The first signs of spring are in the air, which means the Masters (Apr 7 – Apr 10) is just around the corner. Like most pro golf tournaments at the moment, it might see its narrative overshadowed somewhat by all the talk of breakaway tours backed by Saudi Arabian money. But let’s hope that the only thing we are talking about at Augusta next month is the action on the course.
As you might expect, the likes of Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas lead the betting markets for the Masters right now, but we want to pick out three players below who offer some betting value. This trio certainly has a shot at the Green Jacket, and we think the sportsbooks may have erred in setting their odds for the tournament:
Patrick Cantlay – 20/1
Does the world number three, who arguably has the best form of any player right now, deserve to be listed outside the top ten in the Masters odds? We’d say: probably not. Cantlay has been terrific of late, securing five top-ten finishes in his last seven tournaments. He was named PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2021, and with good reason, as he is finally beginning to consistently deliver on the promise he showed back in the early 2010s. The problem, however, is that his performance in Majors, including the Masters, hasn’t been great. He’s been cut twice, and finished 9th and 33rd in his four appearances since his breakout performance as leading amateur in 2011. Still, Cantlay is still in his 20s, and he looks a different player now from what he was just a couple of years ago. We particularly like the fact that he beat both Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa in playoffs for two of his PGA Tour wins last year, showing he has the mettle to deliver when the pressure is on.
Hideki Matsuyama – 25/1
Only Jack Nicklaus (1965, 1966), Nick Faldo (1989, 1990), and Tiger Woods (2001, 2002) have retained the Green Jacket after winning it the year before, so Hideki Matsuyama is going to have to battle the weight of history if he is to do so this year. However, his price of 25/1 looks far too big for us, and the Japanese star has been in great form of late, winning both the Sony Open and ZoZo Championship in recent months. In fact, his form has been significantly better than it was in the lead-up to the 2021 Masters, so bettors really should not be put off by the fact that players rarely retain the Green Jacket.
Will Zalatoris – 33/1
While golfers are now accustomed to success at an early age, there still seems to be a lot more to come from Will Zalatoris at 25. His sole appearance at the Masters came last year, when he finished 2nd behind Matsuyama. But he has also sparkled in his appearances at the US Open (6th, 2020) and PGA Championship (9th, 2021). He clearly has the appetite for the big occasion and his game is uniquely suited to Augusta’s challenges. The issue might be temperament and shot selection, although both of those qualities will undoubtedly be added to Zalatoris’ armory in the future. He has a very good chance of grabbing a top 5 or top 10 finish this term, which means he offers each-way value to bettors at very decent odds.