessary to win at Augusta over the past several months, and which players have seen those areas decline since the shutdown ended in June.
It’s not just the time off making a difference. All these courses have played differently from a mental and physical perspective. While a limited number of fans were allowed to attend last week’s Houston Open, there will be no patrons at Augusta National in 2020. So, this tournament will resemble the post-shutdown events far more than the bigger tournaments earlier this spring.
With no grandstands on property, players won’t get a lucky bounce off temporary structures serving as a backboard to prevent their ball from rolling into further trouble. That hasn’t been nearly as common at Augusta compared to other tournaments but could still come into play, particularly at the par-5 eighth hole where anything long of the green is now serious trouble.
And while players can rest easy knowing they won’t hit any spectators with errant shots, it’s not uncommon to see a ball strike a fan and end up closer to the fairway than it otherwise would have been.
Players also must deal with the voices inside their own heads these days. There’s no raucous crowd noise or big cheers of encouragement. Some players feed off of the crowds, while others tend to crumble under pressure when playing in front of a big gallery.
At Augusta specifically, players can often keep track of the leaderboard Sunday based on crowd noise alone. Players within a shot or two of the final-round lead in 2019 knew exactly where Woods stood the entire back nine thanks to crowd noise alone.
These are not minor differences or changes. They must be considered in relation to players who have been thriving or struggling in a similar environment in recent months.
From there, we can look at betting favorites and others in full context and make an informed wagering decision. Let’s start with a look at the man everyone is talking about instead of the defending champion this week – Bryson DeChambeau.
Odds to Win the 2020 Masters
|Hideki Matsuyama||+2800||Jason Day||+3300|
2020 Masters Best Bets
DeChambeau Top-5 After Round 1 (+400)
DeChambeau Over Rory McIlroy (-159)
DeChambeau enters the week as the betting favorite, listed at +800. And many are wondering if his newfound distance is enough to bring Augusta National to its knees with a dominant performance that stirs up talk of “Bryson-proofing” the course like we saw when Woods lapped the field with a 12-shot victory at the 1997 Masters.
By adding more than 30 pounds to his frame and swinging out of his shoes, DeChambeau is now the longest hitter on Tour by a lot. It’s a tremendous advantage that already helped him win the U.S. Open at Winged Foot by six shots. At Augusta, with no fans to worry about and plenty of room to miss the fairway in either direction on most holes, the advantage could be even more profound.
DeChambeau added an additional 5 yards of length during the shutdown, averaging 326.1 yards since. He’s been even longer the past two tournaments, during which he’s averaged 344 yards off the tee.
DeChambeau’s putting and approach accuracy also improved slightly after the shutdown and while he’s been less accurate off the tee, it won’t cost him as much at this golf course.
The enigmatic figure clearly found something earlier this year, and all the stats show he continued to get better and push distance extremes while the Tour was on hiatus.
The odds aren’t great for DeChambeau backers at +800 to win, but we’ve got our eye on two additional wagers – top-five after Round 1 (+400) and a tournament matchup bet on DeChambeau over Rory McIlroy at -159. DeChambeau opened with 66 last year, his lowest round of the week by four shots, and we expect another quick start in 2020.
And while DeChambeau has improved post-shutdown, McIlroy has seen a decrease in most categories other than driving accuracy. Make both wagers at BetMGM.
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Brooks Koepka (-125) over Bubba Watson
Brooks Koepka Top-5 Finish (+400)
It looks like a lingering knee injury is on the mend after a T-5 finish at last week’s Houston Open. Koepka’s post-shutdown stats also show more improvement in recent months than any other major contender.
Koepka has played well here in four prior starts, averaging 71.5 strokes per round, and he’s gotten better each year – He was T-33 in 2016, T-21 in 2016, T-11 in 2017 and last year finished T-2 after missing the 2018 Masters with a wrist injury.
More importantly, he improved a ton with his irons post-lockdown. He’s hitting 68.33% of greens in regulation, up from 58.33%, and hitting good approach shots is more important at Augusta than almost anywhere else. His putting, driving accuracy and driving length have improved post-shutdown as well.
Based on those numbers, and the fact that Koepka has finished fifth or better in five of his last six major starts, we’re comfortable taking him against past champion Bubba Watson in a matchup and to finish top-5 for the week. Make both wagers at Unibet.
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Jason Day (-110) over Tiger Woods
Putting is the No. 1 reason we’ll be fading the defending champ this week. Jason Day seems like a good one to go with over Woods as he’s coming off a top-10 finish in Houston, was T-5 at the Masters last year and has finished inside the top 25 in four consecutive Masters appearances.
Woods’ putting has been holding him back and leaving very little room for error of late. As the stats show, it’s been even worse post-shutdown, with Woods dropping another half-stroke to 29.63 putts per round.
That’s more than one stroke higher than any of the favorites and helps show why Woods hasn’t been able to maintain momentum for four rounds since he won the Zozo Championship in Oct. 2019. Wager on it with FOX Bet.
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Dustin Johnson (-110) over Jon Rahm
Dustin Johnson, meanwhile, improved significantly in putting and greens in regulation post-shutdown. His greens in regulation percentage went up to 71.7%, an improvement of 6.77%. He also got better on the greens, improving from 28.5 putts per round to 28.2.
While Rahm was on fire pre-shutdown, we’ve since seen his stats decline across the board. We’re not counting Rahm out, but based on the pre and post-shutdown contrast we’re comfortable taking Johnson in that matchup. Wager on it with FanDuel.
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Xander Schauffele (-106) over Justin Thomas
Patrick Reed (-114) over Tyrrell Hatton
Driving is arguably less important at Augusta than other venues, but it’s absolutely still a big deal. Leaving yourself a good angle is a must on most holes to have a chance at birdie, and an errant drive can quickly end one’s chances on Sunday like it did for Rory McIlroy with his ill-fated drive at the 10th that led to a triple-bogey and cost him a green jacket in 2011.
We always favor guys who have been in the hunt here on Sunday, especially those who have stepped to the 18th tee needing a par to win and avoid a playoff – as Reed did at the 2018 Masters. Reed has also shown huge improvement with the driver, adding 8.31 yards of distance post-shutdown while increasing his accuracy by 4.91%.
Add in the fact that he averages 72.4 strokes per round at Augusta compared to 74.2 for Hatton and we’re pulling the trigger on Reed in this matchup.
Schauffele has seen almost no change whatsoever in his driving stats. His distance dipped by less than one yard and his accuracy improved by .87%. That consistency is a great sign ahead of a patron-less Masters that will feel very different for everyone in the field.
Thomas’ distance has been largely the same as well, adding less than a full yard, while his accuracy declined by 4.54%. Thomas’ putting also declined more than half a stroke post-shutdown and he’s hitting 5.35% fewer fairways.
The final results have been strong nonetheless, including a T-2 at the Zozo Championship last month. But with Schauffele showing better statistical improvement over the post-shutdown stretch, we’re riding with him in this matchup over Thomas. Make both of these bets with DraftKings.
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