GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Waste Management Phoenix Open

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the Waste Management Phoenix Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

We nabbed our first winner of the year last week in Patrick Reed, a 29/1 play at the Farmers Insurance Open. With a strong field at a course that always seems to produce a quality leaderboard come Sunday, we'll focus our efforts on top-tier talent. Each of the last five winners had a top-five finish in a previous trip, so wherever possible we'll try to blend solid recent form with course history.

For more info on TPC Scottsdale, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Rory McIlroy (+1100) - We made the case for favorites Jon Rahm (+650) and Justin Thomas (+900) in our DraftKings article and both make for a fine play this week, but we'll start our card with McIlroy in his Phoenix debut. While he doesn't have that coveted top-five here, McIlroy has an ideal game for the challenge and would no doubt have a sterling record here had he not been splitting his time on the European circuit in years past. The driving is top tier, as McIlroy trails only Bryson DeChambeau in strokes gained: off the tee so far this season. He's a winner at one of our correlated courses, Bay Hill Club and Lodge, and has a good record on overseeded bermuda with wins at Quail Hollow and TPC Sawgrass. At just slightly longer odds than Rahm and Thomas and more win equity than Xander Schauffele (+1100) at the same number, McIlroy is our man this week.

Daniel Berger (+2000) - Berger's T9 here last year kickstarted one of the best stretches of golf we've seen over the past few years. He followed it up with six top-five finishes in his next eight events, spanning the pandemic pause in play and basically stretching six months with just one tournament worse than T13. Back on his game with consecutive top 10s coming in, Berger's form over the past year is as good as anyone in the world outside of Rahm, Thomas, and Dustin Johnson. His record at TPC Scottsdale is stellar, with a missed cut in a lost season in 2019 the only black mark amidst four top-11 finishes.

Value Spots

Brooks Koepka (+4600) - Koepka earned his first career PGA Tour win here in 2015 and he arrives this week with one of the longest numbers we've seen next to his name since then. We'll buy at the bottom on Brooks, coming off a missed cut where he was so off with his driver that he couldn't even break it right. Back at a more familiar site is as good a place as any to get his mojo back, and prime Koepka -- if he's still in there somewhere -- is an absolutely perfect fit here. Crush driver, score at will, and limit mistakes.

Matthew Wolff (+5000) - The value here is on Wolff coming off a withdraw at the Farmers due to a hand injury, but with little in the way of news, we can be confident if he's teeing it up that he feels well enough. At 50/1 he's sandwiched between Ryan Palmer (+4600) and Billy Horschel (+5500), the 24th and 39th-ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Wolff, meanwhile, is the 18th-ranked player in the world, sandwiched by two golfers with far shorter odds -- No. 17 Sungjae Im (+3300) and No. 19 Harris English (+2800). We expect plenty of these names to be in contention, but for our outright bet, we'll take a proven winner in Wolff at the best payout odds.

Long Shots

Jason Day (+7000) - Day doesn't have the course history we are typically looking for, with just a 57th in 2013 and a missed cut in 2010 to his name. But we know he can drive the ball well when he's right and the putter is rarely the problem. He had a stretch of four straight events of T7 or better last summer, and we can chalk a missed cut at Torrey Pines up to rust having not played in competition since before Thanksgiving when he was T12 at The RSM Classic. Like McIlroy, he's a former winner at Bay Hill, Quail Hollow, and TPC Sawgrass, all of which share characteristics with TPC Scottsdale.

There are very few other enticing names longer than Day, especially since most golfers we'd consider classy enough to win here would never be this far down the board. Two names that we find interesting for a sprinkle on the outright but more likely work as Top 20 plays are Adam Long (+13000 outright, +410 for Top 20) and Sebastian Munoz (+13000 outright, +450 for Top 20).