2017-18 WGC-HSBC Champions Golf Betting Odds & Picks

Last Updated: 2017-10-24

wgc hsbc champions picks and oddsAs far as World Golf Championships events go, the field for this week’s HSBC Champions event is not one of the strongest that we have seen. But, there are still a few really strong players teeing it up this week at Sheshan Golf Club in Shanghai, China, as the PGA Tour wraps up its Asian swing. Last week’s CJ Cup at Nine Bridges added another event to what is now a three-tournament swing through one of golf’s most rapidly growing regions.

There is an accompanying event this week, the Sanderson Farms Championship, but all eyes are going to be on this WGC event. It is the strongest field that we will have until the Tournament of Champions in Kapalua to kick off the new year. This event is restricted to 78 players, featuring the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking, the major winners and the PLAYERS Championship winner, winners of the past WGC events, and players that rate well in the standings on their respective tours.

Sheshan is a very nice course tucked into a natural quarry. It is considered to be one of the best courses in the region and there are a lot of elevation changes that provide for picturesque sightlines, but also some challenges for the players in terms of different wind conditions and different ball flights. This is the ninth year that the HSBC Champions has been played and it has been a WGC event since 2009. This was originally a European Tour event from 2005-08, which both Sergio Garcia and Phil Mickelson won.

This has been a good course for scoring, with the winners coming in at 20-under or higher in three of the last four years. The 2014 tournament was played under some different weather conditions and with some challenging pin placements, so Bubba Watson only won at 11-under. Drama isn’t always present at this event, though. Hideki Matsuyama won by seven shots last year. Russell Knox was two shots clear of Kevin Kisner in 2015. Dustin Johnson won by three shots over Ian Poulter in 2013. Since it became part of the WGC rotation, there has only been one playoff and five of the last six winners have won by more than a shot.

The favorite this week at 5Dimes Sportsbook is Dustin Johnson at +810. DJ enters as the top-ranked player in the world and kicks off his 2017-18 season. The end of the year wasn’t that great for Johnson, as he finished outside the top 15 in each of the last three FedEx Cup playoffs events, but it was pretty clear that he was running on fumes after a back injury that sidelined him for the Masters and a lot of high-stress events. Johnson won this tournament back in 2013 at 24-under. He was not in the field in 2014 and finished tied for fifth in 2015 with a couple of 65s and a couple of 71s. He didn’t play well last year. He couldn’t overcome a couple of 74s to open the event and finished at 1-under in a tie for 35th. We’ll have to see if the time off helped him, but there’s rarely enough value to bet on the favorites in these things.

Hideki Matsuyama dominated last year. He was two shots off the pace after the first day, but had the low score on Friday and never looked back. It was big for Matsuyama to win this event as the first Asian winner in a WGC event. His 2017-18 season is already off to a solid start with a nice $266,000 pay day for his top-five finish at the CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur a couple of weeks ago. It was a bit of a surprise that he didn’t play the CJ Cup, but he’s back in the mix this week. In that CIMB Classic, he led the field in driving accuracy and GIR, so it looks like he won’t be skipping a beat. As the reigning favorite, his +980 price tag is certainly understandable. If you want to play a favorite, Matsuyama would be the preferred choice over Johnson because we’ve seen him play an event and play it very well.

Jason Day is the third favorite at +1540. Nothing against, Day, but we have to see his prices adjust at some point, right? Day finished 11th at 4-under in the CJ Cup, but didn’t play all that well after an opening-round 68. It seems like name recognition and past performances are keeping Day near the top of the board, but facts are facts. Day hasn’t won since the PLAYERS Championship in 2015. He only had five top-10 finishes out of 20 events last season. Day hasn’t played this event in a while, so his course form data isn’t particularly relevant. He’s a stay away and maybe even a good fade in matchups.

Jon Rahm checks in at +1600 this week. This will be Rahm’s first start of the 2017-18 season and his first career start at Sheshan. Rahm racked up 11 top-10 finishes on Tour last year and really opened a lot of eyes. He finished with four straight top-10s in the FedEx Cup playoffs events and pushed his career earnings up over $6 million. Rahm is a dangerous player no matter where he plays and about a month off for the 22-year-old isn’t a bad thing. He’ll turn 23 in a couple of weeks and has a pretty attractive price for a player of his caliber.

The price isn’t ideal at +2800 on Phil Mickelson, but Lefty does have two wins here and played extremely well in the Presidents Cup to finish up the 2016-17 season. This is a decent course for him. Daniel Berger at +4000 is a good mid-range shot. Berger was the runner-up last year and tied for 11th two years ago. He seems to like playing here.

There are quite a few solid European players in the field that you could consider as well. Matthew Fitzpatrick has not been able to live up to his billing as the next big player to come out of England, but he has four European Tour wins and has played very well here. He was 16th last year and seventh in 2015. Players from England and Northern Ireland seem to play well here. Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell have had strong finishes, along with Fitzpatrick, Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Danny Willett, and Ross Fisher, who has back-to-back top-10 finishes, so you may want to consider some of those Europeans this week.

Coverage of the WGC-HSBC Champions at Sheshan will be overnight on Golf Channel with rebroadcasts throughout the day.

Odds as of October 24, 10 a.m. ET

Dustin Johnson +810

Hideki Matsuyama +980

Jason Day +1540

Jon Rahm +1600

Marc Leishman +1800

Justin Rose +2000

Paul Casey +2000

Brooks Koepka +2000

Henrik Stenson +2500

Tyrrell Hatton +2500

Ross Fisher +2500

Francesco Molinari +2500

Phil Mickelson +2800

Matt Kuchar +2800

Pat Perez +3000

Xander Schauffele +3300

Matthew Fitzpatrick +3300

Patrick Reed +3500

Tommy Fleetwood +3500

Tony Finau +3500

Patrick Cantlay +4000

Daniel Berger +4000

Andrew Dodt +4500

Adam Scott +4500

Alex Noren +5000

Rafa Cabrera Bello +5000

Thomas Pieters +5500

Bill Haas +5500

Branden Grace +5500

Russell Henley +5500

Brian Harman +6500

Kiradech Aphibarnrat +7000

Charl Schwartzel +7500

Chez Reavie +7500

Bernd Wiesberger +7500

Paul Dunne +7500

Peter Uihlein +8500

Thorbjorn Olesen +8500

Kyle Stanley +9500

Alexander Levy +10000

Hao Tong Li +13000

Richie Ramsay +13500

Jordan Smith +14500

Charles Howell +15000

Adam Hadwin +15000

Jhonattan Vegas +15000

Graeme Storm +15000

Shugo Imahira +15500

Richard Sterne +15500

Hudson Swafford +17500

Hyun-Woo Ryu +17500

Mackenzie Hughes +17500

Michael Lorenzo-Vera +17500

Ryan Fox +17500

Scott Hend +17500

Hideto Tanihara +18000

Gavin Kyle Green +18500

Fabrizio Zanotti +20000

Si Woo Kim +20000

David Lipsky +22000

Wesley Bryan +22500

Daisuke Kataoka +25000

Brandon Stone +25000

Haydn Porteous +25000

Matthew Southgate +27500

Mike Hendry +27500

Chan Kim +30000

Ashun Wu +30000

Phachara Khongwatmai +35000

Zecheng Dou +50000

Matthew Griffin +50000

Ashley Hall +65000

Yan Wei Liu +100000

Yi Cao +100000

 

-END OF 2017 PREVIEW-

 

The first premier event of the PGA Tour 2016-17 season is this weekend in Shanghai, China, where the players will get together for the WGC-HSBC Champions event. This World Golf Championships event is a tri-sanctioned event with the PGA Tour, European Tour, and the Asian Tour and it only features the best players from those respective tours. Sixteen of the top 20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will tee it up at Sheshan International Golf Club and this will likely be the last time that we see many of the top players until after the first of the year.

This is definitely a tough field to get into and, therefore, an even tougher field to beat. The winners of the four majors and the PLAYERS championship get entry, along with the winners from last season’s WGC events. The top 50 in the OWGR, the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings from last season, the top 30 in the Race to Dubai, the top four from the Asian Tour Order of Merit, the top two from the Japan Golf Tour Order of Merit, the PGA Tour of Australasia Order of Merit, and the Sunshine Tour Order of Merit, and six players from China plus alternates comprise this field.

This event started in 2005, but it hasn’t been a fully-sanctioned PGA Tour event for long. It was sanctioned in 2013 and became a WGC event in 2009. Some big names are past champions in this event. Phil Mickelson is a two-time winner. Martin Kaymer, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, and Sergio Garcia have also won.

This year’s field is pretty much loaded, aside from Jason Day, whose barking back will keep him out of action once again. Nineteen players from this year’s Ryder Cup are participating and each major champion. The course at Sheshan has been kind to the players most years. Aside from a one-year stop at Mission Hills in nearby Shenzhen for the 2012 event, it has been held at Sheshan. Man-made waterways line the course and several misshapen, greenside bunkers could wreak havoc on players with errant approach shots. This is also a fairly long course, coming in around 7,300 yards. There are some lengthy par 5s that will only represent eagle opportunities for the longest hitters in the field.

The favorite this week at 5Dimes Sportsbook is reigning FedEx Cup champion Rory McIlroy at +495. McIlroy and Dustin Johnson are pretty overwhelming favorites this week, so there is quite a bit of value down the board. In Rory’s last two starts at Sheshan, he’s finished 11th and sixth, so he has played very well. He hasn’t played since the Ryder Cup, where he was absolutely dialed in, so it’s tough to find anybody in better form than the champ. He’s never won this event, but he’s got a great chance this week.

Dustin Johnson also hasn’t played since the Ryder Cup, but his +550 price tag is a sign that oddsmakers aren’t worried with his form. They’d rather err on the side of caution. DJ was recently seen partying it up in Las Vegas with girlfriend Paulina Gretzky, so it’ll be interesting to see how he fares in his first event of the wraparound season. He was in the top 10 in each of the final three FedEx Cup playoffs events. Johnson was fifth in this event last year and won back in 2013 when he shot 69-63-66-66 to pull a three-shot victory over Ian Poulter.

Twenty-four players are going from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Shanghai, China after playing last week’s CIMB Classic. One of them is Hideki Matsuyama, who checks in at +1800. Matsuyama is in terrific form right now. He won the Japan Golf Tour event prior to the CIMB Classic and then he shot 69-64-69-66 to finish three shots behind winner Justin Thomas. Matsuyama withdrew from this event last year after shooting 71-73 in his first two rounds. He’s never really been a factor here, but his recent form is certainly worthy of consideration.

It seems like we haven’t heard much from Henrik Stenson lately. Stenson picked up a couple of points in the Ryder Cup, but he’s battled injuries ever since his win at Royal Troon back in The Open Championship. Stenson is +2000 to win here at Sheshan. He tied for 11th last year at 14-under with guys like Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, and Daniel Berger. This hasn’t been a particularly strong event for Stenson and he seems risky coming off of injury, even if he had some time to rest.

With such a loaded field, there are some good players at reasonable odds. Patrick Reed, who became an American hero at the Ryder Cup, is +3000 this week. He’s played very well in Asian events before, including a seventh-place finish in this event last year. He shot a final-round 77 to ruin a decent start last weekend. Sergio Garcia is also at +3000 and he played last week’s CIMB Classic. He tied for 17th.

This is a pretty good course for Thomas Pieters, who showed off his driving skills at Hazeltine. Pieters is going off at +5000 in a group that also includes quality players like Matt Kuchar, Charl Schwartzel, Danny Willett, and Louis Oosthuizen.

The overall strength of this field means that there’s value down the board. Interested bettors and viewers can follow along on Golf Channel and keep in mind the time change.

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