The PLAYERS Championship Betting Odds & Preview 2020 | PGA Golf Tournament
This week PLAYERS head to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verda Beach, Florida, for THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP. The “5th Major” consistently attracts one of the best fields, and this year is no different. With 47 of the world’s top 50 players in attendance.
The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is nothing less than iconic, highlighted by the signature 17th island green Par 3. The Pete Dye design allows for players of all skill sets to compete, although the move to March after years of holding the event in May could set the course up as a bombers paradise.
Before we break down Sawgrass, let’s revisit the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Arnold Palmer Invitational Recap
Four weeks, four winners, and officially the best run I’ve had as a golf handicapper.
Bay Hill played tough, as expected, with winds giving players fits through Sunday. Tyrell Hatton managed to overcome some course management mistakes and hold on for the win over Mark Leishman (also tipped here) and Sungjae Im. Rory secured ANOTHER top 5, but his Sundays in 2020 have left a lot to be desired.
We are early in the season, and the fact he is even in position every single week is incredible, but as the Majors approach, he will have to tighten up his Sunday play if he’s going to knock off Major Championships this year.
Along with another outright win, and probably more important, full tournament head to heads stayed positive, going 4-3, which brings the season total to +6.4 units and a 7% ROI. ONTO THE PLAYERS!
The PLAYERS Championship Course Preview
The common theme of the previous few weeks continues with the 3rd stop of the Florida Swing: Wind and Bermuda. It is important to note that this is the 2nd year THE PLAYERS is being held in March rather than May, and from player feedback, the course plays differently early in the year. There hasn’t been much rain in Florida recently, so conditions should play somewhat firm, but current forecasts show rather calm winds, which will open the course up for the best ball strikers.
The move to March has an impact off the tee at TPC Sawgrass. When the event was held in May, players would take less than driver off the tee to stay in the short stuff and combat the fast and firm fairways. Rory mentioned last year that he was able to take driver on holes he would have never hit the big dog at in years priors. Players can be more aggressive.
Another factor is that the rough hasn’t quite grown to May levels this time of the year and because Bermuda goes dormant in the winter, the rough features Ryegrass, which is way less gnarly than full-grown Bermuda. What this means is players should be able to hit driver with reckless abandon, and without wind, TPC Sawgrass should give up a lot of birdies.
The greens will likely be fast and firm, similar to what we saw last week at Bay Hill. However, the slight move up the coast to Northern Florida should negate the grainy Bermuda greens as it will still be dormant. Instead, there will be a combination Poa, Bent and Bermuda making these surfaces some of the purest on Tour.
I’ll be leaving Bermuda Specialists off my stats for the week and instead focus on strong off the tee game and birdie makers. Current form and course form hasn’t been a huge predictor of success at THE PLAYERS, but it will be hard to pass up guys showing great ball-striking form.
Bryson DeChambeau +2200 at MyBookie.ag
If I’m handicapping this event to be a bombers paradise, then it is impossible to overlook an outright on Bryson. He is in the midst of one of the best off the tee seasons in the history of the Tour, gaining 7.2 strokes in the category last week, 6 WGC-Mexico and 3.8 at the Genesis netting him three straight top 5s.
A 54 hole lead on the Euro Tour in a desert event was followed by a 52nd at the Waste Management where he lost 6 strokes on approach. That is really hard to do.
It was inevitable that the former US Amateur and NCGA winner would shore up his iron game, and over his last three top 5s, he has gained close to 10 strokes combined in the category. He made a concerted effort in the offseason to gain distance off the tee, and when combined with his already elite iron play, Bryson is a factor every week. Unfortunately, we aren’t getting much of a discount here, but the fit is just too good to pass up.
Gary Woodland +5000 at MyBookie.ag
Gary is showing excellent form with everything but his around the green game. Good thing chipping won’t be important this week if it plays out as planned. An 8th at the Honda behind 7.6 strokes gained on approach and a 12th in Mexico behind 6 strokes gained off the tee shows he has the ball striking game to get it done at Sawgrass.
Course History Truthers will be off Gary this week as his PLAYERS resume leaves a lot to be desired. Pay them no mind, Gary’s form has been elite. In 2019/20 Woodland has 6/8 top 12s and has even gained strokes putting in 4 of his last five events. 50/1 is an insane number for the reigning US Open Champ, showing better form than he did before his first major win. Easy take for me.
Max Homa Top 20 +450 at Bovada.lv
After notching his first career win in 2019, Homa has come out hot in 2020 with 3 top 10s, no missed cuts, and strokes gained across the board. Off the tee, he has been especially impressive, gaining strokes in every event in 2020. His final round at the Genesis is why he is getting my backing this week, though. His 5th place finish, while gaining strokes in every category, was impressive, but his shot on 18 stood out to me.
With a chance to win in tough conditions and needing a birdie, Homa took dead aim and flagged the back left pin. It ended a little long, over the green, and with Scott being nails down the stretch. Homa had no chance, but I love seeing that down the stretch from a guy in the triple digits to win an event that is on the same level. The fact I played golf all weekend with one of his UCLA teammates notwithstanding, Homa top 20 is a no brainer.
2u Mathew Fitzpatrick -125 over Jason Day at Bovada.lv
Something doesn’t seem right with Jason Day. Always a rather average ball striker, he hasn’t been putting the same way that made him number 1 in the World. Is he hurt? Really hard to tell, he is always hurt then goes and wins events. Here is what I do know. Any success he is having has been with his around-the-green game. Meaning he is chipping in from everywhere, leading to a 4th at the ATT and a 16th at the Farmers. I don’t buy it for a second.
You need a high floor guy like Fitzpatrick if you’re going to fade Day. A 9th last week at Bay Hill behind the best Sunday round of the day and excellent all-around play all week. Fitzy has made 17 straight cuts on the PGA Tour and provides the high floor that makes backing him in a head to head to appealing. He has the game to win this entire thing (backing him outright as well), and considering what Day has shown in the ball striking category Fitz should be closer to -150 here.
The PLAYERS Championship Outright Plays
The PLAYERS Championship Plays
|Outrights||Odds||Stake (Unit)||To Win|
|Total Units Invested:||1.95|
The PLAYERS Championship Head To Head Plays
|FULL TOURNAMENT HEAD TO HEAD
The PLAYERS Plays
|Fitz -1.5 o Day||100||2||2|
|Rory -1.5 o Rahm||105||2||2.1|
|Leish o Hatton||-103||2.06||2|
|DeChambeau o Fleet||-115||1.15||1|
|JT o Rahm||105||1||1.05|
|Cantlay -1.5 o Im||125||1||1.25|
|Finau -1.5 o Rose||105||1.05||1|
|Garcia -1.5 o Oostie||115||1||1.15|
|Poulter o Sned||-115||1.15||1|