In addition to participating in GolfDigest.com's Masters fantasy draft, Luke and I thought we'd check out some other possible bets for the year's first major. We decided to give ourselves a $25 budget and make five $5 wagers (Big spenders, we know) on bets we thought presented (relatively) good value. Here's how we're spending/wasting our money:
Luke: Adam Scott, 10/1
In the context of history, we're probably not due for another back-to-back Masters champ anytime soon. But Adam Scott has finished first, T-8 and T-2 in his last three Masters, and has six top 10s in his last nine majors. Plan for history to repeat itself a little earlier this year.
Alex: Dustin Johnson, 22/1
Other than Adam Scott, I feel Dustin Johnson is as likely to win this tournament as anyone. He's made more than $500,000 per start in 2013-14 and he finished T-13 at Augusta National last year.
Luke: Hunter Mahan, 40/1
Mahan's a little streaky at Augusta National -- in his last six Masters, he has three top 15s and three MCs -- but the man who played in the final group on Sunday in three majors still shouldn't be 40/1. Lots of value here.
Alex: Brandt Snedeker, 33/1
Slump or not, 33 to 1 is good value for a guy who has contended here on Sunday twice in the past five years. I like Jason Dufner at the same odds, but I'll go with the better putter.
Luke: Webb Simpson, 80/1
He may not have much course form, but when he's not cruising his way to top-25 finishes (he's made 21 in his last 35 starts) Webb Simpson is a birdie machine. He's fifth on tour in both Strokes gained/putting and birdie average, and 27th in GIRs. And he's won a major already.
Alex: Bill Haas, 80/1
Do I think Haas has a good chance of winning considering he doesn't have a single top-10 finish at a major? No. But do I think 80 to 1 is too good of a price to pass up for a guy with eight top 25s and zero missed cuts on tour this season.
Luke: Will Patrick Reed Finish in the Top 20 at the 2014 U.S. Masters? Yes, 2.5/1
Patrick Reed may be a rookie at Augusta, but he's a really good one. Aside from winning three times in less than eight months, he played the course more than most of the other rookies (he got to play there while he was at Augusta State) and has the long driving-solid putting combination that tends to thrive at the Masters.
Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar v The Field, 5/1
Taking four guys over the field is always a little risky (unless it's the year 2000 and you're betting on Tiger Woods), but DJ, Kuchar and Day are some of the tournament's heaviest favorites. Bubba isn't exactly a slouch, either, and he obviously knows how to play the course. Sign me up for this one.
Low South African - Ernie Els, 6/1
Charl Schwartzel at 6/5 and Louis Oosthuizen at 11/4 are the only two players listed ahead of Els, who is a two-time Masters runner-up and finished T-13 last year. His last major win also came more recently than those claimed by his fellow countrymen.
Top rookie - Derek Ernst, 100/1
Ernst has been brutal since he shocked the golf world and won at Quail Hollow last year. That being said, he's still a young PGA Tour pro and he's getting nearly four times the odds of the next PGA Tour pro rookie, Stephen Bowditch (28/1).
And for those in Yahoo! leagues, here's my weekly fantasy lineup:
Starters: Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Hunter Mahan, Sergio Garcia.
Backups: Brandt Snedeker, Rory McIlroy, Jason Dufner, and Harris English.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Adam Scott.
Good luck and enjoy the golf!