Saturday, December 9, 2023

2023 Players Championship picks, predictions, odds, field: Golf insider fading Justin Thomas at TPC Sawgrass

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The PGA Tour’s stars will shine again, but iconic TPC Sawgrass also will have another moment in the sun this week at the 2023 Players Championship. The Pete Dye course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. presents one of the most complete tests of the PGA Tour season. The 144 players in the Players Championship 2023 field will have to work to be the one to claim the record $4.5 million winner’s payout. Top-ranked Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy headline a field that features 43 of the top 50 golfers in the world. Justin Thomas, the 2021 Players champion, and fellow multiple major winners Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa also are among those set to tee off Thursday. Cameron Smith won last year at 13-under par, but he won’t be back to defend. Former winners who will be on hand include McIlroy, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott.

McIlroy won in 2019, and the world’s No. 3 player is a 17-2 co-favorite along with Rahm in Caesars Sportsbook’s latest 2023 Players Championship odds. Second-ranked Scheffler is right behind at 10-1, with Thomas (19-1), Patrick Cantlay (19-1) and Max Homa (19-1) the only others shorter than 20-1. Xander Schauffele (25-1), Viktor Hovland (27-1), Tony Finau (28-1) and Morikawa (28-1) also are favorites in the 2023 Players Championship field. Before making any 2023 Players Championship picks, be sure you check out the PGA Tour predictions and best bets from SportsLine golf insider Patrick McDonald.

After spending time at FanSided and NBC Sports EDGE, McDonald joined CBS Sports as a golf writer in the spring of 2022. Now covering the sport from a broader perspective, McDonald still likes to dip his toes into the betting pools on a weekly basis on the PGA Tour. McDonald takes a measured approach to his outright selections and is having a profitable 2022-23 season. He is up almost 19 units this season, meaning a profit of over $1,900 for $100 bettors.

McDonald nailed the Farmers Insurance Open, backing Homa (25-1) as his top choice. The expert also just missed a massive 130-1 score at the Sony Open when Hayden Buckley finished as runner-up. He hit another 25-1 shot at the Houston Open, taking Tony Finau to win. The expert finished the 2021-22 season up 42 units on his outrights, including a monster 250-1 payout on Hudson Swafford at The American Express. Anyone who follows McDonald’s advice has been cashing in.

Now, McDonald has studied the 2023 Players Championship field and has locked in his best bets, top sleepers and favorites to avoid. You can head to SportsLine now to see all of McDonald’s PGA picks and analysis.  

Top 2023 Players Championship expert picks

Shockingly, McDonald is fading Thomas, even though he is the most recent Players winner in the field this week. Thomas also is a two-time major champion and former world No. 1, but McDonald says “he is a shell of his 2021 self.” The 29-year-old is 76th on tour in scoring average this season. And while he has finished in the top 25 in five of his six outings this season, only one of those was in the top 10. Thomas tied for 33rd at Sawgrass last year, and his victory was one of two top-10 finishes in eight tries, with the other coming way back in 2016.   

On the flip side, Rahm will be looking to rebound from an off week and hang on to the No. 1 ranking he reclaimed three weeks ago. The Spaniard started things off with a 65 last week at Bay Hill, but consecutive rounds of 76 sent him tumbling down the leaderboard. He ended up tied for 39th, breaking a string of six straight top-10’s. Still, he leads the tour in scoring average and strokes gained total, and he has the well-rounded game to succeed at TPC Sawgrass. Rahm ranks 20th in total driving, third in greens in regulation and seventh in strokes gained putting. See who he is backing at SportsLine.

How to make 2023 Players Championship golf picks

McDonald has locked in his best bets for the 2023 Players Championship and has tabbed several longshots, including two who come in at more than 30-1. One of these golfers continues to find his form and “showed flashes of brilliance” last week at Bay Hill. You can only see the picks at SportsLine.

So which 2023 Players Championship players should you target or avoid? And which golfer in the Players Championship 2023 field could bring a huge payday of around 40-1? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Patrick McDonald’s top prop picks for Players Championship 2023, all from the expert who is up nearly $1,900 on his PGA Tour picks this season.

2023 Players Championship odds, field, top contenders

See McDonald’s picks, best bets and predictions here.

Jon Rahm +850
Rory McIlroy +850
Scottie Scheffler +1000
Patrick Cantlay +1900
Max Homa +1900
Justin Thomas +1900
Xander Schauffele +2500
Viktor Hovland +2700
Tony Finau +2800
Collin Morikawa +2800
Will Zalatoris +3200
Jordan Spieth +3200
Matt Fitzpatrick +3400
Tyrrell Hatton +3400
Cameron Young +3600
Jason Day +3600
Sungjae Im +3700
Joohyung Kim +4100
Shane Lowry +4800
Keegan Bradley +5000
Rickie Fowler +5000
Keith Mitchell +5500
Corey Conners +6500
Si Woo Kim +7000
Sam Burns +7000
Sahith Theegala +7000
Chris Kirk +7500
Tommy Fleetwood +8500
Hideki Matsuyama +8500
Kurt Kitayama +9000
Justin Rose +10000
Adam Scott +10000
Tom Hoge +10000
Francesco Molinari +10000
Harris English +10000
Webb Simpson +14000
Aaron Wise +14000
Brian Harman +15000
Wyndham Clark +15000
Seamus Power +15000
Russell Henley +15000
Gary Woodland +17000
Alex Noren +17000
Billy Horschel +18000
Ryan Fox +18000
Davis Riley +18000
Taylor Montgomery +18000
Sepp Straka +19000
Adam Hadwin +19000
Min Woo Lee +19000
Maverick McNealy +21000
Patton Kizzire +21000
Justin Suh +21000
Taylor Pendrith +22000
K.H. Lee +23000
Lucas Herbert +23000
Danny Willett +23000

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