Tournament of Champions Betting: Early Picks That Offer Value
Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Reed
- Patrick Reed (+2500) is one way to find early betting value in the Tournament of Champions, which tees off on Jan. 3 in Hawaii.
- See who else I'm targeting ahead of next weekend's tournament, which might not include players like Justin Rose and Tiger Woods.
The 2019 golf calendar kicks off with the Tournament of Champions.
The field is limited to players who won during the 2018 calendar year, so while we’ll see big names like Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, winless stars like Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth will be noticeably absent.
Odds are up a week early, which I believe is giving us a little extra value. While we know only winners can play this event, not everyone who actually won during 2018 will make the trip to Hawaii.
Two notables at the top of the odds list rarely play the event. Justin Rose, who is currently second on the betting sheet at +700, and Tiger Woods (+850) rarely tee it up at Kapalua. Rose hasn’t played the event since 2011 while Woods hasn’t since 2005.
The field will be finalized on Friday, but in the meantime, having those two at the top of the board when they’re unlikely to play provides a little extra advantage to the bettor.
I’ve targeted three players who I think could see a dip in their number when players eventually pull out of the event.
>> All odds as Wednesday night. Download The Action Network App to get real-time odds and track your bets
Patrick Reed (+2500)
I’m starting my card with Reed. He’s played well in his past three appearances on the course, winning in 2015 to go along with a second- and sixth-place finish.
The course plays relatively easy, especially off the tee, which has been Reed’s weakness. Without much danger off the tee, the course is tailored to Reed’s strengths.
He comes in with some good form to close out 2018. Reed played three solid rounds at the WGC event in China before a poor Sunday derailed him. He also finished second at the European Tour Championship in Dubai last month.
If anyone withdraws, we could see this number drop into the +1800 to +2000 range.
Billy Horschel (+5500)
Horschel will come in a bit under the radar, but he strung together three great finishes in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and didn’t miss a cut during the fall swing in four starts.
His iron play was great to close out the 2018 season — he gained strokes with the approach in nine straight events. If he can carry that play over, he’ll give himself plenty of birdie opportunities on this course.
Horschel likely won’t garner much action this week, so his odds might not drop regardless of the who ends up in the field, though they could take a slight dip to +5000.
Ian Poulter (+8000)
Poulter’s odds are way too high for a field of around 35 players. Even with the full field, I was expecting him to be in the +5000 to +6600 range, and I’d expect him to drop down there once Woods and/or Rose confirm their absence(s).
Poulter is in a similar mold to Horschel; he’ll rely on the irons and putter to compete at this birdie fest.
It’s been six years since Poulter was eligible for this event, but he did finish inside the top 10 his two appearances in 2011 and 2013.
2019 Tournament of Champions Card
Next week, we’ll dive further into the course and field once everything is finalized (and maybe have more picks). But when a book provides us with a little extra value, it’s important to take advantage.
- Patrick Reed +2500 (1.32 units)
- Billy Horschel +5500 (.6 units)
- Ian Poulter +8000 (.42 units)
Total Stake: 2.34 units
Season: -16.46 units