It’s not major golf season yet, but the biggest tournament of the year so far is on deck this week: The 2023 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. The 1st round tees off on Thursday morning from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Below, we look at the 2023 Players Championship odds and make our PGA Tour picks and predictions.
It’s another star-studded field this week in Florida after a thrilling finish to the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Sunday, which featured a loaded leaderboard as a designated event. The Players Championship is widely viewed as the 5th major and it features a major-type field with 43 of the top 50 players in the world teeing it up – led by Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas. The defending champion, Cam Smith, is in LIV Golf and will not be in the field.
TPC Sawgrass is a getable course if the weather cooperates, with the winning score typically ranging from 12-under to 18-under. Last year in tough conditions, Smith won at 13-under par 275. Players of all types have won here before, from short and accurate hitters to bombers like McIlroy and Thomas. It’s 7,275 yards and a par 72, requiring proper placement off the tee to set up an abundance of tricky second shots.
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Players Championship – Expert picks
Odds provided by Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports Scores and Sports Betting Odds hub for a full list. Lines last updated Monday at 1:46 p.m. ET.
Sungjae Im (+4000)
Im has made the cut in 2 of his 3 trips here, with his best finish being a tie for 17th in 2021. He finished 55th last year, but given the conditions and the 5-day tournament due to weather delays, don’t buy into that too much. He has 2 top-10s and 3 top-25s in his last 5 starts, including a T-21 last week at Bay Hill. His ball striking and touch around the greens make him a great fit this week.
Justin Thomas (+2000)
Thomas has as good a track record at TPC Sawgrass as any player in the field. He’s made the cut all 7 times he’s played the Players, winning it in 2021 and only finishing worse than 35th once. That’s outstanding given the volatility of this course and star-studded event.
He should probably have shorter odds than +2000 but I’m not complaining. He’s a great value at that price.
Jason Day (+3000)
Day has looked more and more like his old self lately, finishing in the top 10 in 4 straight starts. He also has 2 top-10s in his last 4 starts and a win in 2016 at TPC Sawgrass, so the course fit is there, too. His odds have skyrocketed in the last 2 months as he consistently finishes near the top of leaderboards but +3000 is still a good number.
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Players Championship picks – Contenders
Keegan Bradley (+4000)
Bradley stormed up the leaderboard on Sunday at Bay Hill with a final-round 67 to finish tied for 10th, his 4th top 10 in 9 starts so far this season. He’s made the cut in 8 of 11 starts at the Players Championship, including 4 straight top-30s and 3 top-20 finishes in that span – including a 5th-place finish last year.
Rickie Fowler (+5000)
Fowler has only made the cut 5 times in 11 starts at the Players, but he also has a win, which came way back in 2015. But he’s been in great form recently with 4 straight top-31 finishes, which includes a T-10, T-11 and T-20. He has a lot of experience at Sawgrass, which will benefit him against the field, as will his ball striking (10th in SG: approach the green).
Keith Mitchell (+5000)
Mitchell tied for 13th in last year’s weather-delayed tournament and has now made the cut in 3 of 4 tries here. In his last 5 starts this season, Mitchell has come in the top 25 four times with 2 top-10s in that stretch. As a mid-tier option, Mitchell is a good player to go with.
Players Championship picks – Long shots
Adam Scott (+9000)
There’s no way Scott should be +9000 to win this week. He’s made the cut in each of his 4 starts this season and though he hasn’t cracked the top 20 yet, he’s played well at TPC Sawgrass in the past. He’s 16-for-20 in made cuts and has come in the top 12 four times in the last 6 years. You can put less stock in his missed cut last year, too.
Joel Dahmen (+20000)
Dahmen has played this event 3 times and finished T-33 and T-12 in 2 of those starts, with a missed cut sandwiched between them. He missed the cut in his last 2 starts this season, but prior to that, he had 8 straight made cuts, 5 top-25s and 3 top-10s. It’s a good time to buy low on Dahmen.
Justin Suh (+20000)
Suh is another long shot who’s worth a flier. In 3 straight events with mostly strong fields (Genesis, Honda Classic, Arnold Palmer Invitational), Suh finished T-40, T-5 and T-24. He’s never played the Players Championship before, but he’s shown he has the game to compete against the sport’s best.
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