2021 Masters First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Our Favorite FRL Plays at Augusta

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama

The Masters is one of the biggest gambling events of the year. Bettors all over the world will be getting action down at the sportsbook, on DFS platforms, in pools at their local bars or all of the above. This is the tournament where casuals, die-hards and everyone in between gets together to have a flutter on the golf. It’s a beautiful thing and it’s going to be a fun week.

One of the best sweats in sports is the first-round leader bet. You take all of the ups, downs and in-betweens from a season-long future and pack them into one round of golf. And the best part is that everybody is live for a FRL bet. Not every single competitor at this year’s Masters stands a chance of donning the Green Jacket come Sunday; but anyone can get off to a hot start on Thursday and set the pace.

Does it get better than that?

Here are our favorite first-round leader bets for the 2021 Masters:

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Jason Sobel

Jordan Spieth (+1800)

Whether you’re hopping on the bandwagon for outright bets or fading him through four rounds, there’s value in Spieth as FRL, where his opportunity might be even better than winning.

It’s hard to argue with how he’s played on Thursdays, breaking 70 in five of his last seven opening rounds, while posting a scoring average of 68 – including an opening 5-under 67 last week, the lowest number of the morning wave and one which looked like it might hold up as FRL until the winds died down in the afternoon. He’s similarly posted some low starting totals at Augusta, cashing FRL tickets in 2015, 2016 and 2018. That’s simply too much history – both recently and at this venue – for us to ignore.

Oh, and in case you hadn’t heard, he just happens to be riding a little momentum down Magnolia Lane. Again, if you’re skittish about betting Spieth outright, but want to have some sort of investment in him this week, this is an option with plenty of potential.

Chris Murphy

Jordan Spieth (+1800)

Back when Spieth was the favorite coming into The Masters year after year, he would come out of the gates hot. He was the first round leader three out of four years from 2015 through 2018, before an opening 75 in 2019. In the last few months where we have seen Jordan make his resurgence he has come out with a strong first round, putting his name near the top of the leaderboard after Round 1. I don’t have any interest in betting Spieth to win The Masters at his current odds, but I like the idea of getting a little exposure to him potentially posting a low number in his opening round on Thursday.

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Matt Vincenzi

Hideki Matsuyama (+4500)

While his finishes haven’t been consistent of late, Hideki is as good as any golfer when it comes to going low for a single round. Last week at the Valero Texas Open, Matsuyama seemed to have found something with his irons gaining 3.3 strokes on approach and 4.4 strokes around the green; two statistics that are crucial at Augusta National.

It is tough to see Hideki actually winning the event, but a first-round lead this week sounds on brand for the Japanese star.

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Landon Silinsky

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+9000)

I am extremely bullish on Bezuidenhout long term, as he boasts both the short game and putting chops to contend at any major championship. You could actually make the case that he’s the best putter in the world, though I’m sure Denny McCarthy and Matty Fitzpatrick would have something to say about that.

Nonetheless, the South African finished 38th on debut here back in November and opened with a Thursday round of 69. He’s actually pretty good with his irons and and we know if he gets it rolling with the flat stick he could post a really low number.

I’ll take my chances here at 90/1 on the three-time Euro Tour winner.

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