Sobel’s Hero World Challenge Matchup Bets: Justin Thomas vs. Tiger Woods in Round 1?

Nov 28, 2018 12:00 PM EST

Ian Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas

  • Jason Sobel details three matchup bets that have value in Round 1 of the 2018 Hero World Challenge.
  • His picks analyze the following matchups: Tiger Woods vs. Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler vs. Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson vs. Patrick Reed.

I’m starting a new feature this week that I think you’ll enjoy…

Very simple: My three favorite matchup bets each round.

Let’s kick things off with the Hero World Challenge opening round.

Bubba Watson (+110) over Patrick Reed

I don’t love Bubba this week. In fact, I listed him last in my ranking of the 18-man field. So why do I like him in this Thursday-only matchup? A few reasons. At a course he’s won on before, with fewer spectators than most events, he should feel more comfortable inside the ropes.

Really, though, this is a P-Reed fade. He’s been all over the world during the past month and it started to show effects with an opening-round 75 in his most recent appearance in Hong Kong.

At plus-money, give me Bubba here.

Rickie Fowler (-106) over Dustin Johnson

He gets criticism for not being a closer, but Fowler has figured out how to start tournaments. His past five opening-round scores: 66-68-65-65-65.

As I wrote in that ranking, I’m always a bit skeptical of DJ’s motivation in a late-year event like this, so this bet is an easy call.

Justin Thomas (-110) over Tiger Woods

Tiger looked lethargic and a bit off his game in “The Match” last week. Couple that with the fact that he’s often started slow in the past year, and it’s not hard to see why I like JT in this matchup.

Thomas should be a nice combination of well-rested and motivated against his buddy and the guy who inspired him to first start getting serious about the game.

And as he told me recently, he’s got a few tricks up his sleeve when trying to beat Tiger.

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