2021 WWT at Mayakoba Betting Odds & Picks: 17 Best Bets, Including Outrights, Longshots & More
Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Thomas (left) and Tony Finau.
Click here for the full odds via PointsBet
|Harold Varner III||+6600|
|Charles Howell III||+10000|
|Juan Carlos Benitez||+50000|
|Juan Diego Fernandez||+50000|
|Samuel Del Val||+50000|
|Willie Mack III||+50000|
Another week in the PGA TOUR’s fall swing brings another international stop for the world’s best golfers.
This week, the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba does bring an impressive field to the TOUR. Headlined by Justin Thomas, 13 of the World Golf Ranking’s top 32 players are in Mexico this week, including defending champion Viktor Hovland.
Our GolfBet team has already been all over winners during the 2021-22 PGA TOUR season. Rob Bolton picked his second outright winner when Hideki Matsuyama won the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP in his native Japan. Matt Vincenzi also has a winner to his name with Max Homa at the Fortinet Championship. That’s three outright winners in six weeks.
Here are the GolfBet team’s best plays for this week in Playa del Carmen.
2021 Bermuda Championship Betting Picks
Shane Lowry (+4000)
Jason Sobel: One thing I’m looking for this time of year – besides recent form and course correlations and all of the usual metrics we use to try and prognosticate leaderboards – is what the analytics community refers to with the oxymoronic phrase “positive regression” in terms of results. In layman’s terms, I’m looking for those who have played well this year and haven’t quite gotten enough out of it.
In more layman’s terms, I’m seeking players who have played well enough to win, but haven’t yet, for whatever reason.
And in the most layman’s terms possible, I’m trying to identify guys who have maybe gotten a little screwed.
I don’t know that this last one necessarily describes Lowry, who this year hasn’t posted a top-three result in an OWGR-sanctioned event for the first time in over a decade. That might sound like he simply hasn’t performed well enough, but that isn’t exactly true, either. The reality is that Lowry’s ball-striking has been as good as just about anyone’s since early-summer and his results have just seemed to have fallen a bit short of any lofty expectations.
In his last 18 starts, dating back to March, the former Open Championship winner owns a dozen top-25s and five top-10s, including a bevy of solid results at the big ones – T-21 at the Masters; T-4 at the PGA; T-12 at The Open — but nothing better than that finish at Kiawah.
It’s funny: Most elite players will insist that they’re striving for consistency over everything else, but I find it hard to believe that Lowry wouldn’t gladly give up some of this consistency for another trophy on the shelf – not that he has that choice, of course. At some point, I do believe that high-level consistency often yields greater success, as the player eventually chases down that carrot he’s been going after for so long.
There might be better reasons to pick a player to win a tournament, but armed with excellent ball-striking and short game numbers, plus solid trends, I like Lowry to follow his Ryder Cup teammate Viktor Hovland into this event’s winner’s circle, based partially on that idea of positive regression.
Tony Finau (+3000)
Chris Murphy: As the odds settled in this week, there were plenty of names that drifted into areas that we would be happy to get in an extremely strong field in the middle of the season, much less in a fall swing event.
Tony Finau was one of those, as he became a near auto-bet for me at +3000 on FanDuel. This number is just too long for a player like Finau in this field while showing good form and some strong course history.
Finau’s first win came at another coastal tournament a number of years ago in Puerto Rico, which ironically was the only win for Hovland prior to last year’s Mayakoba victory. We also saw Finau get his elusive second victory in the playoffs at the Northern Trust, which I believe will free him up for more wins this year.
Everything fits here for Finau on a course he posted a T-8 last year, and has shown comfort on this style of track. I expect he will bounce back from the nearly six shots he lost putting at the CJ CUP a few weeks ago and if he can maintain his tee-to-green play that had him gain 5.6 shots on that field, we have a steal.
Justin Thomas (+1600)
Matt Vincenzi: Justin Thomas hasn’t won an event since the PLAYERS Championship in March 2021. For most players on TOUR, a win almost eight months ago would be a pretty significant accomplishment.
But Thomas isn’t most players on TOUR.
With 16 PGA TOUR wins on his resume, Thomas ranks fourth in all-time wins for golfers who are currently playing. At just 28 years old, he is on pace to be one of the most prolific winners of his generation. Although he has been relatively inconsistent during these past eight months since the PLAYERS, there is reason to believe El Camaleón Golf Club is the perfect place for JT to break out of his “slump.”
When evaluating Thomas’ previous TOUR victories, a few things stand out. The first is that he often tends to win during “swing season”. Eight of his 16 wins have come between the months of September and January. The other glaring finding of note is his success on shorter courses. TPC Kuala Lumpur (two), Waialae Country Club, PGA National Resort and Spa and TPC Southwind are all courses where Thomas has won that are relatively short by TOUR standards.
Another aspect of El Camaleón that should suit Thomas is the paspalum greens. Thomas ranks first in the field by a large margin in Strokes Gained: Total on courses that have paspalum greens. He is gaining an average of 2.4 strokes per round on the surface and the next best is 1.8 per round (Billy Horschel).
Thomas’ high ranking on the surface is no surprise considering his amazing success on the courses that feature paspalum, including two victories at TPC Kuala Lumpur. One of the 28 year old’s biggest detriments during his relatively cold stretch has been his putter, so returning to a surface he has dominated on should help turn that around.
In addition to the course fit, Thomas also has shown some recent signs of his form coming around. In his past five starts, he’s gained an average of 3.9 strokes on approach and 5.4 from tee to green. Although the results haven’t been ideal, the opportunities have been as evidenced by his ranking of second in the field in Opportunities Gained (birdie chances within 15 feet) in his past 24 rounds.
I don’t often go towards the top of the board during the “swing season”, but at this number I feel there is still significant value on JT and expect him to earn his 17th TOUR win.
Abraham Ancer (+1600)
Rob Bolton: This is a tough one because this is the best field in the 15-year history of the tournament. All the other outrights and a couple of the longshots are worth at least a nickel of whatever you have left of your stimulus payment, but I can’t get away from the national flavor.
Justin Thomas is the odds-on favorite at DraftKings and BetMGM — as well as the No. 1 in my Power Rankings at PGATOUR.com — but FanDuel and PointsBet are protecting their houses by slotting Ancer as the guy to beat, or at least the winner who won’t cost as much if he connects.
The American-born 30-year-old, who plays under the Mexican flag, is a bona fide target in the field of 132 in Playa del Carmen. He executes at a high level across the board and he’s no stranger to El Camaleón with a pair of top 10s and another two top 25s.
Ancer also is a recent first-time winner on the PGA TOUR (at TPC Southwind), so not only has he proven that he can win at this level, but he’s also eliminated the pressure to prevail for the first time and at this stop specifically. Now, he can win merely as a coincidence.
Billy Horschel (+3500)
Landon Silinsky: I really like Thomas to win this week, but Vincenzi already laid out above why he’s such a strong bet.
Instead, I will side with Billy Ho, who absolutely loves this event. It’s not entirely surprising that a Florida boy loves the beaches of Mexico, but Horschel has taken a real liking to El Camaleon, posting a pair of top-eight finishes each of his past two years. His game suits this course, as he’s accurate off the and putts extremely well on paspalum greens.
He’s in great form as well, winning the BMW PGA Championship on the Euro Tour back in September.
It would surprise no one to see him add a seventh career PGA TOUR victory to his ledger this week at Mayakoba.
Russell Henley (+4500)
Bryan Berryman: While I’m not totally convinced Henley has exercised the demons from his absolute meltdown in the final round at the Wyndham back in August (as a Henley ticket holder that week, I’m not sure I have either), his ball striking of late is impossible to ignore.
Over the last 24 rounds he ranks first in this field in Strokes Gained: Approach and third in Tee-to-Green. The consistency he’s shown in this stretch has been remarkable. Unfortunately, his putter has been robbing him of the finishes he’s deserved.
However, taking any short term putting trend too seriously would be a mistake, as we know how volatile putting can be from week to week. Taking a zoomed out view of Henley’s career putting statistics over 216 tracked events, it is clear that he is a fantastic putter gaining over 0.7 strokes per tournament on average, which ranks 23rd in this field.
I’m hopeful that the week off gave him some much needed time to recalibrate the flat stick. If he can find the stroke again on the greens and pair that with his hot irons, he can definitely win this week.
Gary Woodland (+7500)
Jason Sobel: Here’s a lesson in how numbers don’t have to lie in order to still distort the truth a bit.
We can easily say, “Woodland has struggled recently, missing the cut in five of his last 10 starts,” and not be wrong about that statement. But we can similarly insist, “Woodland is really coming around recently, posting three top-11 finishes in his last six starts,” and not be wrong, either.
The reality is that the former U.S. Open champion hasn’t been great, but he’s rounding into some sort of form, though he remains a high-ceiling/low-floor player due to those ups and downs.
That said, Woodland is a big hitter who tends to fare well on shorter courses — much like Finau — and could continue to thrive on this 7,000-yard track, where he was runner-up four years ago.
Carlos Ortiz (+8000)
Chris Murphy: I’d make the argument that my favorite and maybe top play of the week could be with Carlos Ortiz. We are getting some nice longshot odds on a player that has proven to really love this course, with back to back top-eight finishes including runner-up in 2019.
Ortiz also carries into the week some really sharp form as he has gained more than four shots ball striking in each of his last two events, which included the strong field at the CJ CUP where he gained 5.7 shots in that metric on his way to a top-25 finish.
Ortiz has shown an ability to play well during this time of year throughout multiple seasons, capping it off with his first career win last fall at the Houston Open. He now has that experience to lean back on as he plays as a crowd favorite in his native Mexico this week seeking his second career victory.
Everything lines up really well for Ortiz to be in the mix this week, and we know he has the ability to come through in the clutch, which is all we can ask for at +8000.
Emiliano Grillo (+7000)
Matt Vincenzi: Another golfer who will benefit greatly from the paspalum greens is Emiliano Grillo. Nine of the top-24 Strokes Gained performances of his career have come on courses that feature paspalum. This is an absolutely amazing statistic considering there are only a handful of courses that meet that description. Similarly, seven of his past 13 starts on paspalum have resulted in a finish of 11th place or better.
Simply put, Grillo is a completely different player when playing on his preferred green surface. I also like the Argentine’s ability to put the ball in the fairway. Historically, golfers who keep the ball in play and rack up greens in regulation have had great success at El Camaleón.
Russell Knox (+10000)
Landon Silinsky: Knox will be making his ninth career start at El Cameleon, having made the cut in each of his first eight appearances. In those eight starts, he’s finished no worse than T-37, while also posting a runner up, T-3 and T-9 in that span as well.
Simply put, Knox circles this event on his calendar every year. In addition to the course history, Knox is coming in with some good form of late, having finished T-12 last week in Bermuda and T-29 at the Sanderson Farms a few weeks back. The Scottsman is only bettable in these fall events for the most part, as they usually feature shorter, resort style courses where his lack of distance does not hurt him. A big ask, but if he could simply get a few putts to drop this week, he’s well worth backing at 100/1 here.
Mito Pereira (+6000)
Bryan Berryman: The overall sample size of meaningful data on Mito Pereira is small, but the growing sample we do have is becoming increasingly impressive as the weeks go on.
Dating back to the John Deere in early July, Mito has played in eight TOUR events. In only one of those eight did he fail to gain at least 5.5 strokes on the field tee to green. That is a staggering statistic and one that deserves attention from the betting public.
During that stretch, Mito has finishes of sixth, fifth and third while missing only one cut.
The talent here is obvious, and I believe he will get a victory at some point during this season. While this is certainly the toughest field the young Chilean has played in, I think he has what it takes to compete this week.
Russell Henley — Top 20 (+220)
Jason Sobel: Much like Lowry, Henley is a guy who just hasn’t gotten “lucky” so to speak, with a bunch of really consistent performances this year, but no wins to show for it. The former UGA standout has been a top-25 machine, posting nine of ‘em in 21 starts in 2021, but he remains winless over the past four-and-a-half years.
That long-awaited title might not be imminent, but I do think it’ll happen at some point – and until then, his consistent play should continue, as he serves as sort of a poor man’s version of Finau or Abraham Ancer before their recent wins.
Pat Perez — Top 10 (+750)
Chris Murphy: There are few things more reliable in life than Pat Perez’s results on paspalum greens around coastal courses. He has been so consistent that he has earned an affectionate distinction in the golf betting community as the “Prince of Paspalum,” and that may be reason enough by itself to have him on the card this week.
Perez has top-eight finishes in three of his last five trips to this event, including a win in 2016. He hasn’t missed the cut in any of those tournaments, and always seems to put his best foot forward at this event.
BetMGM is giving us some inflated top-10 odds compared to the rest of the market, and they are my preferred site for bets of this kind as they pay out all ties in full. I’m in on the Prince at +750 to be in the top 10 this week as he comes back to a course that clearly fits his eye.
Billy Horschel — Top 5 (+600)
Matt Vincenzi: As evidenced by his tied for fifth performance last year, El Camaleón is a great course for Billy Horschel. Paspalum greens have been very kind to Billy in the past and he trails only Justin Thomas for Strokes Gained: Total on Paspalum. His knack for stalking putts and then aggressively trying to sink them translates nicely to the slow velcro-like paspalum greens.
Horschel has also fared incredibly well on short tracks both throughout his career and recently. He has top 10 finishes at numerous shorter courses in addition to El Camaleón his career including Waialae Country Club, Sedgefield Country Club, TPC Southwind, Harbour Town Golf Links and many others. The former Florida Gator ranks 1st in the field in Strokes Gained: Total on courses under 7,200 yards.
When examining Horschel’s skill set, it isn’t very surprising that he dominates shorter courses. He consistently puts the ball in the fairway and has gained an average of 4 strokes on the field per event in Fairways Gained, which sets him up for easy approach shots into greens for birdie looks.
The 34 year old is also in the midst of a nice stretch of golf at the moment. After finishing ninth at the TOUR Championship in September, Horschel traveled to Wentworth Golf Club in England to compete in the BMW PGA Championship. The event had an absolutely stacked field and Horschel was able to walk away with the trophy for his first European TOUR victory.
Both the course and recent form point to “Billy Ho” getting into contention in Mexico.
Thomas, Ancer and Hovland all to make the cut (-115)
Rob Bolton: Before I break down this parlay, I want to share that I looked at the hole-in-one prop at BetMGM.
The line is (-225) for an ace and +180 for none. Only one of the last seven editions of the tournament has failed to yield a hole-in-one. That was in 2019.
Furthermore, since the tournament moved to the fall in 2013, the set of four par 3s at El Camaleón has been the easiest of all courses in every season but one. That was in 2014 when the foursome ranked as the second-easiest.
So, if you like this prop, bet on a 1. For the record, I’m not officially endorsing it because of the luck factor. I’ll probably always prefer the wager for no aces, such as last week at Port Royal where three of the par 3s were predictably difficult and that prop delivered.
Meanwhile, I love this three-headed, cut-made special. It’s comprised essentially of the three favorites to win, so the value is strong, but their results over time are convincing.
- JT has cashed in both of his appearances at El Camaleón. He’s missed only one cut anywhere in the last eight months, and that was at the PGA Championship. Not that elite golfers shouldn’t be held to higher standards, but I tend to ignore failure in majors because everything all week is heightened.
- Ancer’s only missed cut in this event was in his debut as a PGA TOUR rookie in 2015. As noted above, he’s my outright, so my confidence speaks for itself otherwise.
- Hovland is the defending champion. While it’s his first experience in that role, he’s unflappable and you know he’s embracing it. He has the makeup to run toward new experiences, not away from them. He’s also missed only one cut anywhere in the last 20 months, and that was at the 2021 PLAYERS, where TPC Sawgrass makes the best humble pie.
Maverick McNealy (-115) over Sergio Garcia
Jason Sobel: There are a few reasons why I’m targeting McNealy this week, especially in matchups. He tends to play his best golf on short, tight courses, as evidenced by a runner-up at Pebble Beach and a T-4 at Harbour Town earlier this year. More evidence: He’s finished 26th-12th in two previous starts at Mayakoba, as well — and it’s safe to say he’s a more mature, improved player than he was even just a year ago.
Then there’s the fact that while McNealy’s ceiling might not be as high as some players — even Sergio — his floor certainly is.
I’ve started referring to him as this generation’s Charles Howell III, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. In his last dozen starts, the Stanford product has only missed one cut and he’s posted eight top-25 results. It’s that type of consistency that offers plenty of equity in head-to-heads, even against a player of Garcia’s caliber.
Mito Pereira (+100) over Emiliano Grillo
Bryan Berryman: There’s some solid value on the current line as I make Mito a favorite in this one.
Among players in the field, Pereira ranks first in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and Approach over the last 12 rounds. Over the last 24 rounds, he’s sixth in Strokes Gained Off-the-Tee and second on Approach. Grillo, meanwhile, is 13th Off-the-Tee and 45th on Approach.
Pereira beats Grillo in every ball-striking statistic over both timeframes, as well. There’s a clear edge in form in this matchup.
Both players are bad putters, so it’s ball striking that provides the difference in this matchup. There’s a superior player on that front, so we’ll run with Mito at a plus number this week in Playa del Carmen.
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