WGC-Mexico Championship Betting Guide: Is Justin Thomas the One to Beat?

Credit:

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Justin Thomas, Billy Horschel

  • Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnston are co-favorites at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship this weekend.
  • The high altitude in Mexico City makes this course play shorter than almost any on tour, so distance doesn't play a huge factor.

Nothing really went well for us at Riviera last week.

Hideki Matsuyama used a strong final round to cash our best bet with a top 20 finish, but neither he, Cam Smith nor Sergio Garcia were ever in contention.

This will be a busy week on tour with a couple of tournaments, but the WGC-Mexico Championship is where the best will tee it up.

This is the third iteration of this event and the first two trophy-lifters were big names: Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

Johnson was the favorite in the inaugural event, while Mickelson was near the top of the odds at +2000 in 2018.

The Course and the Altitude

Chapultepec checks in as a par 71 that measures at 7,345 yards, but it’s not going to play anywhere near that long. After adjusting for the 7,800 feet of elevation in Mexico City, we’re looking at a course that is essentially 6,600-6,700 yards. Basically, it’ll play like the shortest course on tour.

Because of that, the driver isn’t as important as finding the fairway and having a strong wedge game. Length is still an advantage though for those disciplined enough to take irons off the tee, find the fairways and rely on their short irons.

The Field

Like with most WGC events, it’s the cream of the crop here this week. Justin Rose, Jason Day and Adam Scott won’t be in attendance, but we have the rest of the big names. The field will consist of 71 players and will not have a cut.

Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson are currently the co-favorites at +1000 with Rory McIlroy right behind at +1200.

The next tier consists of Bryson Dechambeau (+1600), Jon Rahm (+1600) and Rickie Fowler (+1800).

Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka close out the top 8 at +2000.

With the majority of the best players here on a course where the favorites have reigned so far, we’re seeing some pretty balanced odds at the top.

The Favorites

Thomas has really been trending in the right direction. He’s leading the tour in strokes gained: approach and has finished in the top three in three of his last four events. He appeared to have the Genesis Open locked up, but he was unable to handle the windy conditions as well as J.B. Holmes.

Similar to last week, he’s the one I worry about wrecking the betting card.

Tyrrell Hatton finished in the top 10 at the WGC-Mexico Championship in 2017 and 2018. Credit: Sean Logan, USA Today Sports.

The Mid-Tier

With two tournaments and a top heavy field where the favorites have been successful, I’ll go pretty light on the card here.

I’ll try Sergio Garcia here one more time. The Spaniard is as high as +5350 around the market even though he’s been in the top 15 here in his previous two starts. Only six players made more birdies at Riviera than Garcia’s 18, but he also made 13 bogeys and a triple, so it will be more about him cleaning up mistakes this week.

Next, I’ll go with Tyrrell Hatton at +7850. As mentioned, he’s one of just a handful of guys with a pair of top 10s here. He’s not the longest player, so this course will neutralize the distance advantage others have on him. He’s not entering in the same form as in the past two years, so it’s more of risk this time. But at that number, I’ll take the chance.

The Longshots

I’ll dive back in here with Cameron Smith at 100-1. He’s much better suited for a course of this length compared to Riviera. With the driver bagged for most of the longer hitters, that will give Smith a better chance to contend here. Couple that with double the number we saw last week and a smaller field and I’ll take another chance with the young Australian.

I also like Billy Horschel here at 115-1. Horschel is one of the few long shots who has shown the ability to contend against elite fields. His game is also in solid form with four top 25s so far in the 2018-19 season.

The Card

  • Sergio Garcia +5350 (.62 units)
  • Tyrell Hatton +7850 (.42 units)
  • Cameron Smith +10000 (.33 units)
  • Billy Horschel +11500 (.29 units)

Total Stake: 1.66 units

Season: -0.9825 units

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