2017 Masters betting preview: Dustin Johnson leads tournament odds

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The odds to win the 2017 Masters could change as often as the weather patterns in Augusta, Georgia, this week, which is saying something.

As the world No. 1 who happens to have also won three tournaments in a row, Dustin Johnson rates as the +550 favorite on the tournament futures board, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

One factor that is going to have a big effect on scores at the season’s first major – and perhaps work to the advantage of longer hitters who don’t need so much roll from their tee shots – is that heavy rain could lead to some moist fairways at Augusta National Golf Club.

That might help Johnson, one of the most powerful men on the PGA Tour. It could also benefit Rory McIlroy (+700), who is seeking to become the sixth man to complete the career Grand Slam. The native of Northern Ireland has also won all of his major titles in dreary conditions.

Jordan Spieth (+800) has tied for second and won the green jacket at the past two Masters and is always a good compromise choice. Jon Rahm (+2500) is the flavor of the month after being runner-up (to Dustin Johnson) at the World Golf Championship Match Play event, but do keep in mind that the 22-year-old Spaniard is a Masters newbie.

It’s also good to seek out consistency over recent weeks when picking someone to pay out on the golf betting lines in a best-of-the-best event that has also not had a repeat winner in 15 years. Both Rickie Fowler (+1800) and Justin Rose (+2500) have three recent top-four finishes.

While the demographics of recent winners has skewed young, three-time champion Phil Mickelson (+2800) can still be a threat.

Jason Day (+1800) and Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) also finished in the top 10 in 2016. Matsuyama has had a wonky short game of late, which is also the reason to shy away from Adam Scott (+3500). Henrik Stenson (+3000) is high up in the world rankings, but has never fared well at Augusta.

Among those with longer odds, Paul Casey (+4000) has finished tied for fourth and tied for sixth at the past two Masters. At age 39, he also knows his window to earn the green jacket could be rather short. Casey likely represents the best chance of another Englishman winning, given that defending champion Danny Willett (+12500) has struggled in recent PGA events. Another golfer out of England, Tommy Fleetwood (+8000), will go into his first Masters buoyed by some eye-popping recent results, including second at the WGC Mexico event.

One of the deep sleepers worth considering includes Daniel Berger (+7500), who tied for 10th in 2016. Masters rookie Adam Hadwin (+8000) also got attention when he carded a 59 earlier this year.

PGA Championship Odds: McIlroy, Fowler coming in hot for Quail Hollow

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The combo of a soggy course and a season-long trend of first-time winners could come into play at the PGA championship this week at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Two-time winner Rory McIlroy is the +700 favorite on the odds to win the PGA Championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Jordan Spieth (+800), who’s less than a month removed from his British Open victory, is a close second favorite, with WGC-Bridgestone Invitational winner Hideki Matsuyama (+1100), world No. 1 Dustin Johnson (+1200) and Rickie Fowler (+1600) also high on the board.

Quail Hollow is a fixture on the PGA Tour, hosting the Wells Fargo Championship each May. The course has had an aggressive renovation to get it “major ready.” Rain is also expected for all four days, which could create an advantage for long hitters who don’t need a huge roll from tee shots. A course also plays differently in the summer than it does in the spring.

Playing the chalk is justifiable. McIlroy has two Tour victories on this course and had a strong fifth at the Bridgestone last weekend at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. However the course renovations factor into scoring, he’s still been dominant at Quail Hollow. It’s probably reasonable to fade Spieth, given his wonky putting last weekend. It’s just tough to win two majors in a row.

Among the players with odds in the 10/1 to 20/1 range, Dustin Johnson has simply been too inconsistent to inspire much confidence. Fowler will be playing at the course where he got his first Tour victory and he’s playing well, as evidenced by successive 67s at the Bridgestone. He’s also third in the Tour’s total driving stat, which suggests his strengths are suited to Quail Hollow.

Similar things can be said about Matsuyama, who like Fowler is still in search of his first major championship. The 25-year-old Japanese standout won the Bridgestone in a showing that was a testament to his burgeoning talent, and he’s also 12th in driving accuracy.

If the weather is as wet as promised, it plays to the advantage of Brooks Koepka (+2500), the U.S. Open champion who is sixth in driving distance this season. Koepka’s top-10 finish at the British Open indicates that he is not some big-driving one-hit wonder.

The value pick might well be Daniel Berger (+5500), who has three top-five finishes and a win in his last six tournaments. Berger was also in the top 20 at the 2016 Wells Fargo tourney at Quail Hollow. Two-time major champion Zach Johnson (+6600) also has a high price that belies that he was runner-up at the Bridgestone last weekend.

Jimmy Walker, the defending champion, is listed at +10000, only slightly below the +12500 price he had at online gambling sites prior to his unexpected victory in 2016.

This will be the second-last PGA Championship held in August; starting in 2019, it will move to May and become the second major on the golf calendar.

Stephen Curry to play in professional golf event

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Steph Curry is known for his ability on the hardwood, but this offseason he’s honing his skills on a different surface.

The green.

The Warriors guard and two-time NBA MVP is competing on TheWeb.com Tour in the Ellie Mae Classic on an unrestricted sponsor exemption. Curry is trying to become the first pro athlete to make the cut on the Tour and the first pro-athlete to break 70.

This isn’t Curry’s first high-profile event this year. He competed in the American Century Championship and went viral when he caught a pass from Aaron Rodgers. Curry has previously golfed with President Obama and is known for not having a handicap.

Now, history is not on Curry’s side. Previous athletes haven’t had a lot of success on the Tour, combining to go 335 OVER par on TheWeb.com Tour, so hopefully Curry will be able to reverse that trend.