2017-18 CIMB Classic Golf Betting Odds & Picks


Last Updated: 2017-10-10

cimb classic oddsAfter taking a couple of weeks off from writing about the Presidents Cup and the Safeway Open, we’re back with golf coverage at BangTheBook.com. This week’s event is the CIMB Classic, as the PGA Tour does its swing through Asia with this event in Kuala Lumpur, next week’s CJ Cup in Korea, and then the WGC-HSBC Champions event in China. Last year’s CIMB Classic should have been our first indication of the season that Justin Thomas was going to have. He’ll be on hand to defend his title this week.

In fact, Thomas is looking to defend back-to-back titles in Malaysia. This tournament used to be just an Asian Tour event, but the PGA picked it up and added it to the calendar as a co-sanctioned event in 2013. Even though it was an Asian Tour event from 2010-12, it has never won been won by a player born outside the United States. Since it became a PGA Tour event in 2013, Ryan Moore and Justin Thomas are the only winners. This is a smaller field with just 78 players, including the top 60 in the FedEx Cup standings, the top 10 from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, and eight sponsors exemptions.

While the field is limited to those select criteria, only 11 of the top 30 in the FedEx Cup points standings from last season are on hand, so the entry list clearly goes outside the top 60. The winner does get a chance to play in the Masters, so that is a little bit of incentive for those that have not gained a spot at Augusta for the upcoming tournament.

The course in play this week is TPC Kuala Lumpur, which just became part of the TPC family two years ago. The weather conditions are very warm and humid most times of the year and this is one of the rainier parts of the season, so the course generally plays pretty soft and it can be a bit of a muggy grind for the players in the field. It is a fairly short par 72, though, which is why the winning scores the last two years have been 26-under and 23-under.

The tournament favorite this week at 5Dimes Sportsbook is reigning two-time champion Justin Thomas. Thomas is looking for the first three-peat since Steve Stricker racked up three straight John Deere Classic wins from 2009-11. Thomas is coming off of an okay performance at the Presidents Cup and a $10 million check at the TOUR Championship, which was won by Xander Schauffele, who is also in this week’s field. Thomas fired a 64-66-71-64 to win this event by three shots last year. He went 68-61-67-66 to win by just one shot in 2015. This is a course where guys can go really low. At +430, there isn’t a whole lot of value in betting Thomas, but this is a course where he certainly seems to excel.

Hideki Matsuyama, who bested Thomas in singles play at the Presidents Cup, is next on the board at +810. Matsuyama was the distant runner-up last year and this would be a huge win for him, much like it would be any Asian player. He finished fifth in 2015 with four rounds under 70 and shot 69-64-69-66 last year en route to finishing second. Matsuyama has nine straight rounds under 70 here and 15 of his 16 career rounds in this tournament as a PGA Tour sanctioned event have been par or better. With a return of 8/1, there might be just enough value to give him a look.

Paul Casey is next on the board at +1100 and then there is a big drop to 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele at +2200. Casey hasn’t played bad at TPC Kuala Lumpur, with a couple of top-25 finishes, but he hasn’t been able to go low enough to be a factor. Casey opened with a 65 last year, but then finished 72-70-70. He didn’t shoot any lower than 69 in a round in 2015. He seems to be priced on name recognition rather than actual chances of winning the event. Backing Schauffele in his first event after an enormous win seems tough to do at this price.

Gary Woodland is +2800 this week and this has been a really good course for him in the past. Woodland was the runner-up in both 2013 and 2014. He lost in a playoff to Ryan Moore in 2013 and finished tied with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Na three shots off of Moore’s winning pace in 2014. He did not finish well in either 2016 or 2015, as he was 56th both years. The price point isn’t ideal, but he does have some past success here.

Justin Thomas won as a newcomer to the course in 2015, so maybe the same can happen for Thomas Pieters at +3300. Pieters is playing this event for the first time and this seems like a course where he can put up some low numbers. He’ll be able to shorten an already short course, so the flatstick and the wedges will determine how well he finishes this week. He’s still working to get that level of precision with the lofted clubs and the putter, but he’s a dangerous player in any field he’s in.

Looking down the list for some value picks, it’s hard not to look at Li Haotong, listed as Hao Tong Li in the odds board. Haotong is an integral part of the growth of the game in this part of the world as one of the many Chinese players that has been emerging in the golf world. Li has three PGA Tour of China wins, a European Tour win in China, and a playoff loss in the Shenzhen International. This is the first time that the 22-year-old has played this event, but at +6600 with his skill set, he’s a fine roll of the dice.

Another Asian player worth looking at this week is Si Woo Kim of South Korea. The Seoul native is another one of the young Asian players taking the golf world by storm. He became the youngest player ever to win the PLAYERS Championship at 21 years of age. He has two career PGA Tour wins already. Kim shot 70-66-73-66 last year and finished at 13-under. Kim played in the Presidents Cup and played fairly well, so he’s in decent form as another +6600 lottery ticket.

Coverage of the CIMB Classic will be on Golf Channel in the very early hours of the morning with rebroadcasts throughout the day. Keep in mind that this event starts Wednesday night with the time change.

Odds as of October 10, 10:30 a.m. ET:


Justin Thomas +430

Hideki Matsuyama +810

Paul Casey +1100

Xander Schauffele +2200

Ian Poulter +2800

Anirban Lahiri +2800

Charl Schwartzel +2800

Gary Woodland +2800

Brendan Steele +2800

Kevin Na +3300

Thomas Pieters +3300

Branden Grace +3300

Scott Piercy +4000

Graham DeLaet +4000

Chez Reavie +4000

Pat Perez +4000

Bud Cauley +4000

Rafa Cabrera-Bello +4000

Russell Knox +4500

Peter Uihlein +5000

Grayson Murray +5000

Emiliano Grillo +5000

Ollie Schniederjans +5000

James Hahn +5000

Jason Dufner +5000

Cameron Smith +5000

Jamie Lovemark +6600

Kyle Stanley +6600

Harold Varner III +6600

Keegan Bradley +6600

Luke List +6600

Hao Tong Li +6600

Si Woo Kim +6600

Adam Hadwin +6600

Gavin Green +7000

Charles Howell III +8000

Lucas Glover +8000

Hudson Swafford +8000

Jhonattan Vegas +8000

Scott Hend +8000

Nick Taylor +10000

Stewart Cink +10000

Patrick Rodgers +10000

Scott Stallings +12500

Wesley Bryan +12500

Scott Brown +12500

Richy Werenski +12500

Danny Lee +12500

Kevin Tway +12500

Robert Streb +12500

Sung Kang +12500

David Lipsky +15000

Chris Stroud +15000

Chad Campbell +15000

Morgan Hoffmann +15000

Martin Flores +15000

Jim Herman +15000

Whee Kim +15000

Davis Love III +15000

C.T. Pan +15000

Michael Kim +20000

Ben Crane +20000

Camilo Villegas +20000

D.A. Points +25000

Juvic Pagunsan +25000

Kelly Kraft +25000

SSP Chawrasia +25000

Prayad Marksaeng +25000

Cody Gribble +25000

Jazz Janewattananond +25000

Jonas Blixt +25000

Phachara Khongwatmai +25000

Rod Pampling +30000

Poom Saksansin +40000

Colt Knost +40000

Richard T. Lee +45000

Nicholas Fung +50000

Danny Chia +75000




It may only be the second event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season, but we have a really strong field to discuss for the CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. This is a field limited to just 78 players and has a purse of $7 million, so it brings a lot of players out, even if they don’t intend to play much of the wraparound portion of the calendar. It makes a lot of sense because many of the world’s top players will participate in next week’s WGC-HSBC Champions event at Sheshan in Shanghai, so making the trip a week early for Malaysia is no big deal.

This event is one of the newer ones on the Tour, especially when you consider that it did not get sanctioned as an official PGA Tour event until 2013. The top 60 in FedEx Cup points from the previous year are eligible for this event, as well as the top 10 from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit, and then eight sponsors exemptions. With several big names like Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and Phil Mickelson not in the field, it’s more like the top 70 or 75 in the FedEx Cup standings, but it’s still a very strong field.

This course actually used be known as a the Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, so the fact that it’s now a TPC course speaks to the popularity of this event and the quality of the course. It’s a fairly short par 72 track measuring just over 7,000 yards. There are a lot of hills and valleys on the fairways. The greens have a lot of surface area and a lot of undulations of their own, so this is a course where getting a favorable lie or a good putting line are really important elements. Fairway bunkers line several of the holes, so avoiding a trip to the beach will also be a key to winning.

This is the fourth straight year that TPC Kuala Lumpur has held this event. It was previous at the MINES Country Club & Resort, so we do have a reasonable amount of course form data to go on as we handicap the second event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season.

5Dimes Sportsbook is showing a trio of co-favorites this week. Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, and Adam Scott all share that distinction. Matsuyama has finished in the top 25 in each of the last three years at TPC Kuala Lumpur. He was fifth last year after opening with a 65. Matsuyama finished four shots back of Justin Thomas, whose second-round 61 was unrivaled. Matsuyama just won last weekend’s Japan Open Golf Championship on the Japan Golf Tour, so he’s in fine form. He was fifth in the TOUR Championship to wrap up a year with over $4 million in winnings.

Paul Casey has played well the last two years in Malaysia, but the lofty winning scores have been too much for him. He tied for 37th two years ago and finished 24th last year, even though all four of his rounds came in under 70. Casey had a strong showing last week at the Safeway Open with a top-five finish to begin the year. He was third at 16-under. Casey finished fourth, second, and second over the final three FedEx Cup playoffs events, so finding a player in better form than him could be hard to do.

Adam Scott had four straight top-10 finishes in the FedEx Cup playoffs to finish up the 2015-16 season and he’s looking for a good start to the 2016-17 campaign. Scott was the runner-up here last year, when he finished one shot behind Justin Thomas. Scott’s 25-under would have been good in just about any other tournament last season, but it wasn’t good enough in this one. He gave it a good effort in the final round, as he shot 63 and had an eagle putt to force a playoff but missed it. He’s a threat to win any tournament he’s in, as evidenced by this price.

A couple of American Ryder Cup players are priced at +1400. Patrick Reed became an American hero in short order with his performance at Hazeltine. Ryan Moore is a two-time winner of the CIMB Classic. Reed has played fairly well at TPC Kuala Lumpur in the past. He was tied for 10th last year, but that was still nine shots back of Justin Thomas’s pace. He finished 26th in 2014 thanks to a final-round 74. He’s had some time to decompress from the Ryder Cup and a tough finish to the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Ryan Moore had the clinching point for the Ryder Cup team to finish off what had been a tremendous six-week run. Moore was seventh at the Barclays, eighth at the Deutsche Bank, and second at the TOUR Championship. He lost in a playoff to Rory McIlroy. Moore paced the field by three strokes here in the CIMB Classic two years ago with a 17-under score and four rounds of 69 or better. His win in 2013 came in a playoff over Gary Woodland, as Moore opened with a 63 and then bobbed and weaved his way to the title.

One player outside the top favorites that is worth a look this week is Kevin Na at +1800. Na is up near the top of the board, but he’s played extremely well here. Na was tied for third last year at 24-under and tied for second in 2014 at 14-under. He’s a guy that can get really hot with the putter and putting is very important here at TPC Kuala Lumpur.

Those looking down the board a bit for a long shot may want to give Branden Grace a look at +4000. Grace is a world-class player that hasn’t really had the results of late, but he was tied for 17th here last year at 15-under. He’s played this course before in the Malaysian Open on the European Tour, so he’s familiar with the layout and could thrive in his second CIMB Classic.

Malaysia is a 12-hour time difference, so keep that in mind as you look for Golf Channel coverage throughout the week.

$60 in FREE Premium Picks

  • Get $60 in FREE premium member picks from Doc’s Sports Service
  • One of the most trusted names in handicapping since 1971! No salesmen – No obligation

Leave a Reply