Sentry Tournament of Champions: Jason Sobel’s Favorite Round 1 Matchup Props
Brad Penner, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Rahm
New feature this year that I actually started during the Hero World Challenge last month: Every Wednesday through Saturday, I’ll be posting my favorite matchup bets for the following round.
Let’s kick things off with the opening round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where I’m fading some big names.
All odds courtesy of BetOnline as of 6 p.m. ET
Season record: 5-4-1, 1.29 units
Patrick Reed (+110) over Jon Rahm (-130)
I like Rahm this week. I like him so much, in fact, that he’s one of my favorites to win, on the heels of a victory at last month’s Hero World Challenge and a runner-up at this event a year ago.
And yet, I’m fading him to start. I’m banking that we learned a little something in the Bahamas. That week, Rahm won — beating Reed, who finished T-11, by 10 strokes. In the opening round, though, it was Reed who shot a field-best 65 and led Rahm by a half-dozen strokes after Thursday. I could see a similar pattern this week.
Aaron Wise (+105) over Paul Casey (-125)
In his last four starts of 2018, Wise finished 16th-or-better every time. Form can fade over the holiday break, but I think Wise should be able to retain that type of performance.
Meanwhile, Casey reportedly will have some new clubs in the bag. That kind of move normally doesn’t sway my picks as much as it does others – it’s not like he’s playing store-bought irons – but I can foresee an opening round where his touch is still a bit off.
Bryson DeChambeau (+120) over Dustin Johnson (-140)
As I detailed in my preview of this event, it’s a little ridiculous that BDC is the world’s fifth-ranked player, yet he owns the seventh-lowest odds this week. That’s called value.
Against DJ, he’ll be matched up with a player who lapped the field last year, but I think that only provides greater motivation. Besides, just wait for the first time DeChambeau leaves the flagstick in to putt. Johnson’s mind might be blown so much, it’ll throw him off for a few holes.