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 PLAYERS Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The biggest purse in the history of the PGA Tour awaits the world's top players this week. THE PLAYERS is one of the most exciting and competitive tournaments year in and year out, and even for golf, we have a wide range of outcomes here. Danger lurks everywhere, with small greens and water in play on 17 of the 18 holes. Add in poor weather conditions this week and this could be a wild week.
Some golfers prefer Pete Dye set-ups, and while that might serve as a tiebreaker if we really can't decide it should not be something we lean on too heavily. Overall play is the key here, and while approach play is almost always at the top of our list, at few places is strong iron play more important than THE PLAYERS.
For more info on TPC Sawgrass, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer. This article will cover outright bets for the week, but also check out our specials and props guide for some more ways to get into the action this week.
At the Top
Patrick Cantlay (+2100) - Last year's FedEx Cup Champion has been on a tear lately, with top 10s in each of his first four starts of the season after finishing the last with consecutive wins and a T11. A 33rd-place finish at Riviera was a blip, and that result while losing 2.3 strokes on approach speaks to how well balanced Cantlay's game has become (stats from Fantasy National Golf Club).
The top of the board is very crowded and you can't go wrong with any of the golfers, but Cantlay is one of the few names in the conversation for best in the world over the past six months and at the longest odds of that group he's the best value we can find up here before getting into a loaded mid-range.
Hideki Matsuyama (+3100) - Let's clear it up first and foremost that four wins in a 12-month span would be an incredible accomplishment given the depth and strength of the PGA Tour right now. But Matsuyama is a streaky golfer and always has been, and he has a precedent for winning in bunches. His Masters' victory highlighted that it had been almost four years since his last victory, but the run he was on in 2016-2017 rivaled his latest hot streak. He did in fact pull off four official wins in 18 months from February 2016 to August 2017, plus a win in the small-field Hero World Challenge in the middle.
Matsuyama's career victories have come at big-time tests of golf, with Augusta of course the highlight but Muirfield, Firestone, TPC Scottsdale, and Sheshan International also on that list. He's always been an elite ball-striker and has become more than good enough around the greens. If he putts he'll be in the mix.
Dustin Johnson (+3600) - Dare me with this DJ number! Yes, the recent form is spotty, but so too was the case in June 2020 when he arrived at TPC River Highlands (Pete Dye alert!) with a number in the 30s and proceeded to smoke the field and kick off a legendary run of excellence. We'd grab him blindly at this number, but the Sawgrass form is intriguing as well, with finishes of T12, T17, and T5 from 2017-2019 before a T48 last year.
Rust is always a question, with just three PGA starts this season and a T25 at Torrey Pines the only finish in the top half of the field. But this is Dustin Johnson we're talking about, and at 36/1 we're more than willing to back him in a strong field.
Tony Finau (+7500) - Finau's recent finishes are ugly for sure, with a real drop-off every since his breakthrough win at THE NORTHERN TRUST. But there are signs he's had some bad luck, gaining strokes on approach in every single one of those events since the FedEx Cup Playoffs began and losing with the putter in seven of his last eight measured rounds. His Sawgrass form leaves a bit to be desired, but his overall game and pedigree is enough to get us to bite at 75/1.
Matt Wallace (+42000) - A mile down the board we find Wallace, who finished 30th here in 2019, his only try so far at TPC Sawgrass. He's put together some good weeks of golf over the past year, with top 10s at the ZOZO Championship and two bermuda courses in the Wells Fargo Championship and the Valero Texas Open. Those fields are no comparison to this one, but Wallace has spiked in tough fields over his career as well, including at the 2020 Memorial (4th) and the 2019 PGA Championship (3rd). At these odds, he's worth a flyer.