The Breakfast Spread: Koepka, Dechambeau Take Early Masters Lead, Angels Visit Wrigley
Brooks Koepka and Bryson Dechambeau take the early lead in the 2019 Masters, while 48-year-old Phil Mickelson shoots his best opening round since 2010. Rory McIlroy and others will try to catch up Friday. On the diamond, the Angels travel to Wrigley Field trying to extend a six game winning streak. Here’s a sports betting recap from Thursday and a lookahead to Friday.
Justin Harding’s 3-under 69 led the 87-man Masters field most of the first round before Bryson Dechambeau , Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson used a string of brides to set azaleas on fire Thursday afternoon.
Shooting his best first round since 2010, Mickelson — a three time Masters winner — starts today’s second round just one stroke back from co-leaders Dechambeau and Koepka. Dechambeau and Koepka both shot low rounds of 66 (6-under) to tie as first round leaders.
Mickelson was at even par through 11 holes before closing the round with five birdies in his last seven holes. Dechambeau had a similar finish, birdieing six of his final seven holes.
Koepka’s performance comes just a few days after Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee criticized him for losing weight for “vanity reasons.” Chambleee said, “Now, for him to change his body and his body chemistry, for vanity reasons, for a vanity shoot, is the most reckless self sabotage that I have ever seen of an athlete in his prime,”
The 28-year-old’s 66 was a response in and of itself. Koepka continues a remarkable majors streak where he has shot -23 in his last six rounds — seven strokes better than the next best golfer. A Masters win this weekend would give Koepka his fourth major win in less than two years and put him one Open Championship away from the career grand slam.
You can still bet on golf outrights to live betting features at BetStars, FanDuel Sportsbook DraftKings Sportsbook and PointsBet. On FanDuel, Koepka is the +490 favorite to walk away with the green jacket, followed by Dustin Johnson (-4) at +600 and Dechambeau +700.
Rory McIlroy is one stroke above the cut line after six bogeys offset five birdie. The Irishman came into the Masters in great form, and he showed displays of that form throughout Thursday’s round.McIlroy should go low and win some matchup and three-balls bets for the second round if he can stay out of trouble today. On FanDuel, McIlroy +125 is grouped with Rickie Fowler +170 and Cameron Smith +280. You have plenty of time to bet on it as the golfers don’t tee off until 2pm this afternoon. Breakfast Lean: McIlroy +125.
Stat of the Day: 28 golfers Under Par Thursday
It’s a crowded leaderboard at the top, presenting potential value in betting on live odds. In fact, there are 10 golfers within three strokes of each other heading into Friday. Thanks to premier scoring conditions, 18 other golfers shot under par, making it a total of 28 golfers under par teeing off today.
Among golfers’ within three strokes of the lead are Kevin Kisner (+4100 Live), Jon Rahm (+1100 Live) and Ian Poulter (+2700 Live). Mickelson is +1300 to begin the day.
Prop Shop: Top Lefty and Top Justin (FanDuel Sportsbook)
There are still Masters props to bet on including odds on who will finish as the Top Lefty and the Top Justin. For Top Lefty, Mickelson is favored -340, Bubba Watson +220 and Mike Weir +5000. Weir and Watson are currently one stroke inside the cut line after shooting even-par but this is really only a bet between Mickelson and Watson. I liked Watson heading into the tournament, and scoring conditions could allow him to catch up, but I can’t help but take the five stroke lead at -340.
Justin Harding +215 leads Justin Thomas +134 by three strokes and Justin Rose +215 by six. With Thomas and Rose both in jeopardy of missing the cut, there’s value in the small name here. Breakfast Picks: Mickelson -340 (10:31 am), Harding +215 (10:53 am)
Cubs Host Angels
The Los Angeles Angels travel to Wrigley Field for a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs today at 2:20 pm ET.
Mike Trout strained his groin sliding into second against the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday and sat out a 4-2 win in Milwaukee Wednesday. The Angels are now on six game win streak after starting the season 1-6.
The Cubs started off the season cold as well, but unlike L.A., Chicago has yet to catch their stride. They’ll start Cole Hamels today in hopes of getting their fifth win of the season.
Los Angeles will match the Cubs with a left hander of their own, Tyler Skaggs. Skaggs is 1-1 this season with a 2.45 ERA.
Hamels has already proven to be vulnerable this year with an early 5.73 ERA. It doesn’t help the 35-year-old pitcher that Trout is likely to be back in the Angels lineup. Breakfast Pick: Angels +140.
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