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2024 Masters: Experts' picks and betting tips

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2024 Masters: Experts' picks and betting tips

The first golf major of the year is here with the 2024 Masters Tournament from Augusta National in Georgia.

Again this year, we will see PGA Tour and LIV Golf League golfers competing. 2022 Masters champion Scottie Scheffler enters the tournament as the favorite (+450), followed by Rory McIlroy, 2023 winner Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and a field of past champions such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth.

Where is the betting value? Will the favorites prevail? ESPN's golf and betting experts break down everything thing you need to know to bet the 2024 Masters.

Jump to a section:Experts' picks to win | Betting roundtable

Matt Barrie Winner -- Hideki Matsuyama: I get it. It's Scottie Scheffler vs. the field. But what fun would that be? Matsuyama knows how to win at Augusta (2021), and he's finally healthy again. He comes to the Masters in form. A winner at Genesis, followed by finishing T12, T6, T7.

Tory Barron Winner -- Brooks Koepka: Eat, sleep, win majors. Koepka should have received a nice confidence boost (not that he needed one) after last year's second-place finish in Augusta. "Big-game Brooks," who has finished in the top 11 in each of his past four Masters starts in which he was healthy, is going to do what he does best and take home his sixth major title.

Elizabeth Baugh Winner -- Rory McIlroy: Never mind that he missed the cut last year -- it's impossible to rule out the No. 2 golfer in the world. This year there's added pressure of this being his 10th attempt to complete the career Grand Slam. On top of that, he'll be playing with a competitive grouping of Scheffler and Xander Schauffele. The stage is set for him to lock in and finally get the elusive green jacket.

Michael CollinsWinner -- Scottie Scheffler: I know this seems like a blasphemous thing to say, but Scheffler can win with his B game. We haven't seen odds this low or ball striking this good since Tiger Woods. I just don't know how you bet against him at the start of any tournament he plays in.

Jeff DarlingtonWinner -- Ludvig Åberg: He's too good to call him a long shot -- and he's too inexperienced to consider him a favorite -- but Aberg seems like he was built for these big moments. Maybe it's a premature point to pick him, but I'd rather be on this bandwagon too early than too late.

Michael EavesWinner -- Brooks Koepka: I get the impression that Koepka is still mad that he didn't finish the job here last year, and a mad Brooks Koepka is a motivated Brooks Koepka. Oh yeah, by the way, he owns a career average score-to-par of minus-0.39 per major round, best in the Masters era among players with 100 major rounds. The majors are his thing, and wants this one even more now.

Peter Lawrence-RiddellWinner -- Jon Rahm: The first repeat winner since Tiger Woods in 2002? It's a little harder to pick Rahm since he hasn't played a ton of competitive golf this year after moving to LIV Golf. But as Brooks Koepka, Phil Mickelson and Patrick Reed showed last year, there are going to be LIV players in the mix this week, and Rahm is the best of that bunch.

Andy North Winner -- Scottie Scheffler: World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler. How can you not pick him?

Laura RutledgeWinner -- Scottie Scheffler: I'm going to go out on a real limb here and pick Scottie Scheffler. He has been so dominant even when he hasn't played his best. He is as sure a bet as you'll find right now when it comes to major contenders, so I can't pick against him.

Mark SchlabachWinner -- Scottie Scheffler: I've already written that Scheffler would win by 4 strokes if he's even an average putter this week. I think his new mallet putter gets hot, and he wins a second green jacket by 5. It might not be a daring pick or very original, but you're supposed to pick the golfer who's going to win. Scheffler's stellar ball striking and magical hands around the greens will help him win his second major.

Curtis StrangeWinner -- Scottie Scheffler: I always like to pick the less-obvious favorite, but I think I'm smart enough to pick Scheffler this year.

Paolo UggettiWinner -- Brooks Koepka: While Koepka doesn't arrive at this year's Masters with a recent LIV Golf victory under his belt, there is a sense of inevitability with him when it comes to major championships that remains -- just look at what happened at Oak Hill. Last year, Koepka had a real shot at securing a green jacket and let it slip away. This year, he won't.

Scott Van PeltWinner -- Scottie Scheffler: Scheffler because when he's on the first page Sunday and you didn't pick him, you're going to ask yourself, "Why didn't I pick him?"

Odds by ESPN BET

Anita Marks, ESPN betting analystWinner: Xander Schauffele (14-1)

Why he'll win: Xander is one of the hottest players on tour, sporting six top-10 finishes in eight starts. His metrics fit what is needed -- he's first in proximity over 200 yards, par-3 and par-4 scoring and scrambling.

Tyler Fulghum, ESPN betting analyst Winner: Rory McIlroy (12-1)

Why he'll win: This is not for the faint of heart, but I'm taking McIlroy (+1200) to finally break through for his first career green jacket. McIlroy missed the cut at last year's event. More attention is being paid to Scheffler, Tiger Woods and LIV golfers like Rahm and Koepka. It feels like no one (despite the betting odds) is considering Rory as a legit threat to win this. Maybe this is when he finally does?

Zach Jones, ESPN Stats & InformationWinner: Schauffele (14-1)

Why he'll win: When looking at the Masters, we often get caught up in the perceived importance of putting, but recent champions like Sergio Garcia and Hideki Matsuyama tell the real story -- that this is a place for players who flush it. In the non-Scottie Scheffler division, nobody's been doing that better than Xander Schauffele (+1400) this year, and the X-Man has done everything BUT win; six top-10s in eight PGA Tour starts. Oh, and he was a triple-bogey away from a potential playoff with Matsuyama in 2021.

Corey Conners (+475)

Jones: To be clear, Conners has not had a sparkling major championship career. That's 20 career major starts with three top-10 finishes, in case you're curious. But you know why you'll be backing the Canadian this week? Because all of those top-10s have come at the Masters, and all in his past four appearances. See above for my thoughts on ball-striking at the Masters, which marries quite nicely with Conners' strokes gained rankings in approach play (fourth) and tee-to-green (11th).

Marks: Conners comes in hot, having a great season. He's third in the field for SG approach and top 15 off-the-tee. He has four top-25 finishes during his past five outings.

Si Woo Kim (+500)

Fulghum: Kim is a great value bet at this price to finish in the top 10. He's coming off a 17th at the Houston Open and a sixth at the Players in his past two starts. He ranks fourth on tour in SG: tee-to-green behind only Scheffler, Schauffele and Matsuyama. Kim has also made six straight cuts at Augusta featuring a T12 finish in 2021.

Phil Mickelson (+1100)

Marks: A three-time Masters winner, Phil finished T2 last year. This track is a great fit for lefties, which he is.

To make the cut (-110)

Fulghum: Of all the options, Woods to make the cut is probably the market providing the bettor the best chance at winning. Woods has made 23 consecutive cuts at Augusta National. Woods' problem with his damaged body has been stamina and fatigue. He still has enough juice to stay competitive for maybe two rounds, but not four.

To finish in the top 20 after Round 1 (+315)

Jones: I totally agree with Tyler that you've got to find something that doesn't require much more than 36 holes over extremely hilly terrain. In that vein, "Tiger Woods to finish in the top 20 after Round 1" asks for just one strong round, and at the point in the tournament when Woods' body should be the freshest. For reference, top-20 after the opening round was a 70 last year, even-par 72 in 2022, and 1-over-par 73 in 2021, so we're not asking for a vintage round here.

Phil Mickelson (225-1)

Fulghum: Seeing Mickelson at these odds doesn't make sense to me. Just a year ago, he finished T2 after a sizzling 65 on Sunday. Mickelson now has three green jackets and 10 top-three finishes at Augusta. Woods, who has shorter odds than Mickelson to win this tournament, has eight top-3 finishes at The Masters just for reference. Lefty has made the cut in six straight starts here. He's a screaming value at this number.

Sungjae Im (125-1)

Jones: You're getting an elevated number on Im because his 2024 hasn't been great. But he's another ball-striker who has absolutely piled up birdies at Augusta -- 32 of them in the past two years, the third-most of any player. He has three top-20s in his four career Masters appearances, and if he can keep a few of those stray bogeys off the card, he has plenty of horsepower to go low this week.

Avoiding: Bryson DeChambeau to win (+3300) and to finish top-five (+650)

Jones: DeChambeau's prices to win and to finish top-five represent a special kind of faith in something we just haven't seen before. Since his "Par 67" declaration in 2020, he's recorded exactly one round of 67 or better at Augusta, and eight of his 12 Masters rounds have been 74 or worse. He's never cracked the top 20 in seven previous attempts here, so Bryson's odds feel more rooted in name recognition than actual performance.

Betting: Joaquin Niemann (25-1 to win)

Marks: Niemann is my favorite LIV Tour player teeing it up this week. He has finished in the top five in seven of past nine events, and already has 2 LIV wins. This will be his fourth trip to Augusta, and finished T16 last year.

Avoiding: Viktor Hovland bets

Marks: Hovland is 119th in SG Total on Tour, 104th on approach and has become one of the worst short-game players on tour.

Betting: Nick Taylor to finish in the top 20 (+330)

Marks: Taylor is already a two-time winner in the past six months. He is top 15 in both SG approach and putting.

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