- Dustin Johnson secured victory at the US Open in 2016 and recently claimed top spot in the world rankings. Since winning his first major, the American has won a number of titles, including the BMW Championship and the WGC-Mexico Championship. Johnson was initially the bookies' favourite, but an unexpected injury has seen odds on the 32-year-old winning increase significantly.
- Following another year without a major win, Rory McIlroy will be determined to turn things around in 2017. Currently number two in the word rankings, the Irishman endured a relatively slow 2016, winning just two tour titles and missing out on recapturing the Ryder Cup. If Rory can rediscover his A-game, a first Masters title is more than possible, but could past memories of this course come back to haunt him?
- After equalling Tiger Woods’ title-winning Masters score of 18 under par in 2015, Jordan Spieth came close to defending his title in 2016, only to suffer a catastrophic collapse in his final round. However, the 23-year-old bounced back straight away, landing the Dean & DeLuca Invitational and carding an overall score of 17 under par in the process. The youngster started 2017 in fine form, winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, but a number of poor finishes have seen Spieth fall down the rankings. Can the Texan overcome last year’s nightmare? The bookmakers certainly aren’t ruling it out.
- Former world number one Justin Day has gone almost 12 months without picking up a tour title, but certainly cannot be written off. The same can be said for reigning Open champion Henrik Stenson and two-time Masters winner Bubba Watson, both of whom have dropped in the rankings this year, but will be hungry for success. Meanwhile, defending champion Danny Willett is yet to taste victory since last year’s surprise win and Phil Mickelson, who is aiming to become the oldest winner of the Masters, has failed to add to his own personal plethora of trophies since 2013.
Dustin Johnson has been on top form since the start of the year and rightly enters this tournament as the favourite at 6/1 with BetVictor. The 32-year-old has steadily been improving at Augusta, finishing 6th in 2015, before a 4th place finish in 2016, something that may help spur him on as the chasing pack enter the weekend. With this in mind, a bet on a top five finish for the South Carolina-born golfer could prove fruitful at 7/5.
Those hoping for a Rory McIlroy win might be in for another disappointing tournament. The 27-year-old, whose capitulation at Augusta in 2011 remains one of the most devastating in the tournament’s history, always promises so much, but manages to deliver so little at this event. Despite being one of the bookmakers’ favourites at 8/1, Rory could be forced to wait a little while longer before completing his set of major title wins. However, don’t discount the 2014 Open and PGA Championship winner from securing a top five finish this time out - 7/4.
Should he overcome last year’s meltdown, Jordan Spieth could very well prove to be a contender again. The American came close to defending the Masters title last year, something only Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods have managed to achieve; no mean feat considering he was just 22 at the time. This year, Spieth is 7/2 to be the top American, 7/4 to make the top five, and well priced at 17/2 to win outright.
With such a wide field to choose from, picking a winner could be very difficult, especially given that an outsider has won the title for the past few years. With that in mind, odds on course specialists Bubba Watson (50/1) and Phil Mickelson (30/1) look very tempting, while 10/3 on a playoff could be worth a punt.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Playoff to decide the Masters winner: 10/3
*Please note, odds may fluctuate in the run-up to the tournament.