2022 PLAYERS Championship: Odds & 3 Picks for Jon Rahm, Dustin Johnson, More
David Cannon/Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Rahm.
- An elite field is at TPC Sawgrass this week for THE PLAYERS Championship.
- Forty seven of the top 50 golfers in the world are playing this week, and Matt Vincenzi is targeting three familiar names.
- Check out Vincenzi's course breakdown and outright bets for THE PLAYERS below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 PLAYERS Championship odds via PointsBet
2022 PLAYERS Championship Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+6000|
|Harold Varner III||+12500|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+15000|
|Mito Guillermo Pereira||+15000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+20000|
|J. J. Spaun||+25000|
The PGA TOUR heads to TPC Sawgrass to play in one of the most prestigious events of the season: The PLAYERS Championship. Often referred to as the fifth major, the importance of a PLAYERS victory to the legacy of a golfer can’t be overlooked.
TPC Sawgrass is a par-72 measuring 7,245 yards and features Bermuda-grass greens. A Pete Dye design, golfers must be patient in attacking the course.
With trouble lurking at every turn, the strokes can add up quickly. With a par-5 16th that is a true risk-reward hole, and with the famous par-3 17th island green, the only safe bet at TPC Sawgrass is a bet on an exciting finish.
THE PLAYERS Championship field is often referred to as the strongest field of the year — and with good reason. There are 144 in the field, including 47 of the world’s top 50 players will be competing this week; with the only exceptions being Harris English and Bryson DeChambeau, who aren’t playing due to injury, and Kevin Na, whose wife is due to have their third child soon.
THE PLAYERS is an exceptionally volatile event that has never seen a back-to-back winner.
Past Winners at TPC Sawgrass
- 2021: Justin Thomas (-14)
- 2019: Rory McIlroy (-16)
- 2018: Webb Simpson (-18)
- 2017: Si-Woo Kim (-10)
- 2016: Jason Day (-15)
- 2015: Rickie Fowler (-12)
5 Key Stats for TPC Sawgrass
Let’s take a look at five metrics key for TPC Sawgrass to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.
1. Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes gained: Approach has historically been far and away the most important and predictive stat at THE PLAYERS Championship. With water everywhere golfers can’t afford to be wild with their iron shots. Not only is it essential to avoid the water, but it will also be as important to go after pins and make birdies because scores can get relatively low.
Total SG: Approach Over Past 24 Rounds
- Jon Rahm (+25.1) (+1400)
- Russell Knox (+25.0) (+22500)
- Will Zalatoris (+24.6) (+4500)
- Scottie Scheffler (+21.4) (+2500)
- Viktor Hovland (+21.0) (+2000)
2. Good Drives Gained
This statistic is perfect for TPC Sawgrass. Historically, driving distance hasn’t been a major factor but since the date switch to March, it’s a bit more of a factor. During this time of year, the ball won’t carry quite as far, and the run out will also be shortened.
Driving accuracy is also crucial due to all of the trouble golfers can get into off of the tee. Therefore, players who are gaining on the field with good drives will put themselves in an ideal spot this week.
Good Drives Gained Over Past 24 Rounds
- Martin Laird (+34.3) (+25000)
- Russell Knox (+30.2) (+22500)
- Chez Reavie (+23.8) (+27500)
- Matthew NeSmith (+23.8) (+27500)
- Daniel Berger (+22.9) (+3500)
3. Strokes Gained: Total at Pete Dye designs
TPC Sawgrass may be Pete Dye’s most famous design, and for good reason. The course features Dye’s typical shaved run off areas and tricky green complexes. Pete Dye specialists love TPC Sawgrass and should have a major advantage this week.
SG: Total (Pete Dye) per round over past 24 rounds:
- Brian Harman (+2.1) (+12500)
- Paul Casey (+1.9) (+7000)
- Dustin Johnson (+1.9) (+3500)
- Adam Scott (+1.7) (+5500)
- Jon Rahm(+1.7) (+1400)
4. Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
Prototypical ball-strikers have dominated TPC Sawgrass. With past winners like Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson, Webb Simpson, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas, it’s evident that golfers must be striking it pure to contend at THE PLAYERS.
SG: BS Over Past 24 Rounds
- Jon Rahm (+53.6) (+1400)
- Will Zalatoris (+37.3) (+3500)
- Luke List (+35.5) (+15000)
- Viktor Hovland (+34.6) (+2000)
- Russell Knox (+33.1) (+22500)
5. Strokes Gained: Par 5
Par 5 efficiency is extremely important at TPC Sawgrass. With all four of the Par 5’s under 575 yards and three of them under 540 yards, a good amount of the scoring needs to come from these holes collectively.
SG: Par 5 Over Past 24 Rounds
- Patrick Cantlay (+22.9) (+2200)
- Matt Fitzpatrick (+19.5) (+4000)
- Cam Smith (+16.6) (+3300)
- Seamus Power (+14.3) (+15000)
- Dustin Johnson (+13.2) (+3500)
THE PLAYERS Championship Model Rankings
Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed — SG: Approach (30%), Good Drives Gained (20%), SG: Total Pete Dye (17.5 %), SG: Ball-striking (17.5%) and SG: Par 5 (15%).
- Jon Rahm (+1400)
- Scottie Scheffler (+2500)
- Hideki Maysuyama (+2800)
- Daniel Berger (+3500)
- Justin Thomas (+1400)
- Viktor Hovland (+2000)
- Will Zalatoris (+4500)
- Russell Henley (+8000)
- Paul Casey (+7000)
- Tom Hoge (+15000)
2022 PLAYERS Championship Outright Bets
Jon Rahm +1400 (Caesars)
You’ve probably heard this countless times over the past month, but Jon Rahm is striking the ball immaculately right now.
In his past 24 rounds, the number one player in the world ranks first on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach, and Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee. In his past three starts, Rahm has gained 11.2, 7.2 and 10.1 strokes from tee-to-green. Since the calendar flipped to 2022, the Spaniard hasn’t finished outside of the top 21 in any of his six starts.
The problem with Rahm of late has been his short game. He has lost significant strokes putting and around the green in each of his past three starts.
It’s a bit bewildering to see Rahm’s chipping and putting in such poor form, considering he has been one of the most reliable players on TOUR on and around the greens throughout his career. In 112 measured starts in his career, he has gained an average of 0.9 strokes putting and 0.5 strokes around the green per event.
Despite the obvious concerns surrounding the recent struggles, I simply refuse to believe that the poor play in this area is going to continue.
At a volatile golf course like TPC Sawgrass, it is even more important to target reliable ball strikers. To say Rahm’s ball striking has been great would be an incredible understatement. “Other worldly” would be more appropriate.
To put it in perspective, over his past 24 rounds Rahm has gained 53.6 strokes. The next best, Will Zalatoris, is at 37.3. The world No. 1 is, in fact, the best player on the planet, and I have faith the rest of his game will fall into place with some patience.
In addition to playing some great golf this year, “Rahmbo” also has some encouraging history at the PLAYERS Championship. In his past two trips he has finished 12th (2019) and ninth (2021). While both finishes are solid, they also are both a bit deceiving.
In 2019, Jon Rahm was leading when he found a fairway bunker on the par-5 11th hole. Despite his caddie urging him to lay up, Rahm inexplicably went for the green and put the ball in the middle of the lake. Since then, his maturity has grown leaps and bounds which has led him to become the best player in the world.
In 2021, Rahm was in contention on Sunday but forced to play aggressively to catch up to Lee Westwood and Bryson DeChambeau. It is reasonable to assume that his finishing position would have been better if that was something that he cared about. At this stage in his career, winning events is the only thing that matters to the 27-year-old.
Despite the randomness of the event, many of the best players in the history of the game have managed to rise to the top at the PLAYERS Championship. Rahm is in form and now has the experience at TPC Sawgrass to manage the golf course effectively.
If he regains the putting stroke this week, I don’t see anyone preventing him from raising the trophy on Sunday.
Brooks Koepka +4000 (BetMGM)
Contrary to what seems to be the common misconception, Brooks Koepka is playing some pretty good golf in 2022.
He has two top-16 finishes in his last three starts and has gained strokes from tee-to-green in two of those three. In his most recent start at the Honda Classic, Koepka gained 3.3 strokes on approach and 2.0 off-the-tee.
Koepka is a big-game hunter, and the PLAYERS is undoubtedly one of the eight or so tournaments that he truly wants to add to his resume. We’ve seen in the past when Brooks slips down the odds board, he is incredibly dangerous to surprise people and get into contention.
Koepka is comfortable playing in Florida and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him play well at TPC Sawgrass, especially if the course presents a stiff challenge this week.
Dustin Johnson +4000 (bet365)
We haven’t seen much of DJ on TOUR this year, but he did have a 25th place finish at Torrey Pines in late January. Johnson also played well at the Saudi International earlier this year, finishing in a tie for eighth.
That alone isn’t enough reason to bet the 37-year-old, but the incredible betting value we are getting in this deep field is.
There are certain golfers that when they drift to a certain number on the oddsboard you just have to bet, regardless of their current form or course history. With that being said, his course history is pretty decent and he has a fifth-place finish to his name at the PLAYERS in 2019.
Since the switch from May to March, golfers who smash it off the tee have fared much better, and DJ still gets it out there. He has gained strokes off the tee in both of his 2022 starts and was smashing the driver in Saudi Arabia, as well.
The last time we saw this extreme of an odds drift on Johnson was when he slipped to +2800 at the Travelers Championship in 2020, and he managed to win the event. If he plays well enough to get into contention this week, there will be a lot of people kicking themselves for passing up on one of the best players in the world at 40-1.
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