The Super Bowl is this weekend, but first, we have one of the most fun PGA Tour events of the entire season: The Waste Management Open at TPC Scottsdale. Rickie Fowler will look to defend his 2019 WMO title, and he will be joined by Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Jordan Spieth, among other top players in this field, which means plenty of interesting options for your betting card.
TPC Scottsdale is one of the best layouts for a PGA Tour event on the schedule, with a closing four holes that features a scorable Par-515th, the iconic stadium Par-3 16th, a drivable Par-4 17th, and a difficult closing 18th that features a drive over water and bunkers on both sides of the fairway. I wouldn’t necessarily classify this event as a total birdie-fest, but with the winning score in the -16 to -20 range, players will likely need to string together four sub-70 rounds to have a shot at hoisting the trophy on Sunday.
TPC Scottsdale is a medium-length, Par-71 course that is a ball-strikers paradise. There are a ton of birdies to be had here if players are able to give themselves decent scoring looks on greens that are mild in slope and speed compared to other courses. This leads to a heavy emphasis on “Strokes Gained: Approach” this week. We see it year after year that the elite ball-strikers rise to the top at TPC Scottsdale, and we should continue to look to ride that trend.
Length is also a nice benefit at TPC Scottsdale, but it shouldn’t be seen as the be-all, end-all. As long as players can keep it in the fairway or at least miss on the proper side of the fairway, they should be just fine. Finally, all three of the Par 5s are excellent scoring opportunities, so players will need to take advantage. I normally don’t pay much attention to Par-5 scoring in non-Par 72 courses, but TPC Scottsdale is a rare exception where “Par-5 birdie-or-better percentage” is a statistic to take into account.
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Strokes Gained: Approach
Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
Par 5 Birdie or Better Percentage
Waste Management Open Betting Advice, Odds
Outright Bets to Consider
*odds via DraftKings Sportsbook
Jon Rahm 6/1
I was really torn on how to construct my betting card this week, but ultimately, I decided to load up on Rahm at his 6/1 odds. I have no problem if you would rather bet a few of the 10/1-30/1 guys, such as Hideki Matsuyama, Webb Simpson, or Bubba Watson — I considered all of those players — but I just have a strong feeling that Rahm is going to be a man on a mission in his home event. Rahm came close to claiming his second career win at Torrey Pines last week, and his current form has him primed to claim a win. The Arizona State alum has played in the Waste Management Open every year of his pro career, but curiously he had his best finish here (T5) when he was an amateur in 2015. Rahm has the tee-to-green game to tear up TPC Scottsdale, and I like what I’ve seen out of his mentality thus far in 2020. Starting a betting card with Rahm will force you to bet a few guys in the 50/1-and-over range, but good thing for us, there are a few guys in that range who are standing out.
Viktor Hovland 55/1
I’ve refrained from buying into the hype around the trio of Hovland, Matthew Wolff, and Colin Morikawa, at least in terms of outright betting. In my opinion, their odds have been overinflated versus what their actual win equity is. However, this week is a nice time to jump on Hovland at a 55/1 number. This line smells fishy after books have frequently listed Hovland sub-30/1 since he jumped on the PGA Tour scene last year, but I’m willing to bite in an event that has had breakout winners in the past. Hovland is already one of the better ball-strikers on tour, and he will be a real force once his short game matures a little bit. I would be surprised if he doesn’t grab a win this season, and this is the type of number that I want to take a chance on, even with most of the golf betting community also making a wager on him.
Daniel Berger 70/1
I love that Berger is back to playing some decent golf after dealing with injuries over the past few years. Berger is a talented player, who was an up and comer on the PGA Tour before taking a long layoff after a wrist injury. Berger finally looks to be getting back to his best after making five-of-six cuts with four top-30 finishes this season. Berger has an excellent track record at this event outside of last season’s missed cut, finishing T11 and T7 in 2018 and ’17, respectively, and posting a T10 in ’15. Beyond his solid course history, he’s coming off of four rounds in the 60s in his last event at The American Express. If you don’t want to invest in a 70/1 outright bet on Berger, a top-10 finish at +550 or a top-20 finish at +225 are also standing out.
J.B. Holmes 110/1
The final bet on my card really pains me to make, but at 110/1, two-time WMO winner Holmes is too much of a value to completely fade. Holmes played well last week at Torrey Pines until he fell back on Sunday with a 73. He certainly has the ball-striking ability to contend this week, and he’ll be looking to continue riding a hot putter that ranked ninth in “SG: Putting” last week. Holmes is one of the most agonizingly slow players on tour, but I’m willing to overlook that forever if he is able to pull one off at 110/1 this week in the desert.