Look, predicting a pre-tournament Sportsbook in golf isn’t easy. While it’s true sports bettors can find fantastic value, it’s incredibly frustrating when one of your picks doesn’t even make the cut. That’s why I’m here to help.
Every week I’ll highlight three golfers who have a good chance to win the hardware for the upcoming weekend. This week it’s the Valspar Championship.
My top pick for last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship, Tommy Fleetwood, finished in a tie for 14th at 8 under par, but the real story was my sleeper pick, Shubhankar Sharma. Sharma, who entered the tournament as a +15000 long shot, held the lead entering Sunday but slid down the leaderboard to finish in a tie for ninth place at 10 under. As I said in this article last week, the 21-year-old is rising up the ranks of the PGA Tour and is going to be a force in North America before long.
For a full breakdown of the Valspar Championship, check out my betting preview.
Odds courtesy of Sportsbook.
My favorite pick: Henrik Stenson +2000
Stenson has opted for a light workload this season and hasn’t played in a tournament in a month after a T-60 showing in Malaysia. At the age of 41, he is clearly in the twilight of his career, but the talent is still there. The Swede loves playing at Copperhead, finishing T-7, T-11 and fourth in the last three years at the course.
Bettors may stay away from Stenson due to his poor performance at Malaysia, but that makes me like him even more at the Valspar. Besides, he posted back-to-back top 10s prior to that tournament. The veteran has a penchant for heating up before majors, and another breakthrough could come this weekend.
Solid value: Byeong Hun An +4000
An is quietly playing some excellent golf right now after placing T-6, T-23 and T-5 in his last three appearances on the tour. The South Korean possessed a share of 49th place in his debut appearance at the Valspar a year ago but is in solid shape to improve on that mark after getting comfortable at Copperhead.
An’s numbers in 2017-18 are enough to make any golf bettor pay attention. He’s currently T-2 in total driving, seventh in ball-striking, T-13 in par-5 scoring and 27th in greens in regulation. The field at the Valspar is not as strong as it’s been in past editions of the tournament, so the time could be right for An to notch his first PGA Tour victory.
My sleeper pick: Rory Sabbatini +17500
Like Stenson, Sabbatini is also playing on the back nine of his career at the age of 41, but his ability to excel at the Valspar Championship cannot be ignored. Sabbatini has made the cut nine times in his 12 appearances at the event and has failed to see the weekend only once in his last six trips here (2015).
The South African has made six straight cuts since the Sony Open two months ago and has a pair of top-20 finishes under his belt in that span, including his last start at the Honda Classic where he recorded a season-best T-17. That’s good enough for me to toss a few bucks on Sabbatini in the Sunshine State.