- The 2020 Players Championship was stopped after one round due to COVID-19
- Dustin Johnson is the golf betting favorite
- Rory McIlroy is the defending champion
- Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas will also tee it up
- The first-place winner receives $2.7 million.
The PGA season is really starting to heat up. Masters odds are changing week to week, and they’re sure to make another move after the unofficial “fifth major”, The Players Championship gets underway this Thursday. This was the last tournament to be played before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to the 2019-20 season. The first round was played, and that was it.
This will be the 48th Players Championship, and the 40th edition to be held at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida. This par-72 track stretches out to 7,075 yards. The highlight of the course is a very tough closing stretch that starts with the par-5 16th, which is easily reachable in two for basically all pros. Then you have the par-3 17th Island Green, a 137-yard hole where the green is completely surrounded by water. After the stress of the Island Green, the par-4 18th hole isn’t any easier.
You can watch The Players Championship from 12:00 PM ET to 6:00 PM ET on Thursday and Friday on The Golf Channel. You can also watch each group on PGA Tour Live. The PGA Tour Live app will also carry the action from 7:45 AM ET to 1:00 PM ET on Saturday and Sunday. Then, NBC takes over the action.
Let’s take a look at the Players Championship odds.
Dustin Johnson (+1200) leads the way in the Players Championship odds. The world’s #1 player got some rest after a T-54 at the WGC-Workday Championship. That was his first finish lower than T-12 in 10 starts. He has won three times since then, including at the Masters in November. Johnson is also the reigning FedEx Cup champion. As usual with Johnson, it’s all about his putting, where he ranks 187th on the Tour in Shots Gained: Putting. His best finish here was a T-5 in 2019.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1600) is coming off a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he wowed the crowd with his power (370-yard drives? Come on!). But like Johnson, who is also a long hitter, DeChambeau goes as his putter goes, and he is 65th in SG: Putting. Also, DeChambeau is 24th in SG: Approach, but his iron game can be inconsistent. DeChambeau finished T-19 here in 2019.
Jon Rahm (+1600) sat out Arnie’s tournament, but he is still second in the world. He finished T-32 at the Workday, his first finish lower than T13 in eight starts. Rahm has also seemed to get his temper in check. Therefore, his talent is taking over the headlines. He would also love some revenge as Rahm led after 54 holes, but finished T-12 here in 2019. Rahm is also dangerous because he is long (20th in driving distance), but he’s pretty solid (72nd) in driving accuracy.
Rory McIlroy (+1600) is the defending champion, but he is struggling with closing. He finished T-10 at Bay Hill. But it was another tournament in which McIlroy was high on the leaderboard and couldn’t win. He ranks 141st on the Tour in final-round scoring average. This is even more disappointing as McIlroy is seventh in third-round scoring. McIlroy hasn’t won since November 2019. No player on Tour might need a win more than him.
Justin Thomas (+1600) has been up and down, alternating missed cuts with T-15 finishes over his last five starts. He finished T-3 at TPC Sawgrass in 2016. But his results here have also been inconsistent overall. He is having troubles finding the fairway (130th in driving accuracy). But his approach game has been carrying him as Thomas is sixth in SG: Approach.
Collin Morikawa (+2000) rose to fourth in the world behind Thomas after winning at the Workday. This will be his Players debut, and there might not be a better iron player on Tour right now. Morikawa is tops in SG: Approach and fourth in greens in regulation. Iron play is huge at The Players Championship and the 24-year-old doesn’t appear to have nerves.
Tony Finau (+2500) is in an interesting position. He is extremely hot with six top-14 finishes in his last seven starts. This includes three runners-up. However, he hasn’t won since Puerto Rico in March 2016. Finau is too good to have just one win on the Tour. His ranking numbers from tee to green (he ranks fifth in SG: Tee to Green) are fantastic, although he is 81st in SG: Putting. He just has to put it all together for four rounds. Finau finished T-22 here in 2019.
Jordan Spieth (+2500) might be the most fascinating player on the Tour, outside of DeChambeau and his power (seriously, he almost drove the par-5 sixth at Bay Hill last week). He was the next great player. Then, the wheels fell off for him in 2020, failing to finish in the top 10 since Pebble Beach last year, missing the cut seven times. However, he has finished T-4 or better in three of his last four starts. The other finish was a T-15 at Riviera. Spieth was T-4 here in 2014.
Daniel Berger (+4000) has been terrible at TPC Sawgrass in recent years. However, he gets a mention because of recent form. He has shot up to 15th in the world rankings after winning at Pebble Beach, and since the return of golf, you could argue Berger has been a top-five player. He won the first event back at the Charles Schwab Challenge and in 17 starts, he has two wins, seven top-10s, and no finish lower than T-35 outside of a pair of missed cuts. Berger’s the Players Championship odds offer some great value.
Corey Conners (+8000) gets in after finishing solo third at Bay Hill, and in his last eight starts, Conners has four top-10s. Conners is great off the tee (15th in SG: Off The Tee) and on the approach (18th in Approach The Green). But he is 127th in SG: Around The Green and 107th in SG: Putting. He just has to shore up the short game to move up the sports betting ranks. He finished T-41 here last time out.
Sergio Garcia (+6600) is only here because he won here in 2008. He also finished T-22 here in 2019, so maybe the return to TPC Sawgrass will spark him ahead of the Masters. The Spaniard is fine off the tee, but his approach (in SG: Approach) game is bad and his putting (205th in SG: Putting) is worse. But he has some golf betting value and crazier things have happened.
Best Players Championship Odds Bets
Rahm is as solid as it gets from tee to green. He is also in a much better headspace than he was in 2019 when he lost the 54-hold lead. If he can have a slightly-above-average week with the putter, Jon Rahm should walk away with the trophy and the $2.7 million first-place prize.
A couple of other golf betting to props to look at are Patrick Reed at +5000 to lead after the first round. Reed is third on the Tour in first-round scoring average. However, he is in the midst of another rules controversy after video showed him, um, massaging his lie, let’s say, Bay Hill. Reed tends to play well when he gets criticized. The gallery (there will be 20% capacity at TPC Sawgrass) will let him know about it.
Also, take a look at a top-10 for Jason Day at +350. Day won here in 2016, then he was T-5 in 2018 and T-8 in 2019 (Day was T-60 in 2017). The Aussie finished T-31 at Bay Hill, and he was T-18 at the Workday and T-7 at Pebble Beach. If he can have a good week with the irons (126th in SG: Approach), Day should be in line for a top-10 finish.