Masters Odds: Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas the Favorites at Augusta
Masters Odds Preview: Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas the Favorites at Augusta
A lot has been made this past week about whether Tiger Woods will or won't play, but aside from that huge story, we have an abundance of great storylines.
Scottie Scheffler will play his first event as World No.1 and will tee it up in a major with his new caddie, Ted Scott for the first time. Ted was on the bag for both of Bubba Watson's Masters victories, so his experience here could prove pivotal. Was it a bad time to become World No.1 though for Scottie? Time will tell, but more on that later.
Elsewhere, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Cameron Smith are all looking for their first Green Jacket, with the latter looking for his first major victory, in his first start since becoming PLAYERS Champion.
Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland will continue to push the "young stars taking over" narrative, while Dustin Johnson will look to win his second Green Jacket and Rory McIlroy his first, as he looks to complete the Grand Slam. Jordan Spieth will also be looking for a second Green Jacket, while Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele will hope to be in the mix come the weekend, for their first major titles.
How To Watch The Masters
Television: Thursday-Friday, 3 p.m.-7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN); Saturday, 3 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS); Sunday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. (CBS)
Stream: On the Range, Holes 4-6, Featured Group coverage, Amen Corner, and Holes 15 & 16 will be available to stream for views in the U.S. only via Masters.com (Starting times include: Thursday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. ET; Saturday-Sunday, 11 a.m. ET)
Masters App: Stream shot-by-shot your favorite players via the Masters app, so you can keep an eye on all your selections, whether they are part of the coverage or not.
Click Here for Masters Winner Odds
Qualifying Criteria for the Masters
Masters Winners (Lifetime exemption)
Major winners (Five-year exemption)
PLAYERS Championship winners (Three-year exemption)
Olympic Gold Medallist (One-year exemption)
U.S. Amateur Championship winner and runner-up (One-year exemption)
The Amateur Championship winner (One-year exemption)
Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship winner (One-year exemption)
Latin America Amateur Championship winner (One-year exemption)
U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship winner (One-year exemption)
Top-12 (including ties) from last year's Masters
Top-4 (including ties) from last year's U.S. Open
Top-4 (including ties) from last year's Open Championship
Top-4 (including ties) from last year's PGA Championship
Individual PGA Tour winners, that award full points toward that year's TOUR Championship between last year's and this year's Masters
Qualifiers for last year's season-ending TOUR Championship
Top-50 in final OWGR standings from the previous year.
Top-50 in final OWGR standings published the week before the current year's Masters.
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Last Year's Masters
Ever since making his debut in this event as an amateur way back in 2011, Hideki Matsuyama had been building towards a major victory, and for it to come at Augusta National was special. The signs were there as well, finishing T27 as an amateur, and then posting finishes of 5-T7-T11-19-T32-T13 before eventually winning here 12 months ago.
Matsuyama won on Sunday, but it was not without stress as he started the day with a bogey and added four more on the back nine, at 12, 15, 16, and 18 to bring Will Zalatoris and Xander Schauffele into contention. Schauffele birdied four straight between the 12th and 15th holes, but then made a triple at the Par-3 16th, the only Par 3 to play under-par all week. Considering Xander finished just three back, that hole was costly.
Zalatoris played admirably, shooting a 2-under 70 to put the pressure on, on Sunday but in the end, Matsuyama made use of the four-shot cushion he had on the field going into the final round.
The weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders that day, as he finally gave Japan its first male major winner in golf, something the country has been desperate for. The media and fandom pressure of being a successful athlete in Japan is huge, and that day he achieved a life goal, that made the rest of his career that little bit easier.
Other notable performances that week included Jordan Spieth who finished inside the top-3 for the fifth time in eight starts, including his 2015 victory, Jon Rahm who shot a final-round 66 to finish inside the top-10 for the fourth-straight year, as well as Corey Conners, Marc Leishman, Tony Finau and Cameron Smith who continue to impress at this layout. Justin Rose who led after round 1, finished 7th to continue his fine form at Augusta, while 2018 winner, Patrick Reed finished in 8th place with Conners.
Masters Event Trends
Nine of the last ten winners of the Masters had either won or finished runner-up in a major previously in their career. The exception is Danny Willett, whose previous best was 6th at the Open Championship a year prior.
Eight of the last ten winners had already posted that major win or runner-up before their FIRST Green Jacket, the exceptions to the rule were Tiger Woods who won his first Masters in 1997, in what was his major debut as a professional, and Danny Willett. Woods had most recently finished T22 and Low Amateur at the 1996 Open Championship, which was his last major before turning pro, and as stated above, Willett had finished 6th at the 2015 Open Championship, and was 2nd thereafter 36-holes, trailing Dustin Johnson by just one shot.
Nine of the last ten winners of this event were under 40, with Tiger Woods the sole exception. Five of the last ten were in their 30s which is the most common age range of winner in this span.
Eight of the last ten winners ranked inside the top-20 in the world rankings, with Hideki Matsuyama and Patrick Reed the exceptions. They ranked 24th and 25th respectively.
Seven of the last ten winners had a previous top-10 around Augusta National. Danny Willett had the worst previous start here before winning in that span, with a best of 38th the year before his victory.
Fuzzy Zoeller was the last debutant to win at Augusta National, and 8 of the last 10 winners had had at least three Masters appearances before their wins. Danny Willett and Jordan Spieth are the exceptions as they both won on their second start.
The average amount of Masters starts among the last 10 winners of this event is 6.1. That includes Sergio Garcia winning on his 19th start, and Spieth and Willett winning on their 2nd start.
Masters Incoming Form (2022)
Here are the top-10 players in adjusted scoring average in terms of current form since the start of 2022:
Cameron Smith - 1-MC-4-33-1
Justin Thomas - 5-20-8-6-33-3-35
Joaquin Niemann - 6-8-1-MC-22-35
Scottie Scheffler - 25-20-1-7-1-55-1
Rory McIlroy - 12-3-10-13-33
Matt Fitzpatrick - 6-10-9-MC-5-18
Viktor Hovland - 30-4-1-MC-4-2-9-33-18
Billy Horschel - 23-36-11-6-16-2-WD-9
Shane Lowry - 12-24-14-2-13-12-35
Max Homa - 15-MC-14-10-17-13-35
Past Masters Champions (Since 2012)
2021 - Hideki Matsuyama (-10) - 1-stroke victory
2020 - Dustin Johnson (-20) - 5-stroke victory
2019 - Tiger Woods (-13) - 1-stroke victory
2018 - Patrick Reed (-15) - 1-stroke victory
2017 - Sergio Garcia (-9) - Playoff victory over Justin Rose
2016 - Danny Willett (-5) - 3-stroke victory
2015 - Jordan Spieth (-18) - 4-stroke victory
2014 - Bubba Watson (-8) - 3-stroke victory
2013 - Adam Scott (-9) - Playoff victory over Angel Cabrera
2012 - Bubba Watson (-10) - Playoff victory over Louis Oosthuizen
The Masters Favorites Odds
Jon Rahm +1100 (Bet $100 to Win $1100)
Jon Rahm is a little off his best at the moment, there is no hiding from that, but it is the putter only that is costing him. If he can find a putting stroke, at a course where putting is notoriously difficult for everyone, he is sure to be involved over the weekend.
Over the past 10 years, Rahm ranks second in this field in terms of course form, among players that have made three starts or more. Only Jordan Spieth has played Augusta more consistently than Rahm in recent years, and after finishing 27th on his debut, Rahm has posted four-straight top-9 finishes here.
Rahm was one of the 36-hole leaders here in 2020 and he sat 4th in 2018 after 54-holes but was six back of Patrick Reed, who was three ahead of the chasing pack.
He clearly needs to get it right on the greens, but outside of his T55 finish at the PLAYERS he has finished no worse than T21 in 2022, despite the glaring weakness, so even at his worst, he is consistent.
Rahm clearly has a point to prove after finally losing his World No.1 status, and he'll be keen to get it back in the biggest way at Augusta.
A worthy favorite, Rahm is now making his sixth start at Augusta, which if history over the past 10 years is anything to go by, could be significant.
Justin Thomas +1400 (Bet $100 to Win $1400)
Justin Thomas' course form was trending in a really pleasing direction ahead of last year's renewal, having posted finishes of 39-22-17-12-4 before finishing 21st a year ago. He was 6th thru 36 holes last year, and while the weekend didn't go the way he wanted, he's clearly served his apprenticeship.
It is very obvious why he's so popular this week, as he continues to show his potential around this golf course, and with Bones and his invaluable experience on his bag, this could be the time he really contends for his first Green Jacket.
Like Rahm, he's a good putting week away, as he ranks 5th in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green, 6th in SG: Approach, and 18th in SG: Around-the-Green since the start of 2022. His putting woes are not as drastic as Rahm's, as Thomas ranks 35th compared to Rahm's 57th in this field.
Thomas is second in this field in Current Form since the start of the calendar year, with only Cameron Smith ranking ahead of him in that span. Important to note though, that Scottie Scheffler is the form man over the pair of them, given his three wins.
Cameron Smith +1600 (Bet $100 to Win $1600)
As mentioned above, Cameron Smith is by the numbers the form man in this field, since the start of 2022, with Scheffler the obvious challenger and probable holder of that title. Smith won the Tournament of Champions to kick off the year and added the PLAYERS Championship victory since.
He has a great track record at Augusta, as he's posted three top-10 finishes in five starts here, including his runner-up finish in 2020, and his fifth and tenth place finishes in more typical positions in 2018 and 2021.
Smith is now ranked sixth in the World Rankings, another leap from his end-of-year ranking of 21st in 2021.
He has a second here and a fourth at the U.S. Open, so he's been in the mix at major championships already, and it is clear to see why he has his supporters, even at what appear to be short odds.
At the price, I still think there's more upside in Justin Thomas but I have to respect the Australian's chances.
Dustin Johnson +1600 (Bet $100 to Win $1600)
With his win in 2020, Dustin Johnson finally got the win his previous Masters form suggested he was capable of, and he will be looking to contend again, as he now comes back without the pressure of being the defending champion.
Over the past ten years, among those that have made at least three starts, only Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have a better-adjusted scoring average here. Johnson was second behind Tiger Woods in 2019, and before then he has three straight top-10 finishes, finishing sixth, fourth, and tenth.
He may not be in the world-leading form that people expect from him, but he played decently well before running into an eventual winner, Scottie Scheffler in the semi-finals of the WGC Match Play and he will be keen to return to the pinnacle of the world rankings and seal his third major victory.
After winning the Masters in 2020, his best major finish is the eighth-place finish he sealed at last year's Open Championship and he will be expecting to start contending in them once again in 2022.
His dip in form of late is probably being overplayed slightly, so while his odds don't look that appealing on the face of it, he has to be respected given his course form and major-winning pedigree.
Scottie Scheffler +1600 (Bet $100 to Win $1600)
Scottie Scheffler is the name on everyone's lips this week, and for good reason. He's now won three times since the start of 2022, after initially struggling to get over the line.
At least a small percentage of this success has to be attributed to his caddie switch, as he welcomed Ted Scott onto the bag late last year, who is a two-time Masters-winning caddie with Bubba Watson. Like Justin Thomas with Bones, Scheffler's relationship with Scott should help him take a step forward at this course, where he's finished T19 and T18 in two starts.
His current form is there for everyone to see, but it is perhaps his previous major pedigree that could be key here. Scheffler, already at the age of 25 has posted top-8 finishes in four of his last five major starts, including his last three straight. His best effort came at Harding Park where he finished T4 in the PGA Championship, where he was T2 and one back going into the final day, shot a 68 and still finished three adrift of Collin Morikawa, who shot a final-round 64.
He will now go into a major championship as a PGA Tour winner for the first time, but it will be with three wins under his belt, including a WGC, such is his sharp ascent.
There's always a stigma against World No.1's at Augusta, but I don't think that is something to phase Scottie. I was seriously tempted to put him up, to make it four wins in eight starts, but I have ultimately gone elsewhere at the top of the board, with this perhaps being a year too early. I think having Ted on the bag expedites his experience here, and he might get there quicker than others, but I have gone with more experience at the top of the board in the end.
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Early Masters Leans
Justin Thomas +1400 (Bet $100 to Win $1400)
I am not ecstatic about the price, but I really do think now is the time for Justin Thomas to win at Augusta, and he definitely needs it at this point of his career.
He has been superb in his still relatively young PGA Tour career to date, securing 14 PGA Tour titles so far. The last of those came in 2021 when he won his biggest regular event, the PLAYERS Championship, and that came eight months after another WGC victory at St Jude.
Thomas has been disappointing in majors since winning the 2017 PGA Championship though. With that said, this shows the level we expect JT to play at, as he had his best finish here to date, with a fourth-place finish in 2020 and he was eighth in the U.S. Open later that year, which again was his best in that major. In 2021, he was pretty average, not finishing better than T19 in a major, but I now think he's got everything set up perfectly for him.
The addition of Jim "Bones" Mackay full time was massive, as he had been on Thomas' bag for the 2018 Sony Open and the 2020 WGC St Jude, and he has brought a wealth of experience with him since they got together in September 2021. This will be the pair's first major together, and with Bones having a front-row seat to Phil Mickelson's three Masters victories and five majors total, he could be a significant factor in Thomas' pursuit for a second major title.
I like the fact Scheffler and Rahm will take a lot of the attention, as will Tiger if he is playing, which should allow Thomas and Bones to go about their business, and Bones may just be worth a half a shot, or even a shot around at Augusta, and that might just be the step forward Thomas needs to break through at a course he's clearly ready to tame.
Brooks Koepka +2000 (Bet $100 to Win $2000)
It's a major, so Brooks Koepka is always going to be considered, and I have seen enough out of him in recent starts to think he can go well here.
He added to his third place finish at the Phoenix Open, where he ranked third in SG Tee-to-Green, with a 16th at the Honda Classic where he ranked 16th in SG Tee-to-Green, and 12th at the Valspar Championship where he again ranked inside the top-20 for SG Tee-to-Green. He's been 7th, 17th, and 6th in those starts in SG Off-the-Tee and with that weapon firing, I like his chances of finding a putting stroke at Augusta and putting it all together.
He's a two-time winner of both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open, and we know he's all about these major championships, and his record in this one is more than respectful as well.
Suffering from injury, Koepka missed his first cut here 12 months ago, but prior to that, he had finished 33rd on debut, before improving with finishes of 21st, 11th, 2nd, and 7th. When 2nd behind Tiger Woods in 2019, he was the 36-hole leader, co-leading on both Thursday and Friday, and was three back going into the final day. A final-round 70 wasn't enough to trump Woods who shot the same score, but that was the first sign that he could really win here.
He played fine at the Match Play last time out, before running into Dustin Johnson in the Quarter-Finals but before that, he'd won all three of his group matches, including a win against Shane Lowry, and he also beat Jon Rahm over 19 holes in the round of 16.
It is a bit of a flier this time around, with the talent level getting deeper, but at 20/1 I still think there's decent value in betting Brooks. It was a toss-up between DJ and Brooks in this spot, and I went with the marginally better value, as I didn't think there was much to separate the two in terms of current form.
Will Zalatoris +4000 (Bet $100 to Win $4000)
This is one I took the longest time over, and it is purely a case of whether I can see Zalatoris making the Masters his first PGA Tour victory. I think back to what I said on podcasts and articles in the past though, and I always say that he can win in any field, on any occasion.
Zalatoris' weakness is very obviously the putter because tee-to-green he's as good as almost anyone in the world, which is why he managed to finish 2nd here on debut.
He also has a 6th place finish at the 2020 U.S. Open and an 8th at the PGA Championship in 2021, and while he was never in real contention at either, he was right in the heat of the battle here 12 months ago and knows what it's like to chase down the leader. He made a great run at it, with Hideki holding a four-stroke lead over Zalatoris and three others going into Sunday, and Zalatoris emerging as the closest challenger from a group of Marc Leishman, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele says a lot.
I don't like to deal in certainties, this is golf after all, but Zalatoris will almost certainly win soon and I see no reason why with his mindset, it cannot be at a major championship. At a course where it is notoriously hard for everyone to putt, his weakness might be mitigated just slightly, which is all he needs. With that said, he putted nicely at the Match Play last time out, and that should have given him some confidence coming into this.
Paul Casey +8000 (Bet $100 to Win $8000)
This is one I have got to keep an eye on, based on his back spasms that kept him from his group-stage matches at the Match Play.
If he is fit though, Casey is perfect for this event, based on his skill set and his course history. Since finishing T6 on debut in 2004, Casey has finished T11 or better five times since. From 2015 to 2017, he finished 6th-4th-6th and while his last three results here are MC-38-26, he has been in good form in majors of late.
In 2021, Casey started his major season with a T26 here, then went on to finish T4 at the PGA Championship, T7 at the U.S. Open, and T15 at the Open Championship to confirm he may well be at the peak of his powers in recent times, despite not winning as often as he should.
His T2 finish at the PGA Championship in 2020, where he was only beat by the brilliance of Collin Morikawa is a really good sign, based on the trends above, and he seems to have served the major apprenticeship that Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia did before him.
His 3rd at the PLAYERS was a helpful reminder of how well he's playing, and if he can prove his fitness before Wednesday, I will feel confident in his ability to contend here.
Si Woo Kim +10000 (Bet $100 to Win $10000)
Si Woo Kim is still an underrated golfer, and I think people forget he is just 26 years old.
Kim is a three-time winner on the PGA Tour, having won the Wyndham, the PLAYERS and the Amex, with the latter coming in 2021, and his scalps in that time have been pretty impressive. In that winning run, he decimated the field at the Wyndham in 2016, where the closest challenger was Luke Donald, at the PLAYERS he held off both Louis Oosthuizen and Ian Poulter, and at the AMEX he shot a 64 on Sunday, despite Patrick Cantlay charging with a 61.
To counter that, he has lost three playoffs, the first two to Aaron Baddeley and Satoshi Kodaira, which isn't great, and the other in a big group playoff between six players at the 2021 Wyndham.
There is an argument to be made that he is a Pete Dye specialist and not much else, but he flashes at different places, and his record in this new season has been strong. He started it with T11 and T8 finishes at the Fortinet and the Sanderson Farms respectively and after a bit of a lean period, he locked back in, with back-to-back T11 finishes at the Amex and the Farmers, before finishing T26 at Bay Hill and T13 at the Valero this past weekend.
At Augusta he's been incredibly consistent, making his last four-straight cuts, after missing the weekend on debut. His 12th last year was his best effort so far, which was largely due to his 69 in round 2, and if he can put together another couple of rounds like that, he could find himself in the hunt.
Kim doesn't fit the mold as a player who has won or finished runner-up in a previous major, and he hasn't top-10'd here either, but I do trust him to be the type to put his foot on the gas if he does find himself near the top of the leaderboard over the weekend, and that's a good trait to have.
He's probably a top-10 play more than a winning bet, realistically, but I like his chances of competing at this number.
The Masters Field
- Abraham Ancer
- Daniel Berger
- Christiaan Bezuidenhout
- Sam Burns
- Patrick Cantlay
- Paul Casey
- Cameron Champ
- Stewart Cink
- Corey Conners
- Fred Couples
- Cameron Davis
- Bryson DeChambeau
- Tony Finau
- Matt Fitzpatrick
- Tommy Fleetwood
- Sergio Garcia
- Lucas Glover
- Talor Gooch
- Austin Greaser
- Stewart Hagestad
- Brian Harman
- Padraig Harrington
- Tyrrell Hatton
- Russell Henley
- Lucas Herbert
- Garrick Higgo
- Harry Higgs
- Tom Hoge
- Max Homa
- Billy Horschel
- Viktor Hovland
- Mackenzie Hughes
- Sungjae Im
- Aaron Jarvis
- Dustin Johnson
- Zach Johnson
- Takumi Kanaya
- Si Woo Kim
- Kevin Kisner
- Brooks Koepka
- Jason Kokrak
- Bernhard Langer
- Kyoung-Hoon Lee
- Min Woo Lee
- Marc Leishman
- Luke List
- Shane Lowry
- Sandy Lyle
- Robert MacIntyre
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Rory McIlroy
- Guido Migliozzi
- Larry Mize
- Francesco Molinari
- Collin Morikawa
- Kevin Na
- Keita Nakajima
- Joaquin Niemann
- Jose Maria Olazabal
- Louis Oosthuizen
- Ryan Palmer
- Thomas Pieters
- James Piot
- Seamus Power
- Jon Rahm
- Patrick Reed
- Justin Rose
- Xander Schauffele
- Scottie Scheffler
- Charl Schwartzel
- Adam Scott
- Laird Shepherd
- Webb Simpson
- Vijay Singh
- Cameron Smith
- J.J Spaun
- Jordan Spieth
- Sepp Straka
- Hudson Swafford
- Justin Thomas
- Erik van Rooyen
- Harold Varner III
- Bubba Watson
- Mike Weir
- Lee Westwood
- Danny Willett
- Matthew Wolff
- Gary Woodland
- Tiger Woods
- Cameron Young
- Will Zalatoris
Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!