Brendon Todd arrived at the 2019 Bermuda Championship as the 522nd-ranked player in the world, contemplating his future as a professional golfer.
He returns 12 months later as the defending champion and the top-ranked player in the 132-player field at No. 41. Todd is also one of the pre-tournament betting favorites at all sportsbooks, including +1200 by PointsBet and +1400 by BetMGM.
Todd is likely in Bermuda this week only because he’s the defending champion.
As with most events in 2020, the Bermuda Championship has been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yes, it is a standalone event with the WGC-HSBC Champions canceled, and it offers a full 500 FedExCup points.
But it is also being contested just two weeks before the Masters, which caused each of the world’s top 40 players to take a pass as they either capped their Augusta preparation at last week’s Zozo Championship or will play next week’s Houston Open as a final tune-up.
That leaves significant opportunities for players and bettors to take advantage of a second-tier field.
PGA Odds: Who Will Gobble Up the FedEx Points This Weekend?
Will Zalatoris has yet to win a PGA Tour event but is the betting favorite at most sportsbooks. The former amateur star is +1100 (PointsBet, BetMGM) and appears poised for a breakthrough.
Zalatoris is making just his 13th career Tour start and 11th as a professional. He has three top-10 finishes in his past four starts, including the U.S. Open. He is also highly motivated to collect the three FedExCup points he needs to earn special temporary Tour status for the remainder of the season.
Todd used his win in Bermuda last year as a launching pad for a career year. He won the next week at the Mayakoba Classic and went on to finish 20th in the FedEx Cup.
A heck of a turnaround for a player who dropped out of the top 2,000 just two years ago.
This course suits Todd, who erased a two-shot deficit entering the final round last year by reeling off seven consecutive birdies on the front nine en route to a career-best 62 on Sunday.
The man he outdueled that day, Harry Higgs, is not in the field this week. So who is in best position to challenge Todd and Zalatoris?
PGA Odds for the Next Two Betting Favorites in the Field
The next two betting favorites at PointsBet, Harold Varner III (+2200) and Doc Redman (+2500), have yet to win a PGA Tour event. They’re streaky veterans who often show up on the first page of the leaderboard but struggle to cobble together four consecutive low rounds.
BetMGM is offering Varner at +2200, followed by Redman and Denny McCarthy at +2500. McCarthy has a lone Tour win in 2018 and enters the week ranked 201st. Being among the top-five betting favorites speaks to the relative weakness of the field.
Emiliano Grillo (+3000 by PointsBet, +3300 by BetMGM) hasn’t won since 2015 but has been in solid form with eight consecutive cuts made. That includes a pair of top-10s at the 3M Open and Barracuda Championship over the summer. Grillo also finished T3 at last year’s Puerto Rico Open and is typically one of the more accomplished players in secondary fields such as these.
There is also a former major champion to keep an eye on.
Henrik Stenson offers intriguing odds at +4000 at both books despite entering the week at No. 54. The Swede is attempting to find his form. He has missed the cut three times in five events since returning to competition in August.
Stenson did place T21 in Mexico last month and has as much Sunday experience as anyone in the field if he can put himself in contention.
Peter Malnati lacks Stenson’s decorated trophy case, but he does have a Tour victory to his name (2015) and is arguably the hottest player in the field outside of Zalatoris.
Malnati (+3300, +3500) is coming off a runner-up at the Sanderson Farms Championship and a T5 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
The Bermuda Championship is the 10th of 12 events on the “fall swing.” With majority of the field not headed to Augusta next month, this represents a critical opportunity for players attempting to secure spots in more events once the calendar flips to 2021.
Among those is Justin Suh (+4000), another former amateur star in the field on a sponsors exemption. He is coming off a pair of top-15 finishes, including a T8 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Bermuda Championship Best Bet for October 15, 2020
The Bermuda Championship does feature another pair of former major champions in Jason Dufner (2013 PGA Championship) and Danny Willett (2016 Masters).
Neither arrived in Bermuda in what anyone would consider strong form.
Dufner has plummeted to 310th in the world following a pair of missed cuts and doesn’t have a top-25 finish in the past 15 months.
Willett will be heading to Augusta courtesy of his surprising victory four years ago. He did pop up with a T4 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July. Willett then went T32 and T69 before snapping a string of five consecutive MCs with a T32 in his title defense at the BMW PGA Championship three weeks ago.
Todd hasn’t been lighting the golf world on fire, but he also has a lone MC in his past 12 events. He reached the Tour Championship and played the weekend at the PGA Championship, where he held a share of the first-round lead, and the U.S. Open (T23).
Todd is returning to a course he resurrected his career on 12 months ago while the two former major champions are seeking success against a second-tier field in an event they didn’t play in last year.
Bermuda Championship Best Bet: Brendon Todd (+111) in a 3-ball prop vs. Danny Willett (+205) and Jason Dufner (+241) at PointsBet