3 Dark Horse Picks to Win the Masters
The Masters make their long-awaited return starting on April 8. Defending champion Dustin Johnson (+900) is the tournament favorite to win at FanDuel Sportsbook. But Masters odds show Bryson DeChambeau (+1000), Justin Thomas (+1100) and surging 2015 Masters champion Jordan Spieth (+1100) as major contenders along with Jon Rahm (+1300).
While it's more likely an elite player rises to win The Masters, there are plenty of capable contenders with mid-range odds that could steal the show.
With longshots in mind, here are three darkhorses that could make a run at The Masters and potentially wear the Green Jacket.
1. Rory McIlroy (+1900)
Course form matters more at Augusta National. Past, proven results at The Masters show a player understands the course and has figured out how to putt better on the fast, heavily sloped greens. Power players rise up at the Masters as well, and McIlroy fits. He has proven his status at Augusta with three top-5 finishes since 2014 plus three other top-10 results since then. The 31-year-old Irishman and four-time major champion enters the 2021 Masters having missed the cut in his last stroke play event at The PLAYERS Championship. McIlroy's odds have fallen to +1900, but he's still finished top-21 in 8-of-11 events going back to last year's U.S. Open. While not a true darkhorse, McIlroy now offers up some value beyond the top favorites, as he closed as the +900 favorite in the 2019 Masters and was +1200 entering last November's event. He opened +1200 for the 2021 Masters and is now +1900.
2. Jason Day (+6000)
Jason Day has a solid history at The Masters. The 33-year-old Aussie finished top-3 in both 2011 and 2013, and since then has four top-20 finishes including a T5 in 2019 -- the last time the event was played in the spring with firm and fast conditions. His high ball flight has been a benefit at Augusta. Day reached No. 1 in the world in 2015, but has battled with issues and injuries in recent years. Still, Day found his groove last summer with four-straight top-7 finishes, and the former major champion has a top-10 and top-20 finish in his last four stroke play events entering the Masters. His Off-the-Tee stats are top-20 over his last 36 rounds, and his Around the Green game remains strong with Day still among the best putters on tour. A proven player at Augusta perhaps rounding into form, Day is a darkhorse with win and profit potential.
3. Marc Leishman (+16000)
Marc Leishman's odds keep falling. He was near +10000 on opening odds the end of last year, and in the 2019 event, Leishman was +5000 to win the Masters. Now at +16000, Leishman is a value longshot that could surprise. His form is not what you would like entering a major, but Leishman's strokes gained Approach stats are his best over his last 36 rounds. His long iron game is excellent, ranking top-15 on tour over his last 36 rounds from 175-200 and 200 yards or more. The 37-year-old Aussie's stats don't pop, but Leishman finished T4 in the 2013 Masters playing alongside winner Adam Scott on Sunday. In 2018, he was in the final group on Saturday with eventual winner Patrick Reed. Leishman went on to finish 9th in 2018 and T13 last year. Leishman is a true darkhorse and overlay.
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