Players Championship betting specials: Top GB&I player
No surprise to see Rory McIlroy heading this market, particularly given that he’s had a chance to win in his last five tournaments.
But you’re paying for that with the Northern Irishman a very short price (5/2) in among some outstanding talent.
Given that I’ve already tipped both Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood in the each-way and outright markets, I wouldn’t put you off either here at 11/1 and 13/2 respectively.
That’s especially considering we are getting a quarter of the odds for the first three with some of the bookies.
Paul Casey, at a best-priced 9/1, does look a bit of value. He’s been solid without spectacular at Sawgrass over the past decade and whether he gets on with the course would be a slight concern.
Overriding that, though, is the second spot he filled at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the tied third that came at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
He still doesn’t win enough for me but he doesn’t need to. He simply has to fill the first three places in this market. If he doesn’t do that, he’ll have had a bad week.
Matt Wallace, fresh off a very good week at Bay Hill, also merits interest. The Englishman has taken every step up the ladder with aplomb and looked very much at home among the luminaries at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
If he gets on with the quirky TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course on his debut, he could make a mockery of the 14/1 in this market.
Players Championship betting specials: Will there be a hole in one?
‘No’ is on offer at 11/10 and could turn out to be a decent bet. The last hole in one was Sergio Garcia’s first round ace in 2017 and there have only been four since 2013.
If you backed this bet blind in the last 10 years you would have won seven times.
There have been 28 perfect shots in the history of the event at the Stadium Course and eight of those have come at the 17th.
If you are backing ‘yes’ at 4/6 then the 13th, with 11 aces, would seem your best chance of cashing.
Given these stats, though, and the return to March, which could catch a few players out as the reseeded golf course plays a little longer in the face of lower temperatures and stronger winds, I’ll err on it being another blank year for slam dunks.
Players Championship betting specials: Top Spaniard
Jon Rahm’s the favourite in this market and I can’t for the life of me see why. While he has been tearing up other courses in his first couple of years on tour, his record at PGA Tour headquarters has been very ordinary.
A missed cut on debut was followed by 63rd last year. Given that he’s had a couple of weeks off since finishing 45th in Mexico, I’ll give him a miss at 6/4.
Given his pedigree at this course, and the way he recovered from his meltdown in Saudi Arabia, it’s no surprise Sergio Garcia is next on the list.
Despite having won this in the past, and having had a run of three years where he was no lower than eighth, the former Masters champion has endured a tough time since.
Garcia was 70th last year and I’d much rather plump for the 9/4 available on Rafa Cabrera Bello.
Tied 3rd at Bay Hill last week, the 2016 Ryder Cup star was 17th 12 months ago and fourth the year before that.