The 2019/20 PGA Tour season continues to gain strength with the fields getting deeper week by week. At the Safeway Open, Justin Thomas appeared for the first time in this campaign and now it is the turn of multiple Major winner Brooks Koepka to make his season’s debut.
Thomas was our pick for glory at the weekend and while he finished in a creditable fourth, it leaves us looking for profits as we head to Las Vegas for the 2019 edition of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
Brooks Koepka (+800, that is 8/1, with Bovada betting site) is the highest ranked golfer in the field and it is therefore no surprise to see the two-time PGA Champion and dual US Open Champion head the Shriners Hospitals betting odds. Brooks came second to Rod Pampling here in 2017 and he also has a solo fourth in this tournament but either side of those achievements are two missed cuts.
Interestingly, Koepka is some way down the Power Rankings this week in fifth place but that may be down to his reluctance or inability to lift his game outside of the Majors.
The second favorite with the USA online betting companies is Patrick Cantlay (11/1) who won the Shriners Hospitals in 2018. Cantlay found himself in a similar position for the Safeway Open but finished down in a tie for 40th and could be one to avoid.
Behind the second favorite is the defending champion Bryson DeChambeau (16/1) while the 2014 Shriners winner Webb Simpson (20/1) is close behind. Simpson also leads those Power Rankings with a scoring average of 68.07 at TPC Summerlin.
Tony Finau (22/1) returns to the US having found some reasonable form in Europe and he is a little longer in the outright winner odds than Adam Scott (18/1). Both men are in good touch with Scott recording four top 20s coming into Thursday.
Also worthy of note in this section are the 33/1 shots Hideki Matsuyama, Gary Woodland and Collin Morikawa. The last of those names came close to featuring in our top 10 picks last week and Morikawa ultimately tied for 10th place. We are expecting much for him this year and wouldn’t rule out a second Tour triumph for the 22-year-old.
Our most recent winner on Tour is Cameron Champ but, at 40/1, the 2019 Safeway Open Champion isn’t convincing the sportsbooks. Inconsistency is his main opponent. Sunday’s runner-up Adam Hadwin is available at similar odds, as is Brandt Snedeker who has been a good converter of profits in the top 10 finish betting markets.
South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli (also 40/1) continues to make inroads in the US while Scottie Scheffler (50/1) is enjoying a great rookie campaign. It’s early days in the season but Scheffler is already ranking second for Greens in Regulation and that could be significant.
There may be some notable missing names but there is definite depth to the market and punters may also want to consider Chez Reavie, Kevin Na, Scott Piercy, Brian Harman and Bubba Watson.
Our Preview’s Shriners Hospitals Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course & Betting Trends
Inaugurated as the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic in 1983, this tournament has been held on a number of venues but is currently enjoying an extended stay at TPC Summerlin. This is a par 71 course but it has some length at 7255 yards so it can reward the power hitters in places.
While rough can be punishing, fairways are wide and this venue is constantly referred to as the easiest par 71 on the whole Tour.
Multiple winners are exceptionally rare with only Jim Furyk winning more than once in 36 previous editions. Furyk’s third and final success came in 1999 so the omens aren’t strong for defending champion Bryson DeChambeau. More importantly, The Scientist’s form would tend to rule him out but who will come through to lift the trophy on Sunday?
Based on the course design it could all come down to immediate form and a putting battle. There could very well be a short-priced winner but we’ll be a little more adventurous than last week and go with Webb Simpson to top our Shriners Hospitals predictions. The 2014 Champion has also tied for 4th on two previous occasions in the Shriners and with a 7 for 8 record here, it’s his tournament.
Form is also in Simpson’s favor and, along with our top 10 finish picks, we’re looking for a profitable weekend on the fairways of Las Vegas. Our recommendations are: