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2024 Masters Pool Picks: One Proven Strategy To Get An Edge

This is a guest post from PoolGenius, which provides data-driven picks and tools for Masters pools.

Is Scottie Scheffler a great pick for your 2024 Masters pool, or should you go with someone else as your top selection? The answer to that question may not be as simple as “Yes” or “No.”

The best strategy will depend the exact format of your Masters pool, whether or not you can pick Scheffler again (if your pool includes more than one Major), and how many other entries are competing.

That last factor, pool size, is one of the most overlooked strategy elements in golf pools. In this article, we’ll explain how it should influence your picks in the most common type of Masters pool, which involves picking a set of golfers from different groups, or tiers.

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Before we dive in, just a quick FYI. If you’d like to see the top-rated value picks for your Masters or Majors pool, check out our new product for 2024.

In addition to pool size, it considers objective factors such as betting odds, course performance, and national pick popularity data in Masters pools to identify the picks that give you the biggest edge.

Golf Majors & Masters Picks from PoolGenius »

(We also offer data-driven picks and tools for Golf One And Done pools, and discounted bundles on both golf products.)

Small Masters Pools: Focus On Top Win Odds Picks

The smaller the Masters pool, the fewer the entries you have to beat to win a prize. That often (though not always) means that the score you need to win doesn’t have to be as extreme as it does to win a larger pool.

Because picks are not distributed equally, you might also find that in a 20-entry Masters pool, for instance, only 5-7 of the golfers in a hypothetical 10-golfer tier actually get picked.

That means that an unexpected top performer in a tier might not even severely punish you, because no one in the entire pool picked him.

At the same time, a lot of Masters pools have stiff penalties for golfers that missed the cut, adding an automatic bad score for the rounds they miss. So giving yourself the best chance to avoid bad results like that is a good strategy at small pool sizes.

(Those costly “missed cut” penalties can be more detrimental to your score than picking the actual tournament winner is helpful. The best golfers, relatively speaking, should be better at both helping you post an above average score for the group, and avoiding a poor one.)

So in small pools, the priority should be on setting up a more consistent “high floor” score, and not using a “high ceiling” strategy that takes big gambles on long shots that can have more variable results.

Let’s revisit the Scottie Scheffler example. Let’s say his odds to finish as the best-scoring golfer in his tier are 25%, and his odds of posting a top three score within the group is 65%. Meanwhile, he is being picked by a whopping 50% of your pool. Is he a good pick, or a bad one?

In a small pool, you do not have to have the golfer with the best score in each tier to win. In fact, you might need just a couple of them, combined with solid picks that finish average or better within their tier group.

Sticking with Scheffler might be the best path to a good score (and preventing a bad one), even if he is wildly popular.

Medium-Sized Masters Pools: Mix Win Odds and Value Picks

As pool size goes up, let’s say to 100 entries or more, the optimal pick strategy shifts some.

In this size range, it’s highly likely that every golfer in each of the top tiers is selected by at least one entry. That increases the likelihood that a few randomly great scores show up on opponent rosters, and you still need to beat those lucky opponents.

Entries that go too heavy on uniqueness to make much riskier picks will still mostly get burned by some of their picks scoring poorly or missing the cut. But the average score needed to win goes up as pool size increases, so you can’t play it safe to the same degree as small pools.

The focus in this range should be a balance of the best picks by win odds, and the best contrarian value plays among golfers in the upper to middle part of a tier. Take some modest calculated risks on a few golfers whose win odds aren’t that much lower than the tier favorite(s), but only in some tiers.

This approach gives your entry opportunities to be the one that hits on some unpopular surprises, while still playing the favorites and doing well enough in other tiers.

Going back to the Scheffler example, picking him in a mid-sized pool could still make sense, if you pair that play with a couple unpopular picks in some of the other tiers. Conversely, you could avoid Scheffler in the top tier because of high popularity, but stick with more conservative picks in some other tiers.

Large Masters Pools: Differentiating Picks Is The Top Priority

In very large pools with several hundred or even thousands of entries, the chance that some entries will hit on multiple unexpected top performers magnifies, and the expected score you need to win becomes even more extreme.

As a result, making mostly popular and high win odds picks typically becomes detrimental. Because of their higher popularity, you’ll need to hit almost all of them to win the pool, because of how many picks you would share with a large percentage of your opponents.

Instead, a more boom-or-bust pick strategy that does terribly in most tournaments, but gives you a fighting chance in a wackier year, should give you the best chance to actually win one of these big pools at some point in your life.

You might still play one or two of the higher ranked golfers in a tier, but your entry should be highly biased toward selecting value picks for uniqueness.

You want to create the opportunity to rocket up the leaderboard if several of the most popular picks underperform, and your rarely-picked golfer in the same tier simultaneously puts up a great score.

Since your expected win odds in a large pool are quite small no matter how strategic you are about pick making, you should be less concerned with the downside of taking a risk on a golfer who might post a bad score.

Instead, you just have to focus on setting up the best upside scenarios, knowing full well that they are not likely to work out.

Attack Augusta With the PoolGenius Advantage In 2024

Reading strategy advice for golf pools is well and good, but putting all these tips into practice is where things typically get a lot more challenging.

There are many golfers to evaluate in a Majors or Masters pool, and just getting the data you need to make the smartest picks (e.g. betting odds, player rankings, recent course performance, national pick popularity) isn’t easy.

In addition, factors that impact pick strategy like a pool’s scoring system, size, and how its tiers are constructed will differ from pool to pool, and you need to figure out the optimal balance of risk and upside for the specific pool(s) that you enter.

Against this backdrop of complexity, we designed our new Golf Majors & Masters Picks product to help you make the smartest pick decisions in the most efficient way.

This week, FantasyPros readers can get also 10-55% off PoolGenius packages that include Masters pools picks and beyond:

Get 10-55% Off Masters Pool Picks »

Good luck in your 2024 Masters pools, and don’t forget to consider how pool size should influence your picks!

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