The Masters has finally arrived and we’re breaking down all of our best bets and Masters expert picks for the week at Augusta National Golf Club.
Call it a national golf holiday, The Masters is upon us. The best players in the world are touching down at Augusta National Golf Club for the April 7-10 tournament and the first major championship of 2022. And it figures to be one for the ages.
Not only are we looking at an extraordinarily loaded field with the star-power and the way some guys have emerged over the past year — guys such as Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, Sam Burns and others — but the looming presence is the return of Tiger Woods as he seems to be gearing up to play for the first time since his horrific car accident and injury back in early 2021.
Tiger’s aura is going to make this trip to Augusta National Golf Club absolutely can’t-miss golf this week but that would be the case regardless. More importantly, though, we’re trying to profit from the first major of the year. To help with that, we’re breaking out our comprehensive Masters expert picks and best bets for the tournament that we can tackle and make some money.
Going with our Top 5, 10 and 20 picks before breaking down more best bets and then outright winners we like, let’s take a look at our expert picks for this week at The Masters.
The Masters expert picks: Top 5, Top 10, Top 20, One and Done selections
Top 5 pick for The Masters: Cameron Smith
Whenever Cameron Smith won THE PLAYERS in March, there was a rush on social media to say “go bet him to win at Augusta right now.” I always tend to shy away from that and just wait to handicap The Masters or any major championship as I would any week. But the more I look at it, the more difficult it is to not have some investment on Smith.
Smith ranks sixth in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach over the last 50 rounds and has arguably the best short game in the world right now. Throw in the fact that he’s played Augusta National extremely well in his career with a T10, T2 and T5 in three of the last four years. I don’t mind betting him to win but the Top 5 pick offers a bit more security while still getting consensus odds above +300.
Top 10 pick for The Masters: Viktor Hovland
Anyone who has followed my picks for any amount of time is aware of my affinity for Viktor Hovland and that’s not going away this week. The Norwegian is playing in this tournament for just the third time but has shown well in his two previous starts, finishing T32 as the low amateur in 2019 and then T21 last year. Approach play is of paramount importance this week and he’s tops in the field in that regard over the last 50 rounds.
Moreover, he’s the only player in the field to rank in the top five in proximity on approaches from 175-200 yards and 200-225 yards out, which is crucial here. I love getting around +200 odds on him to finish in the Top 10, especially as he continues to gain experience on this vaunted track.
Top 20 pick for The Masters: Jordan Spieth
Do I love the value of getting Jordan Spieth who, overall, hasn’t been in the best form of late at around -110 to finish Top 20? Not particularly. However, it still feels like an incredible bet to me because of how good Spieth is when he travels to this place.
For his eight starts, he has a win, two second-place and two third-place finishes at Augusta. He’s also only finished outside of the Top 20 twice in that run, one of which was a T21 in 2019. Giving me more confidence is the fact that Spieth showed a little bit of something to hang your hat on in the final round of the Valero Texas Open as he led the field on Sunday in Strokes Gained: Approach. I don’t think he wins, but a Top 20 finish feels like a lock.
One and Done pick for The Masters: Cameron Smith
We’re not going to belabor the point when it comes to Smith as we already have him as our Top 5 pick but he feels like a bang-up One and Done pick this week. He’s proven that he can succeed at this event, is in some of the best form in the world right now, and has the game full of creativity that should suit him well to succeed. There’s win equity but, more importantly, the very high chance that he rakes in a lot of cash this week as well, which is what we’re looking for.
Note: Top 5, Top 10 and Top 20 picks should also be considered best bets, though they’re not included on the next page.
The Masters best bets for this week
Brooks Koepka to finish Top 10
Because Koepka missed the cut last year, it might overshadow the fact that the major-sniper has been terrific at The Masters over his career. He finished T7 in 2020, T2 in 2019, T11 in 2017 and had never finished worse than T33 prior to last year.
What can’t be ignored, however, is that he was clearly not healthy in 2021 and, as I’ve been beating the drum for over the past few weeks and months, that’s changed. He looks good and has been displaying some impressive form as of late.
Matt Fitzpatrick to finish Top 20
Few golfers in the world have been better than Matt Fitzpatrick this season. He’s been displaying some of the most consistent ball-striking of his career and on the PGA Tour so far and the finishes have backed that up, even if he’s yet to win. Fitzpatrick was also one of Iain MacMillan’s outright picks to win this week at BetSided. Here’s what he had to say about the Englishman.
"Despite still not winning on North American soil, Matt Fitzpatrick has been playing fantastic golf this season. Outside of the missed cut at The Players, which we can discount due to the insane weather and delays, he’s finished 12th or better in five-straight stroke play events. He also ranks near the top in just about every single measurable statistic. He has no glaring weaknesses, and he already has a T7 at this event in 2016."
The value has only gotten better as Fitzpatrick’s odds have gone up from +5000 to +5500 since Sunday for him to win. But getting plus odds for a guy in this level of form to finish Top 20 feels like free money.
Tiger Woods to Make the Cut
All indications are that Tiger Woods is going to make his comeback to competitive golf, fittingly, at The Masters. While it might be exciting to pick him to win, that seems incredibly unlikely. You could even make the argument that him teeing it up on Thursday is a win in itself. However, I do think that getting around even odds for him to make the cut according to the consensus numbers is a bet I love.
With the second-most wins at Augusta National in history and a slew of other Top 5 finishes, Woods’ record at this tournament needs no introduction. But he’s also only missed the cut once (1996) in his career, even with the health issues he’s dealt with previously. The reports of how his swing looks and his intimate knowledge of how to play this course lead me to think he’ll see the weekend, even if the grueling walk and tournament cause him to fade on Saturday and Sunday.
Wild Card Bet of the Week: Bernhard Langer to finish Top 20
We’re getting wild here. WynnBet has the 64-year-old Bernhard Langer’s odds to win at an eye-popping +100000. That’s not happening, but the two-time winner here has been impressive when he tees it up every year given his age. He’s still made the cut in four of the last six years and has two Top 30 finishes in that span.
Given where his odds are set to win, he legitimately might be in the +1000 range to finish in the Top 20. Course knowledge is perhaps more important at Augusta National than anywhere else, so seeing the veteran at that number is worth at least a small, small sprinkle this week as a longshot.
The Masters expert picks: Outright winner picks at Augusta National
Justin Thomas (+1400)
It truly seems odd that Justin Thomas has never fully broken through at The Masters before. Sure, he finished outright fourth in 2020 but, outside of that, he’s never been inside the Top 10 in his career. But I’m looking for that to change in a big way this week.
Thomas is first in the field over the last 50 rounds in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and has been just a dynamo with his ball-striking over the past few months. The putter has been an undeniable issue but he has always been prone to erratic play with the flat stick and one good week at Augusta would be enough for him to slip on a Green Jacket. Even better, Iain MacMillan also has Thomas as one of his outright picks this week. Here’s his reasoning.
"Not many people are talking about Justin Thomas heading into this year’s Masters, but he’s been sneakily playing some fantastic golf this season, despite not yet securing a win. He’s finished 6th or better in five of his 10 starts this season, and a poor draw at The Players Championship took him out of contention before he could get going. He ranks second in strokes gained: tee-to-green and third in total strokes gained, and outside of a slight misstep at last year’s event, he’s improved his placing at the Masters every year since his debut. I think he holds the best value amongst the top names on the odds list."
I’m putting a full unit to win on Justin Thomas this week. It’s JT’s time to get that second major and finally bust through the ceiling at Augusta.
Brooks Koepka (+2000)
As mentioned, I’ve been planted on the Brooks Koepka corner for much of 2022 (or at least the past few months and I don’t plan on leaving. He’s found something with his ball-striking over his recent months, including gaining 3.25 strokes on approach in three of his last four outings, the one outlier being the wind-torn PLAYERS Championship. Writing that off as I feel is proper to do, he’s peaking in terms of form and health. Combine that with his prowess when a major is in play and I love this number for Koepka.
Tyrrell Hatton (+5000)
Prior to teeing it up at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, Hatton was statistically trending towards something big. But even in Austin where he lost strokes ball-striking for the week, a recently hot putter and consistent around-the-green play allowed him to advance to the knockout stages. He finished T18 at The Masters last year and has garnered five starts overall, giving him more experience at a place where that’s crucial. Frankly, his odds just look too high to me, so I’m going to chase the value and sprinkle on him this week.
Longshot pick to win The Masters: Talor Gooch (+11000)
While some of the consistency that we were enjoying from Talor Gooch has dissipated in recent tournaments he’s played, the upside remains undeniable. He’s missed two cuts in his last six starts — THE PLAYERS and The Genesis — but has finished T26 or better in the rest of that span, including a T7 at the API.
Gooch’s big weakness lately has been off the tee but the wide fairways and less-than-penal rough at Augusta could nullify that to a degree. The big worry is that he’ll be making his Masters debut but, if we’re taking fliers, you’re likely going to see a lot of that. At 110/1 on WynnBet, I like the odds and form of Gooch to at least make a little noise and have an outside shot to win.