Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. However, 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 select a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
After last week's alternate field plus Patrick Reed and Matthew Fitzpatrick, it's nice to have some star power back in the mix as we head to Mexico for the once-again-renamed Tour stop at Mayakoba. This is a birdie maker's course, with each of the last five winners cracking 19-under or better on just a par 71. The course is short and narrow, and we can include both powerful and accurate drivers as long as they score well.
We have a shorter field and some real quality at the top, so our strategy this week is to load up on our top picks and find some good opportunities in the prop market further down the board.
For more info on El Camaleon Golf Course at Mayakoba, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the numberFire course primer.
At the Top
Justin Thomas (+1600) - Mexican-born Abraham Ancer (+1500) leads the way this week, and despite the home game narrative we'll start our card with JT. The PGA Tour website will tell you Thomas leads the Tour in birdie-or-better percentage so far this season, and while it includes just one event for him it is worth noting that he birdied over 40% of his holes over four rounds. Ignore the small sample and Thomas is right where he belongs at the top, having finished sixth, second, first, third, and first in that stat the past five seasons. He was 12th here last year and 23rd in his only other appearance in 2014, but a birdie fest at a resort course is right up Thomas' alley.
Viktor Hovland (+1900) - The defending champion had missed the cut in his first two cracks at El Camaleon, and now coming off a Ryder Cup appearance and firmly entrenched as one of the world's very best players, Hovland should be brimming with confidence in the first title defense of his young career. Hovland has just two events under his belt this season but is eighth in birdie-or-better percentage. Like Thomas, that ranking is no fluke, as Hovland was 9th on Tour last year after ranking 28th the year prior. He fired rounds of 67, 69, 63, and 65 to finish one stroke ahead of Aaron Wise (+3200) and three shots clear of the next highest finishers.
Will Zalatoris (+3800) - Zalatoris is on offer at a terrific price this week, a number roughly equivalent to his current futures odds to win any of the three domestic major championships. In a 125-man field with only a handful of elite golfers, he is one of the best values on the board. One cause of concern is his 52nd here last year, a finish which along with the missed cut at the Sanderson Farms Championship was one of his worst finishes on either the PGA Tour or the Korn Ferry Tour in the calendar 2020. But we saw Hovland toss course history aside and win last year, and Zalatoris should be able to improve with a better read on paspalum grass than he had as a rookie. He has gotten a few poor starts out of his system with a missed cut a the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and a T54 at the ZOZO Championship. Before that, he started the season with consecutive top 15s. While he has plenty of win equity, we can confidently back Zalatoris a Top 20 Finish (+170).
Mito Pereira (+4900) - Pereira has been knocking on the door in his first action on the primary circuit after crushing it on the Korn Ferry Tour. Before moving up on sponsor's exemptions around the Fourth of July, Pereira's finishes on the KFT were 1st, 1st, T10, T66, T9, and T2. He's added three top 10s on the PGA Tour since then and was just outside the medals at the Olympics representing his native Chile. A proven winning player who has impressed so far this season, we are getting a steal on him at close to 50/1. We especially like the price for a Top 10 Finish (+600) and Leader After Round 1 (+7500).
Joel Dahmen (+8000) - A good record here for Dahmen catches the eye in light of his win on paspalum at the Corales Puntacana Resort and Club Championship last March. In four starts at El Camaleon, Dahmen has been in the 60s all but once, a second-round 70 four years ago. He has a propensity to go low early, and while he hasn't been a fast starter in this event he must be itching to get back out there after striking it well in Nevada when we last saw him. Dahmen finished T24 but gained 2.6 strokes off the tee and 3.7 on approaches (stats from Fantasy National Golf Club). Some good paspalum vibes and hot ballstriking coming in, set us up for another nice option for Leader After Round 1 (+8000).