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Scottie Scheffler, who donned his Green Jacket in 2022, hopes to become only the fourth golfer ever to win repeat Masters titles. PIC: Getty Images
"A tradition unlike any other" hosts its 87th rendition in Augusta, Georgia this weekend.
As if The Masters isn't entertaining enough during its normal playings, 2023's edition certainly doesn't lack storylines. For the first time ever, we'll see players in the field from two marquee professional leagues; both PGA and LIV Tour players - or, as Twitter loves to call it, the "Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys" - will compete together after months of speculation on whether or not LIV players would be permitted. Five-time winner Tiger Woods, who battled years of major injuries and personal hardships, made the cut with essentially one working leg, and will look to compete for his sixth. Phil Mickelson, who put on the jacket three times, will play this week. And the reigning champion, Scottie Scheffler, looks to join historic company if he can repeat.
Will already gave you some long-shots. Here's a look at some other picks for this weekend. (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook - use code BBB to receive $200 in bonus bets when you place $5 bets on anything!)
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Win: Scottie Scheffler +650 (BOOSTED TO +950)
Yes, it's an extremely unsexy pick given his recent wins. But there is no denying Scottie Scheffler's ranking of #1 golfer in the world. Scheffler is without question the most on-fire golfer on the Tour (to clarify, the PGA Tour...can't believe we've come to this), and to suggest he's due for a loss is simply not great strategy. Oddly enough, even the betting favorite isn't getting the looks he deserves. With a win, Scheffler would become only the fourth golfer ever to repeat Masters victories - Jack Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90), and Tiger Woods (2001-2002).
Win: Rory McIlroy +700 (BOOSTED TO +1000)
Experts are bullish on McIlroy's momentum coming into Augusta this week. He's currently #2 in the world golf rankings, having started off 2023 with a bang with a win at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic. Of course, the obvious storyline would be making PGA Tour history - a Masters win would make McIlroy the 6th player ever to win the career Grand Slam (Masters, PGA Championship, US Open, and The Open). Rory was the runner-up to Scheffler last year, tied for fifth in 2018 & 2020, and finished fourth last year. It's safe to say he's got a chip on his shoulder playing some of the best golf he's played in recent memory.
Top Ten: Will Zalatoris +320
Yes, all the arguments against this pick are fair - he's limping into this one, having either missed the cut or finishing over par in three of his last four appearances. But given his body of work in past Masters, Will Zalatoris' value at +320 is too good to pass up. In his two starts at Augusta, Zalatoris has finished in the top six - this is a guy that plays the course well. After some back injuries over the past couple of years and a scary illness that wiped him out a couple weeks ago, he seems to have turned a corner.
First Round Leader: Jason Day +3500
Golf pundits have been selecting Jason Day as a potential dark horse this past week, and I think there's some merit to it. Day came awfully close to donning the Jacket a few different times over his career. He's notoriously played well at Augusta, finishing top 5 three times between 2013-19. He never finished worse than 28th through that span. And even as he gets older, it's reasonable to think he can make a run at it again. Day is on fire right now; he hasn't finished outside the Top 20 in his seven appearances on tour this year, most recently giving Scheffler a run for his money in the WGC-Dell Match Play a few weeks ago. Day may finally fulfill his prophecy this year; while I may sprinkle a small amount on a straight win play, I think he's a legitimate contender to pace the field after Thursday. He's an excellent putter and has a long drive - two skills that anyone that hopes to wear the Jacket needs.
And if he makes shots like this, it's game over.
Make the Cut Parlay: Scottie Scheffler, Cam Smith, Keegan Bradley, Kevin Na +135
We know Scheffler, barring a massive collapse, is good. Newly-joined LIV golfer Cam Smith is riding the hot hand over the past year or so, and his body of work is impressive enough to warrant him playing on Saturday. Kevin Na has finished Top 15 the past three times he's suited up for a Masters. Keegan Bradley is 12-for-16 with finishing "better than average" in his last sixteen appearances, finishing top 10 twice in the past five, and top 5 in one of them. A low risk, decent reward for solid golfers with good history at Augusta to play on the last weekend.
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