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2011 The Players Championship Preview/Picks

PGA Betting – THE PLAYERS Championship Preview & Pick

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LOOKING TO BET ON THIS WEEK’S 2011 PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP? CHECK OUT BETUS.com’s PGA Tour Betting Odds Today!!!!!

LAST WEEK: We continue to flirt with the big one. Phil Mickelson was the pick last week at the Wells Fargo Championship and he finished tied for ninth. If it weren’t for a 74 on Saturday, he would’ve been right there. Maybe a storied tournament with lots of stats to draw from like the PLAYERS will produce better results at the sportsbook this week.

Kudos to PGATour.com for this intriguing stat about THE PLAYERS Championship: it takes the average golfer 7.57 tries to win this tournament. Tim Clark delivered precisely on that number last season when he won THE PLAYERS on his eighth try. So let’s pay special attention to experience this week.

Also, scrambling and hitting greens are key to success at TPC Sawgrass.

Date: May 12 – 15
Event: The Players Championship
Course: TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Purse: $9,500,000
Defending Champ: Rory McIlroy
Winning Share: $1,710,000
FedEX Cup Points Up For Grabs: 600

TIGER & PHIL

Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +1415

The books just won’t stop valuing Woods and Mickelson based on their career accomplishments; they’re the top two favorites this week. Tiger at least made a decent showing at the Masters and he has success at THE PLAYERS in the past – but we shouldn’t pick him as a favorite when he’s coming back from another knee injury.

Mickelson is the more intriguing play of the two. He’s been consistent for a change of late, he won at TPC Sawgrass in 2007 and he’s second on Tour in birdie average.

THE ELITE

Luke Donald
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +1615

The numbers suggest it might be his time. This is his ninth start at THE PLAYERS and Donald has six straight top-10 finishes this season. He’s only 65th in Tour in GIR but he’s fourth in scrambling. It’s hard to go wrong with Donald when he gives you a chance to cash in every single week.

THE CONTENDERS

Ben Crane
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +2850

Ben Crane may have the most favorable peripheral stats of any golfer this week. He’s 12th on Tour in greens hit, third in scrambling and he’s No. 1 in greens in regulation from lies off the fairway. His last three finishes at THE PLAYERS are sixth, fifth and fourth. He’s done everything but win here.

Adam Scott
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +3050

Scott is generally good at hitting greens (20th on Tour) and he has a win plus two other top-10s at TPC Sawgrass since 2004. But he hasn’t played for three weeks and was just so-so in that last start, so there are hotter golfers to pick.

Matt Kuchar
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +3250

The usually consistent Kuchar has two straight top-15 finishes at THE PLAYERS and is a top-13 guy on Tour in both greens and scrambling. He’s one of my favorites week-in, week-out but he’s not in peak form right now; Kuchar just failed to crack the top 20 in consecutive starts for the first time all year.

SOLID PICK

Hunter Mahan
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +3550

Oddsmakers and bettors alike seem unnecessarily high on Mahan this week. Sure, he’s strong off the tee and eighth on Tour in greens hit, but he’s not a good scrambler and his 17th-place finish last year hardly knocks my socks off. There are better picks this week.

THE SLEEPER

Kevin Na
THE PLAYERS Championship odds: +6550

Na could be a very nice value pick this week. He’s fifth on Tour in scrambling, he finished third at THE PLAYERS in 2009 and he’s been solid overall this season, posting four top-10s. He’s on my shortlist.

THE PICK

As is usually the case for me, a few names stand out above the rest. This week, it’s Donald, Crane and Na. THE PLAYERS has long been considered “the fifth major” because of its prestigious, iconic track and its all-star field. I also think a major-like pressure comes with it. That makes me wonder if a polished player like Donald is better equipped to handle the heat than Crane or Na. I’ll give Donald a shot this week.

THE PLAYERS Championship pick: Luke Donald +1615

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2011 The Players Championship Tournament – Odds to Win – Updated Betting Odds

Matt Kuchar 25-1
Matteo Manassero 80-1
Nick Watney 30-1
Padraig Harrington 50-1
Paul Casey 50-1
Phil Mickelson 15-1
Retief Goosen 80-1
Rickie Fowler 50-1
Ricky Barnes 80-1
Robert Allenby 60-1
Rory Sabbatini 60-1
Ryan Moore 80-1
Sergio Garcia 50-1
Steve Stricker 30-1
Stewart Cink 60-1
Tiger Woods 12-1
Tim Clark 100-1
Vijay Singh 80-1
Webb Simpson 80-1
Zach Johnson 60-1
Field (Any Other Golfers) 5-2
David Toms 80-1
Dustin Johnson 40-1
Edoardo Molinari 80-1
Ernie Els 100-1
Francesco Molinari 60-1
Geoff Ogilvy 60-1
Graeme McDowell 60-1
Hunter Mahan 30-1
Ian Poulter 60-1
JB Holmes 50-1
Jason Day 40-1
Jim Furyk 40-1
Jonathan Byrd 60-1
Justin Rose 50-1
KJ Choi 40-1
Kevin Na 60-1
Lucas Glover 60-1
Luke Donald 15-1
Martin Kaymer 30-1
Martin Laird 60-1
Aaron Baddeley 60-1
Adam Scott 30-1
Anthony Kim 100-1
Ben Crane 30-1
Bill Haas 50-1
Bo Van Pelt 80-1
Brandt Snedeker 50-1
Bubba Watson 40-1
Charl Schwartzel 50-1

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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