Players Championship Best Bets: Outrights, Sleepers, Props, and Matchups
The 2023 Players Championship will feature the best golfers in the world at TPC Sawgrass starting Thursday morning. Read on for our Players Championship best bets for our favorite outright, sleeper, prop, and matchup picks.
For the fourth time in five weeks, we'll see the top golfers in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) compete against each other in an elevated event, this time in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
The Players Championship is the crown jewel of the PGA Tour and sports the biggest prize purse of the 2022-23 season. That'll add a little extra motivation for the likes of Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Scottie Scheffler as they go head-to-head once again. The most notable absence: reigning Players Champion and fifth-ranked golfer Cameron Smith, who joined the LIV Golf Invitational Series last summer.
We've broken down the Players Championship odds and offered up our top Players Championship picks; below, we'll look at our Players Championship best bets which include outright winners, sleepers, prop picks, matchups, and a first-round leader pick.
Players Championship best bets
- Outright: Collin Morikawa (+2400 via FanDuel)
- Sleeper: Rickie Fowler (+6600 via PointsBet)
- Prop: Dylan Wu top debutant (+2900 via FanDuel)
- Matchup: Wyndham Clark (-110 via PointsBet) vs. Andrew Putnam
- First-round leader: Webb Simpson (+11000 via DraftKings)
Players Championship outright pick
Collin Morikawa (+2400 via FanDuel)
Morikawa, a 26-year-old two-time major winner, has quickly become my favorite 2023 Players Championship pick to win. Though he has just two full appearances in this event (the 2020 tournament was canceled after Round 1 amid COVID-19) with finishes of T-41 and a missed cut, the price is more than right.
Morikawa rose to fame and major champion status due to his elite iron play. He struggled in that respect earlier this season, but that has come around in a big way of late, with 1.05 true strokes gained: approach per round across his last 11 measured rounds. Morikawa's outright odds are as low as +2200 elsewhere after opening as high as +2800 via FanDuel this week.
Don't worry about last week's missed cut with the relocation to a shorter venue where Morikawa's accuracy will separate him from the longer-hitting top contenders.
Players Championship sleeper pick
Rickie Fowler (+6600 via PointsBet)
One of our top Players Championship sleeper picks for the week, Fowler 2015 Players Champion has found his game in the 2022-23 PGA Tour season. Fowler is averaging 1.14 SG: approach per round across his last 12 rounds to rank seventh in this field. He's also among the top putters playing TPC Sawgrass this week.
Fowler carries odds as low as +5000 to win outright at TPC Sawgrass so we're getting excellent value via PointsBet.
Players Championship prop pick
Dylan Wu top debutant (+2900 via FanDuel)
The most popular bet in this market that's exclusive to FanDuel as of Tuesday night will be two-time PGA Tour winner Tom Kim. However, as the betting favorite for top debutant at +500, I'll fade Kim in this prop and keep my outright ticket(s) north of +4000.
This serves as a good hedge. Wu ranks 401st in the world following a lackluster T-48 finish in the Puerto Rico Open last week. That followed a T-10 at the Honda Classic against a field still much weaker than this.
However, Wu ranks fourth in this field in SG: approach across his last six measured rounds. All three names ahead of him have played this event before and two are Rahm and Scheffler. Wu also ranks second on Tour this season in good drive percentage, a key stat for TPC Sawgrass.
Players Championship matchup pick
Wyndham Clark (-110) vs. Andrew Putnam
I generally stick to plus-money underdogs when looking to bet on golf matchups, but this is an excellent value pick when needing to lay just -110 for the underdog.
PointsBet has Putnam priced at -121, and I'm not sure why. Putnam missed the cut in all three of his appearances at this event in which he completed two rounds. Though Clark missed the cut each of the past two years, as well, he enters in better form while ranking third in this field in SG: approach over everyone's last 12 measured rounds.
Players Championship first-round leader pick
Webb Simpson (+11000 via DraftKings)
Simpson is a popular outright pick this week but I'll settle for what I consider to be the more achievable outcome for him in this elite field. At 37 years old, Simpson hasn't won since 2020, and I don't see that drought ending against the best field in golf.
Simpson is a past champion at TPC Sawgrass, and though he's coming off a T-24 finish at last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, I'm inspired by his 6-under-par fourth round in which he ranked third in the field with 2.55 SG: approach and first with 3.54 SG: putting.
Leaning on those two aspects of his game is likely to help Simpson get off to a hot start, especially with his early Thursday morning Players Championship tee time.
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