The time is finally here! Masters week 2019 is upon us, and with it also comes the biggest week of the year in daily fantasy golf and golf betting. The Masters is always the pinnacle of the golfing world, and trying to pick a winner — whether you go with an odds-on favorite like Tiger Woods or a sleeper like Webb Simpson — is not only fun but also potentially lucrative if you hit in PGA DFS contests and/or gambling action.
Last year we saw Patrick Reed become an unlikely but well earned Masters champion. Not only did Reed have one of his best career tournaments driving the ball, but he also led the field in putts per green in regulation — a combination that is always going to be tough to beat at a course like Augusta National that places such an emphasis on strokes gained: off the tee and overall putting on the lightening fast bentgrass greens.
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Augusta National is a long layout at 7,475 yards, which will play every bit as long as its listed yardage. The major change to the course for this year’s edition is the fifth hole has been lengthened by a solid 40 yards, which takes a hole that was a good birdie opportunity requiring just a short iron approach to a beast of hole that will now require a great drive and a long iron approach; making par a great score. Justin Rose said in his press conference that even par through the first five holes should be seen as a great start to a round.
What makes Augusta National a truly special layout is that it tests every single aspect of a player’s game. There isn’t a flat hole on the course, and huge changes in elevation are standard around Augusta National. I’ve seen a big deal being made about strokes gained: off-the-tee going into the week, but I’m personally going to be using strokes gained: approach as the most important statistic. The fairways at Augusta are very forgiving, the rough is basically non existent, and even if someone does get loose off the tee, playing out of the pine straw is by no means a death sentence. However, missing your spot on the greens can be a scorecard wrecker at Augusta with both the speed and massive undulations that litter the greens. I also don’t mind giving a bump to players who are longer off the tee due to the lack of real danger off the fairway besides the brutally deep fairway bunkers. With the being said, you shouldn’t be eliminating short hitters in a DFS lineup or in the betting markets if their approaches and short games are up to snuff.
Course management is crucial at Augusta National, so perhaps the most important thing to look for when picking golfers this week is their Masters history. The atmosphere, layout, and pressure of playing in the Masters is unlike anything else in golf, so don’t be afraid to ride players who have played well over and over again at Augusta National even at high ownership. Players such as Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, and Jordan Spieth are all guys who we see play well here virtually every time they tee it up at Augusta’s hallowed grounds.
Another aspect to note is the small field at The Masters. The field will be less than 90 players, with the top 50 and ties or anyone within 10 shots of the lead making the cut.
Before we get into this week’s picks, we have to point out that plenty of strategy goes into cashing winning DFS lineups and winning betting tickets. By now you should know the best place to start is RotoQL’s DFS tools and the BetQL Mobile App. Our easy-to-use RotoQL PGA Lineup Optimizer gives you a big advantage when you’re putting together DFS lineups, and our BetQL Trending Picks and Public Betting tools provide a massive edge when you’re making bets, regardless of bankroll size.
I’m always ready to help, too, so check me out on Twitter (@DFSBenj) for even more NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA daily fantasy content and gambling advice.
Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
Par 5 Scoring
2019 Masters picks (Daily Fantasy Golf)
DFS Core Plays to Consider:
Top Tier: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson (GPP), Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka (GPP), Paul Casey (Cash)
Mid-Tier: Hideki Matsuyama, Tony Finau, Matt Kuchar (Cash), Patrick Cantlay (GPP)
Value Plays: Webb Simpson, Charles Howell, Charley Hoffman, Kevin Kisner, Lucas Bjerregaard
2019 Masters betting advice
Outright Bets to Consider
*odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Justin Rose 14/1
Rose came oh-so close to a career-defining victory at the 2017 Masters before an errant tee shot in the first playoff hole cost him the title to Sergio Garcia. Rose heads into this year’s Masters as the world’s top-ranked player, and I believe that his betting odds should be on par with Dustin Johnson at 10/1 and not where it currently sits at 14/1. Rose has an elite track record at this event — perhaps the best among players who haven’t won a green jacket — with two runner-up finishes over the past four years.
Tiger Woods 14/1
I’ve had the Masters circled on my calendar to bet Woods for the past few months, and while I would have certainly preferred to get this number a little lower, 14/1 is still in my personal range of bettable numbers for Tiger. There isn’t a player in the field who has had more success at Augusta National than Woods, who has four greens jackets and has made 20 of 21 cuts in his career (his lone missed cut was his first Masters as an amateur). Woods played decently here even when he was in the midst of his health and personal issues, and now that those are well behind him, I fully expect him to play well and contend for a fifth jacket. Woods is top five in the field in both strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: around the green. His driving distance is still up there with the best in the game and he will be helped by how forgiving Augusta National is to errant drives.
Brooks Koepka 28/1
Koepka has said many times that he plays this game to rack up Major Championships, and I believe that he is the most undervalued player in the field this week at 28/1 odds. Koepka comes into this week in middling form, but he also didn’t have much form coming into either of his U.S. Open wins or his PGA Championship victory last season at Bellerive. Odds of 28/1 are just disrespectful for a guy that has won three of the past seven Majors and has improved his finishing position every time he has played in the Masters (DNP last season due to a wrist injury). He has admitted that dropping weight for a recent photoshoot has hurt his performance, but he has gotten his diet back on track in preparation for this week.
Matt Kuchar 40/1
I normally like to fill out the backend of my card with guys who have deeper odds, but I just get the sense that one of the elite players win this year. With that being said, someone who does have some deeper odds that I will be diving in on is Kuchar at 40/1. Kuchar is having by far the best season of his career and has already grabbed two victories and came close to a third at the WGC-Match Play. Kuchar’s game isn’t an ideal fit for Augusta with his lack of elite length off the tee, so he will really have to be clicking with every other aspect of his game, but that hasn’t stopped him from having a great recent track record at Augusta with four top-eight finishes over his past seven Masters starts. We’ve seen veteran players contend here year after year, and this could finally be Kuchar’s time to get that first career Major.
Other Outright Bets to Consider: Hideki Matsuyama 28/1, Henrik Stenson 66/1, Brandt Snedeker 80/1, Branden Grace 150/1, Martin Kaymer 350/1