It's Jim Nantz Week and also the first sign of spring. Hello, Friends, it's The Masters. From March Madness, to Opening Day, and now this coveted tournament, watching sports during work has been an absolute delight for the mentals, but a daggering blow to the work ethic.
This year, the top of the table has plenty of storylines that will cloud your judgement and influence your bet card (gamble responsibly, call (800) 327-5050 or visit gamblinghelplineMA.org.). Only three golfers have gone back to back at Augusta National, and Scheffler looks like he can be the fourth. We have Rory McIlroy's ninth attempt at the career grand slam and perhaps his best attempt yet. The "bad guys" of the LIV Tour will be competing, and this Masters marks the first major championship with both sides fully formed. Will Spieth claim his sixth? All compelling, and all exciting.
However, for me? I am focused on the payouts (again, responsibly), and my eyes are looking to the bottom of the page, with our friends who are on the outside looking in. This group is hoping to cash in the checks (and help us cash in big as well). Now, I'll probably place a few wagers on those gents mentioned above, but I also love the underdog. You can't take the March Madness Cinderella story out of my life just yet.
So with that, I present you, with five candidates who are considered the longshots, and why they can contend for the title. (Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook)
+2000 to Win
+360 for Top 5
Not a lot of people are in on Cantlay, but he's the fourth ranked golfer in the entire world, but +2000 odds to win it all? It makes you think. According to Matt Vincenzi, In Cantlay's past 24 rounds, the 31-year-old ranks sixth in Strokes Gained: Total and first in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee. Cantlay’s 2023 has been the best he’s ever hit the ball with driver, and that will be a major factor at Augusta National. He's one of my picks to win it, outright.
+2500 to Win
+450 for Top 5
The roller coaster ride of Xander. Schauffele missed the cut here last year, but finished T-3 in 2021 and T-2 in 2019 in his second Masters start. He is off to a bit of a sluggish start to 2023, but he also has three top-10 finishes this year. He's a guy that if he keeps form, and doesn't have any back stiffness, I wouldn't be surprised if he comes out on top.
+5500 to Win
+1100 for Top 5
Historically, the Englishman is due. He has three top 20 finishes and no missed cuts over his last five starts at Augusta National. He's had a pretty solid stretch over the past few weeks, including a third place finish at Valspar. Not to mention, Fleetwood shot rounds of 66 on two separate occasions in his recent trips to Augusta.
Si Woo Kim
+9000 to Win
+1600 for Top 5
This is a pick I can get around with. Woo Kim is starting to catch some strides this year, and he is a raw talent with a high ceiling on the tour. He already has a win (Sony Open Hawaii) this season, and made the T12 in 2021's Masters bout. Although he's yet to win the Masters, Si Woo Kim tends to play well whenever he visit, and he has six top-25 finishes in his last 13 events. I think this could be a steal of a pick if he shows out this weekend.
+9000 to Win
+1400 for Top 5
Chalk pick, I know, but you have to, right? His 25th appearance at Magnolia Lane, and Tiger Woods is hitting the ball better but feeling worse than he did a year ago. He has the history, he has the talent, but his body is his biggest barrier. Out of respect to the vet, I'll place a small wager.
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