US Masters Big Price Tips: Three cracks at a Masters miracle!

Golfer Rafa Cabrera Bello
Could Rafa Cabrera Bello become a fourth Spanish champion?

If you fancy a shock winner of this year's Masters, there are some hugely inflated win and each-way prices available. Paul Krishnamurty picks his best trio and notes some alternatives...

"I'm convinced RCB has the tools for Augusta. A clue can be found in his Dubai Desert Classic form...that early season Gulf event correlates well with Augusta."

Back Rafa Cabrera Bello 2u @ 240.0239/1

If you're looking to back an outsider at this week's US Masters, remember there are many ways to do so and that the odds can differ wildly.

As always, vastly inflated win only odds are available on the exchange. Taking them, with a view to cashing out for profit if the selection gets into contention, is the core strategy of this column.

However as tempting as it is to take, say, 400.0399/1 about a player available at below 200/1 on the High Street, it might not be the best plan. See, for example, what happened to this column at Augusta last year.

In Cameron Smith, we identified the best performer among players trading at 100.099/1 plus pre-tournament - taking 290.0289/1 win only. Smith delivered for each-way punters with a share of fifth place yet never traded below 100.099/1 in-running at any stage.

A similar outcome is highly plausible. Many a Masters renewal has seen a handful of elite types pull away while the rest battle for the lower places.

Various each-way terms on offer

It is for that reason that I'm spurning odds of 460.0459/1 on the exchange about the first selection. Sure, they are massive, tempting and worth an interest but each-way is preferred.

There are two options - 175/1 with ten places, or 250/1 with five places, but excluding Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. Given those two look booked for at least a place and could easily dominate, I'll take the latter option. The place part of those bets - 35/1 and 50/1 respectively - are massive about this under-rated Thai.

Aphibarnrat loves these big US events

Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat 1u e/w @ 250/1 (Without McIlroy/Dustin Johnson) (1/5 odds, five places)

Kiradech has played Augusta twice and caught the eye on both occasions. 15th in 2016 was an excellent debut by any standards and he recovered well from a disastrous opening 79 to make the cut last year.

In his comprehensive preview, Steve Rawlings notes the importance of good scrambling here. Aphibarnrat's proficiency in this area - 12th for scrambling, sixth for strokes gained around the green on last year's Race to Dubai - are enabling him to build quite a bank in elite events.

He matched that majors best of 15th on his second attempt US Open while the World Golf Championships are proving particularly lucrative. In the last six, he's been placed top-five in three of them and reached the 2017 World Matchplay quarter-finals.

Dubai form could offer useful clues

Back Rafa Cabrera Bello 2u @ 240.0239/1
Place order to lay 20u @ 15.014/1
Place order to lay 20u @ 5.04/1

In this case, 'back-to-lay' is preferred. RCB is precisely the type to cash out of in-running, because he struggles to convert when in contention. Nonetheless, I'm convinced he has the tools for Augusta and could potentially become a fourth Spanish champion.

Rafa ticks a number of statistical boxes - par-four scoring and, in Europe at least, bogey avoidance. Dave Tindall notes the importance of both in his preview. More widely, the combination of accurate iron play and good scrambling is precisely the ticket at Augusta. He made the top-20 on debut in 2016 and started well last year before falling to 38th.

A potentially useful clue can be found in his Dubai Desert Classic form. With its combination of wide fairways and lightning fast greens, that early season Gulf event correlates well with Augusta. It was the scene of Rafa's first significant win and he's since been runner-up, among a total of six top-20 finishes.

Back Thorbjorn Olesen 2u @ 310.0309/1
Place order to lay 15u @ 20.019/1
Place order to lay 25u @ 8.07/1

Olesen also boasts a decent record in the Dubai Desert Classic, registering a quartet of top-eight finishes. More notably, he produced a magnificent debut here in 2013 to finish sixth despite sitting 82nd after day one.

This will be his first Masters since 2014 and he has definitely improved. On the European Tour, the Dane looked particularly progressive last term, qualifying for the Ryder Cup. Recent, occasional US starts have yielded nothing but this test should bring out his best out.

Olesen's best is likely to come on a track with wide fairways, fast greens, emphasising the second shot and short game excellence. He's invariably near the top of the stats for strokes gained around the green.

Hatton rated first reserve

Thorbjorn pinched the last place in the staking plan from Tyrrell Hatton - available at 280.0279/1. I am similarly convinced the latter will thrive here in time - he's superb around the greens, has a great record in the Gulf and finished top-ten on his last two US majors. The only deterrent is poor returns from both previous visits but he showed some promise last time at the World Matchplay.

Three more made the shortlist. I absolutely wouldn't deter anyone from backing either Dave Tindall or Joe Dyer's each-way selections. Charles Howell is 190.0189/1 on the exchange while Haotong Li is 240.0239/1. And 550.0549/1 is too big about Jimmy Walker given his Augusta record. The former PGA champion has never finished worse than 38th and registered a trio of top-20s.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

2019 Profit/Loss: +17.5 units

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