WGC-HSBC Champions Betting Guide: Bet Longshots at Your Own Risk
Mark Konezny, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Tyrrell Hatton
- The WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan Golf Course in Shanghai, China is usually won by the elite players.
- Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy are the favorites to lift the trophy.
- Nine players are 20-1 or shorter, which creates a top-heavy field.
The PGA’s Asian swing comes to a close this week with the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.
Although this WGC event doesn’t bring out all the stars, it will be the strongest field of the fall.
Historically the game’s elite players succeed at the HSBC-WGC Champions. Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson and Hideki Matsuyama have won four of the last five with only Russell Knox sneaking in as a surprise winner.
Sheshan Golf Club checks in at 7,261 yards for a par-72. Its par-5s are relatively easy and can give longer hitters easier scoring opportunities.
Johnson and Watson are two of the longest hitters, while both Rose and Matsuyama are excellent off the tee with their combination of above-average length and accuracy.
With those easy birdie chances, the winning score usually gets above 20-under par. Overall, there isn’t much defense for this course outside of some strategically placed water hazards that are in play on about half the holes. If a player can dodge them for four days, he really doesn’t have much else to worry about here.
Johnson and Rose are back in the field against along with the newly minted world No. 1 Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy. Those four are at the top of the betting odds between +800 and +1000.
I’d lean toward Rose or Rory in this range. But really, these guys could easily finish 1-2-3-4. Rose won last year, Brooks and DJ tied for second. Meanwhile, Rory was fourth his last time here in 2016.
This is one of those events to be cautious with because of the success of the stars at this event.
Last week with Gary Woodland, we saw where we can pick a guy at a good number, have him play his ‘A’ game and just run into a buzzsaw such as Koepka.
This tournament can cause similar trouble picking an outright winner.
With the four guys at the top at such short numbers, I figured we’d get some better value further down the board. But that really isn’t the case this week.
Jason Day checks in at +1600. Tommy Fleetwood, Matsuyama and Tony Finau are next in line at +1800. Then Francesco Molinari and Jon Rahm are right behind at +2000.
So this week, we get 10 guys at 20-1 or shorter. It appears that the oddsmakers know the top guys win and aren’t letting any of them slip through the cracks this week.
It’s tough to back any of them at those number, so I’ll dip down to the +4000 (Sportsbook) range and back Tyrrell Hatton one more time. He finished 14th last week with three doubles and a triple. If he can eliminate those huge scores, this course should fit him. He’s better when it’s not overly long and is a great putter away from Bermuda surfaces. I’ll wait out his number, because I doubt he’ll be too popular this week. I’ll also be looking for his top 5 in the +500 range.
As for outright winners, that’s it. Just one guy this week. I think too many of the top guys are playing too well and have a great history on this course. One of them is bound to ruin a breakout week by a longshot.
Instead, I’ll be focusing on the top 10s and top 20s in this range.
Matt Wallace and Julian Suri are both in the triple digits to win, and once the top 10s become available, we should be able to find something in the +750 or +800 range.
Both players have won in Europe and appear to be on the verge of bigger things in their careers. They have the talent to compete in this field, and there’s no reason they can’t find a way near the top of the leaderboard.
I’m also going with Andrew Putnam to top 20 at +950 on Sportsbook. This is the only bet locked in at the moment because that shop will have the only top-20 market this week. Putnam has played a lot of solid golf over the past four or five months and should be a fit to play well here.
There are a lot of good players at the top, but the back end of the this field is really weak with lower-end players from the Asian Tour. So we’re really asking him to beat about 35 or 40 guys this week to cash this bet. I think he can do that at a better than 1 in 9 clip.
So it’s a week with a limited card and some line watching. But we’re close to a nice cash. Sungjae Im missed a playoff by a shot, and Woodland provided some hedge options even if he couldn’t track down Brooks. Hopefully this is the week we break through in the new season.
HSBC Champions Card
- Tyrrell Hatton +4000 (.825 Units)
- Tyrrell Hatton +550 (1 units) top 5
- Matt Wallace Top 10 +650 (1 unit)
- Julian Suri Top 10 +800 (1 unit)
- Andrew Putnam Top 20 +950 (1 unit)
Total Stake: 4.825 units
Season: -12.5 units