As the last tournament of January approaches, we are just starting to get a feel for the build up to the first Major of 2019. The Masters may be several weeks away but some of the bigger names are back to contest the Phoenix Open this week.
Last week’s winner and current World Number One Justin Rose may be sitting this one out but there is a strong field and a clear favorite across the four days.
Jon Rahm (+700 at Bovada Sportsbook) leads the Phoenix Open outright betting odds this week after a strong showing at the Farmers Insurance Open last time out. The Spaniard has three strong finishes in this event and, unlike a number of entrants at TPC Scottsdale, Rahm has been competing and finding his touch since the start of 2019.
He is second in the Power Rankings however and there are plenty of challenges as we move through the field.
Behind our market leader we have a gap to second favorite Justin Thomas (+900). The 25-year-old has been less active on Tour since the end of last season and doesn’t have the greatest of records at the Phoenix Open.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (+1200) is next and given his overall record in this event, there will be plenty of interest. Hideki won twice here, in 2016 and 2017, and that followed a runners up slot 12 months previously. His 2018 defense started strongly before injury cut him short but based on that tournament record, Matsuyama has to be a contender.
Next up is our defending champion Gary Woodland (+1800). Twelve months ago, the 34-year-old completed his first Tour win for nearly five years when he beat Chez Reavie in a playoff. At the edge of this chasing pack we have Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler (both +1800) who have both been runners up in this event while Phil Mickelson (22/1) is a three time winner. All three are attracting bets and have the games to deliver a profit.
At the head of the outsiders in the Phoenix Open odds, Matt Kuchar (+2500) is at a very interesting price with the USA sports betting websites and should be considered for a top ten wager at the very least. Kuch made a welcome return to form at the end of 2018 and carried that through into the New Year to suggest a profitable few months ahead. Kuchar has made it to the weekend on his six previous visits to TPC Scottsdale and with three top tens and a scoring average of 68.75, his win price looks long.
Moving further back, Cameron Champ (50/1) has yet to maintain form after a breakthrough win last year but there is interest. The sportsbooks are also reporting some bets on Trey Mullinax (200/1) who is way down with the rank outsiders and that price may be worth watching.
Others who can come through from the back of the pack include last year’s runner up Chez Reavie (50/1) while others are backing Adam Hadwin (40/1) to continue his good showing at the Desert Classic.
Our Preview’s Phoenix Open Predictions & Betting Picks with Course Trends
There is a long history to this event and the Phoenix Open first came onto the circuit back in 1932. Despite that lengthy backstory, four players are tied at a record of just three wins and the list is led by the great Arnold Palmer who secured three straight Phoenix Open victories between 1961 and 1963. Phil Mickelson is also on the roster of three-peats while Hideki Matsuyama is the most recent player to record a double – in 2016 and 2017.
Our regular venue in the modern day is TPC Scottsdale across in Arizona which is a relatively lengthy par 71 at 7,266 yards. That’s still short by modern-day standards and there should be no advantage for the distance hitters across the four days.
When Gary Woodland won here last year, he outranked the field in par 5 scoring and putting: birdies and better percentage. All of his stats were strong including Greens in Regulation so we are looking for a good all-rounder to come through.
If he’s at the top of his game, Justin Thomas should fit that profile and it may surprise some to see that his win price isn’t closer to the favorite Jon Rahm. Thomas ticks all the boxes that Woodland filled last year and as such, he is our main Phoenix Open prediction and pick for this week.
Elsewhere, good records in this event were the determining factor in picking our top 10 finish tips and we now look forward to a productive four days in Arizona. The suggested bets for this Phoenix Open preview are: