Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Betting Guide: The Best Bets Aren’t Always on Outright Winners

Oct 30, 2018 6:45 PM EDT

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Tony Finau

  • Tony Finau and Rickie Fowler are the favorites (+1100) to win the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, which tees off Thursday at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
  • See who I'm targeting for this weekend's tournament, including a couple mid-tier guys and longshots.

After three weeks in Asia, the PGA Tour is back stateside with its annual trip to Las Vegas.

While most of us where sleeping, Marc Leishman, Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele added wins to their resume.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of the three, but we finally have a winning week under our belt thanks to an Andrew Putnam top 20 at the WGC-HSBC Champions at +950. He actually finished fourth and made for a pretty stress-free Sunday since he had about a seven-shot cushion with which to work.

Sometimes, finding outright winners can take months, so it’s important to find ways to keep the bankroll heading in the right direction while we wait for the next champion. Finding a good top-5, -10 or -20 play is the best way to do that.

The Course

TPC at Summerlin plays host to the tournament. There really isn’t anything too special or difficult about the course. It’s a manageable 7,255-yard par-71 that will provide some late drama with a drivable par-4 and a reachable par-5 that make up two of the final four holes.

Usually scores will get around 20-under par. Last year was the exception with no one cracking double digits due to really windy conditions. Patrick Cantlay came out on top at 9-under par, winning a three-man playoff. Other than that, the winner at Summerlin has finished at less than 20-under on only two other occasions: In 2009 and 2016.

I think the factor that weighs far more heavily than the course is the city itself. Las Vegas is obviously a distraction for a variety of reasons, so a player will need to be completely focused on his game that week.

We get a lot of first-time winners here. Three of the past four champions won for the first time in their careers: Cantlay, Smylie Kaufman and Ben Martin. The exception in that window was Rod Pampling, who hadn’t won in 12 years.

This event has turned into a spot for breakthrough wins for guys looking to establish themselves on tour.

The Field

Usually this is a really weak event.

Tony Finau, Webb Simpson and Cantlay were the only golfers under 20-1 in 2017. That was Simpson before he won The Players, Finau before he was contending in majors and Cantlay before he had won an event. Bigger things were coming for all three guys, but at this point last year, they were far from tour headliners.

That’s not the case this year.



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