The Masters Preview and Predictions

21-21-4 on golf in 2018 up 3.41 units

2-0 in 2019 up 6.00 units 

It’s finally here. The best golf tournament of the year. Patrick Reed won the 2018 Masters. His estranged family will not be attending. Reed and his family have a more interesting, volatile story than even Aaron Rodgers does with his real and football family combined. Football is family. I miss football. Tears on the keyboard. I’ll dive into Reed’s family more after the Masters because there is sure to be another installment this weekend. Patrick Reed’s champions dinner menu has been one of the most anticipated menus in recent memory. Prolly cause he is doughy.

Here’s a fun game: Guess which foods Reed picked against which ones he was forced to put on the menu. Caesar/Wedge Salad. Prime Bone-in Cowboy Ribeye. Corn Creme Brulee. Mac and Cheese. Yes, Mac and Cheese is on the Masters Club Dinner menu. Creamed Spinach. Steamed Broccoli. Tiramisu. Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee. Reed likes his Creme that’s forsure. I am going to go out on a limb and say everything but the vegetables he decided.

Justin Rose is the world #1, but is not really that close to being the favorite. Rory Mcilroy is the favorite and rightfully so by my very average excel model. Rory leads the tour in strokes gained from Tee-to-green and strokes gained off-the-tee this year. He has been striking the ball incredibly well. Rory nor Rose has ever won this tournament however.

The 5th hole has seen the most changes since last season. The 5th hole is hard to fit spectators on as it is sandwiched between two beautiful par-3s. I don’t know if they added 40 yards and made a bigger tee-box to fit more spectators specifically, but it will certainly help in that aspect. It was the 6th hardest hole on the course during last year’s Masters. Now it will crack the top 5. You can’t hit one of these bunkers and expect to birdie anymore. They are too deep and the hole is too long. Tiger Woods even said “I think they’re unplayable to get the ball to the green” when talking about the bunkers. I am interested to see how the new green will play too. It is bigger with an added ridge. The 5th hole will get a lot of chatter on Thursday.

Onto the plays:

2-0 in 2019 up 6.00 units 

Jon Rahm vs Tiger Woods first round only at -105 for 4 units. Rahm played so well last year before his meltdown. I think he starts hot again. I like him on day 1 a lot more than Tiger. Tiger could finish better than him over the weekend, but I doubt even that. Rahm should be a lot more heavily favored against Tiger than a coin flip when you factor in health and recent performances here.

Matt Kuchar vs Ian Poulter first round only at -119 for 4 units. Kuchar has finshed in the top-5 3 of the past 7 years here. Poulter has 13 starts here, 2 top-10s, 1 missed cut, and has never made the top 5. Going with the player that plays the course better to get off to the hotter start.

Hideki Matsuyama vs Adam Scott first round only/Jon Rahm vs Tiger Woods first round only/Rory McIlroy over Cameron Smith first round only – Parlay risking 4 units to win 15.12 units. By my very average excel numbers Rory should be a 4.6/1 favorite. He is a 7/1 favorite. That is enough for me to like him over Cam Smith in the first round at least. Rory has been striking the ball far more consistently than Smith this year. Scott has 5 top 15 finishes in his last 8 Masters, but Matsuyama has finished in the top 20 in the last 4 Masters. Over their past 50 rounds, Deki ranks first in Strokes Gained: Approach, second in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and fourth in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. Once again I am going with the better ball striker at the moment.

Masters First Time Winner – No at +350 for 3 units. I’ll take Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, Vijay Singh, Adam Scott, Phil Michelson, Angel Cabrera, Fred Couples, Sergio Garcia, Trevor Immelman, Zach Johnson, Bernhard Langer, Sandy Kyle, Larry Mize, Jose Olazabal, Charl Schwartzel, Bubba Watson, Mike Weir, Ian Woosnam, and Danny Willett vs the field at these odds. Dustin Johnson and Rory are obviously the most likely to mess this bet up, but the “underdogs” are a fun play in this one.

Tiger Woods – Lowest Completed Round – Over 68½ Strokes at -110 for 4 units. Woods lowest round was a 69 last year and he was a DNP in 2016/17. Tiger has so many health concerns and wasn’t too far from getting cut last year. Even if he makes this cut, shooting a -4 in any round would be impressive to me. Tiger struggles on hole No.4 and hasn’t played well on it since 2005. Now that hole No.5 is tough too, that two-hole stretch could be the difference in this bet.

No Hole in One at +120 for 1 unit. It will happen on the 16th or 6th hole if it happens. There has been an ace or three each of the past 3 years. We are due for a drought. Shane Lowry, Davis Love III, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, and Charley Hoffman each have one hole-in-one on the 16th over the past 3 years. If one of them does it again, I will take it personally.

Yes Playoff at +350 for 1 unit. Why not? Let’s win a little bit and watch the rare Sudden Death playoff at a major that only the Masters can offer.

Jordan Spieth Top American at +900 for 1 unit.

Justin Thomas Top American at +900 for 1 unit.

Brooks Koepka Top American at +1150 for 1 unit. Dustin Johnson, Tiger Woods, and Rickie (Maybe Bubba) are the only 3 Americans I can see beating these 3. If Spieth can find his putting I like him a lot. Thomas is first in birdie % and first in scoring average this year. That’s enough for me to sprinkle a little on him to be the top American. Throwing in Brooks cause his girl is a smoke and good luck charm.

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