2024 Players Championship Betting Preview

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The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass is one of the most famous places in golf. The Island Green on the 17th is one of the most iconic holes anywhere in the world. And the Players Championship during the PGA Tour’s early-season Florida swing always has one of the most star-studded fields.

No one has won back-to-back Players Championships in the 50 years that it has been with us. But very few defending champions come into the tournament as a winner the week before. That is where things stand with the 2023 champion Scottie Scheffler, who won last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The Players, as it is known on the PGA Tour, is often called golf’s unofficial fifth major. It features 144 players that qualify by winning an event over the previous year, winning a major over the previous five years, ranking in the top 125 from the previous season’s FedEx Cup points list, or ranking in the top 50 from the Official World Golf Rankings.

It is one of the most complete fields in all of golf.

Favorites to Win The Players Championship

Scottie Scheffler (+700)

Jon Rahm (+900)

Rory McIlroy (+1000)

Viktor Hovland (+1400)

Brooks Koepka (+1400)

Patrick Cantlay (+1800)

Xander Schauffele (+2000)

Cameron Smith (+2500)

Ludvig Aberg (+2500)

Justin Thomas (+2800)

Jordan Spieth (+2800)

Collin Morikawa (+2800)

Will Zalatoris (+2800)

History is working against Scheffler. The 2022 champion, Cameron Smith, wasn’t allowed to compete because of his affiliation with LIV Golf. But for the dozens of past champions who were on hand to defend their title, it didn’t work out. Justin Thomas was the winner in 2021. But in 2022, he was T33, 10 shots off the lead. There was no tournament in 2020. But 2019 champion Rory McIlroy was there in 2021 to defend his title, yet he didn’t make the cut.

Golf online sportsbooks have made Scheffler the deserved favorite. He’s also had a terrific start to this season, with a T5 at the Sentry, T6 at Pebble Beach, T3 in Phoenix, and his win last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. But other than last year on this event, he’s not been good. In 2022, he finished T55, and in 2021 he didn’t make the cut.

Jon Rahm was T9 at The Players in 2021, and T12 in 2019. Outside of those two tournaments, he’s never finished better than T55. He’s been with LIV Golf for all of this season, so how he is playing compared to the rest of the field is hard to accurately gauge. Last week in Hong Kong, he finished T8.

McIlroy has yet to crack the top 20 this season, and since his win here in 2019, he hasn’t been good. He missed the cut twice and finished T33. But in 2013, 2014, and 2015, he finished in the top 10 each year.

Longshots Worth a Look

In 2019, The Players Championship moved to March, and only four golfers have since made the cut each tournament. Brian Harman at +8000 is one of them. He was T12 last week at the Arnold Palmer and T5 at the Sentry, and he is the current champion at the British Open. Justin Rose has struggled in the early going this year, but he was T11 at Pebble Beach, and last year at this event, he was T6. In 2019, he was T8. At +9000 to win at BetUS.com, Rose is excellent value.

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