Wells Fargo Championship 2022 Odds, Picks, Predictions: Corey Conners Headlines Sobel’s Best Bets
Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Connors.
- Rory McIlroy and Corey Conners sit atop the odds board for the Wells Fargo Championship.
- McIlroy is the defending champion, although there is value further down the board at TPC Potomac.
- Jason Sobel previews the tournament and makes his betting picks for this week below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Wells Fargo Championship odds via PointsBet
2022 Wells Fargo Championship Odds
|Si Woo Kim||+4000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+20000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+50000|
|Dawie Van Der Walt||+50000|
Coming off a Mexico Open tournament where we had no previous analytical data from the world’s best players on that host venue, it will feel like a wealth of information at our disposal for this week’s Wells Fargo Championship.
With Quail Hollow playing host to this year’s Presidents Cup, the event is taking a one-year detour to TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, a course that offers at least a modicum of familiarity.
Formerly known as TPC Avenel, this track played host to the Quicken Loans National in 2017 and 2018. Prior to that, it held Korn Ferry Tour events in 2012 and 2013, and a senior major championship in 2010. It also hosted the PGA TOUR’s Kemper Open/FBR Capital Open/Booz Allen Classic from 1987 to 2004, then again in 2006 for a final time.
We can debate how helpful that previous intel will be for a course that has changed over the years, but here’s what we do know: At 7,160 yards, it ranks on the short end of the PGA TOUR host spectrum, though it is a par-70, with only two par-5 holes on the course.
Played on bentgrass greens, this is as “Northeast” as we’ll get until the U.S. Open/Travelers Championship double next month.
Oh — and good luck trying to predict a score this week. In 2017, Kyle Stanley won a playoff after finishing at 7-under. The next year, the winning total was 21-under, though Francesco Molinari blitzed the field, winning by eight.
If there’s a common bond, it’s that at their best, Stanley and Molinari were two deadly accurate iron players who could carve up a course.
With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s plays, led by a world-class ball-striker who’s trending in the right direction.
One player to win the tournament.
Corey Conners (+2000)
I’ll get this out of the way right off the bat: I don’t love the number.
No, that’s not quite right. I hate it. Abhor it. Wish it was bigger, needed it to be bigger.
In a field with a half-dozen players ranked inside the top-26 of the Official World Golf Ranking, taking the guy ranked 31st who’s priced ahead of all of ‘em except one feels overvalued — especially considering that player owns just one career victory.
All of this leads to the great existential crisis that golf bettors face on a regular basis: Should I simply bet the player whom I most like to win the tournament, or chase a bigger price with better value?
If the latter, then I like going with an admittedly struggling Webb Simpson (+6000) at triple the odds. (A bigger number than Jason Day!)
For the former, though, I’ll stick with Conners, whose short number makes sense, considering he’s finished top-12 in four of his past six starts. In the last two of those — the RBC Heritage and the Masters — Conners finished positive Strokes Gained: Putting for the week. This essentially confirms what we’ve always known about one of the game’s better ball-strikers: If he rolls it just above average, then he will get himself into contention.
The good news is that unless you’re writing a preview column with just a lone favorite outright play, you can bet both your favorite player to win and some value plays. So, this really shouldn’t be an either/or situation.
I still wish we could find Conners maybe 5-10 points higher — and we should thoughtfully consider the strategy of hoping for a potential lackluster opening front-nine on Thursday, then jumping on a better live number.
For now, I’m going to stick with the guy I liked before the odds were released, despite really hating those eventual odds.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
Tony Finau (+2500)
Coming off that extreme heater Sunday afternoon in Mexico, and with an improved putter that appeared much improved over the first two rounds, I’d expect Finau to be a popular play this week.
We often rightly give him credit for being one of the longer hitters around, but Finau often plays some of his best golf on shorter courses. There are plenty of reasons to like Finau this week — and I’m fine with that, obviously, as I’ve listed him as an OAD play here. Although, I’m secretly hoping for another promising performance so that we have reason for optimism entering the year’s second major championship in two weeks.
Keith Mitchell (+4000)
Just as I’m offering Finau as a potential play while also hoping he merely uses this event as another step in the right direction, the same idea holds true for Mitchell.
A player who’s been on my list this year more times than he’s been off it, I don’t necessarily like him any more or less at this one, but there’s a greater lesson at play: When you’re already pot-committed on a player, don’t run away for the simple fact that you’ve bet him too many times already. Whomever that player is, there’s a reason you liked him in the first place. In any case, for those who haven’t been riding the Killa Keith Train this year, he’s certainly an OAD possibility at this one, not to mention a consideration in other betting formats, too.
Denny McCarthy (+8000)
There are plenty of players about whom – as I mentioned with Conners above — we often say, if they can just putt to a decent level, their ball-striking should lead them to the leaderboard. McCarthy is the opposite. One of the game’s best putters, he’s “only” ranked 20th this season after leading the PGA TOUR in this category in both 2019 and ’20.
There’s some reason to think his ball-striking is improving, though, as he ranks 100th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this season. At what is essentially a hometown event for the Maryland native, if he can hit the ball just a bit above average and make his usual dose of putts, McCarthy should find himself in the mix come this weekend.
C.T. Pan (+8000)
A start-stop-start-stop couple of rounds at The Players Championship led to Pan’s only MC since February. Other than that, he’s been good-but-not-great, coming off a T29 in Mexico where he gained strokes in every major category other than around the green. As I often write, OADs are about game theory. If you’re leading and trying to stiff-arm your fellow poolsters, this probably isn’t the right play to tread water, but if you’re way back and need a Hail Mary contrarian pick, you could do a lot worse than this.
Satoshi Kodaira (+25000)
Take that theory and triple it (or just a little more, according to the odds) for Kodaira, who’s coming off a T15 result on a lengthy course which shouldn’t suit him too well and should have a bit more luxury on a shorter track here. I’ll be impressed if many OADers have the intestinal fortitude to play Kodaira as their lone pick for the week, but he certainly pops as a longshot with tons of value in the betting markets.
One player to finish top-five.
Troy Merritt (+600 for top-five)
One of my favorite plays on the board this week, I’ll have Merritt in a few different bets and platforms. He was T17 at the Quicken Loans on this course four years ago, won not too far away at RTJ back in 2015 and owns some nice recent form, with a T12 at the RBC Heritage and T4 at the Valero Texas Open in his last two starts.
The 36-year-old isn’t usually a guy who excites us too much in the marketplace, but there are plenty of signs that he’s trending in the right direction. In addition to those aforementioned results, he ranks in the top-half of the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, inside the top-third for approach shots and inside the top-25 putting.
If there’s a major weakness, it’s less in anything technical and more in his round-by-round scoring; though he’s 64th or better in R1, R2 and R3 scoring average, he ranks 152nd in final-round average.
Those recent strong finishes have included final-round totals of 68 and 69, though, so perhaps there’s reason to believe the two-time winner can climb the Sunday board once again.
One player to finish top-10.
Joel Dahmen (+500 for top-10)
I’ve often written about “momentum” players – those who need to build on some form in order to have a better future performance. It’s difficult to contest that Dahmen qualifies for this label, considering his lone PGA TOUR victory to date came on the heels of three straight MCs (and six in his previous seven starts).
That said, many of his other strong finishes over the past few years have come in bunches. He comes into this week off a T12 at the RBC Heritage, during which he gained strokes off the tee, on approach shots and putting, while in contention for much of the week. I like taking a chance that this week’s finishing place can be just a few notches higher.
One player to finish top-20.
It’s largely been all-or-nothing for Hossler this year, but we can use that to our advantage. While he’s MC’d in half of his 10 starts, he also owns a pair of top-fives and four of those five made cuts have been top-20s.
While it’s perhaps taken a bit longer for Hossler to turn into a consistent presence at the highest level than we might’ve guessed, he’s on the verge of taking the next step in his career, even if it’s a gradual one, and owns some solid value this week. A share of sixth place the last time a PGA TOUR event was held here should give us even more reason for optimism.
One player to finish top-30.
You probably liked Hubbard last week. And for good reason. Between starts on the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry, he’d finished top-15 in five of his previous seven starts. He’s obviously playing some really solid golf. Then last week, on a 7,456-yard course, one of the shorter hitters around (he ranks 200th out of 209 players this season) “only” finished in 51st place.
This week, of course, he’ll be playing a track that’s 300 yards shorter, which should have us liking him more than we did in Mexico, as that recent form presumably hasn’t gone anywhere.
One player to finish top-40.
When last we saw Ryder, he was busy finishing in solo third place alongside Doc Redman at the Zurich Classic two weeks ago. Luckily, the oddsmakers have largely forgotten about that result and instead priced him for the five consecutive individual stroke-play events where he hasn’t finished better than 60th place. That doesn’t exactly inspire confidence for a top-40 this week, but it’s still a very conservative play on a talented player who might’ve acquired some confidence himself from that team finish in NOLA.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
Betting golf on a regular basis means receiving an ever-evolving series of lessons, like this one, which we learned (again) at last week’s Mexico Open: Sometimes it’s a good idea to take the most talented player in the field and use him in your lineups. Granted, Jon Rahm was the chalkiest chalk we’ve ever seen in DFS, but it was a move which paid off – or more to the point, it was a move which, if you didn’t make it, then it definitely did not pay off.
There’s plenty of reason to believe that McIlroy could offer similar rewards – or similar penalty for not playing him. The defending champion isn’t defending at the course where he won (again) last year, but he should have some good vibes in the D.C. area, where he claimed his first career major championship title more than a decade ago.
If you’re using Rahm as the blueprint and want to go lone-wolf with Rory as an outright bet and in OAD pools this week, I certainly wouldn’t blame you, as he should still have some mojo coming off that final-round 64 to close the Masters in his most recent start. The smartest investment, though, might be in DFS, where he likely won’t be Rahm-level chalky, but enough that you can get aboard with the masses and try to differentiate in the other five spots.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
Oooh … I’ve been waiting for this one. The world’s fourth-ranked amateur has already announced he’ll return to Oklahoma State next season, but the scuttlebutt is that his game is already pro-ready.
In seven college starts this year, he owns two victories and two other top-three finishes. Even though he’s only 1-for-3 in making cuts at the PGA TOUR level (with a T45 at last year’s Sanderson Farms Championship), there’s reason to believe this could be a much better result.
I like him for props up to and including a top-20, but think he owns the most value in DFS, where many of your fellow competitors in big contests will skip right over a largely unknown name.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Russell Henley (+3000 for FRL)
Though his torrid run of Thursday performances has cooled off a bit, Henley still might own more value for a single-round wager than a full-tourney one. The UGA product started off this season with an eye-popping run of first-round scores: 67-68-65-65-64-62-67. Since then, he’s broken 70 in just two of six opening rounds (albeit at some tougher scoring courses), but still ranks third on the PGA TOUR in first-round scoring average and first of those in this week’s field.
I’m still waiting for Henley’s impressive analytics to lead to his next victory – and it would hardly come as a surprise if it happens this week – but I feel more comfortable banking on him for FRL instead.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Kevin Streelman (+8000)
One of three players who own the TPC Potomac course record – Streelman, Francesco Molinari and Abraham Ancer each posted a round of 62 four years ago – he’s made the cut in five of his last seven starts, with four of those finishes at 22nd or better.
Streelman is a course-horse type, meaning he tends to play the same tracks well each year, so he’s likely licking his chops at the opportunity to head back to a place where he’s broken 70 in five of eight previous rounds.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value.
Tyrrell Hatton (+2000) · Keegan Bradley (+2800) · Matt Kuchar (+5000) · Brian Harman (+6500) · Brendan Steele (+10000) · David Lipsky (+10000) · Alex Smalley (+13000) · Lanto Griffin (+15000) · Peter Malnati (+15000) · Branden Grace (+20000) · Hayden Buckley (+30000)
The Big Fade
One top player to avoid at this tournament.
Paul Casey (+3500)
Following what was essentially a full withdrawal from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play due to a back injury, it looked like all systems go for Casey at the Masters, but the same lingering injury led to a late WD at that one, as well.
My guess is that Casey has done enough over those two weeks to keep his name off your betting card for a while, but we can all use a little reminder: Even if he’s fully healthy this week, I’ve got to believe he’s looking at this as little more than a rehab stint before the major championship season starts back up again in a few weeks.
That doesn’t mean he can’t find something; it doesn’t mean that he can’t play some good golf if he’s pain-free. I’d rather hold off, though, until we get some proof — especially at this price.