THE PLAYERS Championship Predictions, Betting Odds & Picks
- 2019 winner Rory McIlroy defends the title after the 2020 tournament was cancelled
- The tournament is the highlight of the PGA Tour season and often called “the fifth major”
- The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass always delivers high drama
THE PLAYERS Championship Odds
|Dustin Johnson||+1200 |
|Jon Rahm||+1500 |
|Bryson DeChambeau||+1600 |
|Rory McIlroy||+1600 |
|Justin Thomas||+2000 |
|Collin Morikawa||+2000 |
|Patrick Cantlay||+2200 |
|Webb Simpson||+2200 |
|Xander Schauffele||+2200 |
|Tony Finau||+2500 |
Odds from BetMGM. Get up to a $500 sign-up bonus at BetMGM today or check out more offers and promo codes for the best online sportsbooks.
THE PLAYERS Championship Special Bonus
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THE PLAYERS Championship Picks and Predictions
Patrick Cantlay is the outright pick at +2200 with BetMGM
Francesco Molinari can land a top 10 at +1000 with DraftKings Sportsbook
Back Will Zalatoris to defeat Harris English in their DraftKings Sportsbook match bet at -122
Patrick Cantlay each way in the outright +2200 with BetMGM
Francesco Molinari to make the top 10 +1000 at DraftKings Sportsbook
Will Zalatoris to beat Harris English at -122 with DraftKings Sportsbook
How to Watch THE PLAYERS Championship
|THE PLAYERS Championship Information|
|What||THE PLAYERS Championship|
|Where||Stadium Course, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra, Florida|
|When||Thursday, March 11 – Sunday, March 14|
|How to watch||Thursday & Friday 8.30am, 12pm, 6pm & 8pm ET (Golf Channel), Saturday 9am, 1pm & 6pm ET (Golf Channel), Sunday 6am, 9am, 1pm & 6pm ET (Golf Channel). All four days on Sky Sports.|
THE PLAYERS Championship Profile
This week’s tournament is not a major, but it’s not far off. Indeed, the PGA Tour likes to refer to the event, the showpiece on their schedule, as “the fifth major” and the field is definitely one of the strongest of the year.
As always the players will be tested by the Pete Dye-designed Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, a demanding set-up that doesn’t always favor the elite performers. It’s not so much that good golfers cannot compete or win on the track, more than the top players in the game have records on it that are very black or white: plenty of good results, but also many bad ones, too.
For 12 years the event moved from a March date to a May one and only in 2019 did it return to this month; with that change came subtle differences in the test. Suddenly the fairways were softer (favoring longer hitters), the temperatures lower (ditto), and the grass on and around the green lusher (which Rory McIlroy has highlighted helps the better short game merchants).
Dustin Johnson leads the betting at +1200, but he has admitted to struggling when the event was held in May – indeed, the move to March two years ago immediately reaped his first top-five finish.
McIlroy defends the title after last year’s event lasted no more than 18 holes. He’s +1600 and seeking a first win anywhere since the end of 2019.
Cantlay Can Complete the Job
At first glance, the Sawgrass record of Patrick Cantlay is a little underwhelming. On debut in 2017 he finished T22nd, he was T23rd a year later and then missed the cut in 2019, but look closer and that logbook is a lot more promising.
Four years ago he spent the first 54 holes inside the top ten and a year later he shared the first-round lead before again finding himself in the top ten through three rounds. He’s a much stronger golfer now, one who has completed high-quality wins at the Memorial Tournament and Zozo Championship. If he were to get into contention again this week he has the maturity and experience to hang around until the back nine on Sunday and hopefully right to the final hole.
His experience also runs deeper than his professional days because he revealed on debut that: “I really like the course and feel comfortable here – I played the junior tournament twice when I was younger.”
It’s also true that he excels in Par-4 Score Average and Strokes Gained Tee to Green, both categories that matter this week.
He’s a solid outright selection, priced +2200 with BetMGM.
Feast and Famine Molinari Can Tuck In
Whether you choose to peer at Francesco Molinari’s course form or his current form you’re guaranteed to discover a very similar record. It’s a story of feast or famine; of crash or burn.
The Italian has made nine visits to the tournament and while his bad weeks are bad (four missed cuts and T56th two years ago), his good weeks are very good: four top 10s in fact.
What about his form in 2021? Deja vu. He’s made five starts since New Year, missing the cut at Bay Hill and finishing T50th at Pebble Beach, but landing tied eighth at PGA West, tied 10th at Torrey Pines, and tied eighth again at Riviera. Given his woes, in the last half of 2019 and all of 2020, it’s not surprising that the bookies are being a little generous this week.
But maybe too generous?
DraftKings Sportsbook offers +1000 about another top 10 this week and the stats say that’s excellent value.
Zalatoris Can Demonstrate Complete Control of English
The suggested support of young hotshot Will Zalatoris over Harris English is two-fold. On the one hand, we’re very simply opposing a man who seems to be at a complete loss when faced with the Sawgrass challenge.
English has played the tournament eight times and only once finished in the top 60 – even that effort was no better than T33rd in 2013 and he’s missed the cut in his six starts since then. Going deeper proves just how he struggles there: he’s gone sub-70 just once in 20 laps and in those last half dozen appearances he has always carded a 75 or worse.
Zalatoris is on debut this week, but there’s a good chance he’ll have little to beat and he has a decent record in Florida: five starts on the Korn Ferry and PGA Tours, all top 30s, three of the top 10s, including last week at Bay Hill.
What of the second factor? That’s simple: head-to-heads and recent form. In the 2020-21 season, Zalatoris leads the former and he has landed eight top 25 finishes in 11 starts.
English did win the Tournament of Champions in January, but since then has gone five starts without one top 25.
Take Zalatoris in the match bet at -122 with DraftKings Sportsbook.
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Matt Cooper has been a sports journalist since 2009 with his work appearing at ESPN, Sky Sports, NBC, Sporting Life and the Planet Sport Network among many others, in addition to guest appearances on the BBC and CNN. Although a specialist in golf, who has traveled the world to cover the sport, Matt has also covered rugby, cricket, football and the Olympics. Email: [email protected]