The PGA Tour is making its second stop at Augusta National in five months and we're celebrating the occasion by looking at the odds and making our 2021 Masters betting predictions!
The 85th Masters Tournament will be played from April 8 to 11 at the famed Augusta National Golf Club in Northeast Georgia. With the NCAA Tournament ending and bettors looking for the next huge sporting event to wager on, the week of The Masters is a busy one for online sportsbooks in New Jersey and several other states where wagering is legal.
Betting sites respond to betting interest with a huge range of markets to choose from, and we are going to explore a few of them as we offer some Masters picks.
2021 Masters Betting Preview | Augusta National Key Stats
Augusta National was founded and designed by the legendary Bobby Jones, with the first Masters Tournament being played in March 1934. The comparatively small field of 92 players adds to the allure of the event.
Since its inception, The Masters has become the most prestigious event in professional golf and is something of a four-day spectacle that takes place amid a gorgeous backdrop. From azaleas and magnolia trees to Ike's Pond, Rae's Creek, and Amen Corner, the setting is as beautiful as the course is demanding.
Augusta measures nearly 7,500 yards and plays to a par of 72. The course is lined with doglegs and tree-lined fairways while several holes on the back nine also have to deal with water including all of Amen Corner.
There are many statistical categories that could carry weight in this event. The list includes but is not limited to the following key stats for Augusta National:
- Strokes Gained: Tee To Green
- SG: Approach
- SG: Off The Tee
- Par 5 Birdie Or Better Percentage
- SG: Around The Green
The approach game is vital to success on the PGA Tour, but perhaps even more so at Augusta. This is a second-shot course and knowing the greens are going to be a challenge, the iron play into the putting surfaces is key. When greens are missed, being able to get up-and-down will be another thing that separates the competition.
The four Par 5s are great scoring opportunities and gaining strokes with birdie or better is one recipe for success. There is nothing wrong with shooting about even for the week on the Par 4s if you're going low on the Par 5 holes.
The sloping Bentgrass greens at Augusta are protected by plenty of bunkers and run famously fast. There are multiple tiers, undulating surfaces, and many three-putts out there to be had if you aren't careful. Anyone who wins this event will have to conquer Augusta's greens to an extent and avoid the bogeys that can push them out of contention.
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For more information about placing betting on this event, visit our Masters betting guide!
2021 Masters Betting Picks
One thing to note is that it is extremely unlikely that a first-timer wins this event, as it hasn't happened since 1979. There have been exceptions but most of the time, the cream rises to the crop and you don't need to look too far down the odds board when picking outright winners.
On top of a player's statistical profile, their course history, and the odds, it's always important to consider recent form when betting on golf. Taking everything into account should help bettors find a few players to focus on, and perhaps some are better finishing position wagers than outright winners.
Because The Masters is one of the few events that is played at the same location every year, players who are familiar with the course's many challenges tend to perform better. An added (but familiar) layer of tension and pressure as a limited number of fans will be allowed behind the ropes, and that could play a role also.
Consider the following in one form or another for your 2021 Masters betting predictions (odds are from DraftKings on April 1):
- Justin Thomas Outright (+1100 at DraftKings), Top 10 (+125 at FanDuel)
The odds are pretty low but his name can't be skipped. The 2017 PGA Champion just added a Players Championship trophy to his mantle and he could be primed for a run at the green jacket this year.
The No. 2 ranked player in the world is an elite approach player, a wizard around the greens, and he's the best player on tour this season when it comes to birdie or better percentage.
Thomas has improved every year at Augusta, finishing T-39th, T-22nd, T-17th, T-12th, solo 4th in his five tries. If that trend continues, he'll be right there on Sunday. If you aren't into the outright wager, go big with a top 10 bet and leave some margin for error.
- Xander Schauffele Outright (+2600 at DraftKings), Top 20 (-110)
Schauffele is the equivalent of a big-game pitcher in baseball. He lives for the pressure that these events bring and he'll be one of my picks until he does it.
The statistical profile is too good to pass up. Schauffele's tee-to-green numbers are among the best and he specializes in the approach game, around the greens, and with his putter.
He hasn't missed a cut in a major since his very first in 2017 and in the time since he's notched 10 top-20s, seven top-10s, and five top-fives. Xander went T-2nd in 2019 and T-17th in November, so we think he's also good for another top 20 in addition to the outright bet.
- Webb Simpson Outright (+3500 at DraftKings), Top 20 (+125 at FanDuel)
You don't hear much about Webb Simpson compared to other big-time players but we're happy to fly under the radar, as his odds are a bit too low in our minds.
Statistically, it's a down year in some categories and perhaps that is why Simpson is being skipped over. But the long-term numbers speak in his favor, and he's a factor at Augusta. Webb has played this event every year since 2012 and has had his best performances in the last three tries (T-20th, T-5th, T-10th).
Simpson has been one of the best around-the-green and approach players on tour for years coming into this season. He's turned himself into one of the best putters around and this season, he ranks first in bogey avoidance. This is another top-20 wager to keep in mind as well.
- Abraham Ancer Top 30 (+155 at FanDuel)
Ancer was a player we bet on for a top-30 finish in November, and he really delivered. He was among the leaders going into Sunday and despite a tough round, he still managed a top-20 finish. It was his best performance in a major to date, and we think he can accomplish a similar feat this time around.
We like Ancer because he finds both fairways and greens consistently. With so many players sure to be scrambling to get up-and-down from off the putting surface, this is a huge advantage. Dustin Johnson won the event and hit the most greens in the field. Who came in second? Ancer, and he was in contention until Sunday.
- Victor Perez Top 40 (+120 at FanDuel)
Those who have been watching the tour recently know plenty about what he's capable of. Though he's an excellent putter, Perez's season-long statistics wouldn't point to a huge Masters performance. This is more of a play on his recent form, which features a top 10 at The Players and a semifinals appearance at the WGC match play event.
Anyone who makes the cut has a decent shot at the top 40 and Perez finished two shots out of this position in his Masters debut in November. With a little bit of Augusta experience under his belt, we just need him to make the cut and put himself in a similar position, just with some improvement.
2021 Masters Golf Best Bets (Odds Courtesy Of FanDuel & DraftKings)
- Justin Thomas To Win (+1100), Top 10 (+140)
- Xander Schauffele To Win (+2600), Top 20 (-110)
- Webb Simpson To Win (+3500), Top 20 (+125)
- Abraham Ancer Top 30 (+155)
- Victor Perez Top 40 (+120)
- Tournament Matchups: Viktor Hovland (-120) vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick
- Top Debutant: Will Zalatoris (+110)
We will continue to add and update selections until players tee off on Thursday, so check back throughout the week once all of the 2021 Masters Tournament odds are posted!
Photo Credit: Associated Press