The Masters: Betting tips from our guest expert

Our guest golf betting expert from Sports Betting Index gives his five top picks for the Masters.

This week they tee off at Augusta National for the Masters and I have a feeling we are in for a bit of a cracker with many surprises on the way. 

Adam Scott and Rory McIlroy are vying for favouritism and I will stick to my guns of never backing defending champions especially the way he capitulated in Texas two weeks ago and Rory just doesn’t look fully on song to me. 

Phil Mickelson may or may not have a pulled oblique muscle, who knows how bad Jason Day’s thumb is, Bubba may sneeze his way around the azaleas, and Rose doesn’t seem fully fit. 

Matt Kuchar still manages to drop the trophy before getting a single hand on it and Sergio always seems convinced he can’t win a Major.

Even I can’t back course specialist Angel Cabrera despite the fact he gave me a big payday last year as he still seems to be carrying a shoulder injury. 

As I said earlier I think we are in for some surprises so here goes with my five to maybe pull that off. 

The first bet I struck in January antepost when he was doing me a few favours was Marc Leishman and the the way the Australians have done on tour in recent weeks I am pretty glad I have him onside. 

Each victory of late by a player from down under seems to have inspired another great performance – maybe it’s a late kick on from last years Masters as we approach the anniversary but I am sure they will all take heart from Scotts’ win last year. 

Leishman was 4th last year and was bang in contention from the get go and learnt a lot. 

Having opened the season in fine style he went off the boil a bit but a return to Augusta and recet happenings can only be positive 0.25 ew 150/1.

My only other antepost bet has been on Patrick Reed – despite the fact he has to break the debutants hoodoo but if there was ever a player to do so it would be Reed. 

The man is brim full with self confidence and is it any wonder with three wins in his last fifteen events and I can visualise him off the first tee on Sunday dressed like Tiger and ready to go about his business. 

It is not as if he isn’t au fait with Augusta National as he studied at nearby Augusta State and hence was allowed to play the course three times. 

Most debutants are overawed and shoot themselves out of things on day one – I don’t think Reed will 0.4 ew 66/1.

I was surprised to be able to back Jason Dufner at 50/55 this morning as people seem to be concentrating on his poor finishing in events BUT he won twice in 2012 and won his first Major last year. 

To me he has to be a bet at the price based on his performance in US Majors – in his last 11 he has that PGA win and four other top fives. 

He has improved with every start at Augusta has been in consistent if not spectacular form this year. 

If you want a player who will be relaxed in the pressure cooker atmosphere on the back nine on a Sunday then Dufner is your man 0.5 ew 55/1.
I admit it is a bit of a hunch given recent performances but some people just take to Augusta National Now time for a couple of complete rags who could pull off a huge upset this weekend.

Firstly a young South African who reminds me of other young compatriots Immleman, Schwartzel who won and even Oosthuizen who nearly won and that is Branden Grace

After a sensational 2012 he has been a little quiet since and I admit he hasn’t been at his best in the States of late but I don’t think that is much different to his fellow South Africans and they did OK! 

He admitted to being overawed on his debut last year shooting a 78 but he found his feet and shot three rounds under par to climb to a tie for 18th. 

I admit it is a bit of a hunch given recent performances but some people just take to Augusta National 0.15 ew 350/1

Lastly a player who is simply written off most weeks despite three PGA wins in the last three years – Scott Stallings. As an unfashionable player he is available at a simply remarkable price. 

Admittedly the trends say a player had to make the cut last year – well, he didn’t play but he did in 2012 and finished 27th which was pretty impressive as at the time he was carrying a severe injury and could barely swing a club. 

The only reason he played seems to be down to a personal obsession with Augusta and when he won earlier this year and booked his ticket for a second time this week was at the forefront of his mind. 

There does seem a strong tie between Torrey Pines winners and players who do well at the Masters – we all know about Woods and Mickelson but O’Meara, Olazabal and recently Watson enter the equation and even famous debutant Zoeller won there in 1979 which got him into his debut Masters when he won. 

I know its an IF but if he is in contention come Sunday you know you have a player who knows how to win 0.4 ew 300/1.

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