The Masters Best Bets: Can Scheffler Repeat at Augusta?

By Chris Hughes   April 5, 2023 

The Masters Best Bets: Can Scheffler Repeat at Augusta?

Arguably the most prestigious golf tournament in the United States takes place this week–the Masters from Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. This year, there’s an extra competitive component to the event with those from renegade league LIV Golf taking on the best from the PGA Tour. With the start of the tournament just days away, we at Sidelines have our look at the best bets for the 2023 Masters.

First Thing’s First: What’s LIV Golf?

In case you only pay attention to pro golf once a year for the annual battle for the green jacket, let’s get you up to speed on LIV Golf. It’s a new series with World Golf Hall of Famer Greg Norman as CEO. The league is backed by the Saudi Arabian government’s Public Investment Fund. Since it started last June, Norman has been able to sign top golfers like Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson, and 2022 Open Championship winner Cameron Smith to nine-figure deals.

The league’s 11th event in its history was held last weekend. Brooks Koepka won LIV Golf Orlando, becoming the first two-time winner in LIV history. He took home a $4 million purse for first place, which is around three times’ more than typical events on the PGA Tour pay to the champion.

The PGA Tour responded by indefinitely suspending any golfer who put a tee into the ground for LIV. The four majors, however, are run by separate, independent entities. They all have said that LIV Golf players who are eligible can compete in their events in 2023.

Can Scottie Scheffler Repeat?

Last year, Scottie Scheffler’s first win in a major capped a run where he won four out of six tournaments. While he hasn’t quite matched that success in 2023, this is definitely the time of year where he heats up. Since the WM Phoenix Open, Scheffler has won two out of his last five tournaments. He defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open, won The Players Championship in runaway fashion, and reached the semifinals of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play two weeks ago. He opened at +1200 at BetMGM and can now be had at most sportsbooks at +700.

$200 Free-Bets
Views (4449)

The other two big-time golfers who are at the top of their game are Rory McIlroy (+700) and Jon Rahm (+950 at FanDuel). McIlroy hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in 2023, but he did claim victory in a tournament in Dubai in January that featured a strong field. In addition, he was runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and won the third-place match over Scheffler at Match Play. The Northern Irishman is also the defending FedEx Cup champion after winning three times in 2022. He is also a sentimental favorite since he hasn’t won a major in close to a decade. McIlroy was close last year–finishing runner-up at the Masters and in the top-10 at the other three majors.

Rahm is coming off the winter of his golf career. He won two international events in Spain and Dubai to close out the year, then won three times in a span of five events in January and February. Rahm’s cooled a bit as of late, however, finishing 39th, withdrawing from The Players due to illness, and not reaching the knockout stage of the Match Play.

Who Has Good Value From LIV Golf?

Dustin Johnson and Cameron Smith are both +2900 at DraftKings. Neither have been spectacular in the three LIV events this year, however, as each have just one top-10 finish. Instead, let’s look at two golfers who played well in Orlando and have won majors before.

First, Patrick Reed (+7000) came in fourth on Sunday and narrowly lost to McIlroy in Dubai in January. He’s extra competitive when it comes to facing his former PGA Tour players, as he and McIlroy had a well-publicized, tense exchange on the driving range prior to that event. Reed is also a recent winner at Augusta, having won a green jacket in 2018.

We mentioned Koepka earlier, and he can be had for +3700 at bet365. In addition to the two LIV wins, Koepka has won back-to-back U.S. Opens and PGA Championships and was also runner-up at the Masters in 2019. He missed the cut the past two years here, but he said on Sunday that he’s finally feeling fully healthy again after difficult years in 2021 and ’22, so expect him to contend this weekend.

What About Tiger Woods?

Tiger Woods currently sits at +8500 at FanDuel. Even so, this probably isn’t great value. He made the cut here last year, which was his first tournament since a horrific car crash in Feb. 2021 where he nearly lost his leg. It took nearly a year for him to play another full four rounds, finishing 45th at the Genesis Invitational (16 shots behind winner Jon Rahm) in February.

At this stage in his career, expect Woods to maybe put up a great round or two. Ultimately, it would be a shock to see him be in contention on Sunday.

Masters Best Bets:

  • Scheffler
  • McIlroy
  • Reed
  • Koepka

Share this story