Anyone who has experience betting on golf knows that all wagers are not equal in this sport.
Winning once on a huge underdog can pay for a whole season’s worth of losses while hitting on a favorite might just pad your pockets for a few weeks’ time.
If you ask me, there’s nothing more electric than picking a pre-tournament winner and riding it out for four straight days of leaderboard mayhem, especially at THE PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass this week — one of the most volatile courses on tour.
I’ve circled some potential winners based on past performances here and recent play on the PGA Tour, separating them into power-ranked tiers so you can determine how much you want to wager on each player.
Odds for Outright Winner of THE PLAYERS ChampionshipTHE PLAYERS Championship Power RankingsThere are three tiers here for you to choose from, ranked in order of efficiency. In other words, if I have reason to believe that a long shot (+4000 odds or longer) has even close to as good of a chance as a favorite (+2000 odds or shorter), they’re ranked higher.
If you can put $5 on Keegan Bradley to win at +4500 odds or Max Homa at +2000 odds, but think they have close to equal chances to win, it’s a no-brainer who you should put your money on.
Without further ado, here are my tiered power rankings for THE PLAYERS:
Best Bets for Players ChampionshipThis group is self-explanatory. These are my best picks to win, based on current and recent performance coupled with odds efficiency.
Rory McIlroy (+900)
It’s not much fun picking the favorite as the outright winner, but it’s also no fun watching that favorite’s odds become shorter and shorter as the tournament unfolds.
I think that will be the case here with McIlroy. The 33-year-old Irishman has been in a back-and-forth battle with Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler for the right to be the world’s No. 1 golfer over the past year, and he’s playing like it right now.
Rory owns a healthy lead in strokes gained: tee-to-green over everyone on tour right now, and he’s finished strong lately, finishing T2 last week with a -8 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and won the Dubai Desert Classic back in January. McIlroy gained strokes on the field in every category this past week and has done so in four of his past six events.
Rory plays well at TPC Sawgrass, too. He finished just T33 last year, but won the event in 2019. Don’t overthink it. Take one of the best players in the game near his peak.
Patrick Cantlay (+1600)Max Homa (+2000)Jason Day (+2800)Keegan Bradley (+4500)Don’t Count Them OutThese players aren’t necessarily unlikely to win, but something – poor performance at this course, not playing well lately, or not enough strokes gained in the right category – has been holding them back from putting it all together. That could change this weekend.
Xander Schauffele (+2500)
Don’t sleep on Schauffele. The 29-year-old American has won seven times on the PGA Tour, but has never won a major. While that streak won’t end this weekend, Schauffele could wind up adding a premier win to his resume.
Schauffele has finished well lately, placing T13 at The American Express and T10 at the WM Phoenix Open before a T33 at The Genesis and a T39 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
And the way Schauffele has been scoring is important.
The two most recent winners of this tournament – Smith and Justin Thomas – have capitalized on strokes gained in approach shots and strokes gained putting.
Schauffele has gained strokes on the field in approach shots and putting in all five of his most recent tournaments.
However, he hasn’t played this course well in recent years, missing the cut his last three tries. Despite this, he did finish T2 with a -14 there in 2018.
Viktor Hovland (+2500)Matthew Fitzpatrick (+3500)Cameron Young (+3500)Corey Conners (+5500)Worth a SprinkleI don’t think it’s very likely that these golfers hold off a LOADED field for four full days, but each one of these players has what it takes to catch fire at least for a day or two. And who knows what happens after that?
Tyrrell Hatton (+3500)
Hatton is far from a longshot, but has won just once on the PGA Tour as he’s struggled to close out tournaments on Sundays. However, Hatton has everything you look for when pinpointing a non-favorite.
Hatton has a strong history of good play at TPC Sawgrass, finishing with a T13 -6 at the event last year. This season, he’s gained strokes on the field in both putting and approach shots in four of his last six events – two key facets of the game winners here need to have. And when he plays well, he plays with the best. Hatton has gained over 2 strokes on the field in half of his events so far this year (past two winners have gained just over 4 strokes on the field).
The 31-year-old Englishman has finished T13 or better in three of his past four events, including a T4 -7 this past weekend in Orlando.
Sungjae Im (+4000)Adam Hadwin (+11000)Davis Riley (+15000)Adam Svensson (+18000)—
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
Source : FanSided