The annual Florida swing of the PGA Tour has reached its most important destination in Ponte Vedra Beach, and we're celebrating the arrival of the golf season's biggest events with some 2021 PLAYERS Championship betting predictions!
Sadly, last year's event was nixed after just one day of play, so this year's tournament is as highly-anticipated as any in recent memory. This is the week that normally marks the beginning of the countdown to Augusta and The Masters, so now is when both casual and die-hard gold bettors ramp up their focus on the PGA Tour.
Online sportsbooks in New Jersey and the many other states where betting is legal are responding to the increased interest with a huge range of markets and wagering options to choose from, and we'll dig into some of them here. Below, we'll go through the odds and make 2021 PLAYERS Championship betting picks!
THE PLAYERS Championship Betting Preview | TPC Sawgrass Key Stats
THE PLAYERS takes place at TPC Sawgrass in Northeast Florida, a world-renowned track also known as the Stadium Course to many. THE PLAYERS Championship has its name for a reason and it's safe to say that golfers really do care about it. It is not one of the four major tournaments but if there was an election for a fifth to join the Mount Rushmore of yearly golf events, it would be this one.
This event has no exemptions for amateurs, club professionals or qualifiers, which means the 144-player field is packed with the best golfers in the world for the deepest and best group we see on tour all year. It also hands out $15 million in total, which is the highest purse on tour.
As is the case with all PGA Tour events, the first step to predicting success in a tournament is making sure the golfers you're looking at are a match for the course. This tends to be more important at THE PLAYERS than other tournaments because, like The Masters, this one is played at the same venue every year. Keep the following statistics in mind when deciding on 2021 PLAYERS Championship picks:
- Strokes Gained: Off The Tee
- SG: Approach
- SG: Around-The-Green
- Par 5 Scoring
- Bogey Avoidance
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2021 Players Championship Picks | Who Wins At TPC Sawgrass?
TPC Sawgrass is such an amazing venue because it doesn't favor one particular type of player too much. There are a mix of short and long holes with doglegs going both ways and the types of challenges can vary from hole to hole.
This means that golfers who are one-dimensional or only seem to do certain things well may not be the play here, as this event seems to reward those with the best all-around games. Below are our PLAYERS Championship betting picks with odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.
2021 PLAYERS Championship Betting Predictions
- Jon Rahm To Win (+1600)
Despite Rahm being the second-ranked player in the world, his odds are actually up from +1100 a year ago. Since going top-10 at The Masters in November, Rahm took a break just to come back and finish T-7th or better in three of five events. Many of us remember Rahm's Sunday meltdown in this event in 2019 and we think it's revenge time for the Spaniard, who has worked on his temper and keeping his emotions in check a bit more.
He profiles as an elite ball-striker who kills Par 5s, gains tons of strokes off the tee, and is one of the best putters around. He's one of the players who skipped the Arnold Palmer Invitational after a disappointing week at the WGC-Workday event and we're winning to bet he's refocused and in the mix on Sunday.
- Webb Simpson To Win (+2200), Top 20 Finish (+125)
Even though last year's event was canceled after one round, we still have pre-tournament odds to compare these lines too. Simpson was somehow +3300 to win last year and we were all over it. While oddsmakers have smartened up and he's now down at +2200, Simpson still needs to be considered.
Webb's history at TPC Sawgrass cannot be argued. Want to know his last three finishes here? T-16th, 1st, T-16th. He won wire-to-wire in 2018 and won the trophy by four strokes at a course that really suits his game.
We have no idea why Webb Simpson is all the way up at +3300 but we are glad to see it, and this may be the best outright winner value on the entire board. Simpson is in form, has a great history here, and fits the profile of someone ready to tear TPC Sawgrass apart.
Simpson won wire-to-wire here in 2018, taking the trophy by four strokes after shooting 66 and 63 in the first two rounds. He's only made five starts this season but Simpson has four top-10 finishes and ranks very high in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, SG: Putting, Scrambling, and Par-5 scoring.
- Sungjae Im To Win (+5500), Top 20 Finish (+275)
We've said it before and will say it again, Sungjae Im loves playing golf in Florida. He got hot around this time last year, winning the Honda Classic and finishing third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. After another strong showing at Arnie's Place this year, he's making his official debut at TPC Sawgrass with odds that are far too high for the 17th-ranked golfer in the world.
Im has a strong game off the tee, he crushes Par 5s, and his aggressive style has resulted in hitting a ton of greens. In other sports, we'd call Sungjae a big-game player, as we saw when he T-2nd at The Masters in his debut. At +5500, we love taking a shot on Im at Sawgrass.
Finishing Position Bets For 2021 PLAYERS Championship
Picking the outright winner of a golf tournament is exciting but the truth is, it's not so easy to pick a player that will be contending on Sunday. Finishing position wagers have more modest lines but provide some margin for error.
There are also choices, as you can choose to go after more lucrative lines or stick to safer ones that you believe have a higher chance of winning. These bets can also provide a rooting interest that lasts for the entire tournament.
- Rory McIlroy Top 10 Finish (+225)
The statistical profile isn't as impressive as last season but when his game is on, as it was when he won here in 2019, McIlroy may very well be the best in the world. He also loves this track and has finished in the top 10 in four of the last seven events here.
Even without a win this season, McIlroy has finished in the top 10 in five of seven events dating back to before the Masters. He's also been in form lately, aside from the week at Riviera. Despite the modest odds, McIlroy is one of the few players you can take for a top 10 wager pretty often and go into the event with confidence.
- Tony Finau Top 20 Finish (-110)
Say what you will about Finau's struggles when it comes to closing out tournaments on Sunday, this is one of the very best golfers in the world and he shows it on a weekly basis. He's got five top-10 finishes in 10 events this season and recently just has three consecutive top-five performances in January and February.
Finau's game travels anywhere and we don't need to fear that a difficult course is going to give him too many problems. He bombs it off the tee, his irons are terrific, and the around-the-green game is very solid. He really is the total package and we think he beats his 22nd-place finish in 2019 and is a top 20 guy this week, at least.
- Max Homa Top 30 Finish (+225)
Homa has put together one of this season's best stretches of golf, and we're betting on another strong performance at Sawgrass. His debut was canceled a year ago so this will be his first time in this event but sometimes it's best to ride with golfers who are in form and playing confidently.
Home has five finishes in the top 20 and seven in the top 30 out of 13 events including the recent win at Riviera just a couple of weeks ago. He ranks top-five on tour in Par 5 scoring and does well enough with his irons and around the green to warrant a finishing position wager, especially at the odds he will get in this field.
- Abraham Ancer Top 40 Finish (+125)
Ancer has only made one start at TPC Sawgrass but things went well as he managed a T-12th finish last year, which excites us for this week. If he makes the cut, we like him to repeat his strong result from 2019 and finish inside the top 40.
With all the sand and water around this course, players who can scramble a bit are valuable and Ancer is one of the best. He also does pretty well in SG: Tee-To-Green. We are playing it a bit safe with a star-studded field and going only top 40 but the odds are still acceptable.
2021 PLAYERS Championship Best Bets
- Jon Rahm To Win (+1600)
- Webb Simpson To Win (+2200), Top 20 (+125)
- Sungjae Im To Win (+5500), Top 20 (+275)
- Cameron Smith To Win (+5500)
- Rory McIlroy Top 10 (+225)
- Tony Finau Top 20 (-110)
- Max Homa Top 30 (+225)
- Abraham Ancer Top 30 (+125)
Photo Credit: Associated Press