Golf

2017 Masters Picks and Props

I had to come out of golf gambling blog retirement for the best tournament of the year. It was also my most profitable last year (+17.68), so it’d feel like a missed opportunity.

Let’s all try to get laid.

Picks: Individual Finishes

Rory McIlroy (Top 5: +180 / Win: +850)

If it’s possible for Rory to go under the radar, it seems like he has the last couple times here. This year, the focus seems to be on DJ and Spieth. Last year, it was Spieth and Jason day. Rory has finished in the top 7 of has last two stroke play events. He needs the Masters win for his career slam and it seems inevitable to happen. He hasn’t missed a cut here since 2010 and has three straight top 10 finishes. The conditions aren’t supposed to be perfect with the rain coming down Wednesday, which plays right into Rory’s hands.

Hideki Matsuyama (Top 5: +450 / Win: +2200)

For a stretch there last fall and winter, Hideki was playing like the best in the world. He’s since cooled off quite a bit lately, but he hasn’t really ripped up the tournaments before the Masters either of the last two years and he’s still notched back-to-back top 10 finishes here at Augusta. For a guy who hits it long, plays well at the course, and has shown his peak is as good as anyone, this is a very enticing price, regardless of his form heading in.

Justin Rose (Top 5: +600 / Win: +3000)

Let’s copy and paste from last year:

He’s played the Masters ten times and never missed the weekend. He’s finished in the top-25 eight times, including two top-5s. Last year he finished a career best second. He’s won a major before. His last four stroke play events on tour have resulted in the top-17. His game fits the course well.

He finished T10 last year. His form is about the same heading into this one.

Paul Casey (Top 5: +850 / Win: +4000)

How about another copy and paste job?

Casey’s made the weekend six times in nine tries at the Masters, including three top-10s. One of those was last year when he finished T-6 even after a rough Saturday (69-68-74-68). His last two stroke play events have resulted in top-10s. He’s not a great scrambler, but that’s okay because he’s top-10 on Tour in GIR.

He finished T4 last year. Form isn’t quite as sharp heading in this year, but it’s certainly not bad.

Lee Westwood (Top 10: +725 / Top 5: +1800)

I’ll save the C&P’s here and just tell you that I think you’re certifiably insane not to have money on Lee Westwood in some form or fashion when he rolls into Augusta National. I don’t care that he got cut in Houston. He did last year, too.

Bill Haas (Top 10: +800 / Top 5: +1800)

Billy has been like Westwood-lite at the Masters. He hasn’t finished in the top 10, but he’s Steady Eddy with seven straight cuts made, including four straight top 25’s. He’s also much less experienced on the course and is due to have a big weekend here one of these years. He hasn’t missed a cut on tour this year and recently finished third at the match play event.

J.B. Holmes (Top 10: +1000 / Top 5: +2500)

I’ll buy low on J.B. He’s only played here three times, making the cut twice, but he finished T4 here last year. I’ll be honest, no top 10’s for J.B. this year after having six of those bad boys last season. But I’m still gonna take him. Although he doesn’t have those banner top 10’s, it’s not like he’s playing terrible golf. He MC’d in Houston, but he’s gone top 35 in his other seven stroke play events with a couple top 12’s in there. He’s a long-ball hitter and the weaknesses in his game (approaches, putting) have seen an uptick this year, despite that not really showing up in improved finishes.

Charley Hoffman (Top 20: +400 / Top 10: +1050)

The resumes obviously get a little weaker down here, but Charley is 3-for-3 making the weekend here with a top 10 finish in 2015 to his name. Quite frankly, his stats for the year aren’t the most encouraging, but he’s a guy with four career tour wins and he’s played well lately. His last four stroke play events: T2, MC, T4 and a T29 last weekend in Houston when he did most of his damage on the weekend.

Soren Kjeldsen (Top 20: +500 / Top 10: +1400)

You might remember Soren from last year as the guy Twitter was making fun of because it looks like he has a fake blonde wig popping out of the top of his visor. He then dunked on everyone by finishing T7. It’s his first year with a tour card. Things didn’t start off hot in 2017 with four straight MC’s. However, he went T37, T32, and T27 in stroke play events since then and then made the quarters of match play, including a win over Rory.

Brendan Steele (Top 20: +650 / Top 10: +1700)

Not much course experience with his only appearance coming in 2012 when he missed the cut. However, he’s a great player from tee-to-green and is in really good form for the price. He hasn’t missed a cut all year, won a tournament, and has three top 10’s and six top 20’s. It’d be a stunner if he was in real contention Sunday, but his consistency this year makes him a good bet to at least make the weekend.

Prop Bets

Winning Margin: Playoff (+300)

I’ll play it every year until they day I die. The only reason to root against a playoff is if you bought a ticket on the clubhouse leader to win, otherwise you have a big dump in your pants. It’s happened five times in the past 14 years.

Hole in One Round 4 (+200)

Last year I played the Hole in One on Hole 16 at +175. It’s +125 this year, likely due to the fact that three guys aced it last year. So why the Sunday play this year? Because all three of those hole-outs on 16 last year happened on Sunday.

Top Senior Player: Fred Couples (+275)

There’s nine of them, but only four are probably really in the running for this one. The favorite is Steve Stricker at +150. The other two would be Bernhard Langer and Vijay Singh. I despise those two so they’re already out. If you’d like something more scientific, do your own damn research.

Freddy got cut at Augusta last year, but he rattled off five straight top 20s before that. His year on the Champions tour so far this year: 2, T6, Win, T4. Stricker has had a good year as well, but he hasn’t been quite as good as Couples at the Masters, recently or historically.

Top Australasian Player: Marc Leishman (+400)

Six guys, only three real contenders. The other two: Jason Day (even) and Adam Scott (+175). Obviously both of those guys are very good at golf. It’s difficult knowing what to expect from Day. He’s had his mother’s health issues to worry about off the course. Thankfully that appears to be in a better place now, but I don’t know that it’s instantly going to help his game out in a big way. He has just one top 10 this year.

Scott’s had a pretty solid season so far, but he just missed the cut in Houston and since winning the Masters in 2013, he’s gradually dropped each year in the standings and has only broken 70 twice.

Leishman doesn’t have a ton of success at Augusta, going 1 for 4 in making the cut, but that one was a T4 in 2013. He’s having a great year, though. He’s played nine events, made eight cuts, and finished top 25 in seven of those, including a win a couple weeks ago. He’s third in strokes gained: putting, a great scrambler, and hits it plenty long enough for the course (31st in driving distance).

Top Debutant: Tyrrell Hatton (+500)

Quite a few options here. Jon Rahm is the obvious favorite, but Hatton has been very consistent for months now. He’s finished in the top 25 in his last 11 events. Pretty good, imo.

Matchups

Spieth (+110) over D. Johnson

As I’m writing this, it’s still available and the news about DJ’s back has already broken. Probably would’ve taken it either way. Spieth is great here.

Jason Day (even) over Jon Rahm

I’ve explained my doubts about Day, but he’s still one of the best players in the world. Jon Rahm is hot in the streets these days, but it’s his first time. There have been guys that have torn it up in their first outing at Augusta (Day is one of them), but I’ll bet on the experienced guy who also happens to still be the better golfer when they’re at their best.

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Dean & Deluca Invitational Picks

 

Field Finish Picks

Charley Hoffman (Top 5: +500 / Win: +2500)

Colt Knost (Top 5: +700 / Win: +3500)

Marc Leishman (Top 10: +500 / Top 5: +1250)

William McGirt (Top 10: +900 / Top 5: +2100)

Scott Stallings (Top 10: +1100 / Top 5: +2500)

Ben Martin (Top 20: +750 / Top 10: +1500)

Jon Curran (Top 20: +800 / Top 10: +1600)

John Huh (Top 20: +850 / Top 10: +1700)

DFS Picks

Steve Flesch $5,800

Last Week: +2.13

Season: +24.63

AT&T Byron Nelson Picks

Solid bounce back last week with the Players. Day marked our fourth winner of the year and obviously his Top 5 play hit as well. Kevin Chappell hit on both of his Top 20 and Top 10 plays.

This week is the Byron Nelson in Irving, Texas. Not many of the top guys are playing and one of them – Spieth – hasn’t fared well here at all, so it could be a wild weekend.

As always, every pick is a half unit.

Field Finish Picks

Matt Kuchar (Top 5: +425 / Win: +2200)

Charley Hoffman (Top 5: +450 / Win: +2200)

Louis Oosthuizen (Top 5: +550 / Win: +3000)

Ryan Palmer (Top 5: +700 / Win: +3500)

Colt Knost (Top 10: +500 / Top 5: +1200)

Bryce Molder (Top 10: +550 / Top 5: +1400)

Jonas Blixt (Top 10: +550 / Top 5: +1300)

Jon Curran (Top 20: +550 / Top 10: +1050)

Jerry Kelly (Top 20: +600 / Top 10: +1150)

Adam Hadwin (Top 20: +950 / Top 10: +1800)

Sleeper DFS Picks

Ken Duke $6,600

Cameron Percy $6,400

Joe Affrunti $6,200

 

Last Week: +6.63

Season: +22.50

The Players Championship Picks

Last week was our worst yet, which was unfortunate. Had a couple of near misses, but luckily Phil at least came through for us.

This week is the Players, which is one of the few on tour that has a long history on one course, so past record in the tournament gives some help. 144-man field and most of the top guys are playing so it should be a fun weekend.

Field Finish Picks

Jason Day (Top 5: +250 / Win: +1200)

Sergio Garcia (Top 5: +550 / Win: +2800)

Billy Horschel (Top 10: +550 / Top 5: +1300)

Chris Kirk (Top 10: +600 / Top 5: +1400)

Kevin Na (Top 10: +650 / Top 5: +1600)

Kevin Chappell (Top 20: +425 / Top 10: +1050)

Marc Leishman (Top 20: +425 / Top 10: +900)

Luke Donald (Top 20: +450 / Top 10: +850)

William McGirt (Top 20: +1050 / Top 10: +2300)

Daniel Hearn (Top 20: +1150 / Top 10: +3500)

Sleeper DFS Picks

Spencer Levin $6,000

Chris Stroud $5,800

Erik Compton $5,600

 

Last week: -7.00

Season: +15.87

Wells Fargo Championship Picks

Field Finish Picks

J.B. Holmes (Top 5: +600 / Win: +2500)

Phil Mickelson (Top 5: +500 / Win: +2500)

Paul Casey (Top 5: +900 / Win: +4000)

Gary Woodland (Top 10: +500 / Top 5: +1200)

Kevin Streelman (Top 10: +700 / Top 5: +1600)

Brendan Steele (Top 10: +700 / Top 5: +1800)

Webb Simpson (Top 10: +750 / Top 5: +1800)

Jason Bohn (Top 20: +500 / Top 10: +1250)

Scott Brown (Top 20: +550 / Top 10: +1400)

Geoff Ogilvy (Top 20: +750 / Top 10: +1800)

Matchups

Lucas Glover (-115) over Harris English

Patrick Rodgers (-110) over Martin Kaymer

Sleeper DFS Picks

Jonathan Byrd $6,500

Colt Knost $6,200

Brendon de Jonge $5,900

 

Last week: -3.00

Season: +22.87

Valero Texas Open Picks

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Last week wasn’t exactly a banner one with the RBC Heritage. MLP favorite Bill McGirt was the only one who placed for us, but he hit both the Top 20 and Top 10. Jason Kokrak and Charley Hoffman won two of the matchups. All-in-all it was a -3.7 unit week and now sit at +14.98 for golf plays on the year.

This week is the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio. Last year’s winner was Jimmy Walker, who’s the slight favorite this week. Walker beat Jordan Spieth by four strokes. It’s only the seventh time it’s being played at this course, so tournament history isn’t very relevant.

None of the big names are playing, which is why Walker leads the field with the best odds right around +1600. Usually there’s about five to seven guys each week with odds less than that, so it’s pretty open this week. Part of that number is also affected by the large field of 144.

All picks are once again a half unit.

Field Finish Picks

Jimmy Walker (Top 5: +350 / Win: +1600)

Matt Kuchar (Top 5: +450 / Win: +2100)

Charley Hoffman (Top 5: +600 / Win: +2800)

Billy Horschel (Top 5: +600 / Win: +3300)

Aaron Baddeley (Top 10: +600 / Top 5: +1600 )

Freddie Jacobson (Top 10: +550 / Top 5: +1400)

Brendan Steele (Top 10: +450 / Top 5: +1050)

Troy Merritt (Top 20: +400 / Top 10: +900)

K.J. Choi (Top 20: +300 / Top 10: +800)

Luke List (Top 20: +475 / Top 10: +1100)

Matchups

Zach Johnson (-120) over Patrick Reed

Jason Kokrak (-110) over Russell Henley

Chez Reavie (-125) over Keegan Bradley

J.B. Holmes (-115) over Brandt Snedeker

John Senden (Even) over Francisco Molinari

Sleeper DFS Picks

Bronson Burgoon $6,100

Shawn Stefani $6,100

Kelly Kraft $5,700

RBC Heritage Open Picks

Keeping it brief this week. The RBC is a long running tournament that’s on Hilton Head, so history on the course is a big deal again this week. It’s a relatively short course that favors those who hit it straight and have a good short game. It’s supposed to be pretty windy, naturally.

132 players, top 70 and ties make the weekend.

We’re at +18.68 units for the year. Half unit on all plays this week.

Finish Picks

Paul Casey (Top 5: +350 / Win: +1600)

Matt Kuchar (Top 5: +475 / Win: +2200)

Matthew Fitzpatrick (Top 5: +600 / Win: +3000)

Jamie Lovemark (Top 10: +500 / Top 5: +1050)

Ben Martin (Top 10: +650 / Top 5: +1500)

Scott Brown (Top 10: +700 / Top 5: +1700)

William McGirt (Top 20: +400 / Top 10: +850)

Jerry Kelly (Top 20: +450 / Top 10: +1000)

Will MacKenzie (Top 20: +550 / Top 10: +1300)

Davis Love III (Top 20: +700 / Top 10: +1700)

Matchups

Sean O’Hair (-115) over Tony Finau

Jason Kokrak (+110) over Francisco Molinari

Webb Simpson (-110) over Charles Howell III

Charley Hoffman (Even) over Danny Lee

Chez Reavie (-115) over Marc Leishman

Graeme McDowell (+115) over Billy Horschel

Sleeper DFS Picks

Chris Stroud $6,900

Stewart Cink $6,600

Mark Hubbard $6,600

Zac Blair $5,800

Final CBB Tally (Featuring Worst Beats of Season) and NBA Playoff Plan

So, it’s been a little over a week now, but I just wanted to put a final bow on the college basketball betting season. After a strong finish to the season – going 27-10 in the tournament – we finished at 340-292-16 in CBB for +18.8 units.

It was an absolute grind and mostly torture, but I’d give anything to have an ETSU-Mercer line to look over right now. To celebrate the season, I thought I’d give a quick rundown of the four toughest beats I could remember off the top of my head. They probably weren’t necessarily the four worst, but they stuck with me for some reason. When it comes down to it, bad beats are why gambling becomes a brotherhood. Only a fellow gambler will understand and truly listen to your story of a dickpunch loss and he’ll have one better to give right back to you.

Bad Beat #4

March 3rd: Missouri State (-2) over Drake

It wasn’t truly a bad beat because it ended in a push, but it was the ultimate “like kissing your sister” push.

The recap provided from the next day:

I stated this past Sunday that I wasn’t going to complain all week because Greensboro pulled a cover out of their ass for me. So I’m going to stick to that. I’ll just state facts.

The facts of the matter:

  • Missouri St. (-2) was up two with four seconds left

  • Chris Kendrix was at the line shooting two free throws

  • Chris Kendrix is an 81.6% free throw shooter

  • Chris Kendrix missed both free throws

  • I pushed

As stated, I wasn’t going to complain too much because of Greensboro’s miracle cover earlier in the week, but had that not occurred, there definitely would’ve been a few F bombs and some serious accusations of Chris Kendrix being on the take.

Bad Beat #3

December 15th: Mercer (+6.5) over AUBURN

The day Cinmeon Bowers decided to get selfish and ruin my life.

BAD BEATS CONTINUE TO MAKE ME A BALD GUY

I can’t totally blame the guy. If I knew I was going to shoot 30.1% from the field in SEC play, I’d take buckets any way I could get them. If you need to know anything about Auburn’s season, Bowers played the second most minutes and had the third highest usage rate.

Bad Beat #2

February 10th: St. Bonaventure (-4.5) over FORDHAM – 5 Units

Do I really have to say anything more? Another 80% free throw shooter missing late.

Bad Beat #1

January 7th: GEORGIA STATE-Troy under 139.5

Just read this.

Picks of the Day: CBB and NBA 1/8

That was such an unbelievably cruel way to lose. By the way, those tweets are still posted and I hate whoever is responsible for it.


You may have noticed I haven’t been posting any NBA plays. I’ve still been paying attention to the league, but between trying to maintain my personal and professional life, the NCAA Tournament, and the Masters, there’s only so much one man can do in a day.

The regular season ends on Wednesday night and at that point the playoff series will be set. Hopefully the prices for exact finishes in the series come out that night or Thursday morning and I’ll have something on those before the games start on Saturday. We’ll see how much value there is in the actual game-by-game lines. I’m guessing less than the second and third weekends of the NCAA tourney.


CBB YTD: 340-292-16 (53.8%)

NBA YTD: 96-85-1 (53.0%)

Total YTD: 436-377-17 (53.6%)

WGC Cadillac Championship Picks

It was another great week last week at The Honda Classic in golf plays for yours truly. Here were the selections:


 

Patrick Reed –/+2000

Adam Scott –/+2000

Russell Knox –/+4000

Freddie Jacobson +550/+6600

Luke Donald +500/+6000

Jason Dufner +700/+8500

Gary Woodland +700/+8500

Brian Harman +1000/+12500

William McGirt +1200/+15000

Tyrone Van Aswegen +1800/–


 

Adam Scott marked our second winner in just five weeks of plays. I’ve been riding McGirt for a few weeks, he’s been consistently playing well, and he finally broke through into the cashing category. It resulted in a 3.6 unit profit for the week and puts me at +2.87 for the year. If you were playing a full unit on each selection this year, you’d be at +14.35.

This week the tour continues in Florida with the  WGC Cadillac Championship and it’s a loaded field. All you need to know is that Rickie Fowler is seventh in terms of his odds to win the championship. It’s also a really shallow field, with only 66 players. In addition, there’s no cut. With that, I’m just going to play Top-10s and winners for everybody.

This week’s picks:

Bubba Watson +125/+1200

Dustin Johnson +110/+1200

Henrik Stenson +200/+2300

J.B. Holmes +225/+2500

Brooks Koepka +300/+3000

Danny Willett +500/+7000

George Coetzee +900/+12500

Ross Fisher +1200/+15000

Rafa Cabrera-Bello +1200/+15000


Additional DFS plays on the lower-end. Hitting on one of these guys will go a long way with such a top-heavy field.

Robert Streb $6,800

Jamie Donaldson $6,700

Daniel Berger $6,600

Chris Wood $6,400

Kristoffer Broberg $6,300

Marcus Fraser $6,300

Scott Hend $6,100

Honda Classic Picks

Picks from last week:

Justin Rose –/+1800

Jimmy Walker –/+2400

J.B. Holmes –/+2800

Charl Schwartzel –/+2800

Harris English –/+5000

Matt Jones +600/+9000

William McGirt +750/+10000

John Huh +800/+11000

K.J. Choi +950/+12500

Aaron Baddeley +1100/+15000

Ben Crane +1700/–

K.J. was the only one who cashed, making it a 1.1 unit loss on the week. Which now puts me back in the red at -0.73 on the year.

This week’s the Honda Classic, which means the tour is finally out of California. Rory leads the pack at +550. No, thanks.

Picks this week:

Patrick Reed –/+2000

Adam Scott –/+2000

Russell Knox –/+4000

Freddie Jacobson +550/+6600

Luke Donald +500/+6000

Jason Dufner +700/+8500

Gary Woodland +700/+8500

Brian Harman +1000/+12500

William McGirt +1200/+15000

Tyrone Van Aswegen +1800/–

 

Other guys I like for DFS throw-in purposes:

Ben Crane

Sean O’Hair

Colt Knost

Mark Hubbard

George McNeill

Stewart Cink

Tom Gillis

Steve Marino

Sung Kang

Jamie Donaldson

John Huh

Scott Piercy

Charles Howell III