WGC-Mexico Championship Round 3 Odds & Picks: McIlroy’s Price Still Not High Enough to Back Him This Weekend
Hector Vivas/Getty Images. Pictured: Rory McIlroy during the second round of the World Golf Championships Mexico Championship.
Even as someone who picked Rory McIlroy to win this week’s WGC-Mexico Championship pre-tournament, I was a bit shocked when his odds dropped from +600 before the opening round to a mere +130 after grabbing the Thursday night lead.
Yes, you read that right — after one round, with 54 holes left to play, against a field of 71 of his world-class peers, McIlroy’s odds had dropped to just a bit higher than even-money.
Look, I get it: He’s the No. 1-ranked player and obviously in form, but I could never condone taking him at that +130 number. I mean, I liked him to win before the tourney started and I could hardly even recommend him at +600.
Well, if we actually needed a reminder for not betting a player at such low odds with so much golf left to play, he offered one Friday, posting a 2-under 69 while getting lapped by several other competitors, landing in sixth place on the leaderboard entering this weekend.
McIlroy has now dropped to +340 (FanDuel Sportsbook), tied for tourney favorite alongside Justin Thomas with two rounds left to play – and you’ll never believe it, but I have a difficult time recommending him at this number, too.
A three-shot deficit is hardly insurmountable, but if the oddsmakers can ever put an early jinx on a player — even if they’re covering their own liability in the process — it might’ve happened in this case.
There are also a few other reasons I’m not all-in on Rory right now:
- Thomas is lurking right now, posting rounds of 67-66 without yet playing his best golf on a track he’s proven he likes.
Bryson DeChambeau is the current leader and as he told me after Sunday’s final round at Riviera last week — and as I reported afterward — he’s finally feeling dialed in with his wedges and putter after gaining so much muscle in the offseason, which means he could be on the verge of some big success.
In the wake of further cheating accusations this week, Patrick Reed keeps contending, all of which basically serves as a microcosm for his entire career.
Hideki Matsuyama is knocking on the door — and he’s a guy who tends to improve as the week progresses.
Remember, I’m the guy who picked McIlroy to win this week. I’m not backing off that assertion, but picking a player to win and betting on him aren’t mutually exclusive. Unless you’re just trying to buy a better price after jumping on at +130 (and I really hope you didn’t do that), I’d still hold off on him at the current number.
Round 3 Matchup
Gary Woodland (+185) over Tommy Fleetwood and Louis Oosthuizen
This should be a fun three-ball between a talented group of players who each need to go low Saturday in order to put themselves into contention entering the final round.
All currently 3-under and eight strokes behind the leader, they’ve gotten there in different ways over the first two rounds. Oosthuizen has putted very well so far, going against his usual reputation, Fleetwood has been more balanced and Woodland has enjoyed the best ball-striking performance of the three.
I’ll take the guy with the form that’s less fleeting.
I expect the reigning U.S. Open champion to continue hitting the ball well in the third round, while the putting should come around. Much has been made of Golf Club de Chapultepec being a mid-length courses that plays so much shorter due to altitude and while that would seem to negate Woodland’s inherent distance advantage, he tends to play well on short courses that don’t require much length.
This isn’t the easiest matchup to predict, but at nearly 2-1, I like the number on Woodland to come out on top.