In a tournament commonly referred to as professional golf’s fifth Major, this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is bound to draw some attention from golf fans and bettors alike. As one of the top stops on the PGA Tour, all the big offshore sportsbooks taking online action on this tournament have expanded their boards with multiple betting options.
The easiest way to bet any professional golf tournament is by picking an outright winner, but that is also the hardest way to cash a winning ticket. That is especially true heading into Thursday’s opening round given the depth of talent in The Players’ field. One of my favorite ways to bet the bigger tournaments is on the odds set for a Top 5 and a Top 10 finish. The payoffs are not as lucrative as they are for an outright win, but your chances of actually earning a return on investment are far greater.
The Players Championship Top 5 Finish Odds
Rory McIlroy is one of three favorites to win this week at +1400 betting odds along with Jason Day and Justin Thomas. All three players bring some impressive credential to TPC Sawgrass, especially Day following last week’s victory in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte.
McIlroy finished 16th last week at Quail Hollow in his first live action since placing fifth in this year’s Masters. Thomas was one of my top picks this year at Augusta, but he faded to 17th with a 73 in the final round. He went on to miss the cut in the Zurich Classic before placing 21st in the Wells Fargo Championship.
When it comes to the betting odds for a Top 5 finish in The Players Championship, both McIlroy and Day are at the top of the list at +300. Thomas joins Jordan Spieth at +333 betting odds and Ricky Fowler rounds out the top five for a Top 5 finish at +350. Further down the list are Phil Mickelson (+650) and Tiger Woods (+700), who will be joining Fowler as the featured threesome for the first two rounds.
There is no question that Day has the most momentum of any golfer on this list with last week’s win, so there is quite a bit of value in his Top 5 odds. However, my top-valued pick for a Top 5 bet would still be McIlroy. He remains one of the most consistent golfers in the world when the stakes are raised and his final-round 74 in the Masters will be a source of motivation over the four rounds of this tournament.
The Players Championship Top 10 Finish Odds
The betting odds for a Top 10 finish open things up for the entire field when it comes to finding the best value in the numbers. McIlroy and Day head this list at +140 followed by Spieth and Thomas at +150. Dustin Johnson is still the top golfer in this field according to the World Golf Rankings, so there is some solid value in his +160 odds for a Top 10 finish this week.
Fowler is next on this list at +175 odds and I really like the value in his odds coming off that heart-breaking second-place finish at Augusta last month. If you think that a couple of 40-year old’s can turn back time a bit and make a solid run this week, Phil’s odds to land in the Top 10 are set at +300 followed by Tiger’s +350 odds for a Top 10 finish.
When it comes to my top-valued play for a Top 10 finish this week at +450 betting odds, I am going with Bubba Watson. This guy has been all over the board at times, but the Florida native has still posted four Top 10 finishes this season to hold down sixth place in the current FedEx point standings.