The 2018 PGA Masters Tournament takes place this week at Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia. The best golfers in the world will descend once again onto the pristine August National Golf course to try and win a coveted green jacket.
This year, things are even more interesting at the first PGA Major Tournament of the year. Why? The great Tiger Woods has played well enough to garner 12/1 odds. Last year, Tiger’s odds to win the Masters hovered around 50 to 1.Will Tiger take home the green jacket? Or, will some other golfer get the job done?
Keep reading for analysis of the favorites, the underdogs that have a shot, and my picks for both categories.
Golf Tournament Picks: 2018 PGA Masters
2018 PGA Masters Tournament Odds
** Odds vary from sportsbook to sportsbook. Below, are the odds that I believe are most fair for each golfer listed.
Jordan Spieth 10/1
A week ago, Jordan Spieth’s odds were around 12 to 1 on a sportsbook I checked out. He wasn’t even the chalk. This week, I saw 10/1 odds. Why did Jordan’s odds drop so precipitously in less than a week? Spieth was absolutely fantastic at the Houston Open. He shot a 68-67-71-66. Jordan didn’t win the Houston Open. He did finish third. More importantly? He practiced shots that should set him up for Augusta this week.
Justin Thomas 10/1
3 straight Top 10 finishes, including a win in the Honda Classic, means that Thomas is ready to rock it in the Masters Tournament this week. I saw Thomas at 11/1 on one sportsbook. I didn’t find any odds that had Thomas more than 10/1. He’s playing too well for sportsbook operators to offer odds higher than 11/1. Thomas ranks first with $5,050,800 on the PGA money list. There’s every reason to believe that he plays his best golf at Augusta.
Dustin Johnson 10/1
DJ hasn’t finished worse than 16th in any one of the 6 PGA Tour Events he’s played in 2018. Right before the first ball is struck at Augusta National this Thursday, my prediction is that Johnson ends up the favorite, probably at 8/1 or 9/1, in every sportsbook.
Bubba Watson 10/1
Watson won a green jacket in 2012. He took home another green jacket in 2014. This year, he ranks 2nd on the earnings list with $3,287,789. He shot a +3 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That’s probably why he won’t tee-off at Augusta as the betting favorite. Still, action on Watson has gotten heated in this just this past week. Maybe, like some others on this list Bubba decided to try out some shots in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Bubba did tear it up at the WGC-Dell Technologies on March 25.
Tiger Woods 12/1
In mid-February, Tiger Woods missed the cut at the Genesis Open. It sure appeared as if Woods might end up having another disastrous year. Then, a mini-miracle happened. Tiger finished 12th at the Honda Classic. After shooting a 70-68-67-70, he finished second at the Valspar Championship. Tiger’s 5th place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was good enough for most golf analysts to believe Tiger’s back.
Woods’ odds were at 9/1 last week. He’s drifted up some because he hasn’t been a force on the PGA Tour for the past 4 to 5 years. Still, going from a 50 to 1 shot, which he was last year before declaring from the Master Tournament, to a 12/1 shot is big.
Rory McIlroy 12/1
Like Tiger, Rory McIlroy was at 9/1 in one of the books I checked out last week to win the 2018 PGA Masters Tournament. Why? McIlroy shot a 64-Round 4 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. That led to a -18. When Rory’s on top of his game, he’s probably the best golfer on the planet. Of the favorites, he’s the golfer that heads to Augusta National with the hottest sticks. That’s also why Rory has become the favorite on at least one sportsbook.
Justin Rose 12/1
Rose does not head to Augusta National with hot golf sticks. In fact, in a contrast to Rory’s sticks, Rose’s sticks are down right chilly. He shot a 68-69-72-72 at the Houston Open. That was good enough for a -7. -7 looks good. It translates to 52nd place, though. Does that mean Rose has no shot to win the Masters Tournament? Not at all. The key is if he practiced shots at the Houston Open. If he did, he wasn’t too keen on winning the Houston Open. He used that tournament as a prep.
Analysis: Picking a favorite to win the Masters Tournament is no easy task. The Masters is one of the most difficult golf tournaments to win. Not only that, but often a golfer that’s been cold plays well into Round 4.
With that being written, both Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods should have decent performances this week. McIlroy’s got the hot sticks. Tiger’s got the new swing. What I love about Tiger’s performance in the Arnold Palmer Invitational is how he played his best golf in Rounds 3 and 4. Tiger shot a 69 in both Round 3 and Round 4.
If Tiger saves his best for Saturday and Sunday, he’s going to be hard to beat. I’m not sure he’s ready to win a major yet, though. To me, Tiger’s best chance of winning a major should be later on this year in both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship.
I like the chalk in this spot. Sure, Spieth is the chalk in plenty of sportsbooks. He’s also a 13 to 1 shot in other sportsbooks. I think Jordan is dead set on taking home another green jacket. The pressure is off Spieth now that Tiger is once again a force on the Tour.
Jordan Spieth is my pick from the favorites to win the 2018 PGA Masters Tournament.
Pick: Jordan Spieth
The Underdogs With a Shot
Jason Day 35/1
I’ve seen Jason Day’s odds anywhere from 25/1 to 35/1. In the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Day’s tuneup for the Masters, he shot a -5. That led to a 22nd place finish. The finish doesn’t bother me that much. If you can find him at 35/1, he’s worth a look.
Sergio Garcia 30/1
The defending Masters Tournament Champion has put together two straight Top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour. He finished 7th in the WGC-Mexico Championship in the first week of March. Then, he finished 4th at the Valspar Championship a week later.
Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
The good news is that the 26-year-old Matsuyama has made the cut in 6 of 7 tournaments played this year. The bad news is that he only has 2 Top 10 finishes. Matsuyama’s best finish in the Masters was 15th in 2015.
Patrick Reed 40/1
Reed has put together 2 Top 5 finishes. He finished 2nd in the Valspar Championship. Then, he finished 7th in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Reed made it to the Round of 16 at the WGC-Dell Technologies. He lost in the Round of 16.
Analysis: One golfer that I didn’t list as a favorite or a dog who could win the 2018 Masters Tournament is Rickie Fowler. More than one golf analyst believes Fowler takes home the green jacket this Sunday. I didn’t add Fowler because his odds, 18/1, don’t qualify him as a favorite or as a dog. I also don’t feel he has a better shot of winning the Masters than any other golfer on this list.
Fowler could prove me wrong. My gut says the best he does is a Top 10 finish. With that being written, who do I like from my list of underdogs to win the 2018 PGA Masters Tournament?
I’m backing Sergio to make it two years in a row. In 2017, Garcia finally won a coveted green jacket when shooting a 71-69-70-69 at Augusta National. Garcia’s final score was a -9 on a par 72. That’s not bad at all. Sergio beat Justin Rose in a playoff to take home the green jacket.
I believe Garcia’s pointed towards this weekend. That’s why he’s only played in a select few PGA Tour Events this year. At 30/1 odds, Sergio Garcia sure looks like the dog to back to win the 2018 Masters Tournament.
Pick: Sergio Garcia