Rejoice, we've made it to the weekend at the Masters. If you're like us, most of your outright bets, fantasy lineups and pools have been flushed in the toilet or lit on fire, so it's time to make some money back on the weekend.
It should be an electric Saturday and Sunday at Augusta National with big names lurking. Of course, Jordan Spieth sits just two back of Justin Rose's lead. Spieth is the favorite according to the oddsmakers, with 4-to-1 odds of winning a second Masters title. Right behind him is Justin Thomas (5-1, three back); Justin Rose (+550, leader) and Will Zalatoris (11-1, one back).
There are a number of ways to play the weekend betting-wise. First, we highly recommend you check out our friend and Golf Digest contributor Rick Gehman's website (RickRunGood.com). He has a live leader board every week—but thanks to him and another sharp gambler Nelson Adcock crunching the raw data from the Masters—they have derived their own strokes-gained calculations after two days (since Shotlink is not present at Augusta, they're doing their own math). They're both smart and have done this before, so it's pretty reliable data. That's a great depiction of who has been striking the ball best, who's struggling on the greens, etc. Check it out here.
We recorded a podcast previewing the weekend at the Masters. Listen to it below (and subscribe to Be Right wherever you get your podcasts):
After crunching that data and assessing the odds board, we have our favorite bets after two rounds. Here's where our money's going.
Si Woo Kim (25-1 to win, William Hill)
How did we end up in a world where I'm plugging Si Woo Kim at 25-1 to win the Masters? Well, I'm just following the data that Rick Gehman and Nelson Adcock have put together, and if you follow those numbers, you have to love Si Woo's chances ... if he can find a new putter for the weekend. (Or not, just use the fairway wood!) Si Woo has gained more than eight strokes on approach over the first two rounds ... that's an insane number in this field. I think he's in a good position—three back, so without all the fanfare of the final two or three groups—but still firmly in this. Keep up that ball-striking and a Si Woo victory is a real possibility. --Stephen Hennessey, dep. managing editor
Xander Schauffele, top-10 finish (-120, William Hill)
In 14 career major starts, Schauffele has seven top-10 finishes. Right now, after a second-round 69, he’s in solo 12th, one shot back of T-6. This feels lock-worthy, though the person writing this said a Matt Kuchar top-30 was lock-worthy this week, and Kuch doesn’t have a tee time tomorrow. --Christopher Powers, assistant editor
Sebastian Munoz (+130) over Adam Scott, Round 3 match up (DraftKings)
I know your first thought: You don't pick against Adam Scott at Augusta. That's why oddsmakers have priced the match up this way. The public money will run to the 2013 Masters champion. But I'm looking at RickRunGood.com and the live stats, and Scott has lost nearly 2.5 strokes on approach thus far, and he's gaining more than a stroke and a half putting. We know that's likely to regress for a sub-par putter like Scott. The better ball-striker so far, according to this data, is by far Munoz. He's gained 2.2 strokes/approach so far and about a stroke off the tee. The edge is with Munoz, and at plus money, it's the sharp side. --SH
Final score: 10-under or better (-142, FanDuel)
I don't think we're going to see Thursday's conditions replicated. And we know Sunday tends to be set up a little easier to promote fireworks happening down the stretch. With Justin Rose at 7-under and a group at 6-under, I think we easily get to 10-under as a winning score. --SH
Bernd Wiesberger, Round 3 score over 71.5 (+110, DraftKings)
First, golf clap to Wiesberger for the grit he showed after putting his ball into the water at the 15th hole Thursday, proving he has some serious guts. But tomorrow will be arguably the most pressure-packed round of his life, especially considering he’s playing alongside Jordan Spieth, which gives him nowhere to hide. The only time he’s been in a remotely similar position was Sunday at the 2014 PGA Championship, when he was in the final pairing with Rory McIlroy and shot a three-over 75. And that was at a soaking wet Valhalla in the fourth-most important major. The weekend at a firm and fast Augusta National is a completely different animal. --CP
Justin Rose (+102) over Will Zalatoris, Round 3 match up (DraftKings)
Similar to my Wiesberger bet, this is purely an experience play. I think Zalatoris wins at least one green jacket before he calls it a career (which might not be for another 25 years). He’s an immensely talented player who already has a T-6 in a U.S. Open at Winged Foot to his name. But, again, the weekend at Augusta is a weekend unlike any other. He’s 24, playing in his very first Masters. Justin Rose is playing in his 16th Masters, where he’s finished in the top 10 five times, including a pair of runners-up. To make him even a slight underdog in this final third-round pairing is flat-out insane. --CP
Tommy Fleetwood (+188) over Matt Fitzpatrick and Viktor Hovland (third-round scores, William Hill)
Hovland has gained a ton of strokes off his miraculous chip-ins and long putts made. He's pretty lucky to be in this position after that triple bogey to start his tournament (take nothing away from the grit to fight back ... but acknowledge there was a lot of luck there). And Fitz's ball-striking has just been OK—not as good as Fleetwood's irons. And he has a penchant to go low in majors when he needs to, and I expect him to do that Saturday. --SH
MORE MASTERS 2021 STORIES FROM GOLF DIGEST:
• Masters 101—Everything you need to know about the major
• How to watch the Masters on TV and streaming online
• The entire 2021 Masters field, ranked
• How to win a green jacket in 7 simple steps
• Our 13 best bets to win the 2021 Masters
• 50 defining moments in Masters history, ranked
• The complete changes to Augusta National
• When should a past champion call it a career at Augusta?
• 9 famous Masters myths—separating fact from fiction
• The most memorable rules issues in Masters history
• At Augusta, the jockeying for position begins with practice rounds
• What a limited-patron Masters will look like this week
• What’s it like to play at Augusta National as a guest