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Odds Outlook: Rahm, McIlroy highlight betting favorites for THE PLAYERS

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Odds Outlook: Rahm, McIlroy highlight betting favorites for THE PLAYERS

    The 40th edition of THE PLAYERS Championship at Pete Dye's Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass has a very familiar face leading the deepest field in golf. Jon Rahm (+800) is the first name on the odds sheet at BetMGM Sportsbook, as he leads 43 of the top 50 players in OWGR. The Spaniard, coming off one of his toughest weekends in some time at Bay Hill (T39) has never missed the cut in five visits, highlighted by his only top 10 (T9) in 2021. Already with three wins to his credit this year, he remains in search of his first TOUR win in the state of Florida.

    Not far behind Rahm, Rory McIlroy (+900) has never been bothered by a big field or golf in the Sunshine State. Of the top 50 in the FedExCup points race, 49 are entered this week as only Ben Taylor (No. 27) is absent. McIlroy, who held the lead on the back nine last week at Bay Hill before posting early and sharing second, won the return to March edition here in 2019. He then continued the streak of champions not defending well here (T33). But unlike most champions, his defense also had to wait an extra year as there was no event in 2020 because of COVID-19. McIlroy was adrift of Rahm in PLAYERS odds in recent weeks but made up some ground with his close call at Bay Hill combined with Rahm’s unexpected struggles.

    Scottie Scheffler (+1100) ran his streak to eight consecutive worldwide finishes of T12 or better last week, as he fell just short (T4) in his title defense at Bay Hill. Making just his third start at TPC Sawgrass, the Texan's best result was T55 last year in the middle of five inches of rain, cold weather and a 36-hole cut on Saturday.

    A winner here in 2021, Justin Thomas (+1800) will be looking to join a very exclusive club of multiple champions at TPC Sawgrass. Thomas will look to add his name to Hal Sutton, Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Davis Love III and Tiger Woods as the only multiple winners on The Stadium Course. He rolls in with only one top 10 in his last six starts, but all are T25 or better including last week’s T21 finish in Orlando.

    The field of 144 will take on the longest setup in history as the par-72 track will stretch to 7,275 yards, the third yardage change in the last three editions. Patrick Cantlay (+1800) is still looking to crack the code regardless of course setup. The last two years haven't provided the answer, as he missed the cut in both 2021 and 2022. His best is T22 in his 2017 debut. Signing for a T4 finish last week at Bay Hill after a solo third at Riviera in his previous outing suggests the TPC Sawgrass streak of early exits could be over.

    The California contingent is noticeable by their absence on the course horses of The Stadium Course. Max Homa (+2000) has already picked up two wins this season on TOUR yet will be only making his third appearance here. Cashing T13 last year for his only payday, he did include a 66 in the final round. Xander Schauffele (+2200) also made his noisiest contribution on debut as he shared second in 2018, four shots behind Webb Simpson. A native of San Diego, Schauffele hasn't made the cut or posted a round in the 60s in three visits since.

    Here's a look at the betting odds on some of the notable players in the field via BetMGM, with the drama and unpredictability of TPC Sawgrass set to take center stage beginning Thursday:

    +2500: Tony Finau, Viktor Hovland

    +2800: Collin Morikawa, Will Zalatoris

    +3300: Jason Day, Sungjae Im, Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Fitzpatrick, Cameron Young, Jordan Spieth

    +4000: Tom Kim

    +5000: Shane Lowry, Keegan Bradley

    +5500: Rickie Fowler, Keith Mitchell

    +6600: Corey Conners, Sahith Theegala, Chris Kirk, Sam Burns, Si Woo Kim

    +8000: Hideki Matsuyama, Kurt Kitayama, Tommy Fleetwood,

    +10000: Adam Scott, Harris English, Justin Rose, Seamus Power


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