The Players Championship: Best bets for this week's action at TPC Sawgrass
The Players Championship betting board is flush with value, an indication that oddsmakers are having a tough time figuring out how this event will unfold. TPC Sawgrass has produced several out-of-nowhere winners throughout its history, which is why avoiding the heavy favorites is the approach this week.
With a heavy focus on golf's purest ball-strikers, here are the best bets for The Players:
Outright to win
Tiger Woods (25-1)
If Tiger Woods hadn't withdrawn from the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week, his odds would be closer to 14-1, right next to Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson. This is a rare opportunity to cash in on the often over-valued Tiger.
His iron play is in line with where he was last season when he made runs in two majors and won the Tour Championship. If he avoids trouble off the tee, there's a strong chance the 43-year-old claims career PGA Tour win No. 81 on Sunday.
Patrick Cantlay (40-1)
Watching Patrick Cantlay play golf is, to be blunt, boring, and it looks as though the world-class ball-striker has lulled oddsmakers to sleep. He's missed only three cuts in his last 42 events played and has five top-10 results through eight tournaments this season.
Cantlay fits the mold of an up-and-comer who can break through at TPC Sawgrass - similar to Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler - as he possesses a strong off-the-tee game and is lethal when his irons are dialed in.
Paul Casey (45-1)
Continuing with the trend of targeting golf's best ball-strikers, Paul Casey's 45-1 number is a little high. He's chalked up two top-three performances in his previous three starts, gaining over two strokes tee to green per round over that span.
His track record at TPC Sawgrass is questionable at best - he's withdrawn twice since 2012 - but he also has back-to-back top-25 results. If the Englishman can put forth just an average putting performance, he'll easily contend.
Gary Woodland (55-1)
Few players in golf are currently hitting the ball as well as Gary Woodland. He's gained strokes tee to green and off the tee in 13 of his last 14 tournaments where strokes-gained data was collected. Woodland also holds the Tour's longest active made-cut streak at 21 events.
55-1 is well worth paying for the 34-year-old, whose status on Tour would be drastically heightened with a Players Championship trophy - a common theme among winners at TPC Sawgrass.
Byeong Hun An, Sungjae Im (8-1)
Im, a 20-year-old rookie, is coming off a third-place showing, while An ranks fourth on Tour in strokes gained: tee to green. There's a good chance one of these guys cracks the top 10, and if both do, you're welcome.
Brooks Koepka (+100) over Rickie Fowler
Although Fowler has won The Players in 2015 and finished second in 2012, he's missed the cut six times and finished 60th in his seven other starts at TPC Sawgrass. Brooks Koepka is coming off only his third missed cut in the past two years and is unlikely to experience back-to-back missed cuts. Koepka as an underdog doesn't add up; he's more likely to win than Fowler and less likely to miss the cut.
Gary Woodland (+100) over Tony Finau
Despite liking Tony Finau's outright value to win at 60-1, the fact he's favored over Woodland head-to-head is a misprice. Instead of regurgitating Woodland facts (see above), focusing on Finau's struggles makes this bet more compelling. His best finish at TPC Sawgrass is 57th and he's missed two cuts at The Players. Additionally, in un-Finau-like fashion, he's yet to crack the top 10 in 2019.
Odds courtesy: bet365
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