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Mar 23, 2017

US Masters betting: Who will win the first major of 2017?

Which statistics can inform your 2017 US Masters betting?

Analysing the favourites in Pinnacle's Masters betting odds

Does luck have a part to play in golf betting?

US Masters betting: Who will win the first major of 2017?

The 2017 Masters Tournament is one of the biggest events in the golf betting calendar. Masters betting requires a unique approach that differs to most other golf tournaments, but why? What stats should you analyse when betting on the US Masters? Who has the best chance of winning the Masters? Read on to find out.

The Masters Tournament is the first golf major of the year and takes place between April 6-9 at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. A stringent selection process means that only the best of the best will compete - winning one of the last five US Opens, PGA Championships and British Opens are just a few examples of how players can qualify to take part.

What makes Masters betting different?

Aside from the carefully selected, world-class field of competitors, it is things like the unique course layout, the unpredictable conditions and the pressure players are under when competing in one of golf’s biggest events that make Masters betting such a difficult puzzle to solve.

Any one of the 72 holes played could be the difference between a winning and losing bet at the 2017 US Masters.

In addition to this, coming so early in the season means there is little form to analyse - something that is often so crucial in golf betting. Experience could be the key to success at the 2017 US Masters. Not only will those who have played the demanding 18 holes at Augusta before hold an advantage, they will be better equipped to handle the pressure that comes with it.

Useful stats for golf betting

Just like any other sport, statistical analysis is critical to successful golf betting. Bettors have access to endless amounts of data but the trick is to analyse the stats that are more indicative of future performance.

Whilst scoring average (SA), putts per round (PPR) and driving accuracy percentage (DAP) are undoubtedly important, things like greens in regulation (GIR), scrambling (making par after missing a GIR) and strokes gained (SG) both tee-to-green and putting should be the focus of attention for Masters betting.

Below is a table of the aforementioned statistics for the main contenders in Pinnacles’s Masters betting:

Statistics that could inform your golf betting

PlayerGIR %Scrambling %SG: tee-to-greenSG: putting
J. Speith 75.69 64.76 1.568 0.486
D. Johnson 75.25 65.31 2.436 0.517
R. McIlroy 74.31 70.27 2.291 0.259
J. Day 69.84 60.53 0.577 -0.568
H. Matsuyama 72.59 64.19 1.67 -0.393
H. Stenson 70.14 69.99 1.277 -0.294
J. Thomas 71.08 62.15 1.594 0.377
J. Rose 71.39 64.08 1.488 0.148
R. Fowler 72.84 73.86 1.716 0.659

Masters betting odds - A look at the favourites

Although this year’s golf season is still in its infancy, it is no surprise to see the usual suspects at the head of affairs for the 2017 US Masters outright winner odds. Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are closely matched in the betting, but which of them has the best chance of winning?

Still only 23 years of age, Jordan Speith (7.67*) has proved himself as one of the most consistent players on the PGA tour in recent years. He has nine tour wins to his name already, with a 2015 Masters and US Open win and second placed finish in the PGA Championship and tied-fourth in The Open in the same year further enhancing his status as one of the biggest talents in the game.

Power can be a big advantage at Augusta and Johnson’s tour-leading drive distance (an average of 316.2 yards) shows he has it in abundance.

Speith has enjoyed success at Augusta - he’s taken part in the Masters Tournament on three occasions, winning it once and finishing second twice. Despite his impressive record (which includes the tied best ever score), that harrowing collapse last year (dropping six shots in three holes) might be too fresh in the memory to follow the American with confidence.

Rory McIlroy will know exactly how Speith feels about being labelled “the next Tiger Woods” - between 2012 and 2015 the Ulsterman reigned supreme amongst golf’s elite. However, a US Masters title and the green jacket that goes with it has always eluded him. McIlroy is 9.83* to win outright but his track record at Augusta and a rib injury that has effected his preparations mean he might be one to avoid in the Masters betting.

Dustin Johnson might be the one who offers the most value amongst the outright winner odds. Current World Number One and last year’s World Number Two, Johnson is certainly at the peak of his career. Power can be a big advantage at Augusta and Johnson’s tour-leading drive distance (an average of 316.2 yards) shows he has it in abundance.

At odds of 8.68*, the 32-year-old is still a short price but it might be one worth taking if he can follow up his tour wins in the six events he’s played in this year already.

Masters betting odds - Outsiders with a chance

While a lot of attention will be focussing on the top-end of the US Masters outright winner odds, there are a few players that offer bettors a great hedging opportunity.

Bubba Watson (41.01*) is a two-time Masters winner who has struggled to reach the high standards he set back in 2014. Despite just two PGA Tour wins in the last two years, Watson has proven he plays some of his best golf at Augusta and will thrive off any kind of pressure.

The unique course layout, the unpredictable conditions and the pressure players are under that make Masters betting such a difficult puzzle to solve.

There’s a lot to like about Patrick Reed’s odds of 56.080* in Pinnacle’s US Masters betting market, the only thing going against the American is a lack of success in the majors so far in his career.

At 22-years-old, Matthew Fitzpatrick wouldn’t be the youngest ever Masters Champion if he were to win (Tiger Woods, 21). It would be a massive surprise at odds of 114.12*, but the Englishman certainly has the potential to improve on his tied-seventh finish last year. 

Does luck play a part in golf betting?

With so many elements that can influence results in golf betting, it is important to appreciate the role luck has. The weather, tee times, pin positions, number of competitors and fact that just one hole out the 72 played could determine the result means luck could ultimately be the difference between a winning and losing bet at the 2017 US Masters. 

Understanding regression to the mean can help bettors understand the role of luck in Masters betting. An example of this is Danny Willet’s triumph in the 2016 US Masters at closing odds of 101.00 - did he win because of greater skill than the other competitors or was it a consequence of luck? 

Analyse the outright Masters betting odds and take advantage of the best value online at Pinnacle.

See the latest odds here
Benjamin studied English with Creative Writing (BA) before pursuing a career that combined his love of sport and fascination with betting. An avid fan of numerous sports, his writing now covers anything from in-depth major sporting event previews, to examining betting trends and techniques.

By Benjamin Cronin

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