The first Masters of the Golf season is almost upon us. We've put together a handy primer, complete with the best golf picks to spot in the coming week.
The Top Favourites
Bubba Watson returns to Augusta this week to defend hi 2014 crown, which he won as a dark horse golf pick last season, matched at +2500 on the US Masters Odds board. Although Bubba Watson has two Green Jackets from Augusta (2012 and 2014) and he is amongst the top favourites of the field this year, priced at +1100 to win outright, which is considerably shorter than his price tag last season, the pressure appears to be entirely on Rory McIlroy, who is the player to beat at +550 in Augusta betting futures. Another player garnering the attention of golf bettors is Jordan Spieth, who came close to winning last year and emerges as the second favourite overall.
The Top 3 Faves To Spot:
Rory McIlroy +550
Jordan Spieth +1000
Bubba Watson +1100
It's a solid list of top favourites without a doubt. But is the champion contained on this shortlist of golf betting favourites or is the champions somewhere outside of the mix?
Rory McIlroy Tops The Field
Golf enthusiasts in the know will recall McIlroy's spectacular final-day meltdown in 2011, blowing a four shot lead to finish for an abysmal 80. Four years on, and the Irishman stands on the threshold of a potentially tumultuous, history-making week in his bid to join a select group of golfing legends to complete career Grand Slams at the Masters.
At 25 years of age, World No.1 McIlroy has accomplished more than most golfers do in a career. The only golfer who accomplished more by the age of 25 is none other than Tiger Woods, who is also competing this week in Augusta and can be backed for a resurgence at the Masters level at a whopping +5000 to win it all.
McIlroy has obviously come a long way since that Augusta nightmare. He's got more experience under his belt and has matured as a player. Still, the burden of expectation and pressure that is on the World No.1 this week is palpable, from the media circus that has surrounded him in the lead up to the sports betting exchanges that expect him to emerge champion. All that can become a difficult distraction to handle, which might then open the door to several other golf betting favourites and dark horses that are floating under the radar.
Can Bubba Watson Defend His Title?
Certainly, Bubba Watson hopes to accomplish the feat. Of course, he has his own pressure to contend with as the defending champion, but it probably pales in comparison to McIlroy's. Indeed, he feels this could be an asset to him as he attempts to successfully defend his title on a course that presents, arguably, his best chance for a Masters. He failed to pull off the feat in 2013, enjoying one his worst turns on the luscious lawns of the private golf club in Augusta, but even that could play to his benefit as he draws lessons from that experience.
Jordan Spieth Almost Won 2014
Jordan Spieth came close to winning the Green Jacket at the 2014 Augusta National. He was enjoying a two shot lead with 11 holes left to play only for it go horribly wrong and finish three shots back of Bubba Watson. As he returns to Augusta this week, he enters the golf betting field as the second favourite to win it all at +1000, but his golf betting odds do seem a bit overzealous.
It's been a good start on the season by the young gun, but not great with three top-10s and a tie for 17th in five starts in 2015. Historical trends are against Spieth winning as well, including the fact that seven of the last ten champions were in their thirties and ten of the last ten champions were aged between 26 and 39.
Form Dark Horses, Outside Picks and Long shots
The following is a list of form dark horses, outside golf picks and a few long shots to spot for your Augusta National betting thrills.
Jason Day +1400
Dustin Johnson +1600
Henrik Stenson +1800
Phil Mickelson +1800
Adam Scott +2000
Matt Kuchar +3300
Rickie Fowler +3300
Jason Day A Value Pick?
Some experts and pundits alike feel that Jason Day, matched at +1400 to win it all, is a value golf pick to spot. For several reasons, some of which hark back to certain relevant golf betting trends that have emerged over the last decade at Augusta National, including his age, which falls neatly into the range of the last ten champions (26-39). The 27-year-old Aussie came close to winning Augusta two years ago only to finish runner-up to Adam Scott, which shows he can handle the course. The important thing, he captured the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and share fourth place a week later in the AT & T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Winning early in the season only adds confidence going into such a prestigious event.
Form Dark Horses and Outside Picks
Dustin Johnson at +1600 is a form dark horse and first outside golf pick some golf enthusiasts are turning to is Dustin Johnson, particularly after his cool win at the WGC-Cadillac. Then there Adam Scott, the 2013 champion who certainly knows his way around Augusta. Phil Mickelson at +1800 strikes an attractive pose. With six second-place finishes by the All American, perhaps this is finally his year to breakthrough at his illusive national championship (which would also see him complete the career Grand Slam mind). Matt Kuchar (+3300) is another long shot pick that is worth considering. He's finished top ten in the past three Masters and has become a fixture on the Augusta National odds board. It's the sort of track record that points to potential success on these luscious lawns and what had him looking like a value golf pick to win it all in 2014. He briefly shared the lead with Spieth before falling short of the mark, tied fifth last year.
Golf Betting Verdict
Whether you are an avid golf bettor or a casual observer that loves the game, you can bet the world's attention will be trained on this prestigious US Masters event. Whichever way you slice the Augusta National, you can set about making your golf picks at any choice online sportsbook with this handy primer.
Obviously, Rory McIlroy is the popular golf pick, but there are several value alternatives to consider. For our money, we like the look of a couple, including Jason Day (+1400) and Phil Mickleson (+1800).
Free Golf Pick: For a long shot sports pick, Matt Kuchar at +3300 strikes a tempting pose for us on the golf odds board.