Jon Rahm will defend his first title of 2024 when he returns to Augusta National with his green jacket—and some of Mama Rahm’s lentil stew. It’s an odd quirk considering Rahm won three PGA Tour titles before March a year ago, but those are the consequences of leaving for LIV Golf.

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Since that December decision that rocked the golf world, Rahm has yet to win a LIV title, but he’s second in the league’s early-season standings. Regardless, he is one of the favorites to win (again) at Augusta National in April. But where does he land on our ranking of Masters best bets? Here’s a look at how things stand (odds via Draftkings) as we near the first men’s major of 2024.

1. Jon Rahm (11/1) Masters 2023

J.D. Cuban

Reason to pick: He’s the defending champ and he’s finished in the top 10 in five of his last six starts. The Spanish-Augusta love is real. And while we’d give Scottie Scheffler a slight edge, Rahm at double the odds jumps him to the top spot. Again, this is our ranking of best bets, not best golfers.

Cause for concern: He’s got a lot going on that week including hosting the Champions Dinner.

2. Scottie Scheffler (5/1) 2092404154

David Cannon

Reason to pick: He’s the World No. 1, he’s putting much better with that mallet, he never has a bad week of ball-striking, and he already won one green jacket in 2022.

Cause for concern: No concern, not even that neck injury. Just don’t love him at 5-to-1 odds. Then again, everyone who said that when he was 6-to-1 at the Players certainly missed out.

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Streeter Lecka/PGA of America

Reason to pick: A year ago we left him out of these rankings and that was a big mistake. Koepka was the 54-hole leader at Augusta in 2023 before posting his second Masters runner-up finish. It’s bound to happen one of these years for the five-time major champ.

Cause for concern: The potential to be playing—and waiting—in the final group behind Patrick Cantlay again this year.

4. Cameron Smith (25/1) 1777737983

Eurasia Sport Images

Reason to pick: The Aussie has three top-five finishes at Augusta National in his last six attempts, including being in Sunday’s final pairing with Scheffler in 2022. He also recently lost to Abraham Ancer in a playoff at the LIV Hong Kong event.

Cause for concern: Getting death stares from Augusta National members over that flowing mullet.

5. Joaquin Niemann (22/1) 1493619067

Rob Carr

Reason to pick: Niemann is leading the LIV standings after a pair of early victories, plus he won the Australian Open in December, which led to his well-deserved Masters invite. Also he’s a past winner at Riviera, which is always considered a good comp to Augusta National.

Cause for concern: Not much. You just might wish you had snagged him at 55-to-1 odds like I did a few weeks back.

6. Jason Day (40/1) 1490150635

Mike Mulholland

Reason to pick: After a resurgent 2023 that saw the Aussie win on the PGA Tour for the first time in five years, he’s back to being under the radar. But with four top-10s at the Masters, including a runner-up in 2011, this is an enticing price.

Cause for concern: He’ll need to hit his irons much better at Augusta National than he has so far in 2024 (116th in strokes gained/approach).

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7. Will Zalatoris (18/1) 1823317697

Mike Ehrmann

Reason to pick: It’s great to see this guy playing so well after undergoing back surgery last year, and he certainly loves Augusta National. Zalatoris has a runner-up and a T-6 in his two career starts here.

Cause for concern: Putting is always the thing holding Zalatoris back, but a switch to a broomstick putter has him more in the middle of the pack in terms of strokes gained. And with his tee-to-green play, that’s really all he needs to contend.

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Kevin C. Cox

Reason to pick: Schauffele added to his list of close calls in big events with a runner-up at the Players. He also has a T-2 and a T-3 at Augusta National.

Cause for concern: His disappointing “runner-up ratio” in PGA Tour events will only keep getting worse until he gets back into the winner’s circle.

9. Jordan Spieth (18/1) 2082110630

Icon Sportswire

Reason to pick: Strictly a horses-for-courses play here, because 18-to-1 seems short. The 2015 winner has five other top-fives at Augusta, including runners-up in 2014 and 2016.

Cause for concern: With only two PGA Tour wins in nearly seven years, this is just not the same player we saw win three majors before turning 24. Although the short-game magic is still there and his putting is much-improved this season, Spieth’s iron play is well off what it was at its peak.

10. Rory McIlroy (10/1) 2091722028

Kevin C. Cox

Reason to pick: He has to complete the career Grand Slam at some point … right?

Cause for concern: For one, the scar tissue at Augusta National. For another, he’s off to a very sluggish start to the 2024 PGA Tour season. Gotta have him on the list, but there’s little value at 10-to-1 odds.

11. Hideki Matsuyama (25/1) 2074100587

Brennan Asplen

Reason to pick: The 2021 champ won his ninth career PGA Tour title in February at the Augusta-like Riviera.

Cause for concern: The putter is usually going to hold him back, but it doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue at Augusta. Seems fairly priced at 25-to-1.

12. Justin Thomas (25/1) 2086421128

Kevin C. Cox

Reason to pick: JT hasn’t won at either Augusta National or Riviera, but he’s hung around on leaderboards at both places. And you can do a lot worse than a two-time major champ at 25-to-1 odds. Those major wins are the reason why we’re taking Thomas here instead of Patrick Cantlay.

Cause for concern: After being mired in a big slump during 2023, JT’s iron play has returned to elite level. The putter? Not so much.

13. Wyndham Clark (28/1) 1499773225

Ross Kinnaird

Reason to pick: This guy is quickly morphing into a Brooks Koepka-like big-game hunter with a U.S. Open and two PGA Tour signature titles in a nine-month span. Not to mention that gut-wrenching close call at TPC Sawgrass.

Cause for concern: Augusta National doesn’t seem to be the best fit for his preferred left-to-right ball flight, plus, surprisingly, the 30-year-old is making his Masters debut, and no Augusta rookie has won since Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979.

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