The Florida swing wraps up this week as the Valspar Championship will play caboose in the Sunshine State. Taking place at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook, the infamous “Snake Pit” awaits to bite players for wayward shots and loose swings. Despite The Players Championship running into the workweek, a strong field is still expected as of Tuesday afternoon.
Along with the Valspar Championship best bets found below, be sure to see our Valspar Championship prop bets as well.
Two-time Valspar Championship winner Paul Casey is the one headliner to pull his name out of the hat before play begins, but there is plenty of star power expected at Innisbrook Resort.
With nine of the top 20 players in the world scheduled to play, young studs like Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland are capable of winning their first PGA Tour event of 2022. Neither are tournament favorites, though, as that honor goes to world No. 8 Justin Thomas, listed at +1000 at Bovada.
The Alabama product finished in a tie for 13th place in last year’s Valspar Championship, leading the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, SG: Off-the-Tee, and SG: Approach. Thomas was 67th in SG: Putting and 65th in Scrambling, but was unable to convert enough of his birdie opportunities to put pressure on the leaders and was left 10 strokes off the eventual pace.
Our odds calculator gives Thomas a 9.09 percent chance to claim his 15th title on the PGA Tour. Now more than a year removed from capturing his last, the 28-year-old desperately wants to return to the winner’s circle as major championship season is lurking.
Who Is Favored To Win The Valspar Championship?
Odds as of March 16 at Bovada
What Happened in Last Year’s Valspar Championship?
As is the theme of 2022 on the PGA Tour, the 2021 Valspar Championship saw a first-time winner come through at the Copperhead Course. Playing the last week of April and into May, players saw softer conditions and took full advantage. Sam Burns was the man to rise to the occasion after the LSU product was close on numerous instances earlier in the season.
After losing a 54-hole lead at the Genesis Invitational, Burns fell off in early spring before rediscovering his form in Florida. He finished at 17 under, the second-lowest score in tournament history as the winning score is typically in the neighborhood of 10 under.
At one of the most difficult venues on the PGA Tour, Burns utilized a balanced approach en route to his three-stroke victory over Keegan Bradley. Ranking fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green, the 25-year-old finished 15th in SG: Off-the-Tee, 14th in SG: Approach, 23rd in SG: Around-the-Green and third in SG: Putting.
Course and Analysis
The Copperhead Course at Innisbrook is not your ordinary course on the PGA Tour as it ranks inside the top five in terms of difficulty these players face all year. In addition, it stretches to nearly 7,400 yards, but plays even longer as clubbing down from off the tee is often needed in order to effectively navigate the Larry Packard design.
As such, off-the-tee play receives a downtick in importance along with driving accuracy to some extent. Despite conventional wisdom suggesting it will be crucial to success, a look back at previous champions tells a different tale.
While finding the short grass is needed, it is not the be-all and end-all, with the last six winners ranking 35th, 14th, 118th, 55th, 108th and 77th in driving accuracy. Instead, a complete tee-to-green test will be the task at hand as during this same time period, each winner has ranked inside the top six of this statistical category the week of raising the trophy.
Combine this with the Copperhead Course featuring five par 3s and four par 5s, and par-4 scoring is not as important as usual. With each par 3 measuring north of 200 yards and boasting difficult features, long iron proximity will round out our important metrics for the 2022 Valspar Championship.
2022 Valspar Championship Best Bets
Jason Kokrak +4000 To Win
While his best golf is often a fixture during the Texas swing, Kokrak’s play in Florida is not far behind, specifically at the Valspar Championship, with the Presidents Cup hopeful making his 11th appearance in the Tampa area.
Missing the cut in his first three outings, Kokrak turned a corner in 2014 when he saw the weekend for the first time and finished in a tie for 14th. He followed up with a tie for seventh place in 2015 and has continued this form in his last three showings.
Finishing in a tie for eighth place in 2018, runner-up in 2019, and a tie for 13th in 2021, the 36-year-old’s lethal combination of ball-striking and putting has carried him to the first page of the leaderboard.
Arriving this year with some middling form, Kokrak is 4-for-4 making the cut in 2022 and the uptick from around the green in the state of Florida is a welcomed sight for a player like Kokrak who typically struggles in that part of his game.
Able to club down and lean on his strong iron play and fantastic putting, it feels as if it is only a matter of when Kokrak raises the Valspar Championship trophy. After winning twice in less than 12 months, I expect the world No. 26 to add another piece of hardware to his mantel as he looks to make a push for this fall’s U.S. Presidents Cup team.
Alex Noren +5000 To Win
A former top-10 player in the world, Noren appears to be back on the come-up as he has impressed in 2022. Making his last five cuts, the 2018 Ryder Cupper for Team Europe has collected a pair of top-six results.
At the WM Phoenix Open, the Swede relied heavily on his putting as he has been known to do over the last year. He followed this up with continuously strong iron play, posting +1.10 SG: Approach per round at the Genesis Invitational to finish in a tie for 48th place at Riviera before traveling to Florida.
Connecting on a top-five result at a difficult PGA National, Noren gained +5.20 SG: Approach and looked fantastic in windy conditions. Adding a T-26 last week at The Players Championship, the decorated European Tour winner fell flat on the greens. This is not likely to happen in back-to-back weeks, especially at the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook as Noren gained nearly five strokes with the putter in hand in his debut appearance last season which resulted in a T-21 finish.
Gary Woodland +5000 To Win
Tying Noren in fifth place at the Honda Classic was Woodland, who was right there with the leaders and had a chance to post a score. Unable to get up and down for birdie on the par-5 18th, Woodland eventually three-putted for bogey in what was a disappointing finish for the Kansas native.
Participating in the Arnold Palmer Invitational the following week, Woodland arrived on the scene with an eagle-3 on the par-5 16th on Sunday. Commanding the lead, the former U.S. Open champion found yet another greenside bunker on the par-3 17th. Making double bogey and falling out of the top spot on the leaderboard, Woodland once again finished in a tie for fifth.
After a missed cut at The Players Championship, Woodland now returns to the site of his first win on the PGA Tour. While he is a decade removed from that moment, he ranks inside the top 10 in this field in bogey avoidance, scrambling and SG: Par-5 over his last 24 rounds.
Webb Simpson +6000 To Win
This wager comes with plenty of risk, but the upside more than outweighs the potential for this ticket to go up in flames. A seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, it was only last year when Simpson found his name inside the top five in the official World Golf Ranking. Now winless since his victory at the 2020 RBC Heritage in June, he arrives to the Valspar Championship having played sparingly this year due to a neck injury.
We finally got a glimpse of Simpson at The Players Championship where he employed a brand-new driver and proceeded to lose three strokes off the tee. Perhaps still figuring out the nuances of it, Simpson’s long-term form is a perfect fit for the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook.
Known to play some of his best golf in the Southeast United States, it was not all too long ago that Simpson went off as the pre-tournament favorite at the RSM Classic. Finishing in a tie for 12th there, he is now five times his price from November and is at a bottoming-out point I will happily enter at.
Patton Kizzire +10000 To Win
He is likely most remembered for his shank on the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass, but Kizzire still put together a great Players Championship. Finishing in a tie for 22nd, it was the second of such results in 2022 to go along with a top-10 effort at the WM Phoenix Open.
A player to target where clubbing down off the tee is a necessity, Kizzire is often hit-or-miss with the driver in hand. Telling the tale of his week, if able to consistently find the short grass, the Auburn product should only thrive from there on in.
Top-20 in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach, and Greens in Regulation over his last 24 rounds, Kizzire can ball-strike with the top players in this field. A player who can run hot with the putter in hand, the two-time winner on tour has taken a liking to these greens in the past and if he does so again, it is possible he becomes this year’s Valspar Championship winner.
Golf is unique for many reasons, but one of them is the significant number of betting props available at weekly tournaments. The Valspar Championship is no different.
Sportsbooks are offering odds on things like whether there will be a hole-in-one, OVER/UNDERs on the winning score for the eventual champion and odds on which players from specific countries will have the lowest score, to name a few.
Like other sports, betting on props is a fun and unique way to enhance your golf gambling experience.
Live Betting is arguably one of the most exciting ways to bet on golf. If the team you placed a pre-tournament bet on is out of the running at any point during the Valspar Championship, you can bet on another team as the days go by and have another stake in the game.
If there are only a few men in the hunt on the final day, the odds likely won’t be significantly high, but your chances of winning are. We’ve seen this happen multiple times in the PGA Tour’s Return to Golf, as multiple tournaments have gone to a playoff.
These helpful pages will assist you in handicapping your golf wagers: