A Degenerates Look At The 2019 Players Championship (Odds & Picks)
If you’re new to the world of gambling on golf, congrats on having your life together. But also shame on you, no one likes an overachiever. There is nothing as exhilarating as having one of your long shots in contention on a Sunday. Likewise, there is also nothing like laying a little scratch on a favorite and watching them put up a ton of red numbers early and not even make it to weekend rounds. It’s all beautiful. Either way, throughout the PGA season I’ll be here sharing my thoughts and picks with you so that you can join me on the rollercoaster of emotions, use my name in vain at times, and make your Sunday’s out on the course a little more exciting when you go to check your phone. There are a few plays we’ll be looking at this weekend so let’s get to it.
This weekend the tour visits TPC Sawgrass and the famous Players Stadium Course. Some people call this the fifth major but that is stupid and something people say just to make the people at the TPC feel better about themselves. You’ll hear talk about the strong field, and how it matters and blah, blah, blah. There isn’t a player in the world who grows up dreaming of winning The TPC. The Masters, The Open Championship, The Ryder Cup, The TPC? No. Never. I’d argue that WGC events are more important but that is just me utilizing common sense.
Some Favorites To Consider
The weekly love for Brooks Koepka continues to pour in mostly because he is jacked and looks like a young Josh Brolin post “The Goonies” days. The reality is he is playing some great golf and at +2200 he is absolutely worth a look, but we’re not playing him this week. This is a challenging course that absolutely kills players that are not accurate off the tee. Brooks is nowhere near where we’d want him to be in stats like Hit Fairway Percentage, Driving Accuracy Percentage, and Shots Gained Off The Tee. I know you’re probably thinking “that was a long write up for a guy you don’t like.” You’re not wrong. My bad. Let’s get to who we like.
Rory McIlroy +1200
It’s no secret Rory has been playing some great golf but he hasn’t been able to walk off a winner yet. Rory has a second place finish and a pair of T-4’s. What we love about Rory this week, aside from him constantly being in contention is his ability to drive the ball long with a well-controlled power-draw, a shot that fits the toughest holes on this course. If he puts it together on the greens, we’ll feel good about being in Rory’s corner come Sunday.
Justin Thomas +1600
Justin Thomas is having an amazing year, but if you ask him he’d probably say he is a tad disappointed with his inability to finish. Justin roared out to a 5-shot lead at the Genesis open in Los Angles but suffered a semi-meltdown to finish second to J.B Holmes. He was also in contention at the Waste Mangement where he finished third, one of three times he has finished in the Top-3 this season. We know Justin is long enough off the tee to be a difference maker this weekend. What we really want to see is that putter action he had the first three rounds at Riviera a few short weeks ago. Justin is another favorite we’ll be on this weekend.
Justin Rose +2000
Out of principle, I make a small play on J-Rose every week because he’s the best player in the world right now. If you don’t want to and he wins, haha. If you do and he loses, I’ll go fuck myself.
Xander Schauffelle +2500
These long shots are value plays and they’re always worth a look. Some weekends they may be in contention, other weeks they may be drinking as much as you are on the weekend. What can I say, it’s a crapshoot. Xander was a popular sleeper pick to win the Fed-Ex Cup and early on he showed why. X won the WGC-HSBC Champions as well as the Sentry. Both tourneys had legit fields and both weekends he was fantastic. Since then he has been solid with three straight Top 20 finishes but he really hasn’t threatened. He made a promising run at Riviera after a miserable start to finish Top-10. The reality is +2500 is amazing value for a two-time winner who is ranked #8 in the world. He can make a mile worth of putts and we know the stage won’t be too big for him. Xander is worth a value play this weekend.
John Rahm +2500
Johnny Babes is our top pick this week. That’s not to say we won’t have small plays on the aforementioned ringers, but we’ll have a degenerates sized chunk on the Spanish Stallion. Aside from winning the Hero World Challenge, Rahm only has one other Top 5 finish. “Then why bet on this prick?”, you ask? Well, he’s pretty good at golf. In all seriousness, this value is amazing and we’re taking advantage of his T45 finish in Mexico. Rahm comes in second on tour in strokes-gained off the tee, gaining 1.020 per round over his opponents with his tee shots. That is a stat we’re leaning on heavily at the par-72 TPC Sawgrass, which has four potentially-reachable par-five holes. He is a big-time player who has slightly fallen off the radar to an extent and we’re happy to have our money on him this weekend. Also, his name reminds me of Ramen Noodles, which never disappoint. Also, Also, Chad is a fan of his wife, which you can check out here Where Rahm puts his noodle.
Get Weird And Party Honorable Mention: Byeong Hun An +10000
Players To Avoid
Phil Mickelson +6600
Don’t do it. Just don’t. Phil hates this course and he’s missed the cut in 5 of his last 6. If he is in contention on Sunday, I’ll be annoyed with every time he does his lil hat tip to the crowd. It ain’t happening, though.
Jordan Spieth +5000
Even at these long odds, similar to when your father discovers you often dabble with peyote on the weekends, we understand it but just can’t support it. Spieth has never put together multiple quality rounds at Sawgrass and we really don’t see him challenging on Sunday.
Tournament Matchup FERDA
Justin Thomas +125 vs Dustin Johnson
Absolutely love this play this weekend. It’s not often you can get Justin at plus money in a tournament long matchup but Vegas has favored DJ over Justin this weekend. We love this matchup so much because of the construction of the most difficult holes on the course. There is a lot of long dog-leg left par 4’s which absolutely don’t fit DJ’s strong power fade. In the past, he has had a problem trying to control his draw, a shot that Justin hit’s naturally and beautifully. Of course, DJ can go unconscious in any round he plays which is why we are staying away from a rd 1 matchup and focusing on the tourney match-up.