PGA Tour
2024 Masters predictions, expert picks by Chris 'The Bear' Fallica
PGA Tour

2024 Masters predictions, expert picks by Chris 'The Bear' Fallica

Updated Apr. 10, 2024 2:01 p.m. ET

"Bear Bets" are real wagers that Chris "The Bear" Fallica is actually making.

The week golf fans and bettors have waited for all year is finally here. It's MASTERS WEEK!

Scottie Scheffler is the current betting favorite at +400, while last year's champion, Jon Rahm, currently sits third on the betting board at +1200. The last player to win back-to-back championships at the Masters was Tiger Woods in 2001 and 2002.

Speaking of Woods, you know Augusta is dear to his heart. Tiger has won this event six times, including his improbable victory in 2019. His odds to win it all currently sit at +13000.


Since this is the biggest tournament of the year, let's dive into the wagers I’m making for the event.

Will Zalatoris +115 vs. Patrick Cantlay
Will Zalatoris +138 vs. Viktor Hovland 
Will Zalatoris 40-1 to win; Top 20 +125 

Zalatoris hasn’t played well in his previous two events leading up to the Masters, but THE PLAYERS is a quirky event where some people just don’t like the course. And Houston is whatever. Zalatoris’ two trips to Augusta have resulted in a runner-up and a sixth-place finish. A year removed from back surgery, he is finally healthy, and if his putter runs well, as it did at Bay Hill, the Genesis and Farmers Insurance Open, he will be a big factor here. 

Hovland’s price seems off to me, especially since he’s got one top-20 in the last five tourneys and his play around the green has been very poor recently. Cantlay is another guy people seem to think will break through at a major, but the evidence suggests otherwise, given his erratic season. 

Cam Smith +105 vs. Dustin Johnson 
Cam Smith +138 vs. Bryson DeChambeau
Cam Smith 45-1 to win; Top 20 +160

Smith had to withdraw from the LIV event at Doral last week because of food poisoning, so that's tempering his chances in a lot of people’s minds, but his track record here is too tempting. He didn’t play well a year ago, but three top-5s in a five-year span, with his ability to putt, makes him a contender in my mind. Certainly much more than his fellow LIV players Dustin Johnson and Bryson Dechambeau. As good as Bryson is, he has more missed cuts (2) at Augusta than top-20s (0) or top-25s (1). 

Sergio Garcia -120 vs. Tom Kim 

Sergio has missed a bunch of cuts here since winning the Green Jacket — four in five years to be exact — but he’s contended lately on the LIV tour and I like the matchup here with Kim, who has been scuffling a bit after joining the PGA Tour with such high hopes. Whether it's been injuries, poor driving or caddie changes, Kim can't seem to get back on track right now.  

Shane Lowry +115 vs. Tommy Fleetwood 

Lowry has finally figured this place out with four straight top-25s and might get a little weather, which would help his chances. Fleetwood has been hit or miss here, so I’ll go with Lowry, who has been great with the irons lately. 

Xander Schauffele Top 20 -165

Count me out when it comes to Xander in the win markets, but count me in when we’re talking top-10s and top-20s, as he’s posted a top-20 in seven straight majors and four of the last five Masters. 

Jordan Spieth 25-1 to win; Top 20 -125

This will be a fun rollercoaster ride, but I’m willing to hop on with Spieth, who has a Green Jacket and could have one or two more. Not many manage their way around this course better than Spieth, with an occasional hiccup on Amen Corner. Hopefully, for Spieth and his backers, his approach shots will be better this week, allowing him to put that lethal putter to work. 

Make the Cut Parlay +108

Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth and Hideki Matsuyama

Bear Bytes to keep in mind:

  • Over the last five years, Rory McIlroy has missed the cut twice and the three times he made the cut, he entered the weekend outside the top 20. So it's been a while since he was in the mix after 36 holes.
  • Of the five players in the Masters era who completed the career Grand Slam, each of them needed three or fewer starts in the needed major to win and finish off the slam from the time they won their third different major. McIlroy's 10th attempt at the career Grand Slam will come at the Masters. So, while Rory seemingly has many more shots to finish the career slam off, history says if you don’t finish it off quickly, you never will.
  • Nine out of 12 of Max Homa’s rounds at the Masters are over par.
  • Outside the Fall Masters in 2020, only once has Justin Thomas broken par in the first round.
  • None of the last seven winners in traditional April Masters finished better than 13th the previous year. The last April Masters winner to post a top-10 the previous year was Spieth in 2015. Some potential winners this year who finished outside the top 10 last year are Joaquin Niemann (T-16), Hideki Matsuyama (T-16), Cam Smith (T-34), Rory McIlroy (MC), Justin Thomas (MC), Will Zalatoris (DNS), Wyndham Clark (DNS) and Ludvig Aberg (DNS).
  • Speaking of Aberg and Clark, this is their first Masters. Nobody has won their first Masters since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. Aberg is 30-1 and Clark is 45-1 to break that drought.
  • Bryson DeChambeau has shot 74 or worse in his last six rounds at Augusta. He’s opened 74-76-76 over the last three years.

Last seven April Masters Winners — Previous Year Result

Jon Rahm: 27th
Scottie Scheffler: 18th
Hideki Matsuyama: 13th
Tiger Woods: 32nd
Patrick Reed: MC
Sergio Garcia: 34th
Danny Willett: 38th

Chris "The Bear" Fallica has covered sports for nearly three decades. While college football has been his focus, he also enjoys the NFL, Soccer, Golf, Tennis, MLB, NHL and Horse Racing, with an "occasional" wager on such events. Chris recently won the inaugural Circa Football Invitational and finished in the Top 10 of the Golden Nugget Football Contest. He's a multiple-time qualifier for the NHC Handicapping Championship. Remember, "The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!" Follow him on Twitter @chrisfallica


Get more from PGA Tour Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more