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Continuing OutKick’s Masters Tournament 2023 betting rollout, it’s time to focus on the golfer matchups. Head-to-head (H2H) bets are a good way to build your golf bankroll.
Or at least that’s what I’m told. After a profitable 2021-22 in matchup wagers, I’ve been ice-cold so far this season. Let’s hope it begins to turnaround now that we are in major-season.
For the record, the following Masters H2H wagers will be “pizza bets” (a quarter-unit or less). I’m betting a ton of Masters 2023 markets and I don’t want to overexpose myself to a huge losing weekend.
Rory McIlroy (+100) vs. Scottie Scheffler
Scottie is the reigning Masters winner and McIlroy needs the Masters to complete his major grand slam. Scheffler is currently No. 1 in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) and Rory is right behind him at No. 2.
The legal U.S. sportsbooks have this baked into their numbers and Scheffler is the betting favorite in his H2H vs. McIlroy at most of these books. But, Pinnacle Sportsbook (Pinny) makes McIlroy a slight favorite over Scheffler.
Pinny is an offshore operation that’s considered the sharpest shop in the world known for booking the biggest sports bets. Maybe Pinny is hearing “the word on the street,” that Rory is crushing Augusta in his warm up rounds.
Also, McIlroy is No. 1 in my Masters power rankings and Scheffler ranks 7th. Technically, Rory has more total Strokes Gained (SG) at Augusta than Scottie even though Scheffler won the green jacket in 2022.
Finally, McIlroy scores better on Par 5s and long Par 4s than Scheffler. Rory is 1st in this field for SG: Par 5 (Scottie is 18th) and 3rd in Par 4 Efficiency: 450-500 yards (Scottie is 20th), according to FantasyNational.com
BET: Rory McIlroy (+100) at DraftKings Sportsbook to beat Scottie Scheffler in the 2023 Masters
- Betting Strategy: This is only a “pizza bet” aka for a quarter-unit or less. There isn’t long-term value in fading either McIlroy or Scheffler.
Complimentary Masters Coverage
MASTERS 2023 BETTING ODDS, COURSE, FIELD, KEY STATS PREVIEW
‘HORSES FOR THE COURSE’ AT MASTERS 2023 INCLUDE DJ, SUNGJAE & MORIKAWA
Brooks Koepka (+150) vs. Viktor Hovland
Due to sponsorship obligations I cannot mention where I found this H2H but, if you do a Google search or check the usual suspects, you’ll find it.
However, the only way Hovland should be this big of a favorite over Koepka is if Brooks were missing a leg. Koepka has more legitimate win equity at the 2023 Masters than Hovland.
Brooks is a 4-time major winner and Hovland’s three career PGA Tour victories have come in weaker fields including back-to-back (B2B) wins at Mayakoba.
Hovland has finished 21st, 27th and 32nd in his three career Masters starts. Koepka has missed B2B cuts at Augusta but placed 7th, 2nd, and 11th from 2017-20 (he didn’t play in the 2018 Masters).
No one knows what to do with these LIV Tour guys in these majors. The 2023 Masters will set the precedent for future LIV golfer prices. If they play well, all the LIV golfers odds will shrink in following major events.
I think at least one of the LIV Tour players are in contention come Sunday. Snicker all you want but Koepka has won two of his last four LIV Tour starts including the most recent event in Orlando.
This might be a “buy-low” spot for Koepka who’s dealt with injuries the past couple of years. If Brooks “is back,” there aren’t 15 better golfers in the world including Hovland.
BET: Brooks Koepka (+150) to beat Viktor Hovland in the Masters
Cameron Smith (+125) vs. Jordan Spieth
This is another PGA vs. LIV Tour value-play. Despite defecting to the LIV Tour, Smith is still No. 6 in the OWGR (Spieth is 16th) and the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year.
Granted, Spieth is the 2015 Masters champion and course history is more important for betting the Masters than any other event on Tour. But, Smith is just a better golfer at the moment.
Here are Smith’s Masters results over the past five years: 3rd, 10th, 2nd, 51st, and 5th. Spieth missed the cut in 2022 and finished 3rd, 46th, 21st, and 3rd over his other starts over the last five Masters.
Also, golfers NEED to score on these Par 5s at Augusta. Per Ron Klos of Betsperts, Smith is 5th in this field for Par 5 scoring over his last 36 rounds on the PGA Tour. Smith is 17-under at Par 5s in the last two Masters.
Putting is hard to handicap in golf betting and means less in the Masters compared to other events. That said, Smith is clearly the best putter in the world.
If all things are equal, which they aren’t, then Smith gets the nod from me over Spieth based on what he can do on and around the greens.
BET: Cameron Smith (+125) at DraftKings to beat Jordan Spieth in the Masters
Justin Thomas (+100) vs. Xander Schauffele
There’s a sportsbook out there — that will go unnamed since it doesn’t sponsor this site or my podcast — listing Thomas as an underdog vs. Schauffele. While that’s not outrageous, I cannot abide.
JT has a better Masters history than Schauffele. Thomas ranks 12th in total SG at Augusta over the last 50 rounds and Schauffele is 31st. Plus there may be tough weather conditions this weekend at Augusta.
Thomas ranks 8th in total SG over the last 50 rounds in high winds and Schauffele is 60th. Bad weather softens golf courses, putting a premium in driving distance. JT is 22nd in driving distance and Schauffele is 53rd.
Lastly, Augusta is known to have perhaps the trickiest greens in the world. Thomas ranks 1st in this field in SG: Around-the-Green over the last 50 rounds and Schauffele is 38th.
BET: Justin Thomas (+100) to beat Xander Schauffele in the Masters
Check out the Hot Links golf gambling show hosted by Geoff Clark on the OutKick Bets podcast feed. New episodes drop Tuesdays for all full-field PGA Tour events in the 2022-23 season.
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