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The Waste Management Open is just two days away in Scottsdale. With 132 players, this is going to be one exciting tournament. PGA expert Johnny Covers is here to break down his prediction, picks, and odds ahead of the tournament.

2023 Waste Management Open First Round Leader Predictions, Picks: Starting With Collin Morikawa, Tony Finau

The Waste Management Phoenix Open, always known for its boisterous environment, brings the PGA Tour east (from CA) to Scottsdale, Arizona. The event upgrade to "elevated" is the most significant change this year in the desert, as the 132-player field will now compete for a $20 million prize pool, with the victor taking home a staggering $3.6 million.

Although the field for this tournament is typically strong, the lineup for Super Bowl weekend at TPC Scottsdale boasts 22 of the top 25 players in the world, making it the strongest yet this year. In addition to Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Tony Finau, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, and Justin Thomas, Scottie Scheffler is back to defend his championship. The Waste Management Phoenix Open, which takes place in the first full-field competition of the year and features all of the top players in the sport, is set to be a must-see.

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Waste Management Time and Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date - Thursday, February 9th - Sunday, February 12th, 2023
  • Opening Tee Time - Yet to be announced
  • Where - TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Where to Watch - Golf Channel, CBS, ESPN+

Click here for PGA odds

Waste Management Open Picks

Collin Morikawa (+3500) Bet $100 to collect $3600. DraftKings has the best odds, click here

There has been much discussion about Morikawa falling apart the Sentry, but this is not the first time he has blown a sizable Sunday lead. But that doesn't change his hot starts. 

The 25-year-old has won five times and followed up his disappointing performance at Kapalua with a third-place showing at Torrey Pines. At each of these competitions, his typically impressive ball-striking numbers were through the roof, and probably more impressively for him, his putting numbers were also favorable relative to the competition.

The course should suit him wonderfully, and his game is definitely on the upswing even though he hasn't played here since finishing T25 in 2020.

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Tony Finau (+3500) Bet $100 to collect $3600. DraftKings has the best odds, click here

Given his recent performance, I was astonished to see Tony Finau open up at such a high number. The No. 12 in the world will aim for his fourth victory in 10 attempts and in terms of the important parameters I'm considering, Finau ranks as one of the top overall players in this field.

He is still one of the best ball drivers in the world, pound for pound, and I have faith in his ability to keep the ball out of the desert. His iron play is equally outstanding; over his previous 36 rounds of competition, the 33-year-old is ranked sixth in this field in strokes gained approach. I anticipate the six-time PGA Tour winner, who just finished ninth at the Farmers Insurance Open after gaining 3.6 strokes during the first three rounds at Torrey Pines South Course, will be right in the mix out of the gates.

Sam Ryder (+13000) Bet $100 to collect $13100. DraftKings has the best odds, click here

Having made an ace on #16 last year, Ryder should get a hero’s welcome throughout the week in AZ. As well as he’s’ been playing this season, I was shocked to see this number. His two top-10 finishes this season have demonstrated a significant improvement in his game, especially off the tee and on the greens.

Waste Management Open Picks

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Article Author


Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.


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