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Apr 06, 2022

The Masters Picks, Predictions, Odds

Our VI PGA handicapping experts have compiled their best bets for The Masters, which is set to take place on Thursday, April 7 and ends on Sunday, April 10 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Ga.

It's time for the first major of the 2022 PGA Tour season, and fans were surprised to see 15-time major champion Tiger Woods included in the field for this weekend's event. After a car accident over a calendar year ago, he is testing himself as he tries to return from two broken legs.

At Augusta National, there are several areas to concentrate upon. First, look to Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green. That particular category is super important at this event, as is SG: Putting. It's nice to have a solid Driving Distance, as well as decent accuracy off the tee box, but if you don't have the short game and putting, you're not making it very far at Augusta.

Hideki Matsuyama is the defending championship, with Dustin Johnson winning in 2020, and Tiger getting fitted for the green jacket in 2019. Former winners Patrick Reed (2018), Sergio Garcia (2017), Danny Willett (2016), Jordan Spieth (2015), Bubba Watson (2014, 2012), Adam Scott (2013) and Charl Schwartzel (2011) are all part of the star-studded field, too.

Unless most other tournaments, you might see some faces and hear some names you haven't seen for a while, too. Larry Mize, who won the 1987 Masters in a playoff, is in the field. At +500000 odds, a $1 bet on Mize pays $5,000. Jose Maria Olazabal (+250000), Vijay Singh (+100000), Mike Weir (+150000) and Bernhard Langer (+75000) are a few others blasts from the past, as well as Fred Couples (+100000). Honoring former champs is what makes The Masters that much more special than other events.

  • Patrick Cantlay Top 20 Finish (-115)
  • Tommy Fleetwood Top 30 Finish (-110)
  • Patrick Cantlay Over Russell Henley (-155)
  • Tom Hoge Over Harold Varner III (-110)
  • Jon Rahm Over Scottie Scheffler (-140)
  • Adam Scott Over Marc Leishman (-120)
  • Gary Woodland Over Cameron Young (-120)

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PATRICK CANTLAY TOP 20 FINISH (-115)

Cantlay is an outstanding play, and a dark horse to win it all. In fact, playing Cantlay (+2000) on a small-unit play to win it all isn't a terrible bet. More realistically, a Top 20 finish should easily be in reach, and it's still near even-money.

Cantlay checks off plenty of the boxes for success at Augusta National. He ranks 48th in Driving Distance at 304.4 yards across 18 measured rounds. In addition, he is strong in the short game, ranking 16th in SG: Around-the-Green (.455), while checking in second on the PGA Tour in Birdie Average (5.23). He is also ninth in Scoring Average (69.949), and he ranks a solid 21st in SG: Putting (.535), too.

While he missed the cut at The Masters last year, he was an outstanding ninth in the 2019 installment, checking in with a 10-under 278. That includes an amazing third-round 64.

TOMMY FLEETWOOD TOP 30 FINISH (-110)

Like Cantlay, Fleetwood checks off plenty of boxes for success at Augusta, too. While he isn't a tremendous banger off the tee, knocking it out at 'just' 298.6 yards per drive to rank 100th, he is still 16th in Scoring Average (70.088). That's because he is outstanding in the short game, ranking second on Tour at .609, and he is 27th in SG: Putting, while checking in 28th in SG: Total.

The 31-year-old Englishman has finished 22nd or better in three straight events since missing the cut at The Honda Classic, and he has made the cut in five of his seven PGA Tour events, and seven of eight events overall, including two cuts made on the EURO Tour.

Fleetwood finished 19th at Augusta National last season, and he would have been even better if not for a final-round 74 to send him tumbling down the charts. He also made the cut in his previous appearance in 2019, with another final-round 74, and he was 17th in 2018, with, you guessed it, a final-round 74.

PATRICK CANTLAY OVER RUSSELL HENLEY (-155)

We touched on the reasons Cantlay has the tools for success at Augusta National, but he has been red-hot lately, too. He has four Top 10 showings in six tournaments so far this season. While he missed the cut in what is referred to as the unofficial fifth major, The PLAYERS Championship, he lost in a playoff at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and he was fourth at both the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii back in January.

Henley has made the cut in all 11 of his events in the 2022 season, and he was 13th at The PLAYERS Championship, including a final-round 68 to surge up the leaderboard on the final day. However, he has just two Top 10 showings. This is his first appearance at The Masters since 2018, and he was 15th in that season, including a final-round 67. While Henley has made the cut in each of his past four Masters appearances, finishing 21st or better in each, Cantlay is playing much better golf this season, and he'll edge out the 32-year-old.

TOM HOGE OVER HAROLD VARNER III (-110)

Hoge has been steady on the Tour this season. He doesn't necessarily do one particular thing above average, but he also doesn't struggle in many areas, either.

Hoge isn't a big hitter off the tee, but he is still a respectable 17th in Scoring Average (70.092), while checking in 26th in SG: Total and 7th in SG: Approach the Green.

Varner is a little longer off the tee at 300.4 average yards, but he is terribly inaccurate, hitting just 229 of a possible 429 fairways, good for just a 53.38% Driving Accuracy Percentage, and he is 137th in Greens In Regulation (GIR), which won't cut the mustard at Augusta. Toss in the fact he ranks 97th in SG: Putting, and he isn't terribly attractive from a betting perspective. Varner has missed the cut in three of his past seven events, and he withdrew at the Houston Open, too. It's been hit or miss, as he did have a sixth-place finish at The PLAYERS Championship, but it's been more miss than hit. Hoge has been much more dependable.

JON RAHM OVER SCOTTIE SCHEFFLER (-140)

While Rahm finished just 55th at The PLAYERS Championship, scuffling with a final-round 77, he has still finished 21st or higher in six of his past seven events, with three Top 10s, and two showings of third or higher. He was a runner-up at the Sentry TOC in Hawaii back in January.

Rahm was seventh in the 2020 Masters, and fifth in the 2021 installment, while finishing ninth in the 2019 event. He is knocking on the door for a green jacket.

Scheffler won at Bay Hill, but was 55th at The PLAYERS Championship, including a final-round 76. He has wins in two of his past four events, and he is 19th or better in each of his two showings at The Masters. However, Rahm is the No. 2 ranked golfer in the OWGR, and he has a chance to win the whole ball of wax this weekend. He is the chalk (+1100) for a reason, and worth playing lightly.

ADAM SCOTT OVER MARC LEISHMAN (-120)

The Australian Scott is a former champion (2013), and he has made the cut in seven of his eight PGA Tour events this season, including a fourth-place showing at The Genesis Invitational. Yes, he wet the bed at The PLAYERS Championship, burying himself early with an opening-round 78, but he still has four Top 10 finishes this season, including a pair of Top 10s in the United Arab Emirates on the EURO Tour.

Leishman also missed the cut at TPC Sawgrass, as he had an ugly 68th-place showing at Bay Hill previously. He does have four Top 20 finishes in his past eight outings, but he isn't a threat to do much this weekend. Perhaps a stop at Augusta will rejuvenate Leishman, who was 13th in the 2020 installment, and fifth in 2021. He didn't do much in the 2019 version, but was also ninth in 2018. He has made the cut in five straight Masters since missing in 2016.

GARY WOODLAND OVER CAMERON YOUNG (-120)

Woodland ranks 90th in the OWGR, so perhaps he is off everybody's radar a little bit, but that's a mistake.

Woodland checks in 14th in Driving Distance at 312.7 yards, and he is ninth on Eagles, and that could be a feather in his cap this weekend. While he is just 42nd on Tour in Scoring Average (70.509), he is a solid 29th in SG: Approach the Green, and a respectable 40th in SG: Putting (.334). Add in the fact he is 38th in SG: Tee-to-Green, and 31st in SG: Total, and there isn't one area where he really struggles.

Young is also a banger off the tee. In fact, he is second at 319.6 yards per slap. But he is dismal in SG: Around-the-Green, and he ranks 143rd in GIR with a 65.56%, while managing to hit just 326 of a possible 560 fairways, good for 58.21%.

Woodland is far more consistent than Young, and he is coming off an eighth-place showing at the Valero Texas Open last weekend. Oh, and Woodland is also riding a high after watching his alma mater, University of Kansas, win the national championship in basketball, so he'll be walking with his chest puffed out a little.

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