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Your Betting Guide To The Contenders, Longshots, And Who To Avoid At The Masters

Your Betting Guide To The Contenders, Longshots, And Who To Avoid At The Masters
By Conor O'Leary Updated

There's an art to predicting the winner of the US Masters. A certain formula has developed in Georgia for the last number of years. The winner of the year's first major is certain to come from a smaller subset of players than the entire field.

History suggests that the winner will come from players who have played at Augusta before - sorry newbies Justin Thomas, Kevin Kisner, and Rafael Cabrera Bello. It's also been 17 years since the last European champion - which means the odds are against Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and the rest of the Europeans.

There's also more ways to win money from the Masters than just picking a winner. Long odds players who suit the course can win pocket you a nice bundle with intelligent top five or top 10 bets, and we're here to help you with our predictions.

Of course, you can check out our WAY TOO early predictions from last April - but six of the nine players mentioned last year will be included here along with some new names.

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Leading Contenders

Jason Day 7/1

What a year Jason Day has had. He was ok at August last year - finishing T28th, but a ninth place at the US Open, a top five at the Open before claiming his first major title at the US PGA Championship in comfortable fashion with a three shot victory.

Day's course form at Augusta is magical with two top three finishes. Health issues has prevented him coming closer, but the Australian's early 2016 form is frighteningly good. He's won in his last two starts, with two top 11 finishes in his four other tournaments.

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First time major winners don't usually back up with another victory unless they are extremely talented (see Jordan Spieth), but Day could fall into that category.

His game is purring right now, and we know it's suited to the course - he belts the ball a long way, scrambles really well, and his putting is

He's a shorter price than I'd like to back at 7/1; but it's harder to talk yourself out of it than talk yourself into it. This could be the year of Jason Day.

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Adam Scott 12/1

I didn't originally have Scott in this list, but he's hard to ignore. He's a former champion at Augusta, has two wins on tour in 2016, and two second places, and he's only 12/1.

That's one of those prices that don't make too much sense. Scott isn't the sexy option, but at that price he's the smart one.

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Don't overthink it.

Rickie Fowler 16/1

It could be argued that Rickie Fowler is Jason Day just a year later. Ever since he was voted most over-rated player on tour by his fellow peers, Fowler has been amazing. Fowler has won four times on tour, with six top tens since the turn of the year.

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He made a charge at last year's Masters - but poor form leading into the tournament got in his way. He's not playing badly this year, and with his strength, ability to grind and his new found winning habit - Fowler will win a major this year.

You could have had him at 28/1 following the conclusion of last year's tournament when I fancied his chances - and all he's done since then has impressed.

Henrik Stenson 25/1

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Originally I had Dustin Johnson at this slot, but Stenson made too much sense. His last two performances were a third place at the Arnold Palmer, and tied second at the Houston Open last week.

The sixth ranked golfer in the world is looking for a first major of his career. He's improved at Augusta in the last three years, and at 25/1 and in this form, he'll never have a better chance.

Dark Horses

Hideki Matsuyama 40/1

Going into the 2015 Masters, Matsuyama was a 70/1 shot who finished fifth in spectacular style. The young Japanese golfer had a good year in 2015, finishing a career best 16th in the FedEx Standings.

Victory at the Phoenix Open in February lifted Matsuyama to 12th in the world, and for him to be priced at 40/1, when he likes the course is an absolute steal.

For those more risk-averse, Matsuyama is just 7/1 to match last year's top five finish.

Brooks Koepka 80/1

From last year's early preview:

I'll admit I didn't know much about Brooks Koepka before his impressive -3 front nine on Thursday.

Since then, Koepka finished 18th, tenth, and fifth in the majors - hinting that the 25-year-old big-hitter has an appetite for the big stage.

He has the best putting stats for the year among the contenders, especially from the crucial distance of four to eight feet.

He started the season really well, and while he missed the cut at last week's Houston Open - it shouldn't deter you from a fantastic 12/1 from a top five finish.

Outside Bets

Charley Hoffman 150/1

Charley Hoffman was the story of the 2015 Masters. The debutant was second after the first day, and then again at the second day. He matched Spieth better than anyone until the final day when he folded - but still managed to secure a top ten finish.

Not bad for only his second appearance at the Masters, and first in three years.

Now though, Hoffman is back and still rated as a 150/1 shot.

That's ludicrious. The 39-year-old was so good last year, that even with his middling form so far this year - he's worth a punt.

You can get him at 10/1 for a top ten finish, or 3/1 for a top 20. That's value.

Justin Thomas 150/1

I don't like backing Masters rookies, but Thomas is an exception.

Thomas ranks high in driving distance, has won on tour already this season - with two other top fives, and at 22-years-old, his best golf is ahead of him.

Back him to make a splash as the best debutant, and keep an eye on him for future years.

Who To Avoid:

Rory McIlroy 8/1

Do I think Rory McIlroy will eventually win a Masters? Yes, almost definitely. But will it be this year? That's the question. His form has been less than patchy so far in 2016. There looked like a return to the old Rory in early March when he was flying at the WGC Cadillac, but a bad Sunday cost him the title. Another bad week at the Arnold Palmer mean that McIlroy is coming to Augusta searching for form.

If anyone can overcome that it's McIlroy, but at a price of 8/1 is miles too short for me to even consider the Holywood golfer.

Phil Mickelson 20/1

Mickelson rediscovered his old form to finish second to Spieth last year, and you can never rule out a three-time Masters champion.

The 45-year-old is even having an indian summer after a few years of health problems, finishing in the top five three times already this season.

His new swing coach might have something to do with it, and while I'll be cheering Phil on from the first tee, I will be doing so without putting money on a 45-year-old with a history of arthritis, especially at 20/1.

Jordan Spieth 10/1

Spieth's form is even worse than McIlroy, but the thing is that he's never proved that he can magically switch it on like Rory can. Spieth does love Augusta though - his two appearances around here have produced a second and a first.

A better bet at the still short price would be two time champion Bubba Watson.

You can sit this year out on Spieth.

Happy betting.

See Also: (From April 2015) Here's Your Ridiculously Early Betting Preview Of The Masters 2016

See Also: The 5 Key Stats That Matter When Predicting A Winner For The Masters

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