2022 PLAYERS Championship First Round Leader Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Keegan Bradley, Brian Harman to Start Hot

2022 PLAYERS Championship First Round Leader Odds, Picks, Predictions: Back Keegan Bradley, Brian Harman to Start Hot article feature image

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Keegan Bradley

Click arrow to expand 2022 PLAYERS Championship First Round Leader odds via PointsBet

2022 PLAYERS Championship First Round Leader Odds

Collin Morikawa+2000
Rory McIlroy+2200
Jon Rahm+2500
Justin Thomas+2500
Viktor Hovland+2800
Scottie Scheffler+3000
Xander Schauffele+3300
Hideki Matsuyama+3300
Patrick Cantlay+3300
Daniel Berger+4000
Shane Lowry+4000
Will Zalatoris+4000
Im Sung-jae+4000
Billy Horschel+4500
Brooks Koepka+5000
Cameron Smith+5000
Dustin Johnson+5000
Joaquin Niemann+5000
Max Homa+5000
Sam Burns+5000
Adam Scott+5000
Louis Oosthuizen+5000
Matthew Fitzpatrick+5000
Tyrrell Hatton+5000
Corey Conners+6000
Jordan Spieth+6000
Marc Leishman+6000
Talor Gooch+6000
Abraham Ancer+6000
Jason Day+6000
Tony Finau+6000
Paul Casey+6600
Webb Simpson+6600
Russell Henley+6600
Gary Woodland+7500
Jason Kokrak+7500
Si Woo Kim+7500
Brian Harman+8000
Cameron Young+8000
Chris Kirk+8000
Justin Rose+8000
Tommy Fleetwood+8000
Sergio Garcia+8000
Aaron Wise+10000
Bubba Watson+10000
Harold Varner III+10000
Ian Poulter+10000
Keith Mitchell+10000
Lee Westwood+10000
Lucas Herbert+10000
Luke List+10000
Seamus Power+10000
Sebastian Munoz+10000
Thomas Pieters+10000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee+10000
Tom Hoge+10000
Alexander Noren+10000
Adam Hadwin+12500
Adam Long+12500
Beau Hossler+12500
Brandt Snedeker+12500
Brendan Steele+12500
Brendon Todd+12500
Brian Gay+12500
Cameron Champ+12500
Cameron Davis+12500
Charl Schwartzel+12500
Charley Hoffman+12500
Doug Ghim+12500
Emiliano Grillo+12500
Erik Van Rooyen+12500
Francesco Molinari+12500
Hayden Buckley+12500
Henrik Norlander+12500
Hudson Swafford+12500
Keegan Bradley+12500
Kevin Kisner+12500
Kevin Streelman+12500
Lanto Griffin+12500
Martin Laird+12500
Matt Kuchar+12500
Matthew Wolff+12500
Maverick Mcnealy+12500
Nick Watney+12500
Patrick Reed+12500
Patton Kizzire+12500
Russell Knox+12500
Ryan Brehm+12500
Ryan Palmer+12500
Sahith Theegala+12500
Sepp Straka+12500
Stewart Cink+12500
Taylor Pendrith+12500
Troy Merritt+12500
Wyndham Clark+12500
Zach Johnson+12500
Taylor Moore+12500
Joel Dahmen+12500
Adam Schenk+15000
Anirban Lahiri+15000
Branden Grace+15000
Brandon Hagy+15000
Brian Stuard+15000
Cameron Tringale+15000
Carlos Ortiz+15000
Chez Reavie+15000
Denny McCarthy+15000
Dylan Frittelli+15000
Garrick Higgo+15000
Hank Lebioda+15000
Harry Higgs+15000
Henrik Stenson+15000
Jimmy Walker+15000
Joseph Bramlett+15000
Kevin Tway+15000
Lee Hodges+15000
Lucas Glover+15000
MacKenzie Hughes+15000
Matt Jones+15000
Matthew NeSmith+15000
Peter Malnati+15000
Roger Sloan+15000
Sam Ryder+15000
Stephan Jaeger+15000
Tyler McCumber+15000
Brice Garnett+15000
Chesson Hadley+15000
Danny Lee+15000
Doc Redman+15000
James Hahn+15000
Jhonattan Vegas+15000
Kramer Hickok+15000
Kyle Stanley+15000
Matt Wallace+15000
Pat Perez+15000
Richy Werenski+15000
Robert Streb+15000
Scott Piercy+15000
Cheng-Tsung Pan+15000
Mito Guillermo Pereira+15000
Scott Stallings+15000
Andrew D. Putnam+20000
J. J. Spaun+20000
JT Poston+20000
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Historically, the morning wave at the PLAYERS Championship has generated more first round leaders than the afternoon. Since it’s moved back to March, both of the first round leaders (2020 and 2021) have come from the morning wave. Hideki Matusyama opened with a 63 in 2020 before the tournament was canceled due to COVID-19 and in 2021 Sergio Garcia opened with a 65.

This year however, it looks to be a bit more breezy in the morning so that may even out the scores, nixing any wave advantage. My strategy instead will be to target a few players from both the morning and afternoon.

Although there are different ways to go about betting first round leaders, my approach typically is to bet a handful of long shots. Leading for one round of a golf tournament is far more random than winning a tournament. Therefore, I tend to target golfers who I like for the week that I may not necessarily believe can win the event, but can certainly lead for one round. 

PLAYERS Championship First Round Leader Best Bets

Keegan Bradley (+9000)

Bradley is a golfer who typically gets off to hot starts, and I believe has a far greater chance of leading after Thursday (or Friday depending on weather) than he does to win the tournament. He has been playing some great golf for a long stretch of time and has made the cut in nine of his last 10 starts. He’s gained an average of 2.3 strokes on approach in his past five starts and has some good course history at TPC Sawgrass. He hasn’t finished outside of the top 29 here in his past three trips. 

Brian Harman (+10000)

Harman’s course history around TPC Sawgrass is unmistakable, as he has finished in the top eight on the leaderboard in three of his last six trips to the course, highlighted by a third-place finish last season. That week, Harman gained 5.2 strokes from tee to green and 7.3 strokes putting. The 35-year-old is a Pete Dye specialist and ranks first in his past 24 rounds in Strokes Gained: Total at Dye tracks. It is obvious that there is something about TPC Sawgrass that fits his eye and I expect him to get off to a great start. 

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Brendan Steele (+15000)

It’s been a shaky stretch for Steele, but he finally figured out his signature ball striking last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he gained 10.1 strokes from tee to green. He was tied for third with Jon Rahm in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking, which is nothing to scoff at. His flash of brilliance with the driver and irons last week combined with his impressive course history (sixth in 2017) make him a worthy first round leader bet this week. 

Danny Lee (+18000)

Lee was scorching hot with the irons last week at Bay Hill, and seems to be rounding into form at the right time as he gained 4.3 strokes on approach. He has the type of game that can go well at TPC Sawgrass and he has done so in the past. He finished in seventh place at the PLAYERS in 2018, mainly due to his 5.7 strokes gained with the flatstick. A hot putting round isn’t extremely sustainable, but can provide a glimpse about how Lee may feel about the greens for one particular round. 

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