Players Championship First-Round Matchup Bets: Stick with Charles Howell III
Reinhold Matay, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Charles Howell III
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – With the move from May to March, PGA Tour executives knew they were flirting with some potentially colder weather for The Players Championship.
And while that weather is coming this weekend, the opening round should be downright perfect, with high temps of 75, no precipitation and some soft breezes circulating throughout the day.
Let’s get to my favorite three matchups for the first round, in a field filled with tough decisions.
Charles Howell III over Aaron Wise by -0.5 (-120)
Going back to the well for one of the game’s most consistent players – and one of its’ quickest starters. If you’ve been placing money on CH3 in various forms this year, you’ve likely been doing very well.
On a ball-striker’s course, there’s no reason to think he won’t follow that form this week. Wise, on the other hand, hasn’t quite matched his success of last year yet. It’ll come at some point, but I’ll bet against that point being Thursday at The Players.
Patrick Rodgers over Chez Reavie (+110)
It feels like the books haven’t yet corrected for Reavie’s fall back to Earth after the West Coast Swing ended. He’s a much better player on the left side of the country, but his fairways-and-greens play rarely translates to Florida-based events.
Meanwhile, Rodgers has a nice record here and owns some value in this matchup, at plus-money against a guy he could maybe even be favored over. I like a nice first round for Rodgers to pay this one out.
Ollie Schniederjans over Abraham Ancer (+135)
I list this bet with a bit of trepidation, because the hatless Schniederjans hasn’t been good this season.
But this line is clearly juiced too much in Ancer’s favor, following missed cuts in three of his last five starts on a course which shouldn’t suit his game all that well. I don’t expect either player to go low, but if Schniederjans can keep it around even-par for the day, I think he can cash this bet.