Masters betting guide: Who's flying under the radar at Augusta?
You don’t need me to tell you Dustin Johnson can win his first green jacket this week.
The merest glance at the top of the betting markets will contain all the usual suspects and it’s up to you whether you’re happy with the prices firms are offering.
I’ve already been through my headline picks for the Masters – you can judge me later – but the fun of betting is to find those at the bigger prices that are going to make a run at the year’s first major.
I think I’ve got a trio that you all should consider as you put your cash down over the next day or so…
Paul Casey (50/1)
This price absolutely leaps off the page at me. 50/1? The Englishman has finished fourth and sixth at Augusta the last two years and has two further top 10s.
Not only that, but he’s been playing great golf since making a charge at the FedEx playoffs last August.
A good run at the WGC-Matchplay, where he lost to eventual semi-finalist Hideto Tanihara, only confirms that.
He doesn’t win enough for me but he’s usually around the pace and often finishes fast. Those credentials are perfect for an each-way bet. With some firms playing eight places, Casey is a no-brainer for me.
Alex Noren (100/1)
The world No. 10 is on offer at a three-figure price. Yes, yes, no debut winner since 1979 blah, blah, blah.
It is a fallacy, though, that rookies can’t play well at Augusta. Jordan Spieth was runner-up to Bubba Watson on his debut – a place he shared with another debutant in Jonas Blixt. Jimmy Walker recorded a top 10 on his opening show in 2014 and Daniel Berger finished 10th last year.
Noren, who shot up the rankings with four European Tour wins last season, played well last time out in Austin – reaching the quarter-finals at the Match Play – and looks a very good price if he takes to the Masters.
Bill Haas (100/1)
Tied-20th, tied-12th and tied-24th in the last three years, Haas has shown solid if unspectacular form at the Masters. Is this the year he moves up another level?
At 100/1, I’ll take the chance. Third at the Match Play, he was also tied fourth at the HSBC Champions in October. The FedEx Cup winner can handle a big occasion.
With further top 20s at the Sony Open, CareerBuilder Classic and the Genesis Open, he’s played nicely for most of the season.