Mayakoba Golf Classic Betting Preview

Justin Thomas was left as the clear pre-tournament favorite for the Mayakoba Golf Classic when world No. 1 Dustin Johnson decided to withdraw late last week.

At No. 3, Thomas is the only top-10 player in the field. He’s also the +650 favorite by BetMGM, ahead of four-time major champion Brooks Koepka (+1200).

With No. 13 Daniel Berger, No. 19 Tony Finau and No. 22 Abraham Ancer of Mexico the only other top-25 players in the field, the Mayakoba Golf Classic is prime for a player with longer odds to cash in.

Thomas is the heavy favorite for good reason and is a solid bet as well. He has already won twice this year and squandered a third title when he lost a three-shot lead with three holes to play at the Workday Charity Open.

Despite that, he’s known as a strong closer and enters in strong form with five consecutive top-15 finishes, including a solo fourth at the Masters in his most recent start.

Koepka has consecutive top-10 finishes but hasn’t won since 2019 as he continues to work his way back from his latest injury layoff.

Harris English is definitely one to watch.

The second of his two PGA Tour victories came at Mayakoba in 2013, and he finished fifth in the event last year. English has risen to a career-best 33rd in the world on the strength of five top-10s and seven more top-20s in his past 17 starts.

English needs to prove that he can close on Sunday, but his form throughout 2020 combined with his past success at Mayakoba has him as the third betting favorite at +1600 by BetMGM.

That’s slightly ahead of Ancer (+1800), who is trying to become just the fourth Mexico native to win on the PGA Tour. The third was Carlos Ortiz (+5000), who joined the list with his victory at the Houston Open last month.

Ancer has been knocking on the door for the past few years, posting a trio of runner-up results and holding a share of the 54-hole lead at the Masters before closing with a 76 on Sunday.

Berger (+2000) is another intriguing name.

One of the most consistent players throughout 2020, Berger had seven top-10s over nine-event stretch, including a win at the Charles Schwab Challenge in the Tour’s re-start in June. However, that did not qualify him for the rescheduled Masters, and his latest start was a tie for 17th at the Zozo Championship.

Also being offered at +2000 is 26th-ranked Viktor Hovland. The rising young star from Norway would typically have shorter odds, but he has missed the Mayakoba cut each of the past two years.

A winner in Puerto Rico earlier this year, Hovland has four top-15 finishes in his past five starts.

Another excellent young player to watch this week is Chile’s Joaquin Niemann (+3500). He had four consecutive top-20s before being knocked out of the Masters following a positive COVID-19 test. Niemann, who finished tied for 44th at the RSM Classic two weeks ago in his return, missed the Mayakoba cut last year.

While the Mayakoba Golf Classic is missing many of the game’s marquee names, the field does not lack for accomplished players.

Brendon Todd (+4500) offers long odds for a defending champion who reached the Tour Championship. That said, Todd doesn’t have a top-20 finish since August.

Adam Long (+5500) was one of three players to finish a shot behind Todd last year. He also finished runner-up at the 3M Open in July and fifth at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship in September after holding the 54-hole lead.

Another player enjoying a strong start to the 2020-21 PGA Tour season is Peter Malnati. He enters this week as a +10000 longshot despite a pair of top-10s this fall along with a tie for 21st in Bermuda after opening with a 63.

Also being offered at +10000 are Vaughn Taylor, who tied for second last year, and Pat Perez, the leading career money winner at Mayakoba with $1,898,929.

Mayakoba Golf Classic Best Bet

Will Zalatoris, a Korn Ferry Tour grad, has earned special PGA Tour status through the end of the year on the strength of an excellent fall swing.

After a streak of 11 consecutive top-20s on the KFT, Zalatoris served notice with his tie for sixth at the U.S. Open that included an aces and another tee shot the same day that hit the flagstick. He was even among the betting favorites in his next start at Corales, where he went on to tie for eighth.

Zalatoris missed his next cut but rebounded with a tie for fifth at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and a tie for 16th in Bermuda.

Zalatoris offers short outright winner odds at +3300 for a player making his sixth Tour start. But the 24-year-old does have 13 top-10s in 21 starts in 2020 across the KFT and PGA Tours, with 11 of them coming in his past 16 events.

Mayakoba Golf Classic Best Bet: Will Zalatoris +320 by BetMGM to finish in the top 10.

Best Bets for the 2020 RSM Classic: Will a Shorty Stand Tall?

In what will be the second last PGA event of 2020, the Tour heads south from Augusta to St. Simons Island, Georgia. 156 players will compete for the RSM Classic this weekend at the two Sea Island Resort Courses. The players will play one of their two opening rounds at The Plantation Course while the remaining three rounds will be played at The Seaside Course.

The Seaside plays as a par 70 totalling just over 7000 yards with many holes off the coast. The Plantation course is more inland and plays as a 7,060 yard par 72. Both courses feature Bermuda putting greens.

Like many resort courses, Sea Island will play easier for the PGA professionals than what they are used to. The Seaside Course averages 71% fairways in regulation and 74% greens in regulation, both numbers that are much higher than the tour average.

Another thing that stuck out to me was how much success shorter hitting players have had at Seaside. The likes of Tyler Duncan, Charles Howell III, Austin Cook, Mackenzie Hughes and Kevin Kisner have all won here, and they are not known for pounding the ball off the tee. Webb Simpson, Ryan Armour and Jim Furyk are some more examples of short hitters that have also had success at Seaside.

Along with being an accurate driver, I will be targeting players that have a strong around the green game. Plus players who can score highly as this event has seen winning scores below 20 under par. Par 4 scoring between 350-450 yards will also be targeted as 11 of the 12 par 4s fall under that distance.

One other stat I found interesting is: six of the last 10 RSM Classic winners were first time winners. Don’t shy away from picking someone that has never won before.

Outright Winner at RSM Classic: Why a Missed Cut Might Be a Good Thing?

Tyrell Hatton – Outright Winner +1800

I wasn’t planning on playing anyone coming off the Masters but Tyrell didn’t play a full weekend at Augusta. Hatton missed the cut last week but I’m going to look passed that as he’s never performed well at The Masters. In four starts he’s missed two cuts and lost strokes in all appearances.

Other than that Hatton has been one of the most consistent players this year and I expect him to bounce back this weekend at Sea Island. He’s never played here but I think the course will suit him nicely. He’s a shorter, accurate hitter, but also familiar with playing a Links style course on the coast. The Englishman will have an advantage on the field if the winds pick up.

In Hatton’s last six events he’s finished in the top-7 three times. The only poor performances lately from Hatton have been missed cuts at the last two majors. Fortunately for him, the RSM Classic doesn’t come with that type of pressure and I expect he’ll be contending come Sunday.

RSM Classic Top 10 and Top 20 Bets: Why an Amateur Will Shine

Davis Thompson Top 10 +1800 and Top 20 +900

Thompson was recently ranked as the No. 1 amateur and will be making his third PGA Tour appearance this year. He missed both cuts (US Open and Puerto Rico Open) but had a decent showing at the US Open, gaining strokes in approach and around the green. He’s playing well right now as well. After the US Open he’s finished 5th and 4th in his two starts back on the collegiate circuit.

Thompson will know the Seaside course well as he lives on Saint Simons Island. He also made his PGA debut at this course last year where he put together some impressive rounds. At that tournament, he led the field in strokes gained tee to green for the first three rounds and it led to a 23rd place finish.

This is a home game for Thompson and this is the type of event that I believe an amateur can compete in. It’s one of the easier courses on tour and he’s familiar with the venue. So, I also have a small bet on his outright win at +22500.

Hank Lebioda Top 10 +2100 and Top 20 +1000

I think Lebioda’s odds are fantastic considering his current form and course history. The second year Tour pro will be making his third start at the RSM Classic, finishing 30th and 32nd in his first two appearances. He hasn’t played that often (only six starts since July) but the finishes have been encouraging, only missing one cut and finishing inside the top-26 three times.

He’s popped twice at resort style courses in his last three starts, gaining 5.3 strokes at Corales Puntacana and another 7.4 strokes at the Bermuda Championship earlier this month. His best ever finish is a 3rd at the 2019 Corales Puntacana. I’m taking a shot on Lebioda here at another resort course. And yes, for those wondering, his outright win odds are currently sitting at +25000.

US Open Odds: Will Tiger’s Experience at Winged Foot Make the Difference?

By: Field Level Media

Tiger Woods puts the West Course at Winged Foot among the three hardest courses he has played in the world.

“I think it’s right up there next to Oakmont and I think Carnoustie as far as just sheer difficulty without even doing anything to it,” Woods said after a practice round ahead of Thursday’s start of the U.S. Open in Mamaroneck, N.Y.

“I think those three golf courses, they can host major championships without ever doing anything to them.”

Woods is one of only 15 players in this week’s field who competed in the last U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy won at 5 over par.

And the course has been lengthened significantly in the past 14 years.

“It seems like every green you have to walk back a little bit farther,” said Woods, who conceded that technology has players hitting the ball to similar spots for approach shots.

The expected difficulty of this week’s U.S. Open — where the rough could be five or six inches long — makes the prop market equally as compelling as outright winner bets this week.

PointsBet is one of the sportsbooks offering winning score odds. Even par for the tournament would be 280. PointsBet is offering +100 for the winning store to be at even or higher.

The book is offering +160 odds on the winning score being between 277-279 (1 to 3 under) and +350 to be 276 (4 under) or better.

Only one of five previous U.S. Opens held on the West Course was won with a score under par. That was Fuzzy Zoeller at 4 under in a playoff over Greg Norman in 1984. In addition to Ogilvy, the others were won with over-par scores: Bobby Jones (6 over) as an amateur in 1929; Billy Casper, 2 over in 1959; Hale Irwin (7 over) in 1974.

PointsBet is also offering a cut-line score market: +300 for the cut line to fall at 5-over 145 or lower, +125 for 7-over 147 or higher and +150 for it to fall at exactly 6-over 146.

Best PGA Prop Bets for the US Open

The five previous U.S. Opens held at Winged Foot have featured two playoffs, a pair of one-shot victories and Irwin’s two-shot win over Forrest Fezler.

But PointsBet is offering the brave bettor +275 odds on the winning margin being at least four strokes. The shortest odds are on a one-shot victory (+250), with a playoff (+350) followed by two-shot (+400) and three-shot (+550) margins.

Leading wire to wire at any major is a herculean task, much less accomplishing the feat on one of the world’s most difficult tracks.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson leads those prop markets, including +5000 by PointsBet and +1200 by William Hill.

If anyone can manage the feat, it’s likely Johnson. He is the first player since Woods in 1999 to hold the 54-hole lead or co-lead in four consecutive starts, and he has played 18 of his past 20 rounds in the 60s.

He’s also the pre-tournament favorite at most sportsbooks. That includes +850 at William Hill and FanDuel and +900 at PointsBet.

Second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain is the clear second betting favorite at +1000 at all three books. Third-ranked Justin Thomas is +1400 at William Hill and FanDuel and +1500 at PointsBet.

Xander Schauffele has +1400 odds at FanDuel and is +1600 at the other two.

Between the four of them, Johnson, Rahm, Thomas and Schauffele own two combined majors, so there is plenty of room to sift through the 144-player field for experienced major resumes and players entering on hot streaks.

The former includes Woods while the later certainly does not.

Tiger Odds at the US Open

The 15-time major winner has played in only four events since the PGA Tour’s restart in mid-June. His best finish was a tie for 37th at the PGA Championship, and Woods failed to qualify for the Tour Championship for the second consecutive year.

There is little evidence to believe that Woods will be a factor this week. He is not among the top 15 favorites at +5000 at PointsBet and William Hill.

Woods has admitted being affected by the lack of a buzz from the gallery, but his fans can get their fill of Woods action on the prop market.

He is -200 to make the cut at both books, while Woods is +800 at William Hill to finish in the top five, +400 to finish in the top 10 and +175 to secure a top-20 finish. He is also +5000 to lead after the first round.

Several books are also offering Woods-related match and group bets.

William Hill is offering Woods at +100 to finish the tournament ahead of Australia’s Adam Scott (-125). PointsBet is offering the same matchup odds on Woods with Scott at -134, and another matchup with Woods +100 vs. England’s Tyrrell Hatton (-134).

Will Woods be the top finishing American? He’s way down the list on that wager at PointsBet, where at +3300 he sports the same odds as second-year pro Matthew Wolff and struggling Rickie Fowler. The book also has Woods in a group bet at +325 against Australia’s Jason Day (+325) and Englishmen Justin Rose (+325), Paul Casey (+400) and Matthew Fitzpatrick (+400).

Come the weekend, most eyes are expected to shift away from Woods and to the first page of the leaderboard.

Johnson and Rahm battled it out throughout the FedEx Cup playoffs, and they are expected to be in the hunt again this week.

PointsBet is offering Johnson at -113 in a tournament prop against Rahm (-119), while Rahm has shorter odds at -106 to rip off a longer drive this week than Johnson (-115).

At a course such as Winged Foot, sheer distance won’t make as big of a difference if balls are routinely coming to rest in that wicked rough.

So while bettors might flock to Bryson DeChambeau for his -110 odds to produce a drive longer than 378 yards this week, the smarter play might be for a tournament win by a player such as Webb Simpson, who finished last season 18th in driving accuracy while averaging a respectable 296.2 yards off the tee.

The sixth-ranked Simpson claimed his lone major title at the 2012 U.S. Open and can be had for +2500 at William Hill and +2800 at PointsBet.