2020 CJ Cup at Shadow Creek Betting Picks: Our Favorite Outright Bets For the Tournament
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy
- The 2020 CJ Cup will begin at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Thursday.
- Our golf experts broke down their favorite outright bets for the tournament, including Rory McIlroy and Matthew Wolff.
- Check out our experts' full breakdown of their picks with complete analysis below.
The field for the 2020 CJ Cup is absolutely loaded. Fifteen of the top-20 golfers in the world are on the board this week and that should make for some drama, both on the course and at the betting window.
Jon Rahm, who opened as the second-choice at +1000, is now the tournament favorite with Dustin Johnson out of the field. Rahm hasn’t played since the U.S. Open where he finished T23, but the Spaniard was nothing short of spectacular during the summer months.
Rahm has plenty of elite company at the top of the board, including Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy. The in-form Matthew Wolff, fresh off his runner-up finish at the Shriners, is also listed among the favorites at +1800.
Will one of the big names come out on top at Shadow Creek? Our golf analysts discuss their favorite outright bets for the CJ Cup:
Xander Schauffele (+1200)
Maybe it’s a cliché at this point to blindly pick Schauffele at a limited-field event, but history shows this should be right up his alley. The truth is, he checks a couple of the boxes we’re shooting for, as he’s also overdue for a victory, having failed to win since the opening week on the 2019 calendar (despite what it says on his OWGR bio for having the lowest 72-hole score at this year’s TOUR Championship).
Xander is hardly ever a poor idea for a pick, but for whatever reason he tends to focus better when he knows he’s going heads-up against the world’s best players.
Throw in the fact that he recently mentioned his girlfriend’s parents live in Vegas and he’s strongly considering moving there, and his comfort level could be through the roof this week.
Matthew Wolff +1800
With two runner-up finishes in his last two starts, Wolff is arguably in the best form of anybody in this field.
Wolff has always had the length to contend at any course, but his irons were a little inconsistent. That isn’t the case anymore as the 21-year-old has only lost strokes on approach once over his last eight tournaments.
Couple that with an ever-improving short game and he’s well on his way to racking up wins at an elite level.
Daniel Berger +3500
There have been a handful of players that stand out above the rest since the hiatus. You could certainly make the case that Daniel Berger has been one of the most consistent players during that stretch. He has a win and three other top-3 finishes in the nine events he has played since the PGA TOUR resumed play.
Berger’s form is certainly good enough for me to buy at this number, but I like the added Masters narrative as well. Berger is one of the few top players in this field not working in tune up for next month’s Masters as he got left out when he wasn’t qualified prior to the originally scheduled April date and has not received special exemption despite being ranked 13th in the current World Golf Rankings.
I’ll buy in on a top player, in great form, with a chip on his shoulder at 35-1.
Rory McIlroy (+1100)
We are coming up on a calendar year since the last time Rory McIlory has won a golf tournament. After a tough stretch after the restart, we finally saw Rory start to round into form at the U.S. Open. He gained 5.8 strokes off of the tee and 7.4 strokes tee to green which is what we are accustomed to seeing out of the former World No. 1.
McIlroy has been great in fall events with his most recent win coming at the WGC HSBC last November. Rory also ranks first in this field in Strokes Gained: Total on Par 72 tracks over 7,400 yards.
While this is a desert course, it doesn’t necessarily look or play like your typical desert course. With creeks, mounds and hills, the style of the course feels a lot more like a Carolina course with a good corollary course being Quail Hollow (another Par 72 over 7,400 yards). Tom Fazio designed both Shadow Creek and Quail Hollow and I see some similarities with the course layout.
Of course, Rory has a remarkable history at Quail Hollow with two wins (2010, 2015) and has the current course record of 61 (2015).
Given McIlroy’s success in smaller fields and no cut events, I anticipate The CJ Cup at Shadow Valley should be a perfect spot for him to get back into the winner’s circle.