07 APR 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

Yes, it is Masters week, but we’re leading this off with a shout out to Neil who really put the phrase “from the parking lot” to the test last week at Buc-ee’s (shout out to the greatest gas/rest stop out there) with his run of form. But the beluga. has. breached. Spieth’s win at +1400 gave Neil a long awaited winning week, and the climb begins to the top...watch out Randy!

Although he won’t be chasing TC anymore because Soly is our new draft king after climbing the rankings with his performance in the LPGA ANA last week. He cashed two top 10s at ANA with Nelly Korda and Sei Young Kim, and rightfully stayed away from the PGA because Sam Ryder never even had it in his two rounds at TPC San Antonio. The victories put him in positive figures for the season, he steals the throne from TC and is feeling locked in for Masters week.

TC is taking the frustration of losing his kingdom by placing a Yankee this week (yeah, you’ll have to look that up) because he came up empty last week. He’s 50 nuggies behind Soly at this point in the season, and DJ is gaining. TC spread the nuggie love across LPGA and PGA, but winners were not found in his draft king kingdom. It’s gut check week for TC to right the ship.

Same goes for Randy after another 0fer on the LPGA to put him in the pouch again. The pouch of misery was chugging an energy drink, and that looked a lot less enjoyable than rocking the Bryson hat a couple weeks ago. He’s charged up this week. Maybe he can keep Neil off his tail!

DJ gets his season long Jordan Spieth wins a tournament bet to cash at +200 last week. He stuck with Dahmen after the victory celebration in Mexico and Chris Kirk couldn’t put full rounds together so a mixed bag for him, but he continues to keep himself away from the pouch. He’s lurking.

The Walk It In boys had a mixed week as well. Jeff eked out a positive week hitting his matchup parlay, and Mark is kissing the green grass at Augusta because he was en fuego here in the fall. All the pros are saying it’s going to play much harder this week - is Mark up to the task to repeat his performance? Can Jeff keep his lead on the season and continue his positive trend line?

The Approach

If you’re going to putt for dough it helps when you’ve given yourself more putts inside the leather than double breakers so where are the guys looking this week on their approach? Mark hits first this week at Augusta National.

Mark: We’ve seen so many errant drivers of the golf ball (Tiger, Phil, etc.) put multiple green jackets on so it’s no secret that the key to scoring at Augusta is iron play and putting. The fairways are huge so don’t shy away from weaker drivers this week. Instead, find the pin seekers and birdie makers. You’ll find that my card has a lot of golfers with past success here and then a couple who are in too good of form to ignore. Buckle up, everyone - it’s our annual trip to heaven!

Jeff: It’s hard not to just lock onto course history + approach number here. The interviews this week with guys like Cantaly, Spieth, and Morikawa were talking about it being very different, firm, and fast from the November rendition of The Masters. Firm and fast means you have to be precise with the irons and know where to play through experience here. I’m going to use longer term (36 round) and shorter term (16 round) data on approach coupled with historical showings here to find the right mix of guys. And do not count out the intangibles. There are so many storylines for these 4 rounds. Spieth is back back. Rahm’s baby. DJ go low again? Brooks knee. Finau’s slide. THIS IS A DREAM!

Inside the Leather

Mark’s Picks:

Paul Casey Top 20 (+100) - 1 unit

Paul Casey Top Former ASU Player (+225) - 1 unit

You’ll recognize that exact prop from earlier in the season, where I cashed, essentially, a Casey over Rahm matchup bet. The only other Arizona State players in the field are Phil Mickelson and Matt Jones. I don’t know what to expect from Rahm after the birth of his first baby, but I do know that Paul Casey is playing some of the best golf of anyone in the world the last few months. He likely won’t win, but I love him to finish top 20 and beat Jon Rahm.

Joaquin Niemann Top 20 (+164) - 1 unit

Niemann has been playing excellent golf since last season and has nine top 25’s in 13 events this season. He doesn’t have the course history here, only having played once and missing the cut, but he’s 10th on TOUR in GIR%, 6th in birdie average and 4th in scoring average. I have high hopes for him this week.

Corey Conners Top 20 (+164) - 1 unit

Same exact odds as Niemann above, he’s playing even better than him with a 3rd, 7th and 14th in three of the last four tournaments. Conners is 11th on TOUR in GIR%, 8th in SG: Approach over her last 16 rounds and a very respectable 21st in putting over that same timeframe.

Matt Kuchar Top 30 (+138) - 1 unit

I’m going to ride Kuchar’s hot hand and course history with a very modest top 30 bet. Kuchar missed the cut in November, but overall he has made 12 of 14 Masters cuts with eight top 25’s. Third place in Match Play and a T12 last week, he’s got great form coming in.

Jeff’s Picks:

Jon Rahm Top 10 (+125) - 1 unit

Short odds be damned I’m all over Jon Rahm this week. He’s played very well at Augusta historically and has some of the best par 5 scoring ever at this course. Rahm has always been one to run hot, and I think that with the baby being born last weekend he’s going to be a much calmer, cooler Rahm. Even when he hasn’t kept his emotions in check he’s 3 for 4 here with 3 top 10s. This won’t be my only exposure.

Viktor Hovland Top 20 (+138) - 2 units

This line has gotten shorter since I placed it. I think a lot of people have seen the driving and iron numbers with Viktor. He and Morikawa might not have a lot of experience here (one showing each), but they are such talents. Hovland is one of two players in the field who is top 10 in SG: OTT, top 10 SG: Approach, and top 10 SG:T2G in the last 36 rounds.

Tommy Fleetwood Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

The NLU guys might call me a pouch dogger for these short odds this week, but it’s tight at the top for a reason. There are a lot of great golfers playing well, and one of those is Fleetwood. Mark pointed out that he hasn’t won in America yet, but in 4 visits to Augusta Tommy has 2 top 20s. This year seems like he can go 3 for 5 because the irons are top 10 in the field and trending very positively.

Sergio Garcia Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

Double Spaniard for me this week. Sergio has played so well lately and is bringing one of the best off the tee and iron games to Augusta. He knows how to win here (he did so in ‘17) and has 3 other top 10 finishes. His game seems to be in a very good spot, and even if his putter is an adventure this week you can strap me on the top of the Sergio train.

Max Homa Top 20 (+275) - 1 unit

What’s my card without some Homa exposure?! This is too much value. First, he wins at The Genesis earlier in the year and there is some crossover love between Augusta and Riviera. Second, he brings the best stretch of form in his career to Augusta where he only has one showing, but he’s above average in every major SG category. I’ll take the form beating out the lack of experience.

Double Breaker

Mark’s Picks:

Jordan Spieth to win (+3300) - 1 unit *PLACED FEB. 6TH*

Jordan Spieth Top 5 After Round 1 (+500) - 1 unit

HE IS BACK, OFFICIALLY! Obviously you can’t get 33/1 on Jordo anymore and his recent back-ness has driven his odds all the way down to 11.5/1. Expectations are sky high for him and I’m here to see more magic. We also have a quick hitter on Thursday, hoping he starts hot and finishes round one at or near the top!

Adam Scott Top Australian (+335) - 1 unit

We’ve got some really good golfers in the field from Australia in Cam Smith, Jason Day, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones, but Adam Scott and Augusta are like peanut butter and jelly. He’s made 11 straight cuts here and 17 of 19 overall, including a win in 2013. T13 at The Honda Classic was very nice to see after a few pedestrian starts.

Webb Simpson to win (+3500) - .5 unit

Daniel Berger to win (+3500) - .5 unit

Joaquin Niemann to win (+5500) - .5 unit

I explained why I love Joaquin Niemann already and think he’s worth a shot at 55/1, but Simpson and Berger are two of the game’s elite players whose odds should be lower. Webb missed the cut at The PLAYERS, but he usually shows up big time at the big events, more recently with a T10 in November’s Masters and a T8 at the US Open. He’s 17th in GIR% this season, 6th in scoring average and is always one of the best putters on TOUR. Daniel Berger seems overlooked every week and I’m not going to be on the sidelines anymore with him. He won at Pebble Beach and has four top 10’s in 7 events since January. Hasn’t played in the Masters since 2018, but has made the cut in all three starts here.

Jeff’s Picks:

Jon Rahm to win (+1250) - 1 unit Rory McIlroy to win (+1900) - 1 unit

Collin Morikawa to win (+3150) - .5 unit

My outright bets this year have not been kind to me, and Rahm, McIlory, and Morikawa are not without risk. Rahm might be short, but can he get his first major coming off the birth of his first child? I see no downside to that with his elite game. Stay cool, Jon! Rory continues to search for consistency, but at 19-1 this feels like one where you’re kicking yourself after if you don’t take the value. Collin has the best iron game out there not named Justin Thomas, but can his putting be at least average in the field?

Justin Thomas Top 5 After R1 (+550) - 1 unit

I just mentioned JT’s iron game, and I think that he and his buddy Jordan are going to make Mark and I happy with their first rounds. JT hasn’t been good in round one historically, but in the fall he did shoot an opening 66.

Collin Morikawa top 4 American (+400) - 1 unit

I’m trying to keep the card relatively tight. There’s a lot of talent in this field and I don’t want to stray too far away from guys who have shown they can compete here or at the highest stage. Morikawa was profiled above, and I’m fading DJ this week. I think Bryson, JT, and Morikawa mix it up with Berger and Webb (shout out to my co-host’s picks). Let’s have a week!