Check out our picks for The Players Championship 2021.
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March is here, and you know what that means: The Players Championship is just around the corner. Though golf has many major tournaments over the course of each year, this one is considered one of the biggest—in large part because of its season-high prize purses, which checks in at $15 million this year. This is all to say that yes, we have picks for The Players Championship 2021.
However, because the Arnold Palmer Invitational is about to tee off as of this writing, sportsbooks have not yet released The Players Championship odds. Don't worry, though. These lines are coming. Sportsbooks like Bovada, BetOnline, and BetUS will have them shortly.
For the time being, here's a list of the projected participants whose odds we think are worth monitoring the most:
Make sure to check with sportsbooks to see when they post their odds. You'll have very little time to capitalize on pre-tournament outrights following the end of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. You can also just come back and look at this table.
Now, let's get to some picks for The Players Championship.
The Players Championship Picks
We're going to take a different route this time. Rather than look at your best outright options for The Players Championship, we're instead going to get right to our predicted winner. While we'll talk about a couple of other options, we'd much rather dedicate time to some alternative bets you can make beyond outrights.
The Players Championship 2021: Winner Prediction
Quality options abound for The Players Championship. Many bettors like to gravitate toward the reigning champion. In this case, that would be Rory McIlroy.
He's not a bad option by any stretch. He remains the No. 8 ranked golfer in the world. But the last Players Championship took place in 2019 rather than 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The same rules can't apply when we're two years into the future.
Beyond that, investing in the most recent winner is hardly a proven strategy. The Players Championship has never had the same golfer emerge victorious in back-to-back tournaments.
Patrick Cantlay, who has never finished higher than 22nd at The Players Championship, feels like he's overdue for a win. The 2018 winner, Webb Simpson, is a great bet considering he's statistically one of the most consistent and precise players right now. Brooks Koepka appears to be rounding into form after an injury-plagued 2020.
But we just can't bring ourselves to pick against Dustin Johnson. He is the hottest golfer in the galaxy right now. He won the 2020 Masters by five strokes and finished second at the Houston Open. Both results came after he contracted COVID-19, putting to bed the notion that he would somehow be unable to perform.
Identifying winners for The Players Championship is always a crapshoot. The field is forever brimming with talent. But Dustin Johnson deserves to be the heavy favorite.
OSB Prediction: Dustin Johnson Wins The Players Championship
Will There Be a Playoff at The Players Championship?
Most sportsbooks will offer a fairly wide range of props heading into The Players Championship. Determining whether there will be a playoff at the end is one of our favorites.
Our suggestion is always to bet "yes," albeit in smaller increments. The payout is usually more than 2-to-1, so you can turn a nice profit for what's actually a fairly likely outcome.
Just go look at past results. Though only four playoffs have been necessary since moving to the Stadium Course in 1982—1987, 2008, 2011, 2015—the proximity between first and second place is often fairly tight. That makes it more likely than advertised that it'll take extra holes to decide a winner.
OSB Prediction: Yes, there will be a playoff
How Many Balls Will Be Hit in the Water on Hole No. 17?
Ah, Hole 17. It seems so innocent on paper—just Par 3. But the Stadium Course is rife with pitfalls, and it doesn't get any worse than the penultimate hole.
The green is basically an island; it's surrounded by a body of water. Golfers have no margin for error whether they're teeing off or trying to hit it in two shots. Too far right or left, and you're in deep H20. Most of the area directly behind it consists of a huge water gap, too.
Multiple players will find themselves missing the island. The over/under on lost shots is usually somewhere between 40 and 45 over the course of all four rounds. We recommend taking the over.
OSB Prediction: Take the over unless it goes beyond 45.5.
Which Previous Tournament Winner Will Finish Highest in the Standings?
We're zeroing in on two names for this prop: McIlroy and Simpson. Jason Day also deserves an honorable mention. We'd endorse staying away from Rickie Fowler, who has dropped outside the top 60 in the PGA rankings.
Ultimately, we'll go with Simpson.
As we mentioned earlier, few players are as consistent as him. Plus, his accuracy will serve him well on a course loaded with obstacles and designed to wreck even the most talented golfers.
OSB Prediction: Webb Simpson is the previous winner who will finish highest in the standings.
Just to give you a feel for how these lines will shake out, here's a look at the winning margin odds from the 2019 Players Championship (courtesy of Bovada):
- Exactly 1 shot: +240
- 4 shots or more: +325
- Playoff needed to determine winner: +325
- Exactly 2 shots: +275
- Exactly 3 shots: +500
We already recommended you vote in favor of a playoff. However, if you don't think they'll be one, we'd recommend angling for the three-shot option. It is a nice middle ground—and it should payout at least 4-to-1 this year.
OSB Prediction: A winning margin of exactly three shots.
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your golf betting: