Who’s played in six tournaments since the middle of March. Who missed the cut at the last major, the U.S. Open in September. Whose surgically repaired back he wishes “could be good all the time.”
Wagering on Woods to win this week’s Masters might be as difficult as putting on an Augusta National green.
Let’s help your read.
Since the PGA Tour returned in mid-June, 12 members of our staff have been making three $100 bets — to win, top 10 and a prop bet of choice – on each tournament. The leaders of that game, Jessica Marksbury and Josh Sens, along with yours truly, discuss why Woods will win the Masters, and why Woods won’t. At +3,000 odds on the new Chirp Golf app (which is available in the App Store and at Google Play), Tiger is tempting.
Why Tiger Woods will win the Masters:
Marksbury: Is there any modern player with a better record at Augusta National? THIRTEEN top-6 finishes since 1997, including five wins? Simply incredible. The lesson here is that you can never, ever count Tiger out. He knows how to prepare for the Masters like no one else, and will be dangerous for years to come, regardless of his form in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
Sens: Because it’s Tiger at Augusta. In the game today, there is no better pairing of person and place.
Piastowski: Breaking! If you’re deciding among players, go with the one who’s won 15 majors. Tiger knows how to get it done more than any player in the field. (And as he left his last event, the Zozo Championship, he said he “rolled it great.” That alone might be worth at least a small bet.)
Why Tiger Woods won’t win the Masters:
Marksbury: I love to see Tiger contend and win as much as anyone. But I also have to be realistic, and reality hasn’t given us any indication that Tiger is ready to defend at Augusta. The magic of last fall has faded significantly — sadly, his T37 at the PGA Championship is his best finish since the re-start, and his more recent MC at the U.S. Open and T72 at Sherwood (one of his favorite venues!) don’t exactly inspire confidence for his prospects this year. Though it pains me to say it, the Big Cat will be hard-pressed to even see the weekend at Augusta, let alone contend to win again.
Sens: Because, as impressive and inspirational as his win last year was, all the stars had to align for it to happen, including shocking water balls by other top players heading down the stretch. Granted, this is Tiger, so anything is possible. But let’s also remember: Last year, he came into the tournament among the favorites. This year, Vegas doesn’t even have him in the top 10, and rightly so.
Piastowski: As hard as it is for maybe some to admit, 20s and 30s Tiger isn’t walking through that door anytime soon. Father Time is undefeated, even for a 15-time major winner.
On to our staff’s Masters picks:
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($9,309)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +800. Yeah, he’s the favorite, so not a huge stretch. But I’m all-in on the BDC hype this week.
Top 10: Bubba Watson, +300. Bubba’s a two-time champ who has been playing well this year. A top 10 this week feels right.
Prop: Will Bryson DeChambeau have any 400+ yard drives during the tournament? No, +100. Given the wet conditions we’re likely to see this week, I like the odds on this one.
Josh Sens ($8,488)
To-win: Dustin Johnson, +1,200. Betting the chalk is generally a bad idea in golf, I think. Better to go with one of the longer shots on these to-win wagers. But DJ is long past due at Augusta, and he’s been playing so darned well. There’s no way he’s not in the mix down the stretch on Sunday.
Top 10: Jason Day, +275. At the Memorial, Day talked about feeling more comfortable in a fan-less environment. It showed there. It showed at the PGA Championship at Harding. And I suspect it will benefit him this week at Augusta, a course that has always seemed to suit him.
Prop: Which Masters winner will have the best finish (out of Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods or Adam Scott?) I’ll take Adam Scott for plus 400, Alex.
Nick Piastowski ($6,143)
To-win: Hideki Matsuyama, +3,500. He looked REAL good last week. It’s finally his time to win a major.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, +110. Such a little payout, but it’s going to happen. I was thisclose to making him my pick to win, so I’ll go with him for the top 10 then.
Prop: Will Jordan Spieth hit a shot into Rae’s Creek? Yes, +2,000. And then he’ll hole out the next shot.
Jonathan Wall ($5,778)
To-win: Tony Finau, +2,800. He’s going to win a major at some point in his career. You can’t convince me otherwise. This is the week the dam finally breaks.
Top 10: Jason Day, +275. Bet Day to miss the cut last week — and he finishes T7. Lesson learned.
Prop: What company logo will be on the front of the winning golfers headwear, Nike, +200. Taking Finau. Obvious choice.
Sean Zak ($5,102.30)
To-win: Jason Day, +5,000. We’ve seen him come plenty close. I like the juice!
Top 10: Justin Harding, +2,200. Let’s keep the train rolling from his T12 last year at Augusta.
Prop: Will Jordan Spieth hit a shot into Rae’s Creek? Yes, +2,000. Feels obvious, right?
James Colgan ($3,976)
To-win: Rory McIlroy, +1,200. He isn’t on a heater. He hasn’t won any tournaments in 2020. If he’s made a change to his game, it’s that he can now comfortably reach 190 mph ball speed with his driver. But even then, he isn’t too keen on using it regularly. In short, for the first time in years, there’s no good reason to pick Rory McIlroy this week. But maybe the lack of a coherent narrative actually helps. With no external pressure or significant attention paid to him, I think Rory is poised for a Masters breakthrough.
Top 10: Matt Wolff, +350: Oh how quickly we forget that Matt Wolff turned in a pair of stellar performances at the two majors preceding this one. The 21-year-old might have a bit to go before he’s sliding on his first green jacket, but after Winged Foot, I swore to myself that I wouldn’t bet against him again.
Prop: Will any top 10 player hit a shot into Rae’s Creek, yes, +300: A player in contention hits a shot into Rae’s Creek at seemingly every Masters. These odds are too good to miss.
Andrew Tursky ($3,050)
To-win: Rickie Fowler, +7,000. With so much hype about driver distance coming into this year’s event, it’d only be right that a player who uses a particular short driver build will win it. Fowler pulls a Sergio Garcia this year and wins his first at Augusta National.
Top 10: Patrick Reed, +550. How quickly we forget that Reed won here just two years ago, and he’s been playing decently well this season, with a T13 (U.S. Open) and T14 finish (Zozo) so far. Reed knows the course, and surely he has some good vibes here. I like a solid top-10 showing from Reed this week.
Prop: Will Jordan Spieth hit a shot into Rae’s Creek, yes, +2,000. Any golfer in the field is at risk of hitting a shot into Rae’s Creek, but Spieth especially has some demons to face. With this much value, I’m willing to give this bet a shot. Sorry, Spieth.
Zephyr Melton ($2,975)
To-win: Bubba Watson, +3,300. Bubba is having a sneaky-good start to his 2020-21 campaign, already with two top 10s under his belt. Plus, we all know about his history around Augusta. Love me some Bubba golf this week.
Top 10: Justin Harding, +2,200. This pick is a little off the wall, but I’m trying to make a comeback in the final week of this thing. Harding made a memorable putt on the 18th last year to secure his start this week, and I like him to play more solid golf this time around.
Prop: Will a previous Masters winner be the champion, yes, +3,000. See my pick above for who I think will win. I’m double-dipping with this prop.
Josh Berhow ($2,899)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +1,200. He’s been trending in the right direction every year he’s played the Masters (39th, 22nd, 17th and 12th) and ranked second in approach the past two years. He’s a ball-striking savant and that’s one of the keys to Augusta, but he just has to putt a little better. I’m predicting he gets hot this week.
Top 10: Jon Rahm, +125. Top 10s in his past two Masters starts. He’s going to be a threat here for years to come.
Prop: Will Jordan Spieth hit a shot into Rae’s Creek, yes, +2,000. I feel like such a terrible person taking this one, but Spieth’s past couple of years have been a roller coaster, and the same can be said for his weekly tournament rounds. Crazier things have happened.
Tim Reilly ($2,350)
To-win: Dustin Johnson, +1,200. After a two-week hiatus, DJ returned to action, and his game looked sharp. DJ had a close call at the PGA Championship, and this week, he gets the job done at Augusta National. The in-house tailor can get to work now on stitching up a green jacket with arms long enough for DJ.
Top 10: Jordan Spieth, +500. There’s nothing quite like a Spieth Masters roller coaster ride. I don’t care what his game looks like elsewhere. Augusta National brings out the best (and worst) in Spieth. Look for him to make an appearance near the top of the leaderboard and then settle into a Top 10 spot on a course he plays extremely well.
Prop: Will Jordan Spieth hit a shot into Rae’s Creek, yes, +2,000. While I have Spieth slated for a Top 10 finish, a fatal splash is what helps keep him away from making a serious push at winning.
Alan Bastable ($960)
To-win: Bubba Watson, +2,800. Three-time Masters champion Bubba Watson? Believe it, people. It’s about to go down. After a rough mid-summer stretch, Watson has been showing signs that he’s ready to break out, including top-10s in his past two starts.
Top 10: Justin Rose, +450. Weirdly unsteady 2020 accounts for his tasty odds. But I like what I saw from Rose’s three 67s at the Zozo. Fully expect a strong week from him in a tourney where he has two runner-ups since 2015.
Prop: Will a previous Masters winner win the tournament, yes, +3,000. Love, love, lovvvvvve this bet. Bubba, Scotty, Tiger, Zach, P-Reed — the list of viable threats goes on and on.
Dylan Dethier ($750)
To-win: Jason Day, +5,000. He might not be the most likely player to win, but damn — at this number?! Day’s been really good, and he might not mind a fan-free environment. Look for him to contend.
Top 10: Sebastian Munoz, +1,100. This bet will singlehandedly bring me past Bastable. Sebastian Munoz has the game. He’s played well. It’s time he puts it together at a major championship.
Prop: Will Tiger Woods finish in the top 10, yes, +400. Tiger Woods is still a fantastic irons player, and this is Augusta National. He’s got a great chance to finish inside the top 10.