Masters Betting: Jon Rahm tops our alternative market bets
The Masters tees off on Thursday and we've enlisted regular football contributor and keen golf punter @JJValueHunter for his takes on some of the alternative betting markets from Augusta...
It’s Masters week, and for those who have been following me from the very early days will know this is one of my favourite weeks of the year and one of my most successful events with Danny Willett 66/1 in 06, Sergio Garcia 33/1 in 07 and Dustin Johnson last time at 9/1 being tipped up, this year I’m going to delve into some of the alternative markets which often throw up some real value...
He’s at the top of the market so there is no real surprise to this selection, but Jon Rahm at 4/1 is for me the only golfer in the field (alongside Jordan Spieth) who I don’t have any question marks over coming into this week.
His Augusta form is brilliant with three top 10s on his last three visits, and his current form is trending in the right direction. He started this season slowly and I still don’t think he’s playing his absolute 'A' game yet but has still mustered seven top 10s in his last nine starts.
Normally the one negative with Rahm is that he puts too much pressure on himself and loses his cool too easily but with his Mrs giving birth to their first child last weekend, I think that’s the perfect tonic for him right now I’d expect him to be able to play care free for the next few weeks which makes him even more dangerous and the most likely winner for me.
Further down the betting we have Rory McIlroy, Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood who I’m happy to oppose based on their form and overall game in recent months. Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia have the game to suit Augusta but have shown they need to be at their absolute best just to contend recently.
Paul Casey could well be the biggest danger and he is fancied by many but he was also well fancied in the recent matchplay event where he underperformed and didn’t seem quite seem as relaxed and jovial as usual which can only be a sign he’s not 100% happy with his game so I’m happy to swerve him once again.
Matt Fitzpatrick is one I expect to go well and considered backing outright but the fact he’s still not won on the PGA tour means it would be a tough ask for him to handle the pressure of challenging for a major.
Finally Viktor Hovland who looked a nailed on pick for me a few weeks ago when he managed six top six finishes in seven events, but since then He's imploded at the Arnold Palmer, missed the cut at the Players and was eliminated in the group stage of the Matchplay event so he no longer looks the safe bet.
For me this market is too heavily weighted towards Cam Smith. He did finish tied 2nd here last time but since then he's only had one top 10 in his last seven events and he seems to be trending in the wrong direction. Last season his form coming in to the Masters read 38th, 24th, 11th, 4th, so the 2nd placed finish shouldn’t have been too big of a surprise, his form coming in to this week reads 4th, 11th, 17th, 28th, so although he’s certainly not out of form I don’t personally fancy him for a top 20 finish and he looks far too short at less than 2/1 in this market.
Jason Day and Adam Scott are both former world number 1s who now look like they are starting to decline yet the bookies price them up most weeks based on previous achievements as opposed to current form. They both only have one top 10 finish this season and Day missed the cut here last time out.
Marc Leishman is a player who’s been through long patches of bad form for two years now and eight missed cuts in his last 27 events with just three top 10s in that time, he also hasn’t had a top 10 in a major in his last 10 appearances, so that leaves Matt Jones at 9/1 which is purely a price play in a 5 runner market.
He’s the only player with a win this season and the only one with multiple top 10 finishes. He may not have the pedigree of the other guys but he believes he’s playing the best golf of his career, I don’t see him having the game to win here but a top 10/20 finish certainly isn’t out of the question and it wouldn’t be a huge shock if a top 30 finish was enough to land this market.
I like this market as you can completely rule out the bottom 10 as having no chance. You then have Danny Willett, Bubba Watson and Phil Mickelson who’s games aren’t close to winning at this level currently. Adam Scott who’s been falling down the world rankings for the last 12 months and Sergio Garcia who is the first real threat and does have a level of form, but will need the play his absolute best to challenge the top two in the market.
Patrick Reed who can never be ruled out and at 13/2 is probably a fair price but he just throws in too many terrible rounds for me to have faith in and he would need his putter to be hot all week to be able to challenge.
Dustin Johnson is the big favourite at the head of the market and on his day is the best player in the world but I see Jordan Spieth as a more likely winner this week.
DJ's form coming in to the Masters last season was 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 2nd and he was an easy tip for me at 9/1. This time around he’s the same price in all markets yet his form reads 8th, 54th, 48th, 28th, so he’s easy to avoid. He’s been having trouble with his driver of late and missing too many fairways. If he manages to get his game back on track he will challenge but it’s a big IF.
So that leaves Spieth at 5/2 and for me he should be favourite in this market. With five top 10s in his last seven tournaments it’s fair to say he’s back and with the win in Texas last week I can see the pressure completely lifting from his shoulders and him landing 2-3 more wins this season. He’s driving the ball much better yet he still knows there is improvements to be made but if anything that’s a positive that he’s able to win without his absolute A game. From 2014-2018 he had four top three finishes here and his game looks to be back to the level it was in that period, if he can manage a top three finish this week I suspect that will be enough to win this market.
We've asked Paddy Power to add all three to a #WhatOddsPaddy which pays 100/1. Find via the link below in the #WhatOddsPaddy section on PaddyPower.com 33/1 or bigger. Good luck!!