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Hero World Challenge Odds: Koepka, Reed Solid Bets

Patrick Reed headlines our best bets for Hero World Challenge odds.

A who’s who are set to make the trip south to the Bahamas for the 2021 Hero World Challenge. Tiger Woods will play host this week as the 15-time major winner appears to be on the path to recovery after posting a swing video a couple of weeks ago.

He will welcome 20 players for the sixth edition of the tournament at Albany Golf Course, which was canceled a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, it was Henrik Stenson who came away victorious at 18 under.

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Outlasting Jon Rahm and Patrick Reed, the big Swede converted a clutch eagle look on the back nine Sunday to provide the necessary margin. Rahm, the current world No. 1, was looking to go back to back and successfully defend the 2018 title he earned by defeating Tony Finau by four strokes to finish at 20 under.

Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson round out the previous winners at Albany Golf Club since the Hero World Challenge has taken to the nomadic lifestyle. Jordan Spieth dominated in the one-year trip to Isleworth, winning by 10 strokes in 2014, after the tourney was previously played at Sherwood Country Club in California.

This year at Albany Golf Club, it is world No. 2 Collin Morikawa who leads the way on the Hero World Challenge oddsboard. Listed at +750 at Bovada, the two-time major champion has an 11.76 percent chance to add yet another trophy to his mantel, according to our odds calculator. Stenson, the defending champion, is listed at +5000 with an implied win probability of 1.96 percent.

Who Is Favored To Win The Hero World Challenge?

Odds To Win The Hero World Challenge 
PlayerOdds
Collin Morikawa+750
Rory McIlroy+800
Justin Thomas+1000
Viktor Hovland+1000
Bryson DeChambeau+1100
Jordan Spieth+1100
Xander Schauffele+1200
Abraham Ancer+1600
Daniel Berger+1600
Sam Burns+1600
Scottie Scheffler+1600
Brooks Koepka+2000
Tony Finau+2000
Matthew Fitzpatrick+2200
Webb Simpson+2200
Tyrrell Hatton+2500
Patrick Reed+2800
Harris English+3000
Justin Rose+3000
Henrik Stenson+5000

Odds as of November 29 at BetOnline Sportsbook

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Should You Expect More Drama In This Year’s Hero World Challenge?

Despite not holding status as a PGA Tour event, this week will provide players world ranking points. Not only that, but playing in front of Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, is motivation enough for most of these guys, especially for someone like Justin Thomas or Patrick Reed.

However, the Hero World Challenge has had a way of providing drama in the past. Most will remember the Chevron World Challenge, where Woods was repeatedly in contention battling the likes of Zach Johnson and Graeme McDowell. Numerous playoffs unfolded in Thousand Oaks, California, and the drama would not subside once the move was made to Albany, Bahamas.

It was the last edition of this tournament where Reed came under massive scrutiny for a rules infraction in a bunker. The former Masters champion fell two strokes shy of Stenson in what turned out to be a costly mistake.

He was one of many U.S. Presidents Cup team members playing in the 2019 Hero World Challenge as the squad all boarded a flight for Australia at the culmination of the tournament. Woods and Thomas rounded out the top five on the Hero World Challenge leaderboard and eventually carried the U.S. side to a victory over the International team.

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Course and Analysis:

Featuring five par 5s and two drivable par 4s, Albany Golf Club stretches to nearly 7,400 yards and plays to a par 72. With seven very scorable holes throughout one’s round, if a player is able to adequately get off the tee this week, he should find success.

With the field boasting a 71.50 percent driving accuracy in 2019, the water hazards and immense sandy areas rarely pose problems for the world’s best. While fairways have been easier to hit – or at least hit at a higher clip than the standard PGA Tour event – the same cannot be said for greens.

The field hit 64.50 percent of greens in regulation in the 2019 Hero World Challenge with Rahm leading the way at 79.20 percent. Rahm also finished in a tie for first in driving accuracy alongside Gary Woodland, who finished in a tie for seventh at 12 under.

With no Shotlink data, we can only assume Stenson got the better of the young Spaniard on the greens by week’s end. Stenson hardly hit the ball poorly, in fact finishing inside the top five in both statistical categories in question, but the one-stroke difference was likely found with the putter in hand.

Winning scores have previously averaged out to just about 20 under, yet with the recent uptick in scoring around the PGA Tour, I would expect something closer to 24 under. While ball-striking and birdie-making metrics will take the front seat, we will also look to decipher the all-important motivation factor as the difference between these 20 players is minimal.

Hero World Challenge Best Bets:

Brooks Koepka (+2000)

When it comes to trying to figure out a player’s motivation level, Koepka is arguably the toughest cookie to crack. With the ability to find form out of thin air for major championships, the four-time major winner has a tendency to take some weeks off while in the swing of the PGA Tour season. However, after defeating Bryson DeChambeau in “The Match”, perhaps some of the Las Vegas mojo can find its way to the Bahamas.

He looked very much in tune at the Wynn Golf Course en route to his rout of DeChambeau. With his brother, Chase Koepka, on the bag this week at Albany GC, the older Koepka has the potential to free-wheel it around this Ernie Els design.

Boasting only one top-40 finish in four starts on the PGA Tour this season – that one in a limited-field event – I believe Koepka will put his best foot forward this week. While the irons have suffered in the swing season, the driving and putting appear to be in a decent spot. Even though the entirety of his game is not there, I am willing to take a chance on a four-time major winner in a field of 20 players at this number.

Justin Rose (+3000)

A home game in the Bahamas? It is for Rose this week as the Englishman has taken to the island after coming over from across the pond. After struggling at the CJ Cup @ Summit, finishing in a tie for 57th, the former U.S. Open victor steadily improved over his next two outings on the PGA Tour.

After a top-40 finish at the World Wide Technology Championship, Rose went to the RSM Classic two weeks later and finished in a tie for 12th. Gaining strokes in each statistical category, the 41-year-old looked strong throughout the bag, especially from off the tee where he found fairways with regularity, an aspect he struggled with in his previous two outings.

Playing his sixth Hero World Challenge at Albany GC, Rose has some of the best results among those who have yet to claim victory, with a tie for fifth in 2019, a solo third in 2018 and a tie for fifth in 2017. This week could be the perfect time for Rose to finally break through in the Bahamas. The form, the familiarity and the history are all on Rose’s side and one should not be surprised if he finds himself in contention once again.

Patrick Reed (+2800)

Like Rose, Reed has shown up to the Bahamas in each rendition of the Hero World Challenge. After having a poor two-week stint in Las Vegas, the 31-year-old appears to be on the cusp of potentially finding his way back into the winner’s circle. Unable to get the entirety of his game to click for one week, Reed’s past success at Albany GC could be just what he needs to get over the hump.

Finishing in solo third in 2019, the Texan struggled with his ball-striking but was able to make up for it with his handy short game. He was 11th in driving accuracy and eighth in greens in regulation and eventually finished at 16 under, firing a 6-under 66 in the final round. Having played most recently in the European Tour finale, Reed’s ball-striking may have turned a corner.

He finished 22nd in driving accuracy and 14th in SG: Approach, marking the first time this fall that he gained strokes with his irons in a measured event. The uptick in accuracy off the tee is a welcomed sight as the Masters champion has a way of being wild with the big stick. Struggling on and around the green – a concerning trend unfolding this fall – if Reed is able to right those wrongs, he should have an opportunity to redeem himself in the Hero World Challenge.