Masters picks 2022: We're riding (or dying) with Brooks Koepka
Ahhh, can you smell it? Spring is in the air, the azaleas are in full bloom and the peach ice cream sandwiches are... gone? What on EARTH?!?!
OK, so there are no peach ice cream sandwiches this year, but the Masters will still be the Masters. The best betting event of the year is upon us and, just like all the players, we feel really, really good this week. The only difference is, they’re feeling good about their swings, their endurance and their mental fortitude. We just feel good about the names were clicking on at a sportsbook.
But that doesn’t mean we still don’t feel the same Masters pressure. It’s been a while since our experts have hit a winner (Joaquin Niemann, Genesis Invitational), which means we are due.
Our panel consists of an anonymous caddie; Pat Mayo of Mayo Media Network/DraftKings; Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel; Rick Gehman of RickRunGood.com; Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports and your two authors. We’d like to think you’re reading one of the best collections of golf handicappers in the industry. If we hit a winner this week, we know you’ll agree.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at The 2022 Masters.
Masters picks 2022: Our Experts' Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Justin Thomas (15-1, FanDuel) — I do think these early-week practice rounds with Tiger will have a great effect. JT takes as much inspiration from Tiger’s greatness as anyone of his generation, and he’s become so close to him. I think that all has a positive effect on placing JT in a great headspace this week.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Collin Morikawa (20-1, DraftKings) — The shine is off. Historically, that’s the time to pounce on the winner of two of the past eight majors. Separating any of the top end players this week is nary impossible, but it’s important to assess upside, not necessarily the mean performance. Morikawa is one of the most volatile of top end stars, but his upside performance is exactly what Augusta craves: Capable driving, streaky putting, and elite irons. Frankly, as he’s one of least popular bets this week, the longer you wait to place the wager, likely the better odds you’re going to get.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Brooks Koepka (20-1, FanDuel) — Betting Brooks at majors feels like a pretty easy choice and one you won’t regret after the first round concludes. Koepka naturally has the distance and overall pedigree to contend at Augusta, and his recent events show that the irons are warming up. He’s due for a putting regression, as well.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Brooks Koepka (20-1, DraftKings) — Koepka is finally healthy and that’s a scary thought for the rest of the field. Not only has Koepka finished inside the top 10 in over 50 percent of the majors that he’s played in his career, but he’s earned three top-11 finishes in his last four trips to the Masters. His advanced metrics are stout, gaining strokes off-the-tee in four straight starts while gaining on approach in three of his last four – per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor:Justin Thomas (15-1, FanDuel) — His 21st-place finish last year is misleading: JT stood two back and charging on Saturday as the rain delay happened. Then he made an 8 at the 13th. If not for that stop in momentum, JT could’ve continued to threaten the lead. He had a fourth-place finish the year prior. JT has talked about how he thinks Augusta National fits his game, and it’s absolutely true. His two weaknesses—driving accuracy and putting—have not stopped others from slipping on a green jacket.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Brooks Koepka (20-1, FanDuel) — Do I need to break out the majors section of his Wikipedia page? Brandon said it already. Betting Brooks in majors is an easy choice, and one you will be able to live with no matter the outcome. He’ll be fully engaged as he always is in the four big ones, and I’d be shocked if he’s not in contention late Sunday afternoon.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Cameron Smith (16-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — If it wasn’t for Scottie Scheffler’s form right now, everybody would be talking about Cam Smith being the hottest golfer in the world. He has six top-five finishes in his last 12 events which includes two victories in his last five. Smith enjoys playing at Augusta and in the five events he has played here he has recorded notable finishes of 10th, fifth and second.
Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (below) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
Masters picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses who could win
Caddie: Gary Woodland (100-1, PointsBet) — A poor record at Augusta, but he’s quietly been really good over the past few months. One of the biggest areas of improvement is the short game, which is what has held him back in the past here.
Mayo: Adam Scott (55-1, DraftKings) — The former Masters champ has spoke at length about peaking for the majors, and his stats certainly look like he wasn’t lying. He’s rectified all the issues he’s had over the years with his putter, now ranking inside the top five in the field for the season in this field. The irons are always solid, so it comes down to his driving and chipping. The driving is a coin flip at this point: Great or awful, there’s been very little in between. And the chipping is usually terrible. Yet it hasn’t been at Augusta over the years. Keep that in check, do the usual, contend for a second green jacket.
Gdula: Adam Scott (60-1, FanDuel) — Scott is looking for a second Masters win this week, and despite his age, he is still gaining distance on the field when he plays. He’s been red hot with the putter, but that should actually stick around, given his success from close range. It’s not a fluke that Scott is still a factor.
Gehman: Si Woo Kim (90-1, DraftKings) — There are few longshots in this field that have the upside of Si Woo Kim. He’s one of the most volatile golfers on tour but that’s a good thing. He has been consistent in one area, off-the-tee. He’s gained strokes to the field in 11 straight measured events – per the RickRunGood.com golf database. That should provide an excellent baseline as Kim offers the ability to get hot with his irons and wedges. Combine all that with three top 25s in his last four trips to the Masters and you have a golfer who can make some noise.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Sam Burns (50-1, PointsBet) — Sam Burns ain’t your average debutant. There’s nothing average about three wins in 10 months on the PGA Tour. If he had played in a few Masters and missed the cut, you might bet him—so why not do it? Yes, course experience is crucial here, but Burns might be good enough to buck trends. Heck, Will Zalatoris had a shot to win last year—and he has three fewer wins than Burns. This is the biggest disparity in terms of talent and odds, and even if you don’t think he’s going to win, playing him in the top-20 markets make sense—as well as first-round leader.
Powers, Golf Digest: Joaquin Niemann (65-1, DraftKings) — The only argument against Niemann this week is that he hasn’t been very good in the majors, failing to post a single top 20 in 11 career major starts. He’s too good for that not to change soon, his dominant win at Riviera serving as proof of that.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Adam Scott (60-1, FanDuel) — As a previous winner here, we know just how well Scott can play around Augusta. It’s not just a win that he has recorded here but also a second-place finish and two other top 10s. One of the reasons he performs so well here is his ability to putt well on fast Bentgrass greens. Scott ranks ninth in the field this week for SG/total on fast Bentgrass greens. His form coming into the event is also good having posted four top-10 finishes in his last seven events.
Masters picks 2022: Players we're fading
Caddie: Dustin Johnson (16-1, Bet365) — It’s a bold move fading someone with an impeccable record like DJ at Augusta. But he’s just lacking as many tournament reps as we’re used to seeing, and he doesn’t seem to be that elite, automatic DJ off the tee right now—which he’d need if he were to win.
Mayo: Scottie Scheffler (12-1, DraftKings) — It’s intimating fading the No. 1 player in the world, but you gotta fade someone. His short Masters history is actually very impressive, never finishing worse than T-19 in two starts, but this price is so short for someone trying to win their fourth event in six starts. Scheffler’s great, but he’s not 2000 Tiger great.
Gdula: Collin Morikawa (20-1, FanDuel) — With an outlier performance in the short game, Morikawa definitely has the tools to win here even with a lack of game-changing distance, but the distance plus short-game concerns are enough where I’d rather bet the other studs this week.
Gehman: Bryson DeChambeau (45-1, DraftKings) — DeChambeau has been battling injury for the past few months and there’s no sign that the turnaround is coming this week. His best weapon, the driver, was all over the place last week in Texas which will be difficult to overcome at Augusta National. Even if DeChambeau was firing on all cylinders, he doesn't have a great record at the Masters. His best finish was a T-21 that he earned in 2016 as an amateur.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Daniel Berger (33-1, BetRivers) — It’s so tough to fade a favorite. If there’s one guy I’ll pick on in matchups, it’s Berger. He’s a shorter hitter who hits a fade off the tee—he’s going to have very long approach shots compared to the rest of the field. And he doesn’t have great history here, either, having missed the cut last year.
Powers, Golf Digest: Scottie Scheffler (12-1, DraftKings) — Can he keep this remarkable run going? Of course. But I can’t live with betting him 16-1 off a hot streak knowing there were 40-1s out there before he broke through at Waste Management.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Scottie Scheffler (12-1, DraftKings) — Plain and simple, Scheffler’s putting on fast, Bentgrass greens is nowhere near good enough to compete with the best players in the world around Augusta. The World No. 1 ranks just 20th in FanShare Sports’ course-suitability ranking for Augusta and he, historically, loses 0.2 shots to this field putting on these greens.
Masters picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Tommy Fleetwood (-120) over Bubba Watson (DraftKings) — Bubba has looked sharp at times this year, but Fleetwood seems to be finally be finding his form. He led The Players early on, and we know if it’s a major and his game is on, he should be a factor.
Mayo: Tiger Woods to make the cut (+120, DraftKings) — Tiger isn’t teeing off to shoot an 80. If he’s in the field, he’s there to compete. And considering he’s never missed a Masters cut as a pro, the plus money is very appealing.
Gdula: Matthew Fitzpatrick (+112) over Will Zalatoris (FanDuel) — I understand the Zalatoris love, but -142 odds on him seems disrespectful for how good Fitzpatrick has been lately. Zalatoris fits Augusta well and debuted beautifully, but Fitzpatrick’s ball-striking is there right now, and their gap in short game is substantial.
Gehman: Talor Gooch (-120) over Christian Bezuidenhout (DraftKings) — Gooch will be making his Masters debut, which is usually a small concern, but Augusta National could be a great setup for him. His weakness, driving accuracy, won’t be much of a concern this week – Augusta National has generous fairways. His strength, iron play, will be magnified on this course that demands solid approaches. I expect Gooch to outperform expectations in his debut.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Sam Burns (-118) over Daniel Berger (FanDuel) — Burns’ power off the tee is a significant edge, and like I said above, I don’t think he’s your average debutant … evidenced by him being favored here. Still, I think he’s more of a threat to finish top 10 or top 20 than Berger.
Powers, Golf Digest: Max Homa (+100) over Billy Horschel (DraftKings) — Homa’s record in the majors has been, well, abysmal. There’s no question he wants that narrative to flip and it seems likely it will given just how good he’s been over his last four starts, finishing 17th or better in all four of them. Horschel’s coming in quite hot as well, but it’s Homa for me here.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Corey Conners (-120) over Sam Burns (Betfair) — As you can see above, I really like Conners chances this week, Burns on the other hand struggles to putt on these fast, Bentgrass greens. He is statistically giving up 0.8 shots per round to Conners with the putter on these greens. Burns is also a debutant to the Masters which is going to go against him both in terms of course knowledge and the occasion.
Matchup Results from the Valero Texas Open: Gdula: 1 for 1 (Hadwin (-112) over Streelman); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Conners (-105) over Matsuyama); Gehman: PUSH (Streelman (-130) over McCarthy); Caddie: 0 for 1; Mayo: 0 for 1; Powers: 0 for 1; Alldrick: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 15-4-4 (up 10.32 units); Powers: 13-7-3 (up 5.66 units); Caddie: 12-9-2 (up 2.68 units); Alldrick: 11-11-1 (down 1.64 units); Hennessey: 11-11-1 (down 3.16 units); Gdula: 10-13-0 (down 3.56 units); Gehman: 7-12-4 (down 5.48 units)
Masters picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Cameron Smith (+140, FanDuel) — The short outright win odds will not appeal to many, but you can still get a top-10 bet at plus-money. Smith’s got the deft touch you need around Augusta, and the rest of his game is starting to get on that level.
Mayo: Will Zalatoris (+250, DraftKings) — Runner-up in his debut a year ago, and now situated as the wedge player on the odds board between the favorites and next tier of players. Yes, I think he’s good enough to win, but the top-10 odds are just a better value. And for anyone worried about his putting woes, just check out what he did on the greens 12 months ago.
Gdula: Daniel Berger (+350, FanDuel) — Berger has finished top 10 in each of the past two majors (T-7 at the U.S. Open and T-8 at the Open Championship) and remains one of the best ball-strikers on tour while not being particularly long.
Gehman: Adam Scott (+450, DraftKings) — Since his Masters victory in 2013, Scott only has one more top-10 finish. However, he’s playing better now than we’ve seen in quite some time. He has four top-10 finishes in his last seven starts worldwide, but I’m most impressed by his putting. Scott ranks 26th on tour in SG/putting this season and ninth in three-putt avoidance. The latter will be critical on these undulating greens at Augusta National.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Matt Fitzpatrick (+450, DraftKings) — Throw out being on the bad side of the draw at The Players and a (very) narrow defeat to Scottie Scheffler at the WGC-Match Play, and Fitz has finished top 10 in every event this season. His ball-striking stats are sneaky good, and there are few better putters on the PGA Tour—he should sneak around the top 10.
Powers, Golf Digest: Max Homa (+600, DraftKings) — As previously stated, I love Homa this week, even with his seven-missed-cuts-in-nine-major-starts record. He’ll fix that this week, as he comes in having gained strokes off-the-tee, on approach and tee-to-green in four consecutive starts. Keep that up and get the putter to cooperate, and he might make a run at the green jacket.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Corey Conners (+450, DraftKings) — Conners finished top 10 on both occasions that the Masters was played last year and he is running into a nice little bit of form just in time for the return down Magnolia Lane. The Canadian putts better statistically on fast, Bentgrass greens than other surfaces and even gains shots on this field on this surface. He comes into this event off the back of an 11th-place finish at Bay Hill and a third-place finish at the WGC Match Play.
Top-10 results from the Valero Texas Open: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Woodland +350); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 9 for 23 (up 31.55 units); Alldrick: 5 for 23 (up 16.5 units); Mayo: 3 for 23 (down 0.95 units); Gehman: 4 for 23 (down 2.3 units); Hennessey: 4 for 23 (down 7.53 units); Caddie: 5 for 23 (down 8.75 units); Gdula: 1 for 23 (down 19.6 units)
Masters picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Brooks Koepka — We’ve already talked about how Koepka should be an excellent option to win this week, but why use him for One and Done? In major championships, Koepka rarely disappoints. He’s earned 16 top 10s and 22 top 25s in the 30 majors that he’s played. With a winner’s share of over $2,000,000, there’s no better time than now.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman.
Hennessey: Justin Thomas — Likely saving Brooks for Southern Hills. JT’s my pick to win, so of course I’m using him here.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk.
Powers: Brooks Koepka — Ride or die with Brooksy. Thank me later.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at www.fantasynational.com.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.