Justin Rose, Bubba Watson or Jordan Spieth? Experts provide their Masters predictions
Last Updated: 05/04/18 11:03am
Ahead of Thursday's Masters tee-off, live on Sky Sports, we challenged experts from around the sporting world to predict who will be putting on the green jacket come Sunday.
With Sky Bet paying 10 places at Augusta, we asked 10 different experts of different fields to provide their views on the 82nd edition of the game's greatest spectacle.
Here's who they are backing...
I've been very lucky having played on the course and you can see why it suits certain players. If you look at the players playing well at the moment like Bubba Watson, who loves the track, Tiger Woods is back in form and nobody has mentioned Jordan Spieth - this could be the greatest Masters ever.
The two players I like are Bubba and Justin Rose, who are both good each-way bets, but I can't lie, I would love to see Tiger win it. I don't know what it does to viewing figures but when Tiger plays you want to watch it and, like Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, there's not many who transcend a sport like he does.
Sky Sports F1's Damon Hill - Ian Poulter (45/1 with Sky Bet)
Just because it would be the greatest comeback since Ben Hogan's US Open 1950, I'd love to see Tiger Woods win the Masters. There wouldn't be a dry eye in the house if he did.
However, for his sheer bloody mindedness and because this year is the Ryder Cup again, I'd have to put a bet on the ultimate underdog who doesn't understand the meaning of 'you'll never hole it from here', Ian Poulter. It's a long shot, but that's the way he likes it.
Sky Sports Cricket's Rob Key (Handicap 16) - Bubba Watson (14/1 with Sky Bet)
Bubba Watson is one of the more short-priced golfers I'll be backing at the Masters. He's won it before and I reckon Augusta is a place it helps to know how to get it round and Bubba knows just how to do that along with the fact he is back in form having won twice recently on the PGA Tour.
My value bets are Alex Noren (35/1), Patrick Reed (40/1), Tyrrell Hatton (50/1) and I like Thomas Pieters (50/1), although he's not playing that well at the minute.
Paying 10 places
Sky Bet are paying 10 places on all Masters each-way bets. Find their outright odds here.
Sky Sports Golf's Andrew Coltart (Scratch) - Justin Thomas (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Justin Thomas is the man on form just now so I'm backing him to be slipping on the Green Jacket come Sunday evening. Then, as an outsider, I liked Tony Finau (80/1) as an outsider before his unfortunate fall, but now I'm going for Patrick Reed (40/1). He's confident, played there at college, recently finished second in Valspar and beat his Ryder Cup partner Jordan Spieth in Match Play.
Sky Sports Darts' Wayne Mardle (Handicap 8) - Bubba Watson (14/1 with Sky Bet)
I'm backing Bubba Watson. I love the way he makes par-fives seem like just a drive, a short iron, and then a putt. He gives himself so many opportunities for birdies and eagles that if he gets his putting boots on - he's the bet for me.
However, don't rule out a 100/1 outsider to win. I'm a backer of Bryson DeChambeau as well, so I had £1.50 E/W on him. I backed him at 125/1. I've been backing him for the last three years, so when he came second to Rory at Bay Hill I wasn't happy. I also like Patrick Reed. I like his little swagger. He plays with a freedom and if he can play like that then he'll do alright.
Sky Sports Boxing's Johnny Nelson - Jordan Spieth (9/1 with Sky Bet)
The ability to pick yourself back up off that canvas and learn from your failures is what separates the great sportsmen and women from the rest and the way he responded to that 2014 Masters disappointment speaks volumes about his character.
Soccer Saturday's Matt Le Tissier (Handicap 3) - Justin Rose (11/1 with Sky Bet)
After tipping him and coming so close last year, losing to Sergio Garcia in a play-off, I've got to stick with fellow Hampshire lad Justin Rose.
Charl Schwartzel (80/1) is my outside each-way interest. He likes it around that course, shooting some good rounds there, and is pretty consistent so looks a decent bet to fill the places.
Sky Sports News' Jamie Weir (Handicap 12) - Justin Rose (11/1 with Sky Bet)
With so many of the world's top players arriving at Augusta in form, many having won already this season, it's the most wide open Masters for years, and you can make a case for so many. For me though, having come within millimetres of winning it last year, I fancy Justin Rose to go one better.
He's had five top 10s this season, and since 2012 leads the way in so many of the key stats around Augusta; most birdies, most eagles, most greens in regulation and best score to par. He's bound to have his preparation spot on and I'm willing him to win a long overdue green jacket.
Sky Sports EFL's David Prutton (Handicap 20+) Justin Rose (11/1 with Sky Bet)
Course form counts for some much at Augusta and if you're looking at an each-way bet then, with two second-place finishes and another top 10 from the last three years, Rose looks the smart bet.
Eight-time Super League winner Danny McGuire (Handicap 16) - Dustin Johnson (10/1 with Sky Bet)
Dustin Johnson's distance off the tee is an invaluable asset for him at Augusta so I'm backing him to make up for missing out last year.