Will Justin Thomas recapture his magic and repeat?
Will Scottie Scheffler and Viktor Hovland carry over their momentum from the Arnold Palmer Invitational and play well again?
These are some of the angles West Virginia bettors are weighing for the $20 million PLAYERS Championship, taking place Thursday-Sunday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde, Florida.
Thomas rallied from three strokes back to capture the tournament at 14-under par last year.
Thus, he opens as the co-favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook WV, along with Jon Rahm.
They are both +1000 to win, +250 for the top five and +120 for the top 10.
Rory McIlroy checks in at +1600, +400 and +180. The same odds go to Collin Morikawa.
Patrick Cantlay opened at +2000, +450 and +225. He was joined in those odds by Hovland and Scheffler.
Do the last two names sound familiar? They do to gamblers who wagered at the Arnold Palmer last week.
Scheffler triumphed at odds of +1700 with a furious fourth-round charge. Hovland was second but paid handsomely as a top 10 and top 20 betting choice.
THE PLAYERS Championship odds at WV sportsbooks
Some bettors are considering whether to repeat this approach.
One strategy hinted at here last week, combining top money leaders at generous prices, paid off well for West Virginia bettors.
Hovland, among the leading money winners, returned +450 for the top five and +225 for the top 10. Many bettors cashed in on him twice.
Talor Gooch, sixth on the money list but a tournament long shot, finished seventh and paid +230 to hit the top 20.
Even Hideki Matsuyama, the leading money winner, made a small return on investment to bettors who took him in the top 20. He finished in a multiple tie for 20th.
In that case, all players involved in a tie get paid, but at reduced odds.
How to watch THE PLAYERS Championship
- Thursday-Friday: 12-6 p.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Saturday-Sunday: 1-6 p.m. (NBC)
Betting on THE PLAYERS Championship
Let’s look at some golfers in that combination this week.
Scheffler, now the leading money winner on tour with $5.2 million, has handsome odds.
Repeat winners seldom happen, but one might consider a top 10 or top 20 finish for him. Even the top 20 is +100, and there’s nothing wrong with an even-money payday. It’s a little better than the odds for an NFL game.
Matsuyama, who is pretty consistent, has won a little over $4 million.
Gooch, fourth on the money list with just over $3 million earned, has impressive betting odds. He is +6500 to win, +1100 to finish in the top five, +500 for the top 10 and +250 to finish in the top 20.
We mentioned his good positioning for the top 20 here last week. He returned an excellent price of +230.
Sungjae Im, who we faded a couple of weeks ago as a +1000 tourney favorite, looks more attractive here at +200 for the top 20. That’s about the level of the leaderboard he flirts with every week.
What betting approach works best for you?
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, tells Mountain State bettors to look far down the odds board to find value. That’s because there are so many top golfers.
Remember Joaquin Niemann? Just a month ago, he wired the field at the Genesis Invitational. He paid +1400 for that at most WV sportsbooks and was the first wire-to-wire winner there in 53 years.
Well, he’s +5000 here.
Daniel Berger, who had the lead in the final round of the Honda before finishing fourth, is +3000 to win and +175 for the top 20.
Evaluating TPC Sawgrass
Next-hole betting options come into play, with bettors having some interesting decisions.
The TPC course is known for target golf, in which shots must clear barriers like water and sand. Water and dogleg-shaped fairway bunkers demand precision in what’s considered “point-to-point” golf.
The par-5 16th statistically yields the most birdies, for bettors who want to take a stab at something other than par or bogey.
The famed island green on 17 is the most aesthetic challenge on the course. The green is surrounded by water on all four sides. Approximately 120,000 balls are pulled out of the water at the club each year.
This has both birdie and bogey potential and may be the best option in terms of betting a hole at TPC.
The seventh is listed as the toughest hole on the course. Some bettors may be enticed to gamble on bogeys there.
Keep your eyes on the 9th and 11th holes, too. Thomas eagled them last year.
PGA odds from BetMGM
The book provides an interesting shopping contrast, especially at the top.
BetMGM WV likes Jon Rahm at +1200 at the top of the leaderboard. Morikawa is +1400, along with Justin Thomas.
Rahm backers will find a better value here, especially for a large-sized bet.
Good luck “holing out” some winning bets.