Masters betting guide: 9 picks our gambling expert loves this week

Xander Schauffele of the United States plays a shot on the 11th hole during a practice round prior to the 2024 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 08, 2024 in Augusta, Georgia.

Our expert likes Xander Schauffele's chances this week.

Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Masters, which gets underway Thursday in Augusta, Ga. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

It always feels like a long wait but I guess that is part of what makes it special when it shows up on the calendar yet again. Yes, early April has returned and it is Masters Week 2024. On Thursday, 89 golfers will renew this glorious, annual tradition, playing the 88th edition of this historic major championship at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

Since the birth of LIV Golf in the summer of 2021, the world of professional golf has been a tumultuous one to say the least. But for a week in Augusta, Georgia, amongst the dogwoods, azaleas, and Rae’s Creek, all feels well again. A calm, a joy, a rebirth, a respect — and we can have ourselves a banger of a competition while the politics of golf are held in confinement for four wonderful days.

Not much introduction to this golf course is needed as it is one of the most widely recognizable sites in all of sports. I will tell you that in a continuous effort to keep up with the changes in the game, Augusta National has been stretched to over 7,550 yards for this year’s tournament. We know that distance off the tee is needed. Taking advantage of the par-5’s is probably a requirement for winning. Iron play must be exquisite, working approach shots in both directions, hitting off of uneven lies, and not only hitting greens in regulation but hitting them in the proper quadrants. Then there is the magical creativity and short game. It is power, execution, mental toughness, artistry, and often times, the inexplicable, all at the same time, and that it is why the golf course remains one of the greatest all-around tests we ever see. 

We always go over the correlated courses and we will again here in a moment but I also want to note from a handicapping perspective, course history here at the Masters is the strongest of any course on Tour. Those that play this course well or have over the years tend to do so more here than anywhere else. Case in point: Tiger Woods winning in 2019, 53-year-old Phil Mickelson finishing second last year, 63-year-old Fred Couples opening with a one-under-par round and making the cut. Against all odds, Masters veterans know how to get around this course. Along these same lines, experience matters. For decades, an average of six visits to this tournament were needed before a win was likely. Players have to get used to this place, along with the pressure. That number has changed to more like three or four visits now, but the fact remains that figuring out the Augusta National puzzle before slipping on a green jacket is real. The year 1979 was the last time a player won here in his debut.

2024 Masters odds: Last week’s runner-up is this week’s long shot pick at Augusta National
By: Kevin Cunningham

Nothing is really too much like Augusta National but there are a few courses at which we see a great deal of crossover success. Riviera Country Club, home to the Genesis Invitational, where a nifty short game is needed and iron shots must be played in different directions. The Plantation Course at Kapalua, where the season begins at The Sentry, features wide fairways, uneven lies, and massive greens that produce a number of similar players having success. And finally, The Old Course at St. Andrews, which served as inspiration for Bobby Jones and Alister MacKenzie when they built Augusta. Other courses we see worthy of comparison are Torrey Pines, The Renaissance Club, Memorial Park in Houston, and Narashino Country Club in Japan.

The odds to win the next Masters Tournament appear on the board not long after the current version is complete, so there is often a big discrepancy in numbers. Some of these plays have been made this week, while others, I placed months ago.

Xander Schauffele (18-1)

I made this play last Sunday and currently, I’ve seen Schauffele as low as 12-1. I don’t mind anything at 14-1 or better. I also played Schauffele to finish top 10 at +125. Schauffele is off to a great start in 2024 with six top-10 finishes, including a 10th at Kapalua and a fourth-place finish at Riviera. He has a win at The Renaissance Club and also at Narashino. In three of his last five trips to the Masters, he’s finished 10th, third, and runner-up. In the statistics I looked at this week, he even tops world No. 1, Scottie Scheffler, ranking no worse than 19th in any category I considered over the last 36 rounds.

Jordan Spieth (22-1)

Here is a number I bet a little while back, you might be able to find it currently closer to 25-1. Spieth’s record at the Masters is incredible. In 10 trips, he’s finished top 5 six times, including a win. He has distance off the tee, iron play, and a short game that always seems to find a new gear when he steps foot on the grounds. He is coming off of a top-10 finish in San Antonio and what I like especially about that performance is how he performed off the tee. Spieth’s driving inaccuracy is neutralized by the wide fairways at Augusta National but in Texas, he ranked fourth in the field for SG: Off the Tee and was 15th in Driving Accuracy. He was also 18th in last week’s field for SG: Approach and 37th for SG: Putting. Despite some of his inconsistency this season, those are all good signs for me coming into this week. Note that I also played Spieth to finish top-20 this week along with the following outright selections.

Jordan Spieth at the 2024 Valspar Championship. Getty Images

Will Zalatoris (28-1)

Here is another player that I bet to win the Masters a while ago, for which a better number is currently available. In two trips to the Masters, Zalatoris has finished sixth and runner-up. He has plenty of distance off the tee and is one of the game’s finest iron players. Even with just a few years on Tour, his record in major championships is already tremendous. He has cooled off a bit in the last few weeks but was runner-up at Riviera and took fourth at Bay Hill. His putting has improved since moving to the broomstick-style putter and if his putting is positive this week, he’ll be in the conversation.

Hideki Matsuyama (29-1)

I played the former Masters champ last week during his fine showing in San Antonio but this number has come crashing down, to below 20-1 in some spots. Anything in the 20s is fine by me. A winner at Riviera back in February, Matsuyama has been on a tear, finishing 1-12-6-7 in his last four starts. The only concern with him are the often circulating rumors of injury, but otherwise he is a wonderful fit for this golf course. His SG: Tee to Green ranking over the last 36 rounds is second only to Scottie Scheffler and he’s No. 1 in this field for SG: Around the Green

Joaquin Niemann (31-1)

2024 Masters viewer’s guide: Tee times for rounds 1 and 2, TV schedule, streaming
By: Kevin Cunningham

Pretty much a widely available number as far as I can tell at this point and I believe it to be good value for a player that ranks top 10 in the world in my mind. His ranking in the OWGR has plummeted because Niemann resides on the LIV circuit. However, on that LIV circuit, he has two wins already this season and finished top-10 last week at Doral Miami. He has all of the necessary Augusta tools: length, iron play, and short game, and I love his progressively better Masters results of 69-40-35, and 16th last year. Finally, Niemann won at Riviera in 2022 and has lost in a playoff and finished fifth in his career at Kapalua. The young Chilean checks as many boxes as anybody.

Tony Finau (47-1)

I’ve seen this number as low as 33-1 as of late but I believe prices in the 40s are still widely available. We know Finau is a Torrey Pines machine, he lost in a playoff at Riviera, and has two top 10s and a top 5 at the Masters. He is also a winner at Memorial Park in Houston and is coming off of a runner-up finish there just three weeks ago. It may not necessarily jump off the page, but Finau might be playing the best golf of his career this season. He is sixth on Tour in SG: Tee to Green and in Par-5 Scoring. He is seventh for SG: Approach and ranks top-20 for Hole Proximity from 200+ yards. However, after seeing his putting improve a great deal last year, it has slipped dramatically this season. We’ve seen below average putters win the Masters before. If Finau can just be decent with the flatstick this week, the rest of his game should carry him well into contention, if not a career-making victory.

Shane Lowry (70-1)

The consensus number on the Irishman is probably around 55 or 60-1 and I’m okay with that. We must remember that only 89 players are in this field, many of whom are former champions, debutants, and amateurs that to a large degree, can be cast aside. The truth is, there are probably only roughly 40 players in this field who have a realistic chance of winning, and some folks may argue that it is fewer than that. So Lowry, a former major champion and known big-game hunter, is a pretty nice buy at a relatively big number in my opinion. He has four straight top-25 finishes at the Masters and comes off of a Florida swing in which he finished 4-3 and 19th. He too has all of the tools to win at this golf course, ranking sixth in this field over the last 36-rounds for SG: Approach and SG: Tee to Green. He’s 15th on Par 4s of 450-500 yards, 10th in SG: Par 5s, and 30th for SG: Around the Green.

Remember, I played each of these guys for an outright win. Schauffele for a top-10 finish as well and each of the others for a top-20 finish too. Here are a couple of bonus picks, because after all, it’s the Masters.

Full Tournament Head-to-Head Matchups

Jordan Spieth (-125) over Brooks Koepka

Joaquin Niemann (-120) over Wyndham Clark

Who Chirp users like this week

Chrip user favorites for the Masters. Chirp

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