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As the most rowdy and top-attended event on Tour, the WM Phoenix Open is going to be a ton of fun to watch and bet this week. Highlighted by arguably the most epic hole in golf (the Par 3 16th nicknamed “The Coliseum”), a 134-man field will take to the Par-71, 7,261-yard TPC Scottsdale course in hopes of earning a share of the healthy $20 million purse. Unlike some of the island destinations on Tour, this course takes place in the Sonoran Desert and errant shots will have to deal with that terrain. With that being said, distance and accuracy off the tee will be important this week and some of the longest hitters could see massive yardage numbers based on the dry air. Below, we will cover our model’s best bet for the winner of the tournament along with best bets for four other finishing positions.
BetQL’s predictive PGA model takes into account overall player performance, recent form, course strengths and weaknesses per player and sportsbook odds. It has been developed and tested throughout previous seasons and has compiled historical data from 25+ years of golfer and course history. Note: odds presented below were shopped among our sportsbook partners to identify the best values. Content is free for a limited time. All statistics below were found on PGATour.com. Star ratings are on 1-5 scale (1 being least valuable, 5 being most valuable).
Rory McIlroy To Win +850 at PointsBet
BetQL is giving Rory +664 odds to win this event, which makes his +850 odds at PointsBet a four-star value (out of five). McIlroy won his first and only start of 2023 at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour and his game is suited for this course. The last eight winners at this event have ranked in the Top 6 of Par Breakers and it just so happens that McIlroy ranks 3rd in this field, right in front of Patrick Cantlay, who will make an appearance below. McIlroy is first in the Official World Golf Ranking and due to his sheer length off the tee and other-worldly ability to take over when he’s clicking, he’s the best bet to add the 24th championship to his name.
Xander Schauffele Top 5 Finish +310 at FanDuel
Our model is projecting this outcome at +164, thus making +310 a five-star value. It’s safe to say that Schauffele likes this course. He’s gone 5-for-5 at TPC Scottsdale (in terms of cuts) and has finished in the Top 20 all five times. Coming off T3 and T13 finishes in his last two events played, he’s in solid form right now. Schauffele has also come close here in each of the last two years, so don’t be shocked if his name is at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday. The last six champions have ranked T6 or better at Ball Striking and he ranks T4th in that metric in this field.
Patrick Cantlay Top 10 Finish +150 at BetMGM
We’re giving Cantlay +118 odds to finish in the Top 10, thus making his +150 odds at BetMGM a five-star value. What makes him stand out this week is the fact that he’s an elite ball-striker. In fact, he ranks second on Tour (to Jon Rahm) in Ball Striking this season. Why is that important this week? Per PGATour.com, winners at this event have gained 65.4% of their strokes against the field with ball striking (since 2010). Among all courses regularly played on Tour in that span, that’s the highest rate anywhere. Cantlay also leads the Tour in Birdie Average, is second in Greens In Regulation Percentage and lost in a playoff here in his event debut last season.
Russell Henley Top 20 Finish +280 at Caesars
Another pick, another five-star value. Per our data, Henley should have +104 odds to finish in the Top 20 this week, which means his +280 odds are a bargain. Ranking ninth in this field in Par Breakers, Henley won the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba earlier this season and grades out well this week. He finished T33 here last year, T30 in 2021, T15 in 2019, T16 in 2017 and made his debut here back in 2014, so he should have a solid grasp on what to expect and how to navigate the course.
Denny McCarthy Top 40 Finish +150 at DraftKings
BetQL is projecting McCarthy to finish in the Top 40 (-193 odds) which makes his +150 odds at DraftKings very valuable. Keep in mind that he’s in the +110 to +120 range at most other books right now. After an incredible final round 64 at Pebble Beach en route to a T4 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, McCarthy should have a ton of confidence heading into this week. He’s made the cut in nine of 10 PGA Tour events to start the season, has six Top 40 finishes and had 15 different Top 40 finishes last year. Get the plus-money on this outcome and capitalize.