It’s far from April, but the 2020 Masters tournament is set to take place this week.
Due to COVID-19, the event that is typically the first major championship of each calendar year had to be pushed to November.
Betting on major championships is a popular thing for sports bettors of many levels of golf knowledge.
Maybe you don’t have the crystal ball to predict the winner, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful weekend of live betting, props betting, or just watching this week’s golf tournament at Augusta National in Georgia.
Here are five betting tips for this weekend’s Masters, which runs Thursday-Sunday and will air on ESPN and CBS.
1. Know your betting options at the Masters
If you are new to golf betting, you may be thinking the only option you have is to wager on the winner.
That couldn’t be further from the truth.
While that is the most common betting option for golf, there are a lot of other wager options for you.
If you are looking at betting on the winner, current odds at DraftKings Sportsbook have Bryson DeChambeau favored at +900.
You also don’t have to bet on him, or any golfer, to just win. You can make a top-5 finish wager, or even a top-10, top-20, all the way to top-40 in some instances.
Matchups are a popular option, too. This pits one golfer against another for the tournament or a round. You pick the one you like and focus your attention on just those two golfers.
For example, a current tournament matchup available is Phil Mickelson (+118) against Tiger Woods (-142) at FanDuel Sportsbook. If Mickelson beats Woods at the Masters, that would pay out +118 for every $100 wagered.
You can also narrow your player field by betting based on nationality. DeChambeau (+600 at FanDuel) is favored to be the top American finisher. Hideki Matsuyama (+125) is favored to be the top Asian finisher. Jon Rahm (+270) is the top European player.
In other words, there are a lot of possibilities when betting on golf. The Masters is no exception to this, which leads to tip No. 2.
2. Golf props and live betting can be your friend
Not confident enough in your knowledge of individual golfers? Then, maybe tournament props is the way to go for you.
For example, betting options include “Will there be a hole in one?” (Yes -200; No +150), “Will there be a playoff?” (Yes +400; No -670), or on the winning margin are all available at DraftKings.
The Masters has been decided via playoff 17 times in its history. The last one occurred in 2017 when Sergio Garcia bested Justin Rose to claim his first major.
The last two Masters have been decided by just one stroke, with Tiger Woods winning in 2019 and Patrick Reed winning in 2018.
Betting during the tournament is also an option, as oddsmakers are always updating the odds to win throughout each round. And live betting and golf go together like peas and carrots, really.
Once the tournament begins, in-game bets will be available and will change as the tournament progresses. Popular live bets might include whether Woods will birdie hole 11, with odds for yes or no.
At any given time during the Masters, live bets will be available and will change at the next stroke, the next hole, and the next day of play.
3. Keep an eye on the numbers
Odds can change quickly in golf, and no two sportsbooks are the same.
If you are feeling strong about a bet, make sure you get the best value for yourself.
For example, Dustin Johnson is one of the favorites to win this week, but his odds to win are varying from +900 to +1100 at most sportsbooks. That’s a big difference for a payout. BetMGM shows +900 for Johnson, but DeChambeau and Johnson are both +900 at PointsBet.
As things play out during the tournament, be mindful to jump on a golfer who has some odds that may fall back after the first or second round.
The Masters is never won on Thursday or Friday, so don’t be afraid to take a chance on a golfer who is laying in the weeds.
4. Do your research ahead of the 2020 Masters
Don’t just go into betting on the Masters blind.
While you can always rely on others for input, you should probably take time to know just who you are investing in this weekend.
The website for the Official World Golf Rankings is a great site to remember. It lists the current world rankings and also provides details on each golfer and each performance they have had over the past few years.
Current performance trends are important, but so are major championship trends. Find out how your golfer has performed in the past at Augusta, as well as other majors. Major championships provide an added level of pressure. You don’t need to bet on a choker.
DeChambeau is a fine example. In three Masters appearances, he has yet to crack the top 20. However, his major trends for 2020 have made a dramatic turn as he put on a lot of muscle to increase his driving power.
DeChambeau finished fourth in the PGA Championship and then won the US Open. He appears to be trending in the right direction for a strong showing at Augusta this week.
5. Mix things up and be patient
If you are going into a golf tournament looking to just make a bet on the winner and nothing else, don’t be surprised if you don’t receive a payout.
Picking a winner in golf is extremely challenging.
If you want to add to your payroll, playing multiple bets of varying styles is going to be the way to go.
Find the golfers you like and are confident in, and perhaps stick to a top-5 or top-10 bet.
Add in a matchup that you feel strongly about for a low-risk wager.
If there is a prop on the tournament that strikes you, run with it. There are some predictable prop outcomes out there, especially the likelihood of a hole-in-one. Live betting is also always on the table come Thursday’s first swing.
Once your wagers are placed, don’t freak out if things start poorly for you. Golf is a marathon, not a sprint.
If your golfer gets off to a slow start, don’t double down and start making wagers on others to hedge your bet.
Give it time. Augusta will make fools of every golfer at some point this weekend. And always remember to gamble responsibly.