After the excitement at golf’s ‘fifth major’ we come down to earth a little this week with the 20th edition of the Valspar Championship. TPC Sawgrass provided its usual drama with the 17th ending the hopes of many before Rory McIlroy came through to win by one stroke from Jim Furyk.
In 2018, Tiger Woods threatened to take out the Valspar but it was England’s Paul Casey who eventually came home. There is no Tiger this year but Casey does return for his trophy defense so let’s see what the American-friendly sportsbooks make of things.
Dustin Johnson enjoyed a strong tournament last week without ever threatening to get over the line. He ended a poor run in the Players Championship with a tie for fifth and was the only man to score four sub-70s over the four days. DJ hasn’t played this tournament since 2010 but relevant stats mean he leads the Power Rankings heading into Thursday.
Dustin Johnson is a clear favorite this week at +550 with Bovada and behind him we have a big gap to the likes of Jason Day (+1100). The Australian’s win price has tumbled from the distant odds quoted at TPC as he defied a back injury to finish tied for eighth.
The Spaniard Sergio Garcia (+1600) leads the Tour in Adjusted Scoring which could be important this week and he also has four top 20 finishes at this Copperhead course. Despite that, Sergio may not be the best man to head the Power Rankings.
Following Tommy Fleetwood’s withdrawal, other names to consider in a depleted Chasing Pack might include Jon Rahm (+1000), Webb Simpson (20/1) and Gary Woodland (22/1). Back in 2009, Woodland was the winner of the Valspar Championship, beating Simpson by one stroke.
Elsewhere, defending Valspar Champion Paul Casey (22/1) was a notable victim of the dreaded 17th at TPC Sawgrass and his odds to retain his title may have drifted as a result. That could be good news for punters as he has that good record here and he won’t face such a daunting challenge in Palm Harbor.
Casey is at the far end of a chasing pack that also includes Patrick Reed (20/1) who tied for second here twelve months ago.
Of the outsiders in the Valspar Championship betting odds, Jim Furyk (33/1) rolled back the years to push McIlroy close on Sunday. Furyk is another former Valspar champion, winning here in 2010, and he has a perfect, nine for nine record at Copperhead.
Following on are a whole host of big names who could challenge this week. Brandt Snedeker (45/1) returned yet another top ten finish on Sunday and he joins Bubba Watson (45/1), Louis Oosthuizen (40/1), Keegan Bradley (40/1), Henrik Stenson (35/1) and others as outside options. Further down don’t ignore former champions Adam Hadwin (55/1) and Charl Schwartzel (66/1).
We have clearly had some long-priced winners of this tournament in the past so, in a strong field, what will it take to win?
Our Preview’s Valspar Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
We are back in Florida this week at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor. The Copperhead course is a par 71 with a relatively generous length of 7,340 yards so there is some value in places for the big hitters but accuracy is key.
Following a recent redesign, there are punishing hazards everywhere and it is imperative to stay on the fairways. Scoring is high and in 2018, the average round came in at just a fraction under 72 so we are starting to see why Sergio Garcia’s Adjusted Scoring stats are being highly rated.
Meanwhile our previous two winners Adam Hadwin and Paul Casey have ranked well in scrambling, bogey avoidance and putting.
Only two players (KJ Choi and Retief Goosen) have won this event twice since it was incepted in 2000 and Goosen is also the Valspar Championship’s leading money earner.
All of this suggests it could be something of a lottery this week but there are strong reasons to consider the favorite. Dustin Johnson may lack in course knowledge having sat out this tournament since 2010 but form returned last week and he also has two wins in his last seven weeks of competition.
Backing the favorite may not be for everyone so the added top ten tips may be a good alternative. Casey’s meltdown at the 17th at TPC isn’t encouraging but we expect a good defence and overall, it can be a profitable four days for us in Copperhead. Here are our Valspar Championship predictions:
- Bet on Dustin Johnson to win at +600 with Intertops.
- Side with Louis Oosthuizen (+350), Gary Woodland (+225) and Paul Casey (+200) for top 10 finishes (all odds with Bovada).
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.