Golf fans, the first major of the calendar year is upon us. Augusta National is a magnificent course and sport enthusiasts will travel from all over the world to watch the best players in the business compete for the prestigious Green Jacket.
At the time of writing, world number one Dustin Johnson is the 10/1 favourite to prevail but Jordan Spieth, Jordan Thomas and Rory McIlroy are hot on his heels at 11/1.
Justin Thomas will attract plenty of betting attention in the build-up to this contest and with good reason. With three top four finishes in his previous three events, Thomas is in red hot form and he will take some stopping this week.
The 24-year-old made more money on the PGA Tour than any of his rivals and he was rewarded for his efforts with a first major at the end of the 2017 campaign.
Making the cut shouldn’t be an issue for Thomas – he has featured on Championship Sunday in eight of his previous nine appearances at a major tournament. He is 11/25 to finish in the top 20 this year and that looks like an excellent price given his recent form.
McIlroy, tipped by some for Augusta glory in 2018, is available at the same price but punters may prefer to examine 888sport’s special markets on the Northern Irishman.
21 years after claiming his first Green Jacket, Tiger Woods is a 14/1 shot with 888sport to win this year’s event. The 14-time major champion has been in superb form since finishing 12th at the Honda Classic in February and he is playing some fantastic golf.
He knows this course better than anyone else and Augusta has been kind to him in the past; it would be a fairy-tale result if Woods can prevail.
For those who don’t buy into the hype, 888sport are offering a few Tiger Woods specials – one of which has the American at 9/2 to miss the cut. Looking away from Woods might be the best option; Jordan Spieth is a more reliable selection.
He has struggled in recent months but he did finish third at the Houston Open last weekend. 11/1 is a decent price considering his previous success at the course.
English golf fans will be keeping a close eye on Justin Rose this week but Tommy Fleetwood could steal the limelight. At 11/2 to finish as the best Englishman, the 27-year-old struggled at Augusta last year but could shine this time around.
The course should suit his style and the 2018 HSBC Championship winner will be quietly confident of featuring at the business end of the weekend.
My top tip? Phil Mickelson to finish in the top 10 is very tempting at 19/10. The three-time Masters champion has finished in the top 10 in 60% of his appearances at Augusta and he could feature prominently if he hits top form.
Looking at the outright odds, Thomas is the obvious standout at 11/1 but you never know at Augusta. One thing is for sure though, it is going to be a thrilling four days of golf.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*