Friday, March 1, 2024

Golf Odds, Picks And Props: 2023 The Players Championship Betting Preview

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The biggest non-major money event of the PGA Tour season tees off this week at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for THE PLAYERS Championship. The elevated event with a $25 million prize pool and $4.5 million payday to the winner will draw major ratings and betting interest. The 144-player field includes 43 of the top 50 players in the world golf rankings with 49 of the top 50 players in the current FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points. Bettors are looking for a bigger payday this week as well with more top golfers taking additional bets.

The Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass features water on 17 holes including the famous short par 3 island shot at No. 17. Whoever can navigate the course and hazards while controlling their emotions and displaying precise iron and approach play combined with strong around the green, scrambling and short game skills will position themselves among the leaders come Sunday.

Golf Odds to Win THE PLAYERS Championship

Leading favorites and contenders golf odds from FanDuel Sportsbook refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting.

  • +850: Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy
  • +1000: Scottie Scheffler
  • +1700: Patrick Cantlay
  • +1900: Justin Thomas
  • +2000: Max Homa
  • +2600: Xander Schauffele
  • +2700: Viktor Hovland
  • +2800: Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa
  • +3100: Jason Day
  • +3200: Will Zalatoris
  • +3400: Matt Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth
  • +3600: Cameron Young
  • +3700: Sungjae Im (+3700)
  • +4100: Joohyung (Tom) Kim
  • +4800: Shane Lowry
  • +5000: Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler
  • +5500: Keith Mitchell
  • +6500: Corey Connors
  • +7000: Si Woo Kim, Sam Burns, Sahith Theegala
  • +7500: Chris Kirk
  • +8500: Tommy Fleetwood, Hideki Matsuyama
  • +9000: Kurt Kitayama
  • +10000: Adam Scott, Harris English, Francesco Molinari
  • +11000: Russell Henley
  • +13000: Justin Rose, Tom Hoge
  • +14000: Adam Hadwin, Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar

72-hole winning score: 274.5 (Par 288)

The stars are ready to shine at the PLAYERS Championship, and featured group tee times for Thursday, Round 1 include:

7:34 a.m. ET

Finau, T. Kim, Cantlay

7:45 a.m. ET

Morikawa, Scott, Fowler

7:56 a.m. ET

Rahm, Scheffler, McIlroy

12:34 p.m. ET

Fitzpatrick, Hovland, Lowry

12:45 p.m. ET

Kitayama, Zalatoris, Schauffele

12:56 p.m. ET

Homa, Thomas, Spieth

Player Performance at TPC Sawgrass and THE PLAYERS Championship

TPC Sawgrass plays to 7,275 yards and Par 72. Some of the games top players have missed cuts here, as the course will challenge players with precise iron and approach play required as they navigate water on 17 holes. A strong around the green game will certainly help this week on the Dye design.

A look at past performance charts from GolfStats site founder Sal Johnson shows Justin Thomas (2021) and Rory McIlroy (2019) as winners of THE PLAYERS, along with veterans Webb Simpson (2018), Jason Day (2016), Rickie Fowler (2015), Matt Kuchar (2012) and Adam Scott (2004) in his early 20’s. Si Woo Kim (2017) was a longshot winner here, and did you see Kurt Kitayama win last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at better than 200/1 pre-tournament odds? Defending champion Cameron Smith is missing from this year’s event, having joined the LIV Golf League.

The leading online sportsbooks are taking more betting action on golf, and this week’s PLAYERS Championship is expected to be the most bet event of the year thus far. It’s also the most watched tournament with the most photographed iconic hole ahead of next months first major at The Masters and lush expanse of greenery at Augusta National.

Iconic Island Green and Par 3 at Hole No. 17

The PGA Tour headquarters is located just South of the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass. It is surrounded by a large freshwater lake, echoing the iconic ‘Island Green’ 17th hole at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course. Fans will be tuning in to watch the players hit short wedge shots into the famous Par 3.

There is a prop bet offered at FanDuel Sportsbook:

Will there be a Hole-in-One on the 17th Hole during the 2023 PLAYERS Championship?

Most Watched and Wagered Golf Tournament

The Players has an international reach on NBC/Golf Channel and digital coverage on ESPN+ and Discovery in more than 200 countries and 27 languages. Last year, NBC and Golf Channel provided 45 hours of live coverage with limited commercial interruptions, and the digital platforms carried action for another 167 hours.

All that as the golfers battled rainy weather and delays that forced the first Monday finish at The PLAYERS in 17 years. The Players championship weather included rain, lightning, thunder, wind and a 50-degree extreme of temperature from midweek practice rounds at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass to early Sunday morning. It took more than 54 hours for the first round to be completed and more than 80 hours for the second round to be put in the books.

But the weather in Ponte Vedra Beach looks fine this week with mid-70’s temperatures, partly cloudy skies with lighter winds 10-15 MPH and only a smaller chance of some rain later on Friday.

THE PLAYERS Championship Golf Picks

Tournament match-ups are often released by Tuesday at many top sportsbooks along with expert picks from PGA Tour staff and Golf Digest panel among other leading handicappers and analysts. You can follow THE PLAYERS Championship previews and updates at FanDuel along with dark horse picks to get your betting started ahead of other picks and props, which will be posted here as provided.

Last year Collin Morikawa (+1400) was the most bet golfer at THE PLAYERS at many sportsbooks, but he missed the cut. Morikawa is +2800 to win this year, and he ranks top 1o on Tour over his last 50 rounds in ball striking and approach play, but his short game, putting an around the green play have been dreadful – ranking outside the top 150 in all three strokes gained categories. This year, Morikawa has finished 2nd at the Sentry, 3rd at the Farmers and 6th at Genesis, but he missed the cut at Phoenix and last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. So understand there are no sure bets when it comes to weekly wagering on the PGA Tour, and especially on Pete Dye designed courses.

Key stats when handicapping THE PLAYERS championship include strokes gained Off-the-Tee and Approach. And few golfers have had more success at THE PLAYERS than 2016 winner and this year’s dark horse Jason Day, who is a pick and bet to include in your outright win wagers at 37/1 and also top-5 (+700), top-5 (+340) or top-20 (+160) finish. Jason Day is also in fabulous current form with four top-5’s in his last five events plus a T-18.

Responsible gambling

Like pro golfers who manage their game, course and emotions, be responsible when wagering and bet with your head, not over it. Become a smart and responsible bettor and you’ll cash out more often as you navigate the golf betting options. That includes tournament matchups, which were 2-0 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational betting preview for Forbes last week.

Notable Tournament match-ups and odds for THE PLAYERS Championship (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Jon Rahm (-126) vs Rory McIlroy (+100)
  • Patrick Cantlay (-146) vs Max Homa (+116)
  • Scottie Scheffler (-154) vs Justin Thomas (+120)
  • Xander Schauffele (-118) vs Viktor Hovland (-108)
  • Tony Finau (-118) vs Tyrrell Hatton (-108)
  • Sungjae Im (-142) vs Jordan Spieth (+112)
  • Jason Day (-164) vs Shane Lowry (+130)
  • Keith Mitchell (-126) vs Sahith Theegala (+100)
  • Corey Connors (-142) vs Rickie Fowler (+112)
  • Collin Morikawa (-118) vs Will Zalatoris (-108)
  • Cameron Young (-130) vs Matt Fitzpatrick (+102)
  • Keegan Bradley (-118) vs Tom Kim (-108)

Arnold Palmer Invitational Picks to Win

PGA Tour & GolfBet panel: (check back as available)

FanDuel & The Duel Sports: Viktor Hovland, Shane Lowry, Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick

Ben Coley, SportingLife: Patrick Cantlay, Justin Thomas, Shane Lowry

Golf Digest panel:

Rick Gehman, a Golf Digest contributor, points out that Viktor Hovland gained more than 9-strokes Ball Striking at last year’s PLAYERS Championship (nearly 3 strokes better than any other player) and finished T-9 due to poor putting, around the green and short game performance. He’s been so sharp with his ball striking this year, and his last three PGA tournaments at Phoenix, Genesis and Arnold Palmer event, Hovland has gained 5, 6 and nearly 10 (9.9) strokes in ball striking. He struggled with putting, 3-putts and a few untimely shots last week at the API including into the water at the par 5 No. 16 Sunday on his second shot from 180 yards trailing the leader by just 1-shot. But Hovland looks like a threat to win again with top-10 strokes gained stats in Off-the-Tee and Approach at TPC Sawgrass.

Popular Types of Golf Betting Odds

Types of bets and how to read the odds

  • Winner: Bet on who will win this week’s PGA tour event
  • Finishing Position Odds: Bet on a golfer to finish in the top 5, top 10, top 20 or top 40 in this week’s golf tournament
  • Round Leader Betting: Golf odds on who will win the first round, second round, third round, and fourth round separately.
  • Golf Matchup Betting: Prop bets on which golfer will finish better in the tournament head to head between the two golfers listed for each matchup.

If you enjoy betting on golf or playing in daily fantasy golf leagues and pools, then is a club to put in your bag and bookmark as your course guide to each PGA Tour event. The site provides golf stats and weekly Tour insight with tournament previews and player performance charts. It’s a useful guide and yardage marker that will help you score and improve your chances of winning when wagering or playing DFS.

Check out more players golf odds and tournament coverage of the 2023 PLAYERS Championship as betting on golf continues to be a most popular sport offering more ways to win.

You can bet on it.

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