The Masters Betting Guide 2020

Odds, Strategy, And History

The 2020 Masters Tournament will run from Thursday, April 9, through Sunday, April 12, at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Here at TheLines, you’ll find all you need to know about the first major of the 2020 season. We break down how to bet PGA Tour futures and tournaments, take a look back at recent Masters champions and preview the top contenders for this year’s Green Jacket at the 84th Masters.

The magic and glory of Augusta National were on proper display last April, as Tiger Woods captured his fifth career Masters title and 15th Major. The win, which came less than seven months after he claimed the 2018 Tour Championship, put behind him questions and fears over a back injury once believed to be career-threatening.

Starting Sunday’s schedule-adjusted final round two strokes behind 54-hole leader Francesco Molinari (-13) and in a tie with Tony Finau at -11, Woods shot a 2-under 70 to outlast top-ranked competitors Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele and finish at minus 13.

The win vaulted Woods back inside the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time since 2014. He has remained inside the top 10 ever since. All eyes are now back on Tiger as he chases Jack Nicklaus’ all-time Majors record.

Woods will have his hands full in yet another Masters defense. Top competitors Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas have already found the victory circle early in the 2019-20 PGA and European Tour seasons. Tiger, himself, picked up his first win of the season at the inaugural Zozo Championship in Japan in late October.

The Masters odds 2020

Given the popularity of The Masters, there should be plenty of wagering options for the green jacket event at Augusta National. Odds to win the Masters, match-ups, props, over/under winning score and player props on selected stars like Tiger Woods will be available at DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.

The Masters Winner

Rory McIllroy
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+700
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+650
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+750
Dustin Johnson
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+900
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+1100
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+1200
Justin Rose
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+1200
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+1200
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+1400
Tiger Woods
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+1400
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+1600
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+1000
Jon Rahm
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+1400
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+2000
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+1800
Justin Thomas
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+1600
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+2000
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+2000
Rickie Fowler
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+1600
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+2000
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+2200
Jason Day
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+2000
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+3300
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+3300
Jordan Spieth
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+2200
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+1600
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+2200
Francesco Molinari
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+2200
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+2200
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+2200
Paul Casey
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+2500
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+2800
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+3000
Tommy Fleetwood
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+2500
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+3000
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+3000
Brooks Koepka
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+2500
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+3000
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+2800
Hideki Matsuyama
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+2800
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+3300
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+3300
Bryson DeChambeau
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+3300
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+3000
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+3300
Tony Finau
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+3300
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+4000
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+5000
Matt Kuchar
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+3300
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+4500
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+5000
Sergio Garcia
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+3300
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+6000
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+5000
Bubba Watson
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+3500
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+3300
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+3300
Adam Scott
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+4000
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+4500
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+4000
Phil Mickelson
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+4000
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+3600
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+4000
Xander Schauffele
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+4000
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+4000
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+5000
Patrick Cantlay
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+4000
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+8000
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+8000
Marc Leishman
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+4500
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+4000
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+5000
Louis Oosthuizen
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+5000
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+4000
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+4500
Gary Woodland
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+5000
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+10000
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+8000
Webb Simpson
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+5000
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+7500
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+8000
Patrick Reed
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+6000
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+7000
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+6600
Henrik Stenson
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+6600
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+6000
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+6600
Kevin Kisner
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+6600
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+7000
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+6600
Ian Poulter
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+7000
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+12000
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+10000
Charley Hoffman
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+8000
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+10000
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+10000
Charles Howell
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+8000
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+17000
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+12500
Rafa Cabrera-Bello
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+8000
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+15000
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+10000
Cameron Smith
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+9000
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+12000
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+9000

The Masters 2020 players to watch

Rory McIlroy

The reigning PGA Tour Player of the year picked up his first win of the 2018-19 season at the WGC-HSBC Champions. The 2019 Masters was his first time finishing outside the top 10 (T-21) since 2013. He’s the rightful favorite at most books as he seeks the elusive career grand slam.

Brooks Koepka

The No. 1 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking will be seeking his fifth Major title in his last 11 events. He didn’t finish worse than T-4 in a Major last year, including his T-2 at Augusta.

Tiger Woods

Like Koepka, Woods tailors his tournament schedule toward the four Majors as he hunts down Nicklaus’ record. He proved last year he can be a contender here for many more years to come.

Dustin Johnson

Johnson has slipped to No. 5 in the world, and he has slipped from the minds of many despite picking up two wins in 2019. He battled injury for much of the latter portion of the calendar year, but he was a runner-up at both of last year’s first two Majors.

Justin Thomas

Thomas, now ranked fourth in the world, has three wins since the middle of last August. A streaky putter, he has oddly never finished higher than last year’s T-12 at the Masters.

Xander Schauffele

Schauffele has finished within the top 6 at five of his 11 career Major appearances. His T-2 last year was a big improvement on his T-50 debut in 2018.

Tommy Fleetwood

The Englishman has never won on the PGA Tour, but he’s a five-time champ on the European circuit. He was the runner-up at last year’s Open Championship and the 2018 US Open. An expert ball-striker but a poor putter, he’ll need to get hot for just one week on Augusta’s nightmare-fueling greens.

Collin Morikawa

The 22-year-old Morikawa made his professional debut at last year’s US Open, and he has already risen to No. 53 in the OWGR while claiming his first career win at the Barracuda Championship. He’s looking to become the first since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979 to win the Masters in his first appearance.

Danny Willett

The 2016 Masters champion missed the cut in his three follow-up appearances and has only one top 10 in a Major in that time, finishing T-6 at last year’s Open. He has picked up a European Tour win each of the last two years and is back to No. 29 in the world early in 2020.

Viktor Hovland

Hovland was the low amateur at last year’s Masters (T-32) and US Open (T-12). He remains in search of his first win after turning pro last June. He has the putting stroke to tame Augusta National for a week. However, he’ll still need to gain entry to the event and will likely need a win to do it.

When and where to watch The Masters

When: Thursday, April 9 – Sunday, April 12. Tee times will be announced Tuesday, April 7.

Where: Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Georgia

How to watch: Jim Nantz will once again have the call for CBS Sports’ coverage of The Masters with analyst Nick Faldo. The tournament is simulcast on ESPN with added commentary from Scott Van Pelt and Curtis Strange. Dottie Pepper works the course for both networks.

Streaming options: The Masters Tournament is live-streamed on CBSSports.com and Masters.com, as well as on the mobile app for both sites, without the need for a television subscription.

How to bet The Masters

The added viewership on The Masters each year as the unofficial beginning of the PGA Tour season (in fact, it started in mid-September with A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier) makes the annual event a bettor’s paradise.

Futures have been posted on many sportsbooks since the conclusion of last year’s tournament. Those odds have been adjusted throughout the past year based on golfer performance and public betting action. Backing a longshot early in the build-up to the ensuing Masters is a must-have strategy for those seeking large payouts. Wins or a stretch of top finishes either on the PGA Tour, European Tour or any of the other global circuits can lower a golfer’s odds by Masters week.

When backing a favorite, bettors should closely follow them throughout the year before the Masters and look to get their action during a poor stretch which may include missed cuts, injury withdrawals or low finishes. Knowing a golfer’s true pedigree and penchant for success can be much more important than recent struggles. Value doesn’t always mean a longshot who can provide better than a 50x return on your investment. Knowing when to a back golfer at +1500 (15-to-1) when they’d normally be +1000 is huge.

As the tournament nears, odds can compress at the top of the board while longshot value can be found in international golfers with which the American betting public isn’t fully familiar. If you’re still interested in backing a favorite in the days before the tournament, it can be wise to wait until the tournament has already started and place a live bet, in hopes of a poor start by them, or a quick start by a first-round leader unlikely to be maintained for 72 holes.

First Round Leader (FRL) bets can be one of the most profitable props in golf betting. Favorites will usually have higher odds to lead after 18 holes than they will to win the tournament. There are many golfers on Tour who are routine strong Thursday performers, but their lack of career success keeps their odds high from tournament-to-tournament. These bets typically aren’t available until tee times are released the Tuesday or Wednesday of the tournament week.

If picking outright winners is too bold for you, Top-5, Top-10 or Top-20 finish bets are also available closer to the beginning of the tournament. While the payouts drop significantly from an outright win, with favorites even laying negative numbers, longshots can still carry adequate value with added room for error.

Prop bets will also group players by world ranking, nationality, or another trait (top lefty, Major winners from the previous year, etc.). Here, bettors back their favorite golfer out of the group to finish with the best score after a certain round or for the tournament as a whole.

Two-ball and three-ball bets are another prop pitting playing partners, countrymen or OWGR neighbors against each other. Odds for either golfer generally range from -150 to +150 to shoot the better round or finish with the lower tournament score.

While outright betting is by far the most common, certain books offer variations such as Straight Forecasts and Each-Way betting. Forecast betting is most popular in horse racing and is also known there as exacta or perfecta betting. Bettors choose golfers to finish first and second. Each-way (E/W) betting involves making a bet of two parts, with the first being on the golfer to win the tournament, and the second being on them to finish within a certain bracket, such as second, top five or top 10.

For example, placing a $10 bet on McIlroy to win the Masters at +800 with a top-4 E/W bet would mean laying a total stake of $20 for a $90 return for the win and a $30 return for the to-4 result.

Some books offer early cashouts, which is a great way to earn a profit on a longshot who starts strong but is unlikely to hold onto their lead. Depending on how deep into the tournament you’re looking to withdrawal and how large their lead, their updated odds will be lower than the odds at which you initially placed the wager, but still returning a profit.

Masters betting strategy

Picking an outright winner is a significant challenge at every PGA event. The best way to make money consistently is isolating head-to-head match-ups and selected prop bets.

Your main handicapping focus should be on current form and course form, which includes a player’s experience and results playing at Augusta National. Finding value early and shopping around at the sportsbooks for the best long-shot prices and matchups is a focus as you narrow your selections and spread your risk. Unfortunately, many of the golfer’s odds to win the Masters get bet down closer to the starting date of the event.

When placing a win wager, it should be no more than 10-20% of a head-to-head match-up wager, which allows more handicapping, strategy and skill to produce profit and winners. So, if you wager $100 on Rory McIlroy over Justin Rose in a 72-hole tournament match-up, for example, you would consider wagering $10 to $20 on an individual player to win the tournament outright.

Some bettors won’t heed this advice or money management strategy, but betting on players to win an event alone is akin to playing a slot machine and hoping to hit 777.

Daily fantasy (DFS) has added to the tremendous interest in golf betting, and the strategy is different when drafting players and putting together a team on a budget. You’ll still need to have value picks as longer shots on your DFS team, so recognizing players in current form with course form at Augusta and those more capable of putting and shot-making is part of your plan and strategy when looking to score at the Masters.

The key is to have players make the cut, and from there hope they can score and contend or win the event. Regardless, fantasy golf and betting on players is a great way to add to the enjoyment of the Masters.

Player performance at Augusta National

Understanding the course and knowing how to play the holes and where to place shots are essential for success at Augusta. So is familiarity with the greens, which is why players with less experience on the course usually don’t fare as well. But forecasting players putting week-to-week can be difficult. Augusta is mostly a second-shot golf course, and while longer hitters have an advantage and playing the par 5s well under par is significant to success, it’s precision ball striking, quality irons and approach play and premium putting with the ability to get the ball in the hole from a distance of 10-feet or less that are keys to success.

Stats to Evaluate

  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Ball striking
  • Approach play
  • Scrambling
  • Birdies

Length is an advantage at Augusta, which plays to a par 72 and 7,435 yards but plays longer with a number of uphill holes and the grain of the fairways pointing back towards the tee boxes. The course remains heavily tree-lined, and each hole is named after a flower, plant or tree. The scores can be dictated by the weather and wind,  as evidenced by Jordan Spieth (-18) winning in 2015 and Danny Willett (-5)  in 2016.

Since the Masters is played on the same course every year, there are many trends noted. They include:

  • Before Woods won last year, each of the last 11 Masters winners was under the age of 40
  • 16 of the last 21 Masters champions made the cut in their previous start on Tour
  • 11 of last 13 Masters champions were ranked inside the world’s top 30
  • 11 of last 12 Masters champions posted a previous top-30 at Augusta
  • No defending champion or the world No. 1 ranked player has won the Masters in the past 11 years

The Bentgrass greens are lightning fast, and typically feature run-off areas, slopes and multiple tiers. This is the ultimate test of ball striking to ensure approaches land on the proper tier and allow for better chances to make birdies.

While the favorites will get much of the media attention and betting action, Patrick Reed (40-1) proved in 2018 that there are plenty of top pros that provide value and have a chance to win and wear the green jacket.