Hero World Challenge Expert Golf Picks: Our Staff's Best Bets and Value Plays
Hero World Challenge Expert Golf Picks: Our Staff's Best Bets
Not many things in sports are quite as rare or as rewarding as hitting on a longshot bet in golf.
For me, getting out of a bunker on fewer than three swings is both extremely rare and very rewarding. For the New York Jets, winning a single game is quite rare and rewarding. For Brooks Koepka, not rolling his eyes whenever he sees Bryson DeChambeau is both rare and rewa...well...it's definitely rare.
A longshot winning a PGA Tournament is far from an uncommon occurrence. During the 2020-21 PGA season, HALF of the tournaments were won by a golfer with 50-1 odds or longer. Half.
What is an uncommon occurrence is us bettors hitting on those longshots. That is exactly why we've enlisted some of the sport's top handicappers to give us their favorite longshot bets every week -- so we can hit it big.
As a rule, we'll aim for players with odds 50/1 or longer. However, since the Hero World Challenge features only a field of 20, we asked our staff to give us their best bets and/or their favorite value plays.
Let's go get some value!
Hero World Challenge Expert Best Bets and Value Picks
Sam Eaton: Rory McIlroy (+750)
Putting your faith in Rory McIlroy isn’t always the best play, especially when his odds are sitting at +750. However, McIlroy will be a very popular play in this small field for various reasons. Rory has found his mojo, and even though he was a little dramatic when letting slip the DP World Championship, it’s obvious he still has that hunger. He comes into the event in great form, and has all the assets to be able to perform at this course.
Par five scoring will be key, which obviously plays into the hands of the bigger hitters. Rory ranks first in this field for Par 5 scoring in the last three months, and second when it comes to driving distance. Wind could play a factor this weekend, but no concerns with Rory given his performances at the British Open and other similar events.
-- Sam Eaton (@SamEaton12)
Joe Idone: Xander Schauffele (+1400)
I would make the argument that this may be the best value number we have seen on Xander in a long time. I love his upside being priced in this range with Spieth, Burns, and Scheffler. We're all familiar and potentially tired of the no-cut narrative, but as always with Schauffele, it has to become a part of the equation these weeks. I love this course fit for him and his current game given the wide fairways, as he has been battling an irratic Driver at times, while the iron play has been steady as she goes. The Hero World Challenge presents a fair "get-in" price on Xander and I'm here to take it!
-- Joe Idone (@TourPicks)
Rick Gehman: Justin Rose (+2800)
It's well documented that Rose spends plenty of time in the Bahamas and plays out of Albany quite often. That clearly helped his finishes at this event, earning a Top 5 result in each of his last three starts. Combine that with a well-rounded T12 finish at the RSM Classic in his last start and I'm optimistic about Rose's chances this week.
-- Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood)
Tom Jacobs: Justin Rose (+2800)
I like Justin to get back on track here in the Bahamas, akin to what Henrik Stenson did back in 2019. Stenson was 42nd in the world at the time and in danger of falling out of the top 50, but instead climbed back into the top 30 which kept him relevant worldranking wise for longer than you’d expect. Rose is now 47th in the OWGR and deseparate to make his way back.
Rose has quietly been in good form, having finished T10 at the Wyndham to close out last season before going to the BMW PGA Championship in England and finishing T6 as he tried to force his way onto the European Ryder Cup side. Perhaps the disappointment of missing out explains the lack of form over his next two starts where he finished T57 at the CJ Cup and T40 in Mexico, but he fired a 65 in Round two at the former to combat an opening 75, and his form in Mexico was solid if unspectacular.
Onto his last start then, and Rose finished a cool T12 at the RSM Classic, where he closed with a 65 on Sunday. His third round 70 cost him the chance to contend, but he was only one stroke outside the top-10 and three outside the top-four there, and that’s not a lot to make up. He now returns to Albany where he owns a property and practices a lot, and his course form is excellent. He’s had a third and two fifth-places finishes here in his three most recent visits, and is perhaps hungrier than ever to climb back up the world rankings, so this looks like a good spot for him.
-- Tom Jacobs (@TomJacobs93)
Geoff Fienberg: Patrick Reed (+3000)
After the Ryder Cup snub, I've been putting Reed on my betting cards plenty. We almost cashed in Mexico but had to settle for a T2. While most see this week as a hit and giggle that's never the case for Patrick Reed who's shown he's even willing to move some sand in an exhibition. Second and fifth-place finishes in the last four years show he has a level on comfort on what can be a far more tactical course than given credit for. I was able to get a +4000 a few days ago but the +3000 offering is fine by me as well.
-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)
The Senior Editor at OddsChecker, Elisha is an experienced fantasy and betting analyst. According to BettingPros, he was was one of the most accurate betting experts in 2019, ranking second in moneyline picks and 13th against the spread. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, his best skill is his ability to spell "Antetokounmpo" without looking. You can follow Elisha on Twitter at @ElishaTwerski.