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 Valspar Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
After a rain-soaked weekend, a worthy champion was crowned on Monday at THE PLAYERS Championship in Cameron Smith. The quick turnaround this week will likely affect the Valspar field, so keep an eye out for any withdrawals that will void out wagers or alternates that may join the field at enticing long shot numbers.
For now, there are a few elite golfers and then a significant drop-off, and we are due for one of the sport's stars to come away with a win.
Another difficult test awaits, and hopefully this week the course itself does most of the biting rather than the elements. Winds off the Gulf of Mexico are to be expected, though, and golfers who do stick around will have recent experience in controlling the flight of the golf ball. Ball-strikers reign supreme here, and our card will be lean heavily on that skill set.
For more info on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out Brandon Gdula's article.
At the Top
Justin Thomas (+1100) - Thomas gets the edge at the top of the board as arguably the sport's premier iron player. His bogey-free second round at TPC Sawgrass was among the best golf he's ever played, and despite gaining 2.5 strokes putting, he still managed to post a negative number for the week. JT can frequently contend even with that limitation, and the weeks he rolls it well, he usually ends up winning or coming close. His finish last week was his worst since July at just a T33 in highly variant conditions, but despite six top-eight finishes in that span, he has not won. That changes this week at a course where he finished 10th, 18th, missed cut from 2015-2017 then 13th last year.
Collin Morikawa (+1200) - The only name at Thomas' level when it comes to iron excellence is Morikawa, and the 25-year-old already has two major championships to prove it. This will be his debut at Copperhead where he should find challenging conditions that reward precision to his advantage. Morikawa missing the cut at THE PLAYERS spared him another couple of frustrating days in Jacksonville, and with top-10s in each of his four PGA starts of the new season before that and finishes overseas of 1st, T62, and T18, a couple of days off probably did Collin some good.
Tommy Fleetwood (+4600) - Fleetwood back?! The former top-10 golfer has been playing well of late, with a missed cut at the Honda Classic being his only real blip since September. In that span, he has six top-15s in eight overseas events and finishes of T38, T7, MC, T20, and T22 on the PGA Tour. That last one was at THE PLAYERS, where Fleetwood held a share of the first round lead and hung tight over the weekend while big numbers piled up around him. The stop and start weekend killed his momentum, but he should have confidence heading to Innisbrook even though it's a new course for him. He's always thrived in challenging conditions, and we're happy to run it back for another Leader After Round 1 (+5000) wager as well as a Top 10 Finish (+450).
Mackenzie Hughes (+7500) - Hughes has been hot and cold of late, with two top-fives in the fall but missed cuts in three of his last five. He has shown an ability to play well at tough courses in the past, and a T13 here in 2019 coming off four straight missed cuts shows he can snap into form, especially with a hot putting week. He's overdue for one, having lost 1.7 at THE PLAYERS and barely beating the field average at both the Honda Classic and the Genesis Invitational, according to stats compiled by Fantasy National Golf Club. Whereas a lot of the golfers we target are consistent ball-strikers who occasionally pop with the putter, Hughes is the opposite. He's generally strong with his short game but inconsistent with his irons, but his spike weeks -- such as 6.3 strokes gained at the RSM Classic or 3.2 gained at the U.S. Open -- almost always put him in a position to contend.
Francesco Molinari (+12000) - We'll wrap up our card with Molinari, who's hardly in good company in the five figures this week alongside far less accomplished players. Molinari has won in Florida before, and as the ball-strikers fall off a cliff in this range, we'll look to the upside we know is still lurking inside the 39-year-old Italian. It's not so long ago he was among the very best in the world, and his 4.3 strokes gained tee to green, including 2.3 with approaches, were his best since finishing sixth at The American Express in January. He's been inconsistent in his last four events but grinded out made cuts at each, and he's shown flashes in each element of his game that one of these weeks he's going to put it all together.