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Action Report: Justin Thomas favored, but bettors flocking to Jordan Spieth at Valspar
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Written by Ryan Hannable @BetMGM
Following a pair of Designated events, the PGA TOUR heads west this week for the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook Resort’s Copperhead Course, located just outside of Tampa.
This tournament has been on a recent run of back-to-back winners, including Sam Burns who lifted the trophy each of the last two years. He’s listed at +1600 and looking to become the first player to win the same TOUR event three straight years since Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic (2009-2011).
When it comes to betting this year at the BetMGM online sportsbook, bettors are targeting another past winner at the event — Jordan Spieth.
Spieth won here in 2015 and has finished T-20 or better in all but one of his five previous starts (he missed the cut in 2018).
As of Wednesday, Spieth had the most tickets (9.2%) and the most handle (11.8%) of any player in the field. He’s the only player with a double-digit handle percentage. The 29-year-old has the second-best odds to win, down to +1200 after opening at +1400. He’s currently behind only Justin Thomas (+1000) among the pre-tournament favorites.
Spieth also comes into the tournament playing some solid golf. Following a missed cut at the Sony Open and a T-63 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, he has three top-20 finishes in his last four starts, including two in the top six.
Another popular player is Tommy Fleetwood, who is listed at +2500 to win his first TOUR event at Innisbrook. Fleetwood has the second-most tickets and handle, with 6.4% and 7.3%, respectively.
The 32-year-old finished T-16 at the tournament last year and is coming off a good showing at THE PLAYERS Championship, where he finished T-27 despite a final-round 76. Fleetwood’s ball-striking will be a big advantage at the Copperhead Course this week.
Spieth and Fleetwood are two of BetMGM’s top three liabilities for the week. The third is Ben Griffin (+5000), who briefly contended last week at TPC Sawgrass. Griffin was a relative unknown before playing his way into the final group during the third round, and he ultimately finished T-35. He has the fourth-most tickets at 5.7%.
Latest Handle & Tickets (as of Wednesday)
Handle (money wagered)
1. Jordan Spieth – 11.8%
2. Tommy Fleetwood – 7.3%
3. Davis Riley – 7.2%
4. Adam Hadwin – 6.2%
5. Justin Rose – 5.8%
Tickets (bets placed)
1. Jordan Spieth – 9.2%
2. Tommy Fleetwood – 6.4%
3. Justin Thomas – 6.3%
4. Ben Griffin – 5.7%
5. Adam Hadwin – 5.3%
Thomas has the best odds to win, listed at +1000 despite a T-60 finish last week. He finished T-3 at this event a year ago, just missing out on the playoff between Burns and Riley. Thomas hit the ball great last year; his putter just went cold.
Riley (+4000) is getting some notable action following his strong showing in his debut a year ago, as is Hadwin (+2200) who won this event in 2017. Meanwhile, Burns is bringing in just 4.4% of tickets and 4.7% of the handle in his quest for three in a row.
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