US Masters In-Play Betting Tips: tasty 2-ball treble

 | 13th April | 

7 mins read

Survival was the aim of the game for many on Friday at The Masters, as a brutally blustery day caused havoc and we saw the number of realistic winners dwindle.

Scottie Scheffler remains the man to beat as we enter the weekend, firing a level par round in the toughest conditions in the late afternoon. He sits at the top of the leaderboard on -6, a position he shares with Bryson DeChambeau and Max Homa, two albeit classy players chasing what would be by far their best Masters performances to date.

US Masters in-play betting tips

  • 2 point stake - Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama & Sahith Theegala to win their 2-balls – treble @ 3.8/1

The rest of the top of the leaderboard is a mixed bag, containing many who didn’t to my eye look likely to contend this week. Nicolai Hojgaard continues to impress on debut and will enter the weekend in 4th, two shots behind our leading trio.

After a poor run of results where his usually superb approach play had deserted him, Collin Morikawa looks back at it, with his 2-under 70 the second-best round of Friday and he was one of only eight players to shoot under par. He sits in 5th spot on -3, alongside Cam Davis, who had also done little this year to suggest he was ready to put himself in the mix for a Green Jacket.

Yesterday’s round of the day was shot by sensational Swede, Ludvig Aberg. He had started his debut Augusta National appearance positively on Thursday before coming unstuck on the back nine. There was none of that yesterday, with his 3-under 69 enough for him to jump up into 7th and he looks a contender heading into what should be more playable weekend conditions.

Cameron Smith is another player to admirably battle the wind at its toughest late on and looks well placed to add to his already impressive Masters record, sitting five off the leaders in 8th spot with six other players. Including the hugely improved Matthieu Pavon and Danny Willett, who continues to defy logic after his lengthy layoff, and could’ve been sat in a much handier position if it wasn’t for his unfortunate closing triple yesterday.

We can’t speak about commendable performers of yesterday without mentioning Tiger. He worked his short-game magic to shoot even par and comfortably made the weekend at +1; extending his incredible Masters made-cut record to twenty-four straight renewals in a row.

The list of high-profile casualties is a long one. Looking back to last year, few could’ve predicted that Viktor Hovland would look so lost but his 9-over 81 on Friday confirmed this wasn’t the same player who lit up the game in 2023.

Former winners, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth also missed the cut, with DJ finishing fourth-last of the entire field and Wyndham Clark will probably be regretting some brash statements after his 6-over 78 saw him miss the cut on his Masters debut.

From a personal point of view, none of these missed cuts were as painful as that of Justin Thomas. Who was sat in a good spot at level par with four holes of his second round to play, but making three doubles and a bogey from 15-18, he missed the cut by one.

Though making the weekend, well fancied players such as Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama and Joaquin Niemann are all well off the pace and will have to work miracles – and hope for plenty of help from those in front - on moving day if wanting to stand even the slightest chance of coming out on top this week.

SELECTIONS

Places look the best we can hope for this weekend, with Zalatoris, Theegala and Rahm surely too far behind to have any chance of getting their hands on the title.

I’d normally be tempted to take a look at the outright market in-play in these circumstances but I just can’t see past Scheffler winning from here, and any selection against him would be more in hope than expectation.

Instead I’ll focus on today’s two balls and I have a few selections who I like to get the better of their respective playing partners today.

Shane Lowry to beat Akshay Bhatia @ 5/6

First up is Shane Lowry, who has hit the ball well over the opening two days and can get the better of Masters debutant, Akshay Bhatia in today’s third round.

These two should know each other well by now having played together over the first two days and are locked together on +3, but how each has got into this position has been very different.

Lowry has hit the ball well on both days, ranking 9th in ball-striking total and was 6th in yesterday’s more demanding conditions. With his often exceptional short-game skills yet to fire, I feel the best is yet to come of the Irishman this week.

Bhatia, on the other hand, relied heavily on his short game to shoot an impressive even par on his first ever spin around the course in round one. However, he struggled on the greens yesterday and with his ball-striking still not quite there, he had to rely on some more quality play around-the-greens to limit the damage to just three strokes.

He is also entitled to be a touch worn out after a whirlwind week, winning the Texas Open just six days ago to earn this debut shot at The Masters. If Lowry hits it as well as he has in the opening two days and finds some small improvements with the short game, he should have too much for the wiry youngster.

Hideki Matsuyama to beat Rickie Fowler @ 4/7

Hideki Matsuyama was the most surprising disappointment of day one. However, he improved considerably yesterday in tough conditions and should have the beating of Rickie Fowler in round three.

Matsuyama actually looked relatively solid tee-to-green in the opening round but with a woeful eighteen holes on the greens, he succumbed to an unexpected 76 to begin the week. Improvements on the greens were immediate yesterday, as he ranked 5th in the field and was on his was to a creditable even par round before doubling the last to instead shoot +2. Just managing to scrape into the weekend on +6.

Fowler has been hitting the ball poorly all year and carried this over into this event, ranking 83rd of the 89 players in ball-striking, to shoot +4 in round one. He did look better in approach yesterday but didn’t do nearly enough in his 2-over 74 to convince me he’s really turned a corner.

With Hideki’s superb form coming into this event far superior to that of Fowler, I fancy the 2021 Masters champ to make his way up the leaderboard over the weekend, whilst his playing partner looks likely to stay near the bottom unless he can find a level of performance that he hasn’t shown in well over six months.

Sahith Theegala to beat Phil Mickelson @ 4/6

Finally I’m going to take Sahith Theegala to take down Phil Mickelson, in what looks likely to be one of the most entertaining of today’s round three pairings.

Both players currently sit on +4 in 35th spot, but whereas Phil has largely relied on his putter, Sahith has shown quality across all areas in his two rounds so far. If able to put that all together he can take the scalp of the three-time Masters winner.

Theegala shot +2 in the opening round, looking good with the driver and around-the-greens but struggling in approach and with the putter. He flipped the script on this with another 2-over round yesterday, this time looking good in approach and on the greens, and barring a nightmare triple-bogey on the par 4 3rd, he was extremely solid in the demanding conditions.

Mickelson battled his way to a 1-over 73 in round one and followed with a 75 yesterday. He’s shown mere glimpses of quality tee-to-green, with the putter doing much of the heavy lifting.

There is the chance playing with Theegala – a creative type very much cut from the same cloth as him – may bring something out of Phil today but the reverse could also be true of the younger swashbuckler and with all areas of his game shining at some point already this week, he looks the choice in this matchup.

So - 2 point stake - Shane Lowry, Hideki Matsuyama & Sahith Theegala to win their 2-balls – treble, @ 3.8/1

US Masters betting tips from Betfred Insights.

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