A new golfing year has arrived and hopefully we can enjoy an unbroken run of tournaments in 2021. The four Majors are still in place and it all begins in traditional fashion with the Sentry Tournament of Champions 2021. Established in 1953, the event is open to all players who won a tournament in the previous calendar year and that’s usually a guarantee of a top-quality field.
Forty-two players are assembling in Hawaii for this year’s edition so let’s move on and see what the sportsbooks make of it all with our Sentry Tournament preview and predictions.
Dustin Johnson closed out 2020 in some style with his first US Masters win which came on the back of success in the FedEx Cup. DJ takes his place in this week’s line up and it’s no surprise to see him start as favorite with the USA sports gambling websites to take out the Tournament of Champions at a general 6/1.
Dustin has two wins in this tournament and, with eight top ten finishes overall, he’s the highest money earner in this specific competition.
Just behind Johnson in the outright winner market is defending champion Justin Thomas who is listed with most sportsbooks at 13/2. Thomas edged out Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele in a playoff last year and, along with an additional victory in 2019, he placed third here in 2019.
Behind the top two, the betting odds remain tight with Jon Rahm currently at an industry best of 8/1, followed by Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau who can both be picked up at 10/1 in places.
Schauffele narrowly lost out in that playoff 12 months ago and he is a former champion. However, that Tournament of Champions victory in 2019 was his most recent on Tour. Of the trio of early chasers, Rahm has the better form but all three can make a strong case this week.
Next up we have Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama and Webb Simpson who can all be found at 18/1. Japan’s Matsuyama was a runner up to Justin Thomas in 2017 and this is his first return in three years. Simpson has tied for third at the Tournament of Champions twice in four starts while Cantlay was in contention for much of last year’s edition.
Also in the chasing pack are Viktor Hovland, Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa, Daniel Berger and Harris English.
In a restricted field such as this, there’s unlikely to be any real outside value but there are more players to consider. One name that particularly stands out is that of Scottie Scheffler who is out at best odds of 40/1 while Cameron Champ is attracting some interest at similar prices.
Abraham Ancer made a strong challenge at the Masters in November and his odds of 50/1 will tempt some while Sergio Garcia, at a high of 70/1, made a welcome return to the winner’s rostrum in 2020.
Further down the list, the field goes all the way down to Nick Taylor at an unlikely 400/1 but there are some more interesting golfers such as Kevin Na and Marc Leishman at shorter prices.
Our Preview’s Sentry Tournament of Champions Course and Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
Since 1999, the Tournament of Champions has been held at the Plantation Course in Kapalua Resort, Hawaii. The venue provides a rare par 73 and there is good length at some 7,596 yards. Distance hitters should, therefore, gain advantages in places
Last year, the percentage of fairways hit was the highest on Tour across the season but the wind factor kept scoring down. That may prove to be the case again in 2021 and Greens in Regulation could prove to be the telling statistic.
US golfers have won for the last ten straight years but Jonathan Byrd’s victory in 2011 ended a long drought for Americans that had stretched back to 2002. This time, we’re not looking outside of the United States and our pick for the win is two-time champion Justin Thomas.
We like to look beyond the shorter prices but this tournament has, in recent years, been dominated by the best golfers in the field. We don’t expect that trend to change this year and, with such a good record at this venue, Thomas looks to be a solid pick.
There may not be a top ten market this week due to the reduced field but, in the top five betting available, the addition of Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa to the betslip will hopefully help to get 2021 off to a winning start. So these are our Tournament of Champions golf betting predictions and picks:
- Justin Thomas to win @ best odds of +700 (7/1) with Bovada. He is +650 with Bookmaker, Intertops and BetOnline.
- Top 5 Finishes: JT (best at +200 with Bovada), Scottie Scheffler (+600 with BetOnline) and Collin Morikawa (+450 Intertops, BetOnline).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.