PGA betting: 3 players to back in the Top 20 market in the Phoenix Open

It’s a huge week in sports. Not only is the Super Bowl on Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles, but one of golf’s most entertaining and fun tournaments starts Thursday, the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

As with most TPC courses, TPC Scottsdale is pretty bland, although there are a few fun holes, like the infamous Par 3 on the 16th hole. Frankly, it’s more about the atmosphere than the hole itself. Clocked at 7,261 yards, TPC Scottsdale is a Par 71 that doesn’t cater to any specific skill set. Instead, the best all-around golfer is the one that excels. That is, a solid overall player from tee-to-green. With that in mind, I’m looking at recent form, success in strong-field events and course history. Here are three golfers to contend in the Top 20 market, who could also be considered for an outright wager.

Scottie Scheffler

Top 20 -155

Top 10 +110

Top 5 +240

To win +1200

The Texas alum (Hook ‘Em) won this event last year after finishing T7 the year before. It’s very difficult to defend a title but Scheffler is one of a handful of players I would bet to get the job done.Typically a solid putter, Scheffler has been struggling in that department as of late, losing strokes putting in five of his last seven tournaments. There are, however, signs of improvement. In back-to-back tournaments this year, Scheffler has gained or lost less than a stroke with the flat stick, which is a 180 compared to the hemorrhaging red numbers he was displaying prior. This bodes well for a ball striker that has not lost strokes ball striking since March of last year. The (-155) price tag is hefty but only twice has Scheffler not finished inside the Top 20 since August — a missed CUT in the FedEx St. Jude Championship and a T45 in the CJ Cup in October.

Collin Morikawa

Top 20 -110

Top 10 +185

Top 5 +400

To win +1800

A (-110) price feels a lot more manageable because I do have my concerns with the five-time tour winner. Morikawa is one of the best iron players on tour as he showed once again with a third-place finish in the Farmers Insurance Open two weeks ago, gaining 10 strokes ball striking. It’s the putting that worries me. It’s perhaps the most volatile part of any player’s game but it seems even more extreme with Morikawa, who could lose seven strokes putting to finish outside the Top 25 or gain even just four for a win. Since Morikawa is consistently a great ball striker, so if he can just putt neutral, he could win any event. Including Farmers, Morikawa has four straight Top 15 finishes: T15 (Mayakoba), 6th (Hero World Challenge), 2nd (Sentry Tournament of Champions). In his two events played this year, Morikawa gained strokes putting. Please Morikawa, roll that into this week.

Tyrrell Hatton

Top 20 +200

Top 10 +400

Top 5 +850

To win +5500

One of the longer shots to win, Hatton presents good value for a Top 20 run. The Englishman has just one career win but he really does have the bones to contend this week, even in a strong field event. Golf is just as much about rhythm as it is about skill set on any particular course. Hatton is coming into the week with loads of reps having played many events in recent months on the Euro tour. He’s not only gained strokes off the tee and with his irons in five straight events, he's done consistently well around the green and putting. Plus, he did finish T15 here last year. The Euro events don’t have nearly the star-studded field as the Phoenix Open but Hatton has performed well in big-time events, including 13th in last year’s PGA Championship and T13 in The Player's Championship. The ability is there.