The 9 golf bets you should make right now for 2021
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You're going to hear a lot about New Year's resolutions this month. Everybody plans to get into the best shape of their lives. Everybody is giving up a certain vice. Everybody is finally going to start that do-it-yourself home project. Not to be rude, but it's all baloney. Our resolution is very simple: Win more money betting on golf.
You can call that a load of baloney, too, but we have a decent track record. The best way to start making money in betting on golf is by investing now, and what we mean is placing long-term futures bets, specifically on the majors. The way to gain an advantage in betting the majors is getting the best of the odds months in advance. There's nothing better as a bettor than holding onto a ticket for months—knowing you have the best of the number.
Here are our nine favorite futures wagers for 2021—bets that you should put in right now—to take full advantage of the value.
Justin Thomas to win the Open Championship (20-1, FanDuel Sportsbook) — If you see JT at 20-1 odds to win any tournament, you take it. The Open is the major in which JT has had the least amount of success, but he did finish T-11 at Royal Portrush in 2019. With his world-class iron game and his deft touch around the greens, JT should compete at every major in 2021. You’ll never see odds this high again, so lock it in now. --Stephen Hennessey
Tyrrell Hatton to win the Open Championship (50-1, DraftKings) — Am I missing something? Hatton was 28-1 or shorter in some spots to win the Masters, and he's up to 50-1 to win the Open in his home country in July? Yes, it's a long way away, but the Englishman has solidified himself as a top 10 player in the world and there is no reason to believe he won't continue on that trajectory in 2021 and beyond. --Christopher Powers
Cameron Smith to win the Masters (55-1, Bet365) — If not for DJ, the 2020 Masters would’ve been a coronation for Cam Smith. The Aussie was the only player in Masters history to shoot four rounds in the 60s, and his 15-under-par total would’ve been low enough to win all but six previous Masters. And Smith’s performance was no aberration—he finished T-5 in 2018, so we know he’s comfortable at Augusta National. This line is simply too high and has a ton of value. --SH
Kevin Kisner to win the Masters (150-1, PointsBet) — After posting a T-21 at the 2019 Masters, his career-best at Augusta National, Kisner came into the 2020 fall Masters with high hopes. He was even quoted as saying he finally felt he figured out the place in 2019's final round. Naturally, he went on to miss the cut, which lightened my wallet (only slightly). He wound up finishing second at RSM the very next week, marking his fourth top-four finish since July. He's getting close, and if he does win prior to April (Match Play anyone?), this number could be cut in half. Buy Kiz stock now. --CP
Patrick Reed to win the U.S. Open (41-1, FanDuel Sportsbook) — Past success at Torrey Pines will be a big part of U.S. Open analysis in June. Reed checks that box—with a T-6 at last year’s Farmers Insurance Open and a 13th-place finish in 2019. Consider that Reed was the 36-hole leader at the 2020 U.S. Open, and you have signs pointing to a P-Reed, Captain America showing at Torrey Pines, a course where his stellar scrambling and ball-striking will be needed. If Reed wins a tournament or two to start 2021, this number could be cut nearly in half, so this is the time to take these odds. --SH
Bubba Watson to win the U.S. Open (150-1, PointsBet) — Go ahead, laugh it up. I'm aware . . . Bubba's U.S. Open record is not good (OK, it's abysmal). Just one top 10 (2007 at Oakmont), and he's since missed seven of 12 cuts in our national championship, with a high finish of T-18. But Bubba was sneaky great post-restart, and he's also been sneaky great at Torrey Pines this past decade. He won there in 2011, and has a 13th and a sixth there in two of his past three appearances. He's likely entering the end of his prime, and only has a few more real chances to win a major other than the Masters. Torrey in June could be a great spot for him. Should he contend at Augusta, or pick off a win before June, you'll be kicking yourself for not having him at 150-1 when he inevitably drops closer to 50-1. --CP
Matt Wallace to win the Open (125-1, Bet365) — Wallace is one of Europe’s fiercest competitors, and he has the major experience to contend (a T-3 at the 2019 PGA and three top-20s at majors). The Englishman had two runners-up on the European Tour in 2020 and a T-4 at the Memorial—getting him at these odds seems like a no-brainer in his home country. --SH
Matthew Wolff to win the PGA Championship (50-1, PointsBet) — We know Wolff’s game is good enough to contend in majors—he was the 54-hole leader at Winged Foot in 2020 and contended at last year’s PGA Championship. Wolff’s game is worth investing in long term, which is why this is a great bet to take. His elite off-the-tee game should put himself in position to score at Kiawah Island. --SH
Montana Pritchard/PGA of America
Rory McIlroy to win the PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup (+16400) — 1. Yes, I realize this is a lottery ticket. 2. You're going to have to shop around to find a book that will actually allow you to parlay these outcomes. This is essentially a bet on a huge bounce-back year for McIlroy, who struggled mightily during the restart for a number of reasons. I think we see pre-COVID Rory in 2021, and if we do, the PGA is back at Kiawah Island, where he won in dominant fashion in 2012. If he pulls off the first leg, one would think he'd be near the very top of the FedEx Cup standings, and we know he likes to win those. Again, it's a longshot, but I've officially talked myself into this happening. -- CP