Outside of slipping on the green jacket, there are few things in golf you can do that carry as much prestige as winning the Players Championship.
The unofficial fifth major, this tournament has been won by some of the biggest names in golf — who then became the richest names in golf, thanks to its $20 million+ prize pool.
It’s no surprise, then, that the tournament draws a lot of attention from fans — and a lot of interest in bettors. Players Championship is one of the juiciest events of the year for sharp bettors, and if you are after the best sports betting site to use, make sure to check out MyStake!
Below, we’ll show you exactly how to exploit inefficiencies when evaluating Players Championship odds, as well as reveal all the best Players’ Championship betting sites.
Let’s get started.
Best Sites for Players Championship Odds
- MyStake: Best overall
- BetOnline: Most competitive odds
- Bovada: Best market variety
- BUSR: Most generous bonuses
- MyBookie: Best for new bettors
- EveryGame: Most reputable
- XBet: Best design
- Thunderpick: Best for prop bets
- BetUS: Best for fast banking
- SportsBetting,ag: Best for high rollers
Odds to Win the Players Championship (from MyStake)
- Jon Rahm +710
- Scottie Scheffler +1230
- Justin Thomas +1510
- Xander Schauffele +1870
- Patrick Cantlay +1970
- Collin Morikawa +2080
- Jordan Spieth +3600
- Joohyung Kim +3800
- Rickie Fowler +5700
- Justin Rose +6500
- Webb Simpson +13400
Players Championship Golf Tournament History
In 1974, PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman was a man with a dream; specifically, he dreamt of a major PGA tournament that was owned by the players themselves.
Beman was able to get his tournament — called The Players Championship, natch — off the ground at the Atlanta Country Club by Labor Day, and the tournament moved around the next few years. This didn’t suit Beman — he knew his tourney needed a permanent home.
That home, the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, was the first golf course designed primarily with a viewing audience in mind. Beman knew that if his tournament was successful in attracting the best players in the world, it would also attract thousands of spectators — with millions more watching at home.
Beman also had a secret weapon for enticing fans: a little-known golfer named Jack Nicklaus. Ok, so Jack was pretty well-known by then, but he still made his mark on the tourney, winning 3 out of the first 5 events (although each win came on a different course). To this day, Nicklaus’s three titles is the event record.
The course at Sawgrass has proven to be one of the most challenging on tour, and so far, there hasn’t been a single successful title defense; in fact, only five golfers besides Nicklaus have won more than once here (Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, and Tiger Woods).
Most of the challenge stems from the fact that Sawgrass doesn’t reward any single style of play. Rather, you have to be an excellent all-around player to win here, and since you’ll be up against the best golfers in the world, it’s hard to maintain that level of excellence.
In addition to making the Players Championship extremely difficult to win, it also makes the tourney extremely difficult to predict. Even many seasoned golf handicappers sit this one out, but we believe there’s a way to find value in the betting odds here.
And we’re going to show you exactly how to do just that!
Suggested Reading: Golf Betting
Best Players Championship Betting Strategy
As mentioned above, the Players Championship is one of the toughest events in golf to successfully handicap. The problem is that it’s usually won by the best player in the world that weekend — and all the other results from earlier in the year don’t make much difference.
While this increases the degree of difficulty, it’s also the bedrock of our betting strategy.
Bet Small Early
If you know of a good way to identify the favorite before the tournament starts, we’d love to hear it (and Vegas would, too). The best players in the world at the time of the tournament usually get the shortest odds, but even then, there’s lots of wiggle room built into the lines.
While many punters advocate skipping the first day or two, we recommend a different approach. Pick a handful of golfers who have good odds, and place small wagers on them. The odds are usually long enough before Day 1 that you can get a good return from these modest bets.
Reassess on Days 2 and 3
Sometimes, a golfer will assert themselves on the first day — this is their weekend, and they won’t be denied. Recent champs Martin Kaymer, Webb Simpson, and Jason Day all went wire-to-wire, and several other champs finished the first day in the top 10.
If that happens, the odds on the leader will usually be too short to be worthwhile — but there still may be value in some of the other golfers lurking around.
While runaway leaders after the first day or two usually cruise to victory, that’s not always the case — just ask current betting favorite Jon Rahm, who led for 54 holes in 2019 before suffering a monumental collapse on Sunday.
Even if there’s not a single golfer who’s pulling away from the pack, you should have a much better idea of who has the hot hand by the end of Day 2. This is the best time to bet, so pick a few golfers you feel good about (and who have good odds) and place a healthy-sized bet.
We recommend looking at golfers in the 5-to-15 range after Day 1. Nearly half of the recent champs were in that group after the first round, with the exceptions being the wire-to-wire winners and Justin Thomas and KJ Choi, both of whom came back from the 26th spot on Day 1 to take the trophy home.
Failing to reassess (and make new bets) on Days 2 and 3 is the biggest thing that separates losing bettors from winners, so be sure not to skimp on this.
Make One Last Pass on Sunday
By Sunday, Vegas usually has a pretty good handle on the action, but you’ll still sometimes find juicy odds, especially on players who might be three or four strokes off first.
This isn’t a time to pile onto the leader — take some bold chances here. Unless there’s a bottleneck at the top of the leaderboard, you should find some excellent odds on some golfers who are more than capable of mounting an epic comeback.
Other Tips for Betting on the Players Championship 2023
While that’s our general betting strategy in a nutshell, here are a few other tips to keep in mind as you place your golf wagers:
Don’t Fall for the Hot Hand Fallacy
The hot hand fallacy is the belief that recent success guarantees future success. While we’re all for riding a golfer on a tear, Sawgrass is uniquely designed to frustrate golfers who think they’ll cruise to victory.
Throw out the record books on this one. It’s literally anyone’s tournament, so don’t feel like you have to go in the tank for any of the top-ranked players just because they have good seasons.
Again: this tournament is won by whoever’s the best that weekend. All the historical data in the world won’t help you much with that.
Fade the Public
If it’s nearly impossible to predict who will win, it stands to reason that the general public won’t be much good at picking a winner — and that’s certainly been true in recent years.
Last year’s winner, Cameron Smith, hardly received any public support, as most punters raced to back the likes of Collin Morikawa, Brooks Koepka, and Jordan Spieth — none of whom made the cut.
That’s not to say that the public can’t be right, but they’ll most likely gravitate to the top-ranked players, who represent poor values in a tourney like this.
Go Young When Betting on Players’ Championship
Ten of the last 12 champs were younger than 34 years old when they won, with the exceptions being Choi and Tiger Woods. The last eight winners have fit that criteria, though, and we don’t expect that to change this year.
Of course, this might be a bit of a red herring, as most of the top players on tour are youngsters. However, it’s enough that you should eliminate players like Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Justin Rose, and Seamus Power from consideration.
Best Bets to Win the 2023 Players Championship
We’ve already shown that picking a winner here is likely an exercise in misery, but hey — we’re gluttons for punishment. Below are lists of our favorite bets and fades, and we think they should constitute the bulk of your Day 1 bets.
Remember, though, you should abandon any strategy that isn’t working with quickness once you have more info on the subsequent days.
Favorites for Players’ Championship 2023
Thomas is essentially the defending champ here, given that the real champ, Cam Smith, jumped ship to LIV. He knows what it takes to win, as he’s done it more recently than anyone else on the Tour.
Of course, that doesn’t usually amount to a whole lot at Sawgrass. We wouldn’t be surprised to see him win, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss the cut.
He ran into bad luck last year, as he and Bubba Smith had to battle through some of the toughest weather we’ve ever seen at the tourney. Assuming Mother Nature cooperates, we think Thomas has a great shot at reversing his recent misfortunes and making a serious run here.
Given how Sawgrass chews up and spits out the top players in the world, Scheffler sits in an enviable position — he could legitimately claim to be the best golfer on the planet right now, but since Jon Rahm is on such a hot streak, the golf gods might neglect Scottie and let him sneak away with one here.
Ok, so that’s a flimsy theory at best — but Scheffler is one golfer you can never safely bet against, regardless of the course.
Sawgrass has had his number so far, though, as he’s missed the cut and finished 55th in his only two appearances here. It’s extremely unlikely that a player of Scheffler’s skill will be stymied for long, though — and his breakthrough performance could well involve hoisting the trophy.
Morikawa has been a popular pick at the Players Championship for several years now, as each year is supposedly “his year.” It makes sense on paper, as he has the kind of well-rounded game that you’d expect to excel at Sawgrass.
One problem: the tournament isn’t played on paper.
Morikawa has played this tourney twice, with a tie for 41st place representing his best finish. There’s no real reason to think that this will be his breakthrough year — but there are plenty of reasons to think that his breakthrough is coming, so why not this year?
He also has three top 10 finishes this year, so he’s playing well enough that a hot streak here isn’t out of the question.
Top Players’ Championship’s Dark Horses Worth Considering
None of the players below would be considered favorites this year, but that means they’ll have great prices — and the Players have been known to reward dark horses before. We don’t necessarily expect any of these players to win, but they might just represent the best value you’ll find before the opening round.
Im might only be the 18th-ranked player in the world, but he often brings a top-10 game. The 24-year-old has shown flashes of being one of the best players in the game, so all that’s really left for him is to prove that he can do it consistently.
Fortunately, the Players is all about getting hot at the right time, and he’s more than capable of doing that.
He also boasts a better finish at Sawgrass than many of his more famous counterparts, as he tied for 17th in 2021. That’s not exactly a dominant performance, to be sure — but given how this course can chew up and spit out excellent players, just holding your own can be quite the statement.
It’s hard to call a top-10 player a “dark horse,” but Homa doesn’t get the same love from the betting public that players like Scheffler, Rahm, and McIlroy do. That’s good news for you, as you can get long odds on the guy who may be as likely to win it as anyone.
Homa finished tied for 13th here last year, and since then, he’s only gotten better. In fact, you could probably consider him the de facto fourth-best player in the game, but with odds like +2000, he’s priced like a middle-of-the-roader.
He shot well on the last two days of this tourney last year, posting a 71 and 66, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him keep that up all four days this year.
There’s no history to consider here, as this will be Kim’s first attempt at Players glory. While he lacks the experience you’ll find with the other players, he also doesn’t have the Sawgrass skeletons that players like Spieth and Morikawa are lugging around.
Kim’s all-around game — and especially his efficiency in getting to the green — make him a natural fit for this course, and his personality ensures he won’t be cowed by Sawgrass’s reputation for humbling the greats.
If we had to bet on only a single golfer this week, Kim might be our guy. If nothing else, we expect him to be in the mix well into the final day.
Players’ Championship Odds Long Shots We Love
The prices you’ll find on these golfers indicate that Vegas doesn’t have much faith in them, but it’s not hard to envision a scenario in which any one of them emerges triumphant on Sunday.
While Spieth has never quite lived up to the hype that his early successes seemed to foreshadow, he still has one of the best all-around games on the Tour. If he puts it together, he’s capable of beating anyone, anywhere.
He came close to winning here back in 2014, ending up three shots back of Martin Kaymer after a thrilling back-and-forth battle between the two on the tourney’s final three days. Spieth stumbled on the final day, but he’s one of the few players on the field who’s had a taste of Players glory.
Vegas has a bit more faith in the 25-year-old Norwegian than it does in Spieth, clocking him at +2800 for the weekend. That seems a bit long for a youngster who’s lurked at the bottom of the top 10 all season and whose A-game can rival almost anyone’s.
What’s more, Hovland has a reputation as the “Resort King” for his penchant for doing well in high-brow courses. With tee times that cost upwards of $600, Sawgrass certainly qualifies.
He finished tied for 9th here last year, shooting a 68 and 69 during the weekend to close strong. He never seriously threatened the leaders, so he hasn’t fully experienced all the pressure that this tourney can bring, but he’s not the type to wilt under the spotlight, either.
If you really want to test your luck, put some cash on Theegala. He’s only played here once, missing the cut in 2022, but he has five top-10 finishes on the season.
Theegala hasn’t won yet in 2023, but as we’ve proven extensively, hot streaks rarely survive at Sawgrass. He’s not as accurate off the tee as many previous winners have been, but the rest of his game can help mask that shortcoming.
Fades at Players’ Championship
Just as important as knowing who to bet on is knowing where to save your money. Our list of fades has some big names on it — but that’s where the public’s money will go, so let’s try not to get lost in the groupthink.
The undisputed top player in the world right now, Rahm’s winning every tournament in sight. Despite playing in only 7 Tour championship events this season, he has three wins and six top-10 finishes.
So why don’t we like him?
Again, it’s not about picking who will win — it’s about finding the best value. At +1000, Rahm just doesn’t offer much value in a tournament that is notorious for crushing the top-ranked players in the world.
McIlroy won here in 2019, so it’s not like it would be unthinkable to see him hoist the Cup again. A win would be especially sweet this year, as McIlroy has been one of the Tour’s most outspoken defenders as it’s been raided by the Saudis.
He has the same odds as Rahm, though, so we have the same issues with him.
Nothing would make golf fans happier than to see Rory come out on top here, but you should bet with your head and not your heart. Our heads say that there’s better value elsewhere.
A few days ago, Day might have made our dark horses list. But public sentiment has rallied around the 2016 champion, and his odds have closed to +3000 (and will likely shrink more than that before Thursday).
That’s not enough value for us, even given the Australian’s four top-10 finishes in a row.
The other problem with Day is that he’s not likely to sneak up on anybody. If he’s in the mix at all after Day 2 or 3, his price will skyrocket — and that will put you on the wrong end of the bet’s value.
Best Sites for Betting on the Players Championship
1. MyStake – Best Players’ Championship Betting Site Overall
Perhaps the preeminent multi-currency casino in the world, MyStake also has a staggering array of sports odds on display. You can bet on virtually any event on both the men’s and women’s Tours, as well as take advantage of a number of fun props.
First-time depositors can get a 100% deposit match up to $500 here (with a minimum $20 deposit). There’s a 10x wagering requirement that must be satisfied with bets over two events as well.
2. BetOnline – Most Competitive Odds for Players’ Championship
High rollers should check out BetOnline, as it offers some of the highest limits in the online sports betting world. They also offer a variety of player-friendly bonuses, such as free props, crypto bonuses, and reload bonuses.
Their primary deposit bonus is a 50% match up to $1,000 using code BOL1000. You’ll have to deposit at least $55 to qualify, and there’s a 10x playthrough requirement that must be satisfied within 30 days.
3. Bovada – Best Market Variety of All Players’ Championship Betting Sites
If you want to be spoiled for choice, Bovada has some of the most extensive golf lines and props we’ve ever seen. You can bet on just about any player in just about any tournament here.
Their welcome offer is a 50% match up to $250, and it sports a mere 5x rollover. If you want to gamble using less traditional means, Bitcoin users can get a 75% match up to $750, which also has a 5x rollover.
4. BUSR – Most Generous Bonuses for Playes’ Championship
While BUSR’s layout seems straight out of the dial-up days, they make up for it by having an amazing selection of golf markets. You can get early — and favorable — odds on all sorts of events, including those on the European Tour.
Their bonus offer is pretty spectacular as well, as it’s a 150% match up to $2,500 using code SPORTS100FP. To qualify, you’ll need to deposit at least $100, and it has a 10x rollover.
5. MyBookie – Best Players’ Championship Betting Site for New Bettors
You can bet on all sorts of futures at MyBookie, but a lot of their golf options are straight props — like the odds on certain players to make the cut. This straightforward format, along with its clean, simple layout, makes it a great place for new handicappers to cut their teeth.
They offer a 50% deposit match up to $1,000 using code MYB50, and it also requires a $50 minimum deposit and 10x rollover. You’ll also get a free entry into their $150k “MyBracket” challenge.
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Guide to Betting on the Players’ Championship 2023
Where is the Players Championship Played in 2023?
The Players Championship will be played at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Why is Phil Mickelson Not Playing at the Players Championship?
Phil Mickelson won’t be playing at the Players Championship due to controversy surrounding his association with the PGA Tour’s rival, the LIV Tour.
Who Is the Defending Champion?
The defending champion is Cameron Smith — but he also won’t be playing, as he’s been indefinitely suspended due to his involvement with the LIV Tour. In fact, half of last year’s top 10 won’t be competing this year due to their involvement with LIV.
What Is the Payout for the Players Championship?
The Players Championship has a total purse of $25 million, making it one of the richest events on the Tour. The first-place winner will take home a cool $4.5 million.
What is Special About the Players Championship?
There are several things that make the Players Championship special. One is the massive purse, which makes it one of the richest events in golf.
Beyond that, it also plays host to the best players in the game each year, and they play on a grueling course that was designed with spectators in mind. It makes for a thrilling and unpredictable tournament.
Who’s the Favorite to Win the Players’ Championship 2023?
This year the favorites are Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy, who are both listed at +1000 at press time. Scottie Scheffler is right behind them at +1100.
Who’s the Youngest Winner of the Players Championship?
Si Woo Kim is the youngest winner of the Players Championship, winning it in 2017 at the age of 21.
Why Bet on the Players Championship 2023 Online?
Given that the Players Championship is one of the most volatile events on the PGA Tour, why should you bet on it at all? Why not save your money to wager on the upcoming (and relatively safer) Masters?
Here are a few reasons why the Players is one of our favorite golf events to bet on:
- The Uncertainty Makes It Great: while watching the top golfer in the world go wire-to-wire has its charm, it’s very short on drama. At the Players, you have no idea who’s going to win — and that (along with your betting slip) will keep you glued to your TV all weekend long.
- Incredible Collection of Talent: the massive purse for first place attracts the best golfers from around the world, all of whom are eager to pit their skills against one of the toughest courses on the globe. How could you not want to bet on that?
- Lots of Value: because the winner could come from anywhere, there’s lots of value here that you won’t find in many other tournaments. The betting public is usually on the wrong side here as well, giving true sharps a great opportunity to cash in.
Tips and Strategies for Betting on the Players Championship
Even though the Players is one of the toughest tournaments to predict, there are still some solid strategies you can use to get a leg up on the rest of the handicappers out there.
- Open Accounts at Multiple Sportsbooks: not every book will have the same odds or even the same bets available. Having multiple accounts allows you to jump on a favorable line as soon as you see it — because it might not be there for long.
- Take Advantage of Deposit Bonuses: with a tourney as volatile as the Players, it helps to be able to bet on multiple players each day of the tourney. Having a little extra cash in the form of a deposit bonus will really stretch your bankroll, increasing the chances that you’ll be able to find at least one bet that hits big.
- Make New Bets Every Day: things change on a dime at Sawgrass, so don’t just make a bet before the tourney begins and let it ride. Check out the lines each night to see if there’s any hidden value there; often, you’ll find a gem or two hidden in the middle of the pack.
So, Are You Ready to Bet on Player’s Championship 2023?
While it may not be an official Major, the Players Championship is one of the most exciting tournaments in golf. It brings together the best players in the world, then throws them on a course that will punish them severely for the slightest mistake.
Betting on the Players isn’t easy, but with the tips above, you should have a big head start on the competition.
At the end of the day, please always remember to have fun and wager responsibly.
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