Wednesday at the Masters is a time for players to put in their last work before the fun starts. For many players, it’s a chance for one final tune-up to make sure everything is in working order.

But there are also those players who are on the range until sundown Wednesday night trying to find something that clicks before playing the biggest golf tournament in the world — and maybe ever. Those players are the ones who probably are going to struggle the most when balls go in the air Thursday night.

For bettors, daily fantasy players and casual fans prepping their last-minute pool picks, we’ll take every last second we can get before locking in our bets and lineups before the party gets started.

We have crunched the numbers, pored over the data and picked through the trends to come up with our yearly Masters picks which you can read in the betting preview below.

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Augusta National Country Club
Defending champion: Jon Rahm
Favorite: Scottie Scheffler (+450)
Notes: The seemingly unending quest to lengthen Augusta National to keep up with modern technology continued ahead of the 2024 tournament. The par-5 second hole has been lengthened about 10 yards and moved to the left to create a more challenging tee shot, which comes on the heels of a recent lengthening of the par-5 13th. The course, as Rory McIlroy noted Tuesday, has gotten “sharper,” pointing to the back right of the par-3 sixth with a sharper drop-off that makes one of the more difficult tee shots even tougher.

(Betting odds from FanDuel Sportsbook)

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First-round leader: Shane Lowry (+4500)
It looks like there will be some soaking rain, peaking at 8 a.m. ET, the same time the first group is supposed to go off No. 1. A delay shouldn’t be surprising and perhaps even expected. So it’s hard to say who will be affected and how they’ll be affected. There’s no clear wave advantage. Lowry is a tricky one in that regard with a 12:24 p.m. tee time, but his day shouldn’t be completely washed out. He’ll likely go out after the rain has stopped, but the course should still be soft — at least by Augusta standards. The wind gusts will still be 30 mph and stronger, but the Irishman is no stranger to that sort of weather. He’s playing really well right now and has some good course history that has some wondering whether he’s in line to contend. Perhaps. He does have some good first-round course history, too, breaking par three times including a pair of 4-under 68s in 2016 and last year.

To hit the 12th green all four rounds: Scottie Scheffler (+205)
Do you really want to bet Scheffler to win the whole thing at 4-1? Probably not. Doesn’t feel like there’s a ton of value there. But if you think he’s going to contend and want to eliminate some variables, this is a fun little double-up opportunity. He’s the best ball striker in the world. It feels like a good way to have some Scheffler action without having to go too big on him winning at such a small number.

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Top 20: Justin Rose (+330)
He’s not playing well at all. Rose has two straight missed cuts at big events with The Players and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Maybe the trip down Magnolia Lane gets him right, though. Rose made the cut in 16 of his 18 Masters starts, and 11 top-20 finishes. Seven of those have come since 2014, and that includes a pair of missed cuts. If he plays well enough to make the weekend, he typically pops up near the top of the leaderboard.

Top 10: Patrick Reed (+500)
You might not like him but you have to respect him. Starting with his win in 2018, Reed has four top-10 finishes in his last six starts at Augusta. The Georgia boy knows the course very well, playing some of his college golf in Augusta. He’s coming off a nice showing at LIV Golf Miami where he finished tied for ninth at Doral, a tough course that presents a solid pre-Masters test.

Top 5: Matt Fitzpatrick (+650)
He finished fifth at The Players and then tied for 10th last week at the Texas Open. He has a strong majors resume, highlighted by the 2022 U.S. Open win. His Masters performance has improved over each start the last three years, which isn’t a huge surprise given Fitzpatrick’s nature as an analytical-minded player. He’s getting more and more data every year, and players with experience have the most success at the Masters. So it’s a matter of time before he’s fighting for a green jacket on the back nine on Sunday.

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama (+2000)
Some of us were lucky enough to get Matsuyama at a higher number (like, say, 27-1), which is looking better by the day. Perhaps the fact that so many people want a piece of the 2021 champion is reason for pause, but Matsuyama checks the boxes. He can win here, obviously. His game is fabulously suited for the course as a ball-striking savant. He’s a short-game wizard. The putting is a major issue, but Augusta National is so tricky to putt on that it tends to neutralize the field because it’s tough for everyone. He comes in with great form, too, going win, 12th, sixth and seventh over his last four starts. Maybe Scheffler just runs away with it, but if he can’t go back-to-back, Matsuyama is just the type of player who can win this tournament.

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Featured image via Adam Cairns/USA TODAY Network Images