While Augusta National Golf Club’s maintenance crew scrambles to get the famed course in typical immaculate tournament shape despite the atypical November date, fans can count on the green jacket looking the same. Also a certainty? There will be a lot of gambling interest in the sport’s most-watched event—and we’re here to help. Let’s get to it:
1. Dustin Johnson (12/1)
By Keyur Khamar
Reason to pick: DJ put together one of the great stretches in recent memory, culminating with his Tour Championship/FedEx Cup victory at East Lake. He finished runner-up at Augusta National in 2019 and has finished in the top 10 in each of his past four starts there.
Cause for concern: A WD from the CJ Cup due to a positive COVID-19 test isn't the best news for DJ backers. However, as we've seen with other players this season, four weeks should be more than enough time to return at full strength. Assuming he does (Get better, DJ!), you may even wind up getting better odds on him.
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2. Jon Rahm (12/1)
By Sam Greenwood
Reason to pick: We give the slight edge to DJ (for now), but Rahm seems perfectly suited to slip a green jacket on at some point with his combination of putting and power. And if cooler, drier conditions than usual make scoring more difficult, that only helps his chances.
Cause for concern: This is where we’re supposed to say we’re worried about his infamous temper when things go bad on the course. So since we can’t think of much else, let’s go with that.
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3. Bryson DeChambeau (8/1)
Reason to pick: He’s coming off grabbing his first major title in which he won by six shots at Winged Foot despite some gnarly rough. Imagine what he’ll do at a place known for its lack of thick stuff? Also imagine the lines off the tee he might be tempted to take. Augusta National probably has their tree people on standby.
Cause for concern: As good as DeChambeau has looked and as much as he deserves to be the favorite, 10-to-1 8-to-1 odds is pretty pricey. And there’s the fact he can’t rely on his precious green-reading books at Augusta National.
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4. Patrick Reed (35/1)
Reason to pick: Has any former Masters champ ever gotten such little love from oddsmakers? Well, other than Sergio Garcia. Reed has won a WGC this year and finished T-13 in both majors. Plus, as we saw at the European Tour’s BMW PGA Championship two weeks ago (see photo above), chilly conditions don’t seem to bother him in the least.
Cause for concern: Outside of his 2018 win, Reed has never finished better than T-22 while missing the cut twice in his five other Masters appearances.
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5. Webb Simpson (35/1)
Reason to pick: He’s quietly on another heater with nothing worse than a T-13 in his past five starts and yet he’s only 35 to 1? Even after finishing T-5 at last year’s Masters? Pretty tasty.
Cause for concern: That T-5 is his best major finish since winning the 2012 U.S. Open.
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6. Justin Thomas (14/1)
Reason to pick: A three-time winner last season in which he led the PGA Tour in strokes gained/approach, Thomas is also trending in the right direction at Augusta National where he’s improved his finish position each of his four years.
Cause for concern: He has still never recorded a top 10 at the Masters thanks in large part to being a slow starter there. Thomas has shot over par in the first round in all four appearances. If he can correct that, there’s a good chance things will turn out differently, but for now, there’s better value on the board.
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7. Tiger Woods (25/1)
Reason to pick: THE RETURN TO GLORY!!!
It feels like that happened a decade ago with all that’s gone on the past few months, but that was last year. The defending champ and five-time green jacket winner at 25-to-1 odds? Not too shabby.
Cause for concern: 2020 has been a total disaster for Woods, who has gone 68, T-40, T-37, T-58, T-51, MC in his past six starts and is coming off by far the worst putting season of his career. Last time we checked, you need to have that club working at Augusta National.
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8. Xander Schauffele (16/1)
Reason to pick: This guy is so freaking good, especially in majors as evidenced by his six top-six finishes in 13 career starts. That includes a T-2 as last year’s Masters.
Cause for concern: Unfortunately, though, he’s getting priced like he’s won some of those with that 16-to-1 number. If Xander were 25/1, he’d slide up to the top spot here. But at 16/1 still despite yet another runner-up at the CJ Cup, we’ll keep him right here.
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9. Tyrrell Hatton (40/1)
Reason to pick: One of the hottest players on the planet coming, off arguably the biggest win of his career at the BMW PGA two weeks ago, at 50-to-1 odds? Yes, please! Oh, he’s been upgraded to 40-to-1 odds? Still, yes, please!
Cause for concern: The Brit has posted nothing better than a T-44 in three prior Masters appearances.
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10. Rory McIlroy (12/1)
Reason to pick: Remarkably, this will be the sixth attempt at completing the career Grand Slam for Rory. And while he’s still searching for his first green jacket, he had a streak of five consecutive top 10s at Augusta snapped last year.
Cause for concern: Between that back-nine collapse in 2011 and being beaten head-to-head badly by Patrick Reed in 2018, he’s got some serious scar tissue at Augusta National. And you’re not getting much bang for your buck at 12-to-1 odds.
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11. Louis Oosthuizen (50/1)
Reason to pick: The man with a career runner-up Grand Slam at majors, including a playoff loss to Bubba Watson in 2012, recently finished solo third at the U.S. Open.
Cause for concern: Since that close call eight years ago, Oosthuizen has no other top 10s at Augusta National. And he’s still looking for win No. 1 anywhere in the U.S.
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12. Collin Morikawa (25/1)
Reason to pick: After ranking second in strokes gained/approach last season, he’s already established himself as arguably the best iron player on tour. And he already won one major in cool conditions this year, so why not another?
Cause for concern: He missed his first two cuts to start this season after missing only one cut in his first 31 starts as a pro (but bounced back a bit with a T-12 at the CJ Cup). Oh, and no player making his Masters debut has won since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. That was almost 18 years before Morikawa was born.
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13. Brooks Koepka (16/1)
Reason to pick: After a runner-up last year, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before Brooks adds a green jacket to his collection of major championship trophies.
Cause for concern: That being said, we need a bit more time to evaluate him after an injury-plagued year that saw him skip the FedEx Cup Playoffs and return with a T-28 (out of 78 players) at last weekend’s CJ Cup. Then again, if he starts playing well again before heading to Augusta, you can say goodbye to those odds.