All the world’s best golfers meet this week for a November Masters at Augusta National. It will be a different looking Masters, but the weather forecast is looking similar to what we often see in April – temperatures sitting in the 70s and potential rain.
While outright betting is the most popular form of golf betting due to the potentially large rewards for hitting on a winner, head-to-head matchups can be just as profitable. Matchups in golf betting takes the form of a classic moneyline in team sports. Two golfers are placed against each other with moneylines and the player that finishes better for the week wins. Ties typically means no bet, and the wager amount will be returned.
Since betting on the winner can be extremely difficult in today’s unpredictable PGA Tour, simply finding matchups that you believe deliver an edge can be a more stable way to profit on golf betting. Having some type of statistical model or idea of the type of player you like at the course is the best way to attack matchups. Doing this, you can find plenty of spots where a player is being underrated despite his skillset working for that week’s tournament.
At Augusta, the key stats I’m looking at this week are Driving Distance, GIRs Gained, SG: Around the Green, SG: Par 5 and SG: Par 4: 450-500 Yards. Using these stats should provide insight into what type of players could excel at the Masters and perform over their expected baseline.
Best Head-To-Head Matchup Plays
Dylan Fritteli -118 vs. Charl Schwartzel
Schwartzel is being overvalued a bit here due to his course history – he won in 2011 and managed to turn the clock back and finish 3rd in 2017. But he has missed a ton of cuts this year and has struggled heavily with the driver. His occasional strong finishes have been carried by putting. Frittelli on the other hand has been playing some solid golf including 33rd at the PGA and 11th at Zozo two starts ago. He’s much less volatile than Schwartzel since he makes the majority of cuts. Frittelli ranks 9th in SG: ARG and 3rd in Par 4: 450-500 Yards.
Scottie Scheffler -125 vs. Tommy Fleetwood
Fleetwood has played decently in Europe since the restart but has heavily struggled on U.S. soil. His best finish is 29th at the PGA in eight starts, and he’s gained strokes on approach just one time. For a player that relies on ball striking, his form is alarming. Scheffler has flashed his potential multiple times, including being in the final group at the PGA. He’s missed just one cut in his last 11 starts and ranks 11th in Driving Distance and 13th in GIRs Gained.
Tony Finau -110 vs. Hideki Matsuyama
This pick is much a less anything against Matsuyama and more about how consistent Finau has become. In two starts at Augusta, he’s finished 10th and 5th. He also has five Top 10s in his last 10 starts. Matsuyama has been solid since the restart with three Top 10s but his putter has continued to be a problem, and beating Finau likely means at least a Top 10 finish. Finau ranks 4th in Driving Distance, 3rd in SG: Par 5 and 3rd in Par 4: 450-500 Yards.
Jason Day -106 vs. Collin Morikawa
There’s always a bit of risk anytime you back Jason Day in a tournament. He withdrew a few weeks ago in Vegas despite being in contention because of his often-injured back. But when he’s been healthy, the play has been incredibly good and consistent as shown by his 7th in Houston last week and a stretch of four straight Top 7s ended by a 4th in the PGA. Morikawa has been mostly unspectacular since his win at the PGA and has really struggled with the putter – which might be highlighted on the tough Augusta greens he’s never seen. Day has three Top 5s at Augusta and has never finished worse than 28th, making him a safe bet if the back holds up.
Sungjae Im -137 vs. Zach Johnson
Johnson has actually been playing some nice golf as of late after having some rough stretches over the last couple years. His putter has been great and the irons seem to be on, but the issue here is his length off the tee. As one of the shortest hitters on Tour, Johnson has been uncompetitive at Augusta lately, and it should be even tougher on his length in cooler and damp November weather. Im has been finding a bit of form as of late, and Augusta could be nice fit for his game. He has plenty of length and ranks 9th in SG: Par 5. The debutant at Augusta has shown no moment is too big for him and could win this matchup with just a made cut.