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The last non-designated event on the PGA Tour was three weeks ago at the Honda Classic, which didn’t have a great field with virtually no stars teeing it up.
That will not be the case this week at the Valspar Championship; several big names, including Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, are playing.
It’s no surprise these two have the best golf odds to win. Thomas is at +1000, followed by Jordan Spieth at +1200. Sam Burns, who has won the last two editions of the tournament, closely follows them at +1600.
While Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass get a lot of attention for courses on the Florida Swing, the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort is a great track that demands a lot from the players.
It’s a tree-lined course where length is not needed off the tee. It’s all about right positioning for shots into the greens, which are Bermuda. Players who hit their irons best, scramble well, and take advantage of the par-5s tend to do the best.
Course history may be more important than some other courses; in addition to Burns, Paul Casey also won two straight times (2018 and 2019).
The course is most known for its final three holes, the “Snake Pit,” two tough par-4s sandwiched between a brutal 200-yard par 3.
Although the course isn’t the easiest, good scores can be had. Only twice since 2013 has the winning score been less than 10-under.
Below are some players to target when golf betting, followed by my betting card for the week.
Justin Thomas is predicted to win the Valspar Championship with a 9.09% implied probability – i.e., the overall chance of a potential outcome in relation to the odds – according to betting markets.
Jordan Spieth has the next best odds to win with a 7.69% implied probability. He’s followed by Sam Burns and Matt Fitzpatrick at 5.88%.
Justin Thomas +1000 Odds to Win
Thomas doesn’t enter with the best form, with just one top-10 finish in six starts this calendar year, but he’s played very well at this event in the past.
The 29-year-old led the field tee-to-green last year when he barely missed out on the playoff between Burns and Davis Riley and finished T-3. He also finished T-13 in 2021.
Sam Burns +1600 Odds to Win
Of course, it’s very hard to win an event three straight times, but it has been done before – Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.
It hasn’t been the best year for Burns, but he enters following a solid showing at the Players Championship, where he finished T-35.
NeSmith has enjoyed great success in his two appearances at this tournament, finishing
T-3 a year ago and T-21 in 2021. Course history plays more of a role in performance at this event than others, and not many players have scored better than NeSmith.
The 29-year-old has three top-10 finishes this season, but they all occurred in the fall. He’s missed six out of his last eight cuts overall.
· Jordan Spieth Outright Win +1200
· Tommy Fleetwood Outright Win +2500
· Nate Lashley Outright Win +8000
· Justin Thomas Top-5 Finish +225
· Ryan Gerard Top-20 Finish +300
· Akshay Bhatia Top-20 Finish +333
· John VanDerLaan Top-20 Finish +700
I’ll admit, I don’t love Spieth at that number, but of the top players, I think he has the best value since he’s playing the best coming into the event.
While I considered Thomas to win outright, he isn’t playing his best right now. But I do think with a weaker field compared to other events he’s played in this year, he has a chance to bounce back.
Lastly, I went with three long shots for top-20 finishes.
Gerard got a sponsors invitation following a fourth-place finish at the Honda Classic as a Monday qualifier and then finishing T-11 at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago. He’s hot and has a chance to earn a special temporary membership on the PGA Tour basically by making the cut.
Bhatia is coming off a runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open, earning him special temporary membership for the remainder of this season. He’s a solid player who can go low on any day.
Following a T-7 finish in Puerto Rico for VanDerLaan, why not take a shot and at that number?
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Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”