The 2020 Honda Classic begins a run of four PGA events in Florida.
Despite some golfers’ “home-course” advantages with The Champion Course at PGA National, West Virginia sportsbooks seem to prioritize how well a contender will handle the conditions this week.
American Brooks Koepka and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood enter Thursday as the favorites.
To make bets on those lines pay off, they’ll have to prove their unflappable reputations.
The three West Virginia online sports betting apps offer action on the event that begins Thursday, Feb. 27. There is some discrepancy on the lines, however.
Why Fleetwood and Koepka are favored at the Honda Classic
As of 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, the outright winner odds on Fleetwood and Koepka were:
Koepka spoke about the challenges the course represents late last week.
Yeah, obviously if you’re nervous it’ll show up. This golf course, there’s about five to seven holes where you can really take advantage of it if you hit the fairway and you’ve got a good number to the flag, and you’ve got to take advantage of those if you want to move up, and the rest of the holes you’re just kind of hanging on and trying to make par, maybe sneaking in one or two birdies.
Perhaps no other golfer has more experience with this course than Koepka. Last year’s runner-up at this event, it’s essentially a “home game” for the Floridian.
Koepka’s ability to handle the anticipated conditions might be surpassed by Fleetwood’s, however. Fleetwood’s strengths play well in the forecasted weather and with the way the course plays.
As Koepka alluded to, being precise with irons is crucial for success on this course. Fleetwood demonstrated that the last time he played it in 2018, finishing a solo fourth.
Another reason Fleetwood is a strong contender is his ability to handle sudden wind gusts.
The forecast calls for winds gusts ranging from 10 to 18 miles per hour on Thursday and Friday.
Rickie Fowler is another contender who shares Koepka’s familiarity with the course.
The 2017 champion is a great example of value at West Virginia sportsbooks beyond the favorites in the outright winner category. This is why WV online sports betting customers new to betting on golf might want to give it a try.
Attractive props and alternative bets at WV books
Perhaps one of the most underrated contenders in the field is Argentinian Emiliano Grillo. Grillo has one of the most drastic splits that favor his play on bermudagrass in the PGA right now.
When he played this event in 2018, he gained 5.5 strokes on his short game, which has been his biggest weakness heading into Thursday. If he can replicate that, he’s a good shot to repeat his eighth-place finish two years ago.
BetMGM has him +1400 to finish in the top five or +600 for the top 10. DraftKings Sportsbook is a bit more generous on the top 10 finish at +650.
Among the most attractive prop bets are South Korean Sungjae Im finishing as the top Asian player. FanDuel has him +250 there and the 2019 Rookie of the Year has the makeup to beat out his countryman Byeong Hun An.
American Justin Rose is part of a head-to-head market at BetMGM and currently sits at +120 to best Fowler there. If Rose can eke out a few birdies and Fowler doesn’t excel, this looks like easy money as the gap between the two players isn’t that great.
For the adventurous bettor, DraftKings currently has a generous +1400 line on one player leading the field wire-to-wire. While there are several men in the field capable of doing so, that fact works against the likelihood of this bet paying off as well.
All three of West Virginia’s sportsbooks offer opportunities to get in on the PGA action this weekend. The course plays to many golfers’ strengths, which means those opportunities are plentiful.