2022 Sanderson Farms Championship Odds & Expert Picks: 6 Best Bets for Alex Smalley, Lee Hodges, Vincent Whaley & More
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Pictured: Alex Smalley.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Sanderson Farms Championship odds via Caesars
|Paul Haley II||+15000|
The new PGA TOUR season continues with its second 72-hole event of the season with this week's Sanderson Farms Championship at Country Club of Jackson.
Max Homa began the season by defending his title at the Fortinet Championship as the outright favorite, and Sam Burns will look to do the same this week as the outright favorite at a consensus +1000.
Our Action Network golf analysts are instead looking at players with longer odds to win in Mississippi this week as they have four outrights as best bets below along with one place bet and another prop bet on players to make the cut. Read on for their picks and analysis below.
Alex Smalley +6600 (BetMGM)
Chris Murphy: I’ve honed in this week on a group of golfers who have thrived playing in the Southeast as they will find comfort on the bermudagrass around Country Club of Jackson. Alex Smalley is one of those players as the Duke alum should be a great fit for this week at the Sanderson Farms.
He is a sharp ball striker when he has his game going best, and this is a course that will reward that type of play. His biggest struggles come on the greens, but we have seen players like Sergio Garcia figure out the putting stroke on these surfaces and peak to win. He is also closer to field average working on bermuda, whereas he is well below that mark on most other surfaces.
If Smalley has his best stuff tee to green, he can be in position to score, and that’s what I’m looking for with longer shots this week in Mississippi.
Keegan Bradley +5000 (BetRivers)
Matt Vincenzi: The PGA TOUR’s “swing season” is often looked at as a great opportunity to get behind some young players whose best days are ahead of them. Due to this narrative that seems to happen every fall, I believe a lot of the betting value shifts to the TOUR veterans. Outside of the favorites, there is no doubt that at this point in time, Keegan Bradley is a better golfer than most of the players on the betting board.
Bradley isn’t in the best of form at the moment, which is another reason we are getting a good number on him this week. Recent form is typically a good indicator of players who can win, but I think it can be overlooked for the most part during the fall swing. A lot of players have reset and taken a month or more off, and therefore we shouldn’t read into it as much as usual.
At the 2020 Sanderson Farms Championship, Bradley came into the event in poor form. He had missed two consecutive cuts and three of his past four. He still managed to finish fourth in the event despite struggling for the latter part of the previous season.
The Country Club of Jackson should be a great course fit for the 36-year-old. The past few years at the event have shown how favorable the course setup is for dynamic ball strikers such as Bradley. Garcia’s win here in 2021 shows the path to victory that Bradley may follow. If he can manage to gain a few strokes with the putter, he should find himself in the mix come Sunday.
Lee Hodges +13000 (DraftKings)
Derek Farnsworth: I am absolutely loving the longshot plays above, so I had to follow suit. Coming off of a week where Jordan Spieth came through as the top point-scorer, let’s try to carry that momentum into this week. Hodges was a rookie on TOUR last season and played quite well – he had four top-20 finishes and saved his best ball striking for the final part of the season. He gained strokes ball striking in seven of his last nine events.
Look for Hodges to feel extremely comfortable on these Bermuda greens, as he went to the University of Alabama and only lives a couple hours from the course. It’s about as close to a home game as he’s going to get throughout the season. He played here last year and finished T45 while gaining 3.6 strokes tee to green. Now, he’s still an extreme longshot when it comes to winning the actual event this week. For that reason, I’m going to mix in a top-five and a top-10 bet as well.
Davis Riley, Wyndham Clark and Taylor Moore – All to Make the Cut +180 (BetMGM)
Rob Bolton: There are a couple of top-40 finishes (Zac Blair and Henrik Norlander) that I like for +160 each at DraftKings, but it’s been a minute since I played a parlay.
In a week like this when the favorite is poised to disappoint and when there isn’t another runaway pick to prevail, at least in my estimation, defaulting to the baseline is the smart decision. It’s never a guarantee, of course, but safety first!
Davis Riley and Taylor Moore are in my Power Rankings at PGATOUR.com, so Clark is the kicker. Yet, he might be the most sensible to cash of the trio.
Since the Travelers three months ago, he’s 8-for-8 with a pair of top 20s, and his worst two finishes of the set occurred in a major (T76, The Open Championship) and in a limited-field, no-cutter into which he was the last to qualify (64th, BMW Championship). He has the length off the tee to bring the par 5s to their knees, and he’s logged 16 rounds in competition across five starts on Country Club of Jackson.
Emiliano Grillo +4000 (DraftKings)
Landon Silinsky: Hell must be freezing over because Emiliano Grillo has now gained strokes putting in 16 of his past 24 rounds. I used to joke that my dog William could putt better than this joker, but it appears he's worked on his game and turned a once considerable weakness into dare I say a strength?
Maybe I shouldn't go that far, but in all seriousness, if he's going to putt at even close to TOUR average, he's gotta be taken seriously, as we know his ball-striking has always been elite.
Dating back to the RBC Canadian Open, which is about 24 rounds worth of golf for most guys, Grillo ranks No. 1 in this field in Total Strokes Gained, 23rd in putting and fourth in ball-striking. His finishes in that stretch include a pair of runners-up with two additional top-25s.
His game has really come together, and he's yet to miss a cut at the CC of Jackson in three career starts, while finishing inside the top-40 on each occasion. He’s trending up and could definitely find the winner’s circle for the second time in his PGA TOUR career this week.
Vincent Whaley Top-40 +360 (PointsBet)
Spencer Aguiar: There are many routes for us to consider this week, but with most head-to-head wagers shifting in price before the release of this article, let's go toward the placement sector and see if we can't find some value in that regard.
If you have access to Dean Burmester over Aaron Rai in a matchup, I believe that is an enticing route to consider, and the same sentiment can be said about the South African landing a top-40 at +130, but I am going to follow the trend of value that everyone has laid out so well in this article already and back Vincent Whaley to produce a top-40 on PointsBet at +360.
Whaley carries this rare profile in my model of being a golfer that checks all three boxes of overall, upside and safety, but it is the latter of the equation that piques my curiosity most since these top-40 wagers need a floor to be in place if we want to enhance our value.
Whaley's 46th-place base grade for safety should give us some confidence in his ability to get into the weekend, and then it is the upside metrics that I believe where we push this bet into his more high-end potential that comes into play.
Whaley ranks behind only Sam Burns when we equally combine par-five scoring and Bermuda putting to mimic the track, which I have noted countless times this week how 27% of the holes make up 60% of the critical scoring ranges. His 56-spot improvement in Weighted Proximity and 66-place advancement in Weighted Strokes Gained: Total only adds to the Country Club of Jackson measuring out as a venue that should ideally suit his eye.
We don't need much exposure on this bet to get a sweat, but I am recommending about 0.35 units (or higher) as my preferred way to attack it on the card. For what it is worth, I did also play Whaley at 250/1 to win this tournament.