The narrative this week is understandably focused on Tiger Woods.
The Zozo Championship was his most recent title, the one that tied Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour victories record at 82. And even with the tournament moved from Japan this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, it relocated to a course Tiger has won the Hero World Challenge at five times.
But outside of the prop market, Woods is not the focus of the betting lines this week.
He’s +3300 to win the event at BetMGM, putting him in a group of players that includes the likes of Matthew Fitzpatrick and Harris English.
The pre-tournament favorite is Jon Rahm (+900) after world No. 1 Dustin Johnson withdrew from his second consecutive event as he recovers from COVID-19. Rahm is coming off a T17 at The CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek and has not finished lower than T23 in his past six starts, including a win at the BMW Championship.
He has plenty of top-flight competition in the limited 78-player field, however.
That includes third-ranked Justin Thomas (+1200), No. 4 Collin Morikawa (+2000) and No. 5 Rory McIlroy (+1400).
There are four more top 10 players in the field.
Xander Schauffele leapfrogged Webb Simpson for No. 7 after yet another close call last week. At +1200 he’s the second betting favorite along with Thomas.
Schauffele is a San Diego native who thrives in Southern California. He hasn’t posted a victory since the 2019 Tournament of Champions nearly two years ago, but he enters this week with three consecutive top-five finishes, including having the lowest score in the weighted start at the Tour Championship.
Simpson (+1600), No. 9 Tyrell Hatton (+1800) and No. 10 Patrick Reed (+2500) are each worth keeping an eye on for their own reasons.
Simpson tied for 13th at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in his most recent start and has five consecutive top-20 finishes. He has also won twice this year.
Could Hatton be the Man to Place Your PGA Odds on This Weekend?
Hatton (+1800) has moved up to a career-high ninth in the world rankings with a win and a T3 in his past two starts. There is concern about how much he has in the tank entering this week. He won the BMW PGA Championship in England before flying to Las Vegas, where he held the lead with a first-round 76 before faltering with a 73 on Saturday. Hatton did post another 65 on Sunday, however.
Reed (+2500) took a week off following his T3 at the BMW PGA Championship. That followed a T13 at the U.S. Open and a T7 at the Tour Championship, so he enters in good form as well in a deep field prepping for next month’s Masters.
Matthew Wolff (+3300) sits just outside of the top 10 at No. 12. He struggled to a 73rd-place finish last week after consecutive runner-ups. He also grew up less than 10 minutes from Sherwood and is another local product who should fare well.
CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek Betting Pick
Woods isn’t among the outright winner favorites but he remains a popular play on the prop market.
BetMGM is offering Woods at +600 to finish in the top 5 and +280 to finish in the top 10. He has had a ton of success at Sherwood, but Woods also doesn’t have anything better than a T37 in the five events he has played since the Tour resumed in mid-June.
It’s difficult to envision Woods contending this week with such a limited amount of competitive rounds under his belt. Jordan Spieth (+300 to finish in the Top 20) offers a similar opportunity. He’s in the field on a sponsor’s exemption this week and doesn’t have a top 25 finish in his past seven events. There is little about Spieth’s game right now to indicate he’s ready to be a factor in a strong field.
Zozo Championship @ Sherwood Best Bet: Tiger Woods (+100) to finish outside the Top 20 this week.
–Field Level Media