2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open Betting Odds & Picks

Last Updated: 2018-01-30

Everybody seems to be excited about the Super Bowl, but arguably the best non-major of the golf season is here. The Waste Management Phoenix Open and its party-like atmosphere will be played this week at TPC Scottsdale. This year, we might have the best field we have ever seen and record crowds are anticipated, which should make for an outstanding weekend of golf.

As we know, golf is pretty understated in nature. Golf courses are more like places of worship with reverence displayed by both player and spectator. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is not that kind of tournament. Fans are loud. They are a little bit crass. They are raucous. They are alcohol-fueled and ready to have a blast.

Five of the top seven players in the Official World Golf Ranking are on hand. Unfortunately, this event will be missing Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods, but rather than wax poetic about who won’t be there, fans will be able to focus on the players that will be there, like Jordan Spieth, Hideki Matsuyama, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, and Rickie Fowler.

This is truly an all-week affair. There are concerts. There is a pro-am. There is a lot going on in Scottsdale and it is a whole lot of fun for everybody involved. Some players really thrive in this type of atmosphere, while others do not and prefer not to be booed on the 16th for a bad tee shot. Record crowds are expected this week, with the possibility of 250,000 spectators on Saturday. The weather is expected to be perfect, so officials are guessing that the number of fans will exceed last year’s 655,000 strong.

The well-manicured grounds of TPC Scottsdale feature a good number of challenges. Errant shots on approach often wind up in the sand traps and misses off the tee can wind up in the water or on some hard desert sand that doesn’t give players the opportunity to generate as much spin on approach. It is a good dichotomy for the players to have this relaxed, energized crowd, but also a course that demands a lot of precision.

Jordan Spieth is the co-favorite with two-time reigning champion Hideki Matsuyama at +860 per the oddsmakers at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Spieth has alternated seasons with this event over the last four years, but he’ll be teeing it up again this year. He tied for ninth last year at 12-under. Three years ago, he tied for seventh at 11-under. He was five shots behind the pace last year and four shots behind the pace three years ago. Spieth has played three events this year and has skipped the last two events. He was 18th in the Sony Open after a top-10 in the smaller field at the Tournament of Champions. We know that Spieth is a threat to win at every event he plays, but the +860 price doesn’t leave bettors a lot of meat on the bone.

Hideki Matsuyama’s playoff win two years ago ran into Super Bowl coverage and a lot of people missed that huge victory in overtime. He followed it up with another playoff win last year. Webb Simpson and Rickie Fowler have been maids of honor to Matsuyama, who was in that role himself back in 2015. For whatever reason, Matsuyama just owns it at this course. That is certainly accounted for in his price point for this week at +860, but it’s really hard not to take him anyway. He did a great job of scrambling last week because he did not play particularly well at Torrey Pines. He only hit 44.6 percent of fairways and 56.9 percent of greens in regulation, but managed to finish 12th. He has four top-15 finishes already this season. The last player the same event three times in a row is Steve Stricker at the John Deere from 2009-11. Don’t be surprised if Hideki does it this week.

Jon Rahm is at +1015 this week and the third favorite on the board. Rahm tied for 16th in his second taste of the layout at TPC Scottsdale. He was fifth back in 2015. After finishing second at the Tournament of Champions, Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge in a long playoff. He had a bit of a hangover the following week at the Farmers, but Rahm, who played his college golf at Arizona State in nearby Tempe, has to be excited to have another crack at this course. Once again, he’s at a short price, but he’s worth consideration.

Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler are both +1400. Thomas hasn’t gotten off to the same start that he did last season. He’s finished outside the top 10 in three straight events since his win at the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges back in October. Thomas did shot four rounds under 70 at the Sony Open and finished with a 67 at the Tournament of Champions, so maybe he’s finding it a bit, but wait and make sure before backing him this week. Fowler just missed the cut at the Farmers after a top-five finish at the Tournament of Champions. Fowler has finished fourth and second at this event in the last two years, so he’s the preferred option of these two.

Phil Mickelson might look attractive at +5000, since he is a three-time winner of this event and an adopted son of the area, but he hasn’t won a tournament since the 2013 Open Championship. Don’t fall for that trap.

Webb Simpson will be another popular pick this week. Simpson was fourth at Waialae and has six straight top-15 finishes at TPC Scottsdale, but his +4000 price certainly accounts for that. He’s not worthy of a play this week to win, but maybe a top-10 or top-five prop.

A decent mid-range play this week is Adam Hadwin at +5500. Hadwin has been playing quite well over the last several months and finished 12th last year after a 17th the previous year. Unfortunately, fellow Canadian Graham DeLaet is not playing. He’s had some great finishes here and would have been a good long shot option.

Shane Lowry is another decent mid-range option at +6000. Lowry tied for 16th last year, but finished with a final-round 71 when a lot of players went low. He shot 69-68-66 prior to that. He finished sixth in 2016.

Coverage of the Waste Management Phoenix Open will be on Golf Channel and CBS throughout the weekend.

Odds as of January 30, 9:30 a.m. ET:

Jordan Spieth +860

Hideki Matsuyama +860

Jon Rahm +1015

Justin Thomas +1400

Rickie Fowler +1400

Marc Leishman +2500

Daniel Berger +3500

Tony Finau +3500

Alex Noren +3500

Webb Simpson +4000

Byeong An +4000

J.B. Holmes +4000

Gary Woodland +4500

Charles Howell III +4500

Zach Johnson +4500

Phil Mickelson +5000

Matt Kuchar +5000

Patton Kizzire +5500

Derek Fathauer +5500

Brendan Steele +5500

Austin Cook +5500

Harris English +5500

Adam Hadwin +5500

Charley Hoffman +6000

Patrick Reed +6000

Shane Lowry +6000

Ryan Palmer +6500

Scott Piercy +6600

Keegan Bradley +6600

Kevin Chappell +6600

Kyle Stanley +6600

Cameron Smith +6600

J.J. Spaun +7000

Ryan Moore +7000

Russell Henley +7500

Francesco Molinari +7500

Brandt Snedeker +7500

Bud Cauley +8000

Chez Reavie +8000

Russell Knox +8500

Xander Schauffele +8500

Bubba Watson +9000

Ollie Schniederjans +9000

Chesson Hadley +10000

Emiliano Grillo +11000

James Hahn +11000

Jason Kokrak +11000

Ian Poulter +11000

Si Woo Kim +11000

Bill Haas +11500

Kevin Na +11500

Kevin Streelman +11500

Billy Horschel +12000

Brandon Harkins +12000

Julian Suri +12000

William McGirt +12000

Peter Uihlein +12000

Martin Laird +12500

Lucas Glover +13500

Luke List +13500

Hudson Swafford +13500

Brian Stuard +13500

Chris Kirk +13500

Bryson DeChambeau +14500

C.T. Pan +14500

Grayson Murray +14500

Ryan Armour +15500

Andrew Landry +15500

Anirban Lahiri +16000

Jamie Lovemark +17000

Steve Stricker +17000

John Huh +17500

Sung Kang +18000

Robert Garrigus +18000

Retief Goosen +20000

Wesley Bryan +20000

Patrick Rodgers +20000

Ben Martin +22000

Robert Streb +22500

Chris Stroud +23000

Kevin Tway +23500

Rory Sabbatini +23500

Michael Kim +24500

Brian Gay +24500

John Peterson +24500

Hunter Mahan +24500

Martin Flores +25000

Nick Taylor +25000

Nick Watney +25000

Scott Brown +25000

Ryan Blaum +27000

Danny Lee +27000

Scott Stallings +27500

Wyndham Clark +30000

Vaughn Taylor +30000

Cody Gribble +30000

Camilo Villegas +30000

Aaron Baddeley +30000

Tom Lovelady +32500

Jonas Blixt +33000

Harold Varner III +35000

Chad Campbell +35000

Ben Silverman +35000

Blayne Barber +35000

Dominic Bozzelli +40000

Kelly Kraft +40000

Morgan Hoffmann +40000

K.J. Choi +40000

Tyrone Van Aswegen +40000

Whee Kim +40000

Sangmoon Bae +40000

Alex Cejka +40000

Richy Werenski +50000

Tyler Duncan +50000

Smylie Kaufman +50000

Mac Hughes +50000

Matt Every +50000

Peter Malnati +50000

Fabian Gomez +50000

Colt Knost +50000

Geoff Ogilvy +50000

J.J. Henry +50000

Greg Chalmers +55000

D.A. Points +65000

Billy Hurley +75000

Jesse Mueller +75000

Andrew Loupe +75000

Charlie Beljan +100000

 

-END OF 2018 PREVIEW-

 

One of the most enjoyable events of the PGA Tour is coming up this week at TPC Scottsdale. It’s that time of year for the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which is more like a big outdoor party that just happens to feature a golf tournament. It is one of the most popular events in golf for spectators and locals flock to TPC Scottsdale to have some fun. The 16th hole “Amphitheatre” is one of golf’s greatest spectacles and players have to have a thick skin and possibly some ear plugs to play well on this course.

While the atmosphere is raucous, it is a major departure from most PGA Tour events, which some people would describe as stuffy or subdued. That can be tough on some players, as fans get vociferous around the tee boxes and regarding bad shots. Some players can take it all in stride, but others have had a difficult time maintaining focus. The one common thread throughout the history of this tournament is that the weather is usually nice and that Americans have won it.

Each of the last nine champions has hailed from the United States. Since 1999, only two non-Americans have won. Aaron Baddeley was the winner in 2007 and Vijay Singh won for the second time in 2003 after winning in 1995. Not only have American players done very well in terms of winning, but only Hideki Matsuyama (2015), Graham DeLaet (2014), Camilo Villegas (2006), and Kaname Yokoo (Japan) have finished second since Robert Allenby’s second-place finish in 2000.

About that 16th hole, the par 3 grandstand there has housed over 20,000 people in the past, making that one of golf’s most intimidating holes. In all, the course will play a couple chips shy of 7,300 yards this weekend and will welcome over 400,000 spectators. Five hundred FedEx points and $1.17 million will go to the winner, with the rest of the players splitting a total purse of $6.5 million.

This will be a very interesting event this year because of what happened last weekend at Torrey Pines. Hellacious rain and wind forced a Monday finish and Brandt Snedeker managed to come out on top with a score of 6-under. His final round 69 was the best mark by three shots and it was seven shots better than second-place finisher KJ Choi. A good portion of last week’s players in San Diego will make the trek down to Scottsdale, so factor that into your handicapping.

The odds are surprisingly wide open this week, so just about every player is a good value. A lot of top European players will be back in the desert for the Dubai Desert Classic, so that has opened up the field in a big way. The favorite at BetDSI Sportsbook is Bubba Watson. Watson (+1110) has finished second in back-to-back years here at TPC Scottsdale, so it comes as no surprise that he is at the top of the odds board. Watson did not play in the monsoon at Torrey Pines last week, so he comes in refreshed and ready to go.

Last week’s winner, Brandt Snedeker, is the second favorite at +1540. As mentioned, there are a lot of good values in the field this week. Sneds is off to a really good start here in 2016, with a win at the Farmers Insurance Open, a playoff loss at the Sony Open at Waialae, and a third-place finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. After missing two cuts and finishing 17th at Silverado before the holiday break, Snedeker has been swinging it extremely well of late.

Rickie Fowler may be a sucker bet this week, but the odds are attractive at better than 17/1. Fowler, not surprisingly, missed the cut last weekend at Torrey Pines after winning in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship the week prior. Fowler did have a couple extra days to rest up while the rest of the tour was canoeing from shot to shot in San Diego, so he could look better this week. Fowler was the 2010 runner-up.

Reigning champion Brooks Koepka (+1786) is the only other player with odds of less than 20/1. Koepka, like tournament favorite Bubba Watson, did not play at Torrey Pines last week. He was third at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, his first event of 2016, so he played very well there. The 25-year-old has only played four events and missed the cut at TPC Summerlin in October, but he’s played well here recently and that’s a feather in his cap.

This could be the week to take a stab at Phil Mickelson. Lefty (+2849) is a three-time winner here at TPC Scottsdale and the Arizona State alum always has a big following in this event. His 2013 victory snapped a seven-year drought on this track and it was the 41st of his 42 career PGA Tour wins. His last win was the 2013 Open Championship, so it’s been a long time. What better time for Phil to get back in the win column than on a course that he has thrived on in the past. His third-place finish at the CareerBuilder Challenge provided some short-lived joy thanks to a missed cut at the Farmers Insurance Open, but conditions were suboptimal there.

Past winners here are an interesting bunch. Koepka, Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, and JB Holmes are probably household names among golf fans. Kevin Stadler, Kyle Stanley, and Mark Wilson all have wins here within the decade. Those looking for a long shot to cheer on could do a lot worse than Ryan Moore. Moore is priced at almost 68/1 at DSI Sportsbook. Moore tied for 17th here last season at 8-under. He tied for sixth in 2014 at 13-under, three shots off the pace. He finished fourth at 22-under in 2013.

In a field that is very wide open per the odds, this is a can’t miss tournament for a lot of reasons. Golf Channel will have you covered on Thursday and Friday, with coverage shifting over to NBC for the weekend.

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