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 Hero World Challenge based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
After skipping last year due to COVID-19 pandemic travel complications, we return to The Bahamas for the annual showcase event traditionally hosted by Tiger Woods. Any chance to glimpse Woods is notable -- if you don't believe me, just check Twitter -- but the word this week is that the man himself will be on site fulfilling hosting duties.
The traditional tiny field of just 20 golfers makes the odds all look similar, so we'll narrow our ranges here and lay out our favorites in each tier of this star-studded field.
Shorter than +1000
Collin Morikawa (+750) - Morikawa is tied atop the board with Rory McIlroy, just ahead of Justin Thomas (+900). We prefer Morikawa's winning upside, coming off the DP World Tour Championship win, an event where McIlroy ripped his shirt off in frustration while the 24-year-old American cruised to a three-stroke victory. Thomas has played just twice since the TOUR Championship, and while finishes of T18 at The Summit Club and 3rd at Mayakoba are encouraging, Morikawa is the better bet here.
+1000 to +1500
Xander Schauffele (+1200) - The gold medalist gets the nod in this group, always a threat in short fields and against top-tier competition. This time last year Schauffele looked primed for a massive campaign and while the Olympics is nothing to sneeze at, Japan was the only time Schauffele ended atop a leaderboard since the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions. To put it in context, Morikawa has won six times since then. With wins at the WGC-HSBC Champions and TOUR Championship in the seasons prior to 2019, you have to go back to The Greenbrier Classic in the summer of 2017 to find Schauffele's last full-field victory. He was ranked 159th in the world when he arrived in West Virginia, and now firmly entrenched inside the top 10 we have to think a correction is overdue. Until then, he's still worth putting up in these short events.
+1600 to +2000
Abraham Ancer (+1800) - Of the seven golfers in this range, Ancer gets the slight nod over Sam Burns (+1600). Both had terrific seasons in 2020-21 and picked up their first career victories, and Burns has even added another this fall. It's no slight to Burns that we edge Ancer, and were their odds reversed the man formerly known as Bermuda Burns may well have been our pick. Two extra points for Ancer is enough, with memories of his electric low-scoring rounds at the PGA Championship and Wells Fargo Championship still fresh in our minds along with his WGC victory in Memphis. Against just 19 other competitors, the ability to beat a field by half a dozen strokes is too attractive.
Longer than +2000
Patrick Reed (+2900) - A popular pick this week but noteworthy nonetheless as a far more reliable winner than the three Englishmen at or around his number. It's Team Reed versus the world, and he'd like nothing more than to beat up on the golden boys in front of Tiger. He's been a bit of a mess since dealing with a bout of pneumonia during last season's Playoffs, but we'll jump on Reed with a chip on his shoulder at a relatively long number against just about any field.