It’s not the biggest PGA championship. It may not have the most notoriety.
But the Zozo Championship, playing Thursday-Sunday in Japan (late Wednesday night into early Sunday morning in West Virginia), is on its way up. And Mountain State bettors can wager into a tourney that debuted in 2019 with a victory by Tiger Woods.
For COVID-19-related reasons, the event was moved to California last year.
For 2021, it’s back in Japan. Viewing is a little different for gamblers than for most tournaments.
How to watch:
- Wednesday, October 20: 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Thursday, October 21: 11:30 p.m.-2:30 a.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Friday, October 22: 11:30 p.m.-2:45 a.m. EST (Golf Channel)
- Saturday, October 23: 11:30 p.m.-2:45 a.m. EST (Golf Channel)
Zozo is en route to becoming a hit. The fact that its purse is a shade under $10 million and is being carried by WV sportsbooks indicates golf’s booming popularity, even during a time once considered its offseason.
Xander Schauffele is the DraftKings WV favorite at +500 to win, +130 for the top 5 and -165 for the top 10.
Collin Morikawa stands at +700 to win, +150 for the top 5 and -125 for the top 10.
Hideki Matsuyama is at one of his shortest odds this season of +1200 to win, +275 for the top 5 and +170 for the top 10. He was second to Woods in 2019.
Will Zalatoris is +1600 for the win, +3500 to hit the top 5 and +170 for the top 10.
Tommy Fleetwood is +2200 to win, +450 for the top 5 and +180 for the top 10.
It’s an interesting mix.
“There are many Asian golfers you don’t know about, but these guys are really good players,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told PlayWV. “This is the kind of week that gamblers may take a shot at some players with high odds.”
Names like Cameron Tringale, Si Woo Kim and Cheng-Tsung Pan, all in the long shot range, could make some noise.
Zozo Championship Betting At WV Sportsbooks
Caesars Sportsbook WV offers odds for this week’s PGA event, too.
Line shopping is advantageous to gamblers, especially those backing Schauffele. He is the co-favorite at +750 along with Morikawa.
It’s rare for sportsbooks to differ so much in the top slot. Any Morikawa backer will happily take these upgraded betting odds.
Factors that can bring the books to different calculations include the prospect of jet lag from American players traveling to Japan and the expectation that some lightly known Asian players will do well.
Morikawa, +750, and Matsuyama, +1200, are getting significant respect. Morikawa won a recent tournament by carding a 62. Matsuyama plays in his native country and was second only to Woods in this event in 2019.
Zalatoris is +1800 at Caesars, while Joaquin Neimann is +2200 and considered a viable long shot.
The book has an interesting prop regarding the margin of victory:
- Three-shot margin +450
- Two shots +350
- One shot +250
- A playoff +300
BetMGM WV also has a strong menu.
Will there be a hole in one? It’s +700 for each individual round.
Will Schauffele be the first-round leader? Yes is +1100.
Good odds also follow Morikawa. He’s +1200 to be the first-round leader.
Matsuyama is +2000 to lead after one round.
The first round often showcases an unknown. Taking a long shot in that area makes sense.
But betting on the chalk to be in the hunt is a consideration, too.
Schauffele to be in the top 5 after one round is +225, while Morikawa is +250 and Matsuyama is +400.
Tringale, somewhat unheralded in this group, still pays a strong +600 to hit the top 5.
Betting The PGA By Round
Look for two- and three-team pairings to constitute a bet. They can be for one round or for the entire tournament.
Leaderboard odds will change after every round. The best value on a winner begins to decrease steadily in round three, so it’s never too early to take a stab with a hunch.
The course will be fun to watch long-ball hitters navigate. Regarding the next-hole bets, the fourth is a 553-yard par 5 and is a legitimate birdie opportunity.
Hole No. 6, at 602 yards, is a birdie chance too, although players will be challenged to reach it in two. Many will regard it as a true three-shot hole and try to hit a short third shot close to the stick.
Hole No. 9 is a bogey threat. It is 520 yards and a par 4. That’s normally par-5 distance.
Two holes, the sixth and 14th, play more than 600 yards.
The 18th is a 593-yard par 5. It’s an excellent finishing hole because it’s a tough birdie chance, but a fair number of players will notch birdie. That means a close score with one hole left could result in a scoring change.