The 2020 Masters Tournament was like nothing golf fans had ever seen. Played in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the course was unusually soft. As a result, Dustin Johnson turned in the lowest score in the history of the tournament.
It was a Masters we'll never forget, but fans are ready for a return to normalcy, and 2021 should deliver on that desire. Back in March, with Azaleas in full bloom and fans back, this tournament is shaping up to be a refreshing return to everything that makes The Masters one of the greatest events in sports.
The field, like always, is stacked with immense talent and so many potential winners.
Here are the golfers I will be betting on to win the tournament outright. I've included some obvious favorites, some value odds, and a few long shots.
Favorites (To Win Outright)
Bryson DeChambeau +900
There's no way I can leave the current odds-on favorite off my bet slip for this tournament. With two PGA wins (US Open, Arnold Palmer Invitational), and three more top-five finishes already logged in 2021, DeChambeau sits number one in the FedEx cup rankings.
He has played good golf of late with plus-values in all Strokes-Gained categories over the past three months. He is objectively the best golfer off the tee, as he has been for some time.
The knock against Bryson is his unfortunate history with Augusta, where he's never finished higher than 21st. But, I like to think in his fourth crack it, the 27-year-old may just finally figure this course out and earn that green jacket.
Justin Thomas +1000
On a course where smart and accurate approach shots are critical, I have to ride with Justin Thomas. No golfer has fared better on approach shots in the last year than Thomas (+1.22 Strokes-Gained).
He has also consistently improved with each attempt at Augusta since he first joined the field in 2016, where he finished 39th. In subsequent years he finished 22nd, 17th, 12th, and 4th.
With that trajectory, it's clear Thomas is getting more comfortable at Augusta. It's not a stretch to believe he can make that final jump in 2021.
Jordan Spieth +1100
Coming off an impressive win at the Valero Texas Open, and with five top-ten finishes already in 2021, Jordan Spieth definitely deserves a look this week.
Over the past three months, Spieth is top-five in Total Strokes-Gained. Also, don't forget his impressive history at Augusta, where he has finished in the top-three four times, winning the green jacket in 2015.
Jon Rahm +1100
With three straight top-10 Masters finishes (4th, 9th, 7th), Rahm knows how to play Augusta. Now, the question is whether or not he can figure out how to win it.
Rahm has played very consistent in 2021, recording seven top-ten finishes, the most in the PGA. But the 26-year-old is still searching for his first major win.
His availability in this tournament was in question due to the pending birth of his first child, but as fate would have it the baby arrived just in time this past week, and Rahm will play.
Listen, I know it's not stat or data-backed, but there's something about Rahm coming into this tournament fresh off the joy of a new baby that adds to the allure here.
Mid Value Odds (To Win Outright)
Patrick Cantlay +2000
Cantlay may be the most well-rounded golfer in this field. Over the course of the 2021 season, only Dustin Johnson is ranked higher in Strokes-Gained, and Cantlay has actually been better than Johnson both around and on the green over that same timespan.
Cantlay has never won at Augusta, but he has one top-ten and one top-20 finish in his last two attempts.
On a course that favors flexibility, I like Cantlay and his versatile game. He's also +450 to finish top-five for those a bit more risk-adverse.
Paul Casey +3300
Sticking with guys who are coming into this tournament hot, Casey has played really well over the last few months. No one has been better tee-to-green.
The 46-year-old Brit has finished top-ten in four straight stroke-play tournaments, and hopes to carry forward that momentum as he chases his first green jacket.
Like others, the problem with Casey is his history with this tournament. This will be his 15th attempt at Augusta, and while he has five top-ten finishes, his average placing is 33rd, including 38th- and 82nd-place finishes in the last two.
One would hope after that much experience the results would be better. With the way Casey is playing, maybe 2021 is his year.
Daniel Berger +3300
Very similar to the previous two gentlemen, Berger has played good golf recently. He has been very consistent off the tee and gained strokes through consistent, well-played irons. He is right where he wants to be coming into this tournament.
Berger hasn't fared well in Majors since joining the tour in 2013. In 18 Majors, he has only had two top-ten finishes. What better place to come in and correct that than Augusta? This is another opportunity for a top-five bet (+550) if you don't want to shoot for the win.
Long Shots (To Win Outright or Top Five/Ten Finishes)
Will Zalatoris +7000
24-year-old Will Zalatoris proved he was not afraid of the pressure when he turned in a top-ten finish in just his second career Major, placing sixth in the 2021 US Open.
The Wake Forest graduate is fifth this season amongst all golfers in approach Strokes-Gained, and 12th when it comes to complete tee-to-green play. He already has five top-ten finishes in this just his third year on the tour.
This will be a tall task for Zalatoris in a tournament he's never participated in, but I like the value he brings at +7000. Even a top-five bet (+1100) or a top-ten bet (+550) are appetizing options.
Bubba Watson +9000
How can you not sprinkle a little cash on a two-time Masters Champion at +9000? Admittedly Bubba has not been playing his best golf lately, missing three of the last six cuts in stroke-play. But even with the recent slide, Watson is still top-20 in strokes gained off the tee and tee-to-green.
Bottom line, the 42-year-old veteran knows this course, and the fact that his odds are longer than so many younger, less experienced golfers just feels off.
I like Watson as a longshot bet to win and his +1200/+600 odds for top-five and top-ten finishes should be getting looks as well.
Max Homa +9000
14th-ranked Homa has become a fan favorite in certain circles. The 30-year-old has logged three top-ten finishes in 2021 including a playoff win at the Genesis Invitational.
Homa is not great off the tee but fares much better in his approach and attack of the green. The biggest question with Homa is whether or not he can step up under the pressure of a Major. In five career attempts, he's missed the cut four times and finished 64th in the fifth.
I'm eyeing Homa for a top-ten (+1400) finish but won't be shy about sprinkling a bit of coin on the long-shot as an outright winner.