PGA Betting Guide: Sentry Tournament of Champions
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 Sentry Tournament of Champions based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
We return to golf betting this week after a brief holiday layoff and start off with the first of back-to-back events in Hawaii. The Sentry Tournament of Champions features a 38-man field of the winners from calendar 2021. Not everyone makes the trip -- Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are notable absentees, and Cameron Champ was forced to withdraw after a positive COVID-19 test to name a few -- but by and large, this week's field is a snapshot of the golfers who reached the mountaintop in 2021, whether the specific mountain was at Augusta or Puerto Rico.
We'll witness some of the most jaw-dropping sceneries of the season at the mammoth Kapalua, a test case in excess if ever there was one. You like long courses? This is the longest. You like wide fairways? These are the widest. Slow greens? The slowest! We even have an extra par 5 and the Tour's only par 73. Everyone will be rearing back and ripping it off the tee, so we don't need to prioritize good drivers specifically. Ballstriking always helps, but in addition to golfers who do well on drives and approaches we will focus our card on golfers who can seal the deal with the short stick, especially on slow greens.
For more info on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.
At the Top
Jon Rahm (+800) - Rahm kicks off his 2022 with his fifth straight visit to Kapalua, and as the Tour's current alpha dog he comfortably leads our card. Rahm is tied for the shortest outright odds, but based on the finishing position odds the books actually favor Justin Thomas (+800) as the top play this week. That's value on the World No. 1. In FanDuel's futures odds, Rahm is +900 for The Masters and The Open and +1000 for the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, the first name on the board in all four. Yet here at Kapalua, where he has finishes of 2nd, T8, 10th, and T7, he is only +800 against 37 other golfers. Thomas is a two-time champion here and plenty good in his own right, but we'll gladly back Rahm in this spot.
Bryson DeChambeau (+1100) - DeChambeau's driver obviously catches our eye on a long course where missing off the tee carries basically no penalty. But it's what Bryson can do on the greens that can put him over the edge this week. He was 20th on the entire Tour in strokes gained putting last season, and only twice in his eight PGA Tour wins has he gained fewer than 4.5 strokes putting. He drives it well every week, and when he putts well he contends. DeChambeau was seventh in each of his last two appearances at Kapalua, in 2019 and 2021. In 2019 he gained 2.1 off the tee and gained 7.3 putting. Last year he gained 6.5 off the tee but lost 0.9 putting. We know the driver is going to hold up its end of the bargain, and if he putts it right in the middle of his last two performances he stands a great chance to win.
Jordan Spieth (+2000) - His winning drought came him off Maui for a couple of years, but Jordan is back and he is our favorite play of the week. Spieth finished second, first, and third in his first three trips to Kapalua, gaining 4.1, 7.6, and 4.2 strokes putting. He still managed a ninth-place finish in 2018 despite losing 3.8 with the flat stick. Where DeChambeau's strength becomes even stronger at a wide-open course, it's just as much a benefit for Spieth to have his greatest weakness essentially wiped out. When he's wayward off the tee Spieth loses the opportunity to just get to the green and seal the deal. Even his worst swings with the driver aren't dead at Kapalua, and he's going to have as many chances at birdie as everyone else.
Brooks Koepka (+2900) - Somewhere in his beatdown of DeChambeau at The Match, Bryson asked Koepka "Where is this on the PGA Tour, man?" His stellar play at Wynn Golf Club could be a signal for what we can expect from Koepka in 2022, back to (almost) full health and motivated to once again prove he is the very best. If his revenge Tour kicks off in Hawaii against all the guys who have "passed" him in the golf world's esteem, would you really be surprised? At 29/1 we can't pass on Brooks if there's even a chance he's locked in.
Billy Horschel (+6500) - Horschel's record at Kapalua is spotty, with a T6 in 2014 his best performance by a good margin, but with so many golfers clustered below 33/1 we'll grab the big number next to Billy as a small punt play. Horschel played well in Europe following the Tour Championship, winning in a solid field at the BMW PGA Championship and posting just a poor first round at the DP World Tour Championship Dubai to finish at T32. But he earned his spot here from his win at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, so we know Horschel puts his game up against the top players in the world and knows he can hold his own. A good putting week has eluded him in at Kapalua despite bermuda being his preferred service. He's worth a flyer at 65/1 and can still return value for a Top 20 Finish (+105) in a 38-man field.