Final Bets THE PLAYERS

My Final Thoughts: THE PLAYERS Championship 2021 Final Betting Card, OAD, And DFS Plays

The bets are in, the lineups are constructed, and I’m finally done researching and strategizing for THE PLAYERS Championship. This feels like a marathon of prep with odds and pricing coming out early last week, but it allowed for some really great value shopping across books. The API was not a profitable week, but we’re backing some big time players this time around, so I’m optimistic about a nice bounce back week. Here’s a look back at my action for the week and the rationale that got me there.

Outrights & Placing Bets

  • Si Woo Kim (T10): +1000
  • Adam Scott (T5): +1400
  • Justin Thomas: +2200
  • Patrick Cantlay: +2900
  • Patrick Reed: +4000
  • Paul Casey: +5500
  • Abraham Ancer: +8000
  • Corey Conners: +17500

This is a small but mighty outright card for me with just 6 total outrights, highlighted with two in the 20-30 range. Since I try not to ever dip below the 20/1 line, it’s refreshing for me to finally have a chance to bet Justin Thomas, who slipped down to 22/1. I think this is a perfect get right spot for JT who has shown flashes of greatness recently and is due to hang a victory at THE PLAYERS eventually. While the entire golf betting community is also behind Cantlay, I’m happy to have gotten him at a good 29/1 number when odds opened last week.

While I don’t tend to actively root for Patrick Reed, I couldn’t resist taking him him at 40/1 just 3 events removed from his dominance at Torrey Pines and on a track that demands a class short game. Paul Casey is a value bet for a guy who fits the accurate Ball Striking profile perfectly this week, and whose short game comes in as hot as it’s ever been. I spoke at length about Abraham Ancer this week on Twitter and in Bombs & Values. He’ll yield me the biggest profit this week if he can land his first Tour win here. Corey Conners does not have the short game of everyone else on my card, but his ball striking is as hot as anyone’s in this field, and his number has plummeted from 175 to 80 since I placed this last week.

I don’t always like to do placing bets, but I wanted exposure to Adam Scott and Si Woo Kim this week one way or another. It doesn’t look like they’ll make it into my DFS lineups, and my outright card was already full, so this is a nice happy medium.

First Round Leader

  • Jason Day (+6600)
  • Sam Burns (+7000)
  • Keegan Bradley (+10000)
  • Sebastian Munoz (+12500)
  • Peter Malnati (+15000)

First Round Leaders in the 70+ range continue to hit week in, week out, so I’m just going to continue to hammer these longshots until we nail one. There was no scientific process to get to this group, I just picked 5 guys who have the ability to go low on this track in a given round. Sebastian Munoz was two strokes off the First Round lead last week, and by my accounts, 125/1 is farthest he’s dropped all year. I’d say we’re due for another cash right here right now!

Matchups

  • Patrick Cantlay +108 > Rory McIlroy
  • Paul Casey -112 > Will Zalatoris
  • Christiaan Bezuidenhout -112 > Harris English

Every other week has brought a clean sweep, so although we’re coming off a forgettable 0-3 showing last week, we’re due for 3 more wins here again. The season matchup record is now 15-12-1, looking to right the ship!

In the first matchup, we have the fantasy community’s muse of the week in Patrick Cantlay at plus odds against defending 2019 PLAYERS champion Rory McIlroy. I think I’d take my chances on Cantlay with plus odds versus anyone in this field to be honest, he’s just that good right now. And with Rory, while he looked good to start last week, it’s clear he’s still searching for his game. Let’s hope Cantlay just wins this outright and we don’t need to worry about where Rory finishes.

The second matchup is a veteran with solid course history versus a young phenom making his TPC Sawgrass debut. While experience on the course is not a pre-requisite to perform well here, it certainly helps, and Casey has a big leg up in that department. Casey comes in hot with 5 consecutive T12 or better finishes between the PGA and Euro tour and stacks up perfectly for this short Pete Dye layout. Zalatoris’ elite ball striking will keep him in shouting distance this week, but the short game and potential fatigue playing in 7 straight events are enough flags for me to hedge against.

The last matchup is just a straight up bet against Harris English. I don’t know what happened to him after the Sentry TOC win, but he just has not been the same player since with no T25 finishes in his last 5 events. He also may have the worst course history here, with 6 consecutive MCs at THE PLAYERS.

One And Done

  • Justin Thomas

As I said in the beginning, I really like Justin Thomas’ fit here, regardless of the pricing value he slipped to. His driving accuracy is the only piece of his game you can poke holes in, and on a sub-7200 yard course, he’ll be able to club down to 3-woods and long irons off the tee on many holes to set up a more positional strategy. He has a T3 and T11 here over the last 4 years and it’s only a matter of time before he adds THE PLAYERS to his growing list of titles. I’m in a very deep OAD hole already, but taking down this purse can help make up a lot of ground!

DFS Core

  • Tony Finau ($9,100)
  • Cameron Smith ($7,900)
  • Jhonattan Vegas ($6,300)

The theme of this core is ownership leverage, as I’ll be playing more GPPs this week and there are plenty of chalk traps with the early soft pricing. I haven’t talked about Tony Finau at all this week, not many other people have either, so I think that’s the overall point here. He’s severely under priced, but with so many others around him like Cantlay, Bryson, and JT in the $9K range, I don’t think Finau ends up in as many lineups as he should, so he sets up a nice leverage angle, especially if Cantlay underperforms (God forbid). Similarly with Smith, he’s $200 more expensive than Joaquin Niemann so I don’t think anyone’s jumping to play him, but they should with the recent tear he’s been on. And lastly with Vegas we get some significant salary relief for a guy who combines great course history with good recent form.