The Masters at Augusta National Golf Club is golf's most famous event and will surely attract plenty of casual fans and gamblers when the tournament tees off Thursday morning.
While favorites Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth are vying for the green jacket, others will be searching for smart bets and opportunities to profit on the year's first major. With that in mind, here is look at some of the top Las Vegas bets for the formidable field:
|2017 Masters Odds|
Odds are according to OddsShark, as of Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET.
The Pick: Dustin Johnson
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There is reason for pause when backing the favorite considering Johnson's agent, David Winkle, said the golfer fell on a staircase and landed on his lower back Wednesday, per Jay Hart of Yahoo Sports.
However, Johnson isn't set to tee off until 2:03 p.m. ET and had more time to rest after the injury than he would have if his tee time were in the morning. The thought here is he will remain in contention early and make a late charge as he recovers.
He is simply playing too well to ignore.
Johnson enters the Masters with three straight tournament wins as the No. 1 player in the world. It is cliche to say he is due a win in Georgia, but he appears primed for a green jacket considering he finished tied for fourth last year and tied for sixth in 2015 at the Masters.
While he doesn't have a title at Augusta, he understands the experience of battling for one and will not be affected by the pressure.
Chip Patterson of CBSSports.com called Johnson a top-10 lock: "D.J. is feeling it, sitting on top of the golf world right now, and I just don't see Augusta being the place where his hot streak is going to come to an end. Johnson, remember, has two straight top-10 finishes at Augusta and was just one stroke behind Spieth a year ago."
Johnson has the formula to win at Augusta considering he is first on tour in driving distance, per his PGA Tour profile. His blasts off the tee help him manage courses, and as a result, he is first in greens-in-regulation percentage and sixth in birdie average.
Look for him to tally those birdies at critical times during the Masters.
The Value Play: Tyrrell Hatton (60-1)
A value play here is someone who provides a solid return on a bet but is also a realistic winner. The long shots will pay better, but this is someone who will likely still be in contention Sunday with a better payoff than Johnson and McIlroy.
Golfers listed with higher than 30-1 odds and no more than 60-1 were considered value plays here, and Tyrrell Hatton fits the bill.
According to his PGA Tour profile, he is a solid 13th in strokes gained off the tee, but the eye-catching numbers come on the green.
He is first in strokes gained putting, seventh in putting average and sixth in three-putt avoidance. He is also first in putting from three feet, so those pressure-packed short ones that can determine a round shouldn't be an issue.
Putting is magnified by the pressure at Augusta National, and Hatton has proved he is a capable putter throughout the season.
He's played four events since the start of 2017 and boasts three top-10 finishes. His worst finish came at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, at which he tied for 17th only after he received a two-shot penalty because he accidentally touched his ball in a playoff to reach the last 16.
Hatton used the upcoming opportunity at the Masters to get over his mistake, as he told Sky Sports (h/t ESPN.com): "You just have to try to pick yourself up, and hopefully I can have a good week at the Masters. That gives me something to smile about at the moment. I can't wait for that."
If he continues his torrent pace on the greens, those who bet on him will be smiling as well.
The Worthwhile Long Shot: Matt Kuchar (80-1)
To be considered a long shot here, a golfer had to be listed at higher than 60-1 odds and fall outside the value-play category.
Matt Kuchar's history of success at the Masters makes him the pick.
He finished in a tie for fourth last year and tie for sixth in 2015 in Augusta. He also tied for 13th in 2013 and can fall back on his experience to play with plenty of confidence this year.
Kuchar probably isn't going to win considering he has been cut four times and made the top 10 just once in 10 events this season, but it is worth taking a shot if you can get someone who has finished in the top 10 in the past two Masters for 80-1.