Scottie Scheffler notched his second PGA Tour victory in three weeks by taking home the Arnold Palmer Invitational last Sunday at Bay Hill. The PGA Tour heads to TPC Sawgrass this week for The Players Championship, which is considered the “5th major” by those in the golfing world.
TPC Sawgrass is a Par 72 course that measures 7,189 yards. Legendary golf course architect Pete Dye designed this course and it’s filled with a tremendous amount of water hazards. If the wind picks up in Florida like it did last weekend, we could see some more higher scores.
Do you need some picks for this week’s tournament to make things a little more interesting? You’ve come to the right place! Here are 4 best bets for The 2022 Players Championship.
Best Bet to Win The Players: Cam Smith +3600 (FanDuel)
Our best bet to win The Players Championship outright is Cam Smith. Smith hasn’t hit his driver particularly well this year (95th in strokes gained off the tee), but TPC Sawgrass doesn’t always reward bombers. As long as Smith can avoid disaster on some of the more treacherous holes, he should be in contention this week.
The 28-year old is a great iron player, as evidenced by his solid 20th ranking in strokes gained on approach. This should give Smith a distinct advantage this week on one of the toughest courses in golf.
Smith has also been brilliant with the flat stick this year. He is gaining .699 strokes with his putter, which ranks 12th on the Tour. We saw at the Sentry Tournament of Champions (where he won back in January) just how hot this kid can get with the putter.
The four-time tournament winner also knows how to get up and down when he has to. Smith ranks 23rd in strokes gained around the green and 37th in sand save percentage (57.89%). All of these factors show why Smith is our best outright pick this week at The Players.
Best Top 20 Bet for The Players: Tom Hoge +450 (DraftKings)
Hoge came out of virtual obscurity to win his first-ever PGA Tour title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am just a few short weeks ago. The former TCU Horned Frog has been one of the best ball strikers on the PGA Tour through his 52 rounds this year.
Hoge is picking up .891 strokes on approach, which ranks 3rd. This guy is in a major groove right now with all of his iron shots, which means he should do well at TPC Sawgrass this week.
The 32-year old’s short game is a bit of a concern, as he only ranks 98th in strokes gained around the green and 96th in strokes gained putting. Nevertheless, Hoge’s amazing iron play should help him crack the Top 20 this year at The Players. The nice plus money price makes this one even sweeter!
Best Full Tournament Matchup Bet: Morikawa -110 over McIlroy
We love Rory McIlroy and greatly admire him for his 20 PGA Tour wins and four major championships. However, McIlroy hasn’t played much golf this season (only 12 rounds) and he’s been highly inconsistent with his swing. He’s done well with the driver and putter, but his approach game has been all over the place (he’s losing strokes on approach).
On the other hand, Collin Morikawa has been the model of consistency. The five-time winner is one of the best iron players in the world, as he currently ranks 4th in strokes gained on approach. He has also hit his driver well this season, as he is gaining .666 strokes off the tee (8th).
You just have to worry about McIlroy’s mindset after going through the roller coaster he went through last weekend at Bay Hill. He had the lead after shooting a 65 in the first round, but he shot back-to-back 76s on the weekend to finish a disappointing T-13. McIlroy is a true champion, but he may get off to a slow start at The Players.
Morikawa, on the other hand, took last week off so he should be well-rested and in a good place mentally. He finished in a tie for 2nd place at The Genesis Invitational a couple of weeks ago and looked to be dialed in with his entire game. We trust Morikawa quite a bit more than McIlroy this week, so we have no problem laying this type of price.
Best Prop Bet for The Players: Dustin Johnson to MISS the Cut +150 (Unibet)
Gulp! This one is more than a little bit scary! DJ is one of the most dominant players in the world when he is on his game. The problem is Johnson has looked lost in the three events he’s played in this season.
Johnson may have 24 Tour wins on his resume, but he didn’t make the cut a couple of weeks ago at The Genesis Invitational. Before that, he finished tied for 25th at The Farmers Insurance Open and tied for 45th at the CJ Cup. Johnson has done okay off the tee and on approach so far this season, but his short game has been a mess.
He is losing strokes both around the green and in putting. We think there’s at least a 50/50 chance that DJ misses this cut so we’ll gladly take the plus money. Best of luck with all your golf bets this week!