Click arrow to expand Valspar Championship odds via bet365
|Erik van Rooyen||+14000|
|Paul Haley II||+25000|
The PGA Tour finishes its Florida swing with our staff making its favorite Valspar Championship picks, which has only seen two winners in the last four years. Sam Burns has notched back-to-back wins, while Paul Casey did the same before him.
Most players are resting up before a potential marathon at the Match Play in Austin next week, but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth are headlining the field in the Tampa area this week. Burns is also back to defend his title.
Our betting analysts are high on a couple of those names, but none of their favorite picks are that high on the odds board. Check out our tournament breakdowns and favorite picks below.
Favorite We’re Backing
Best Long Shot
- Sobel: Akshay Bhatia
- Murphy: Will Gordon
- Vincenzi: Ludvig Aberg
- Aguiar: Stephan Jaeger and Taylor Moore
- Bretwisch: Robby Shelton
- Sobel: Brian Harman
- Murphy: Wyndham Clark
- Vincenzi: Wyndham Clark
- Aguiar: Ben Griffin
- Bretwisch: Davis Riley
Contrarian Player To Target
- Sobel: Ludvig Aberg
- Murphy: Tyler Duncan
- Vincenzi: Gary Woodland
- Aguiar: Brian Harman
- Bretwisch: K.H. Lee
Trend That Guides Your Betting Strategy
Sobel: This shouldn’t come as any surprise, but you’ve gotta golf your ball around the Copperhead Course. Last year, the top-12 in SG: Tee to green included 10 players who finished inside the top-12 on the leaderboard. Two years ago, the top-four players on the board were each inside the top-11 in this category. There are plenty of tracks on the PGA Tour schedule about which we offer the cliched phrase, “You can’t fake it around here,” but it rings true at this one.
Murphy: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but you’re going to need your ball striking this week.
Players are going to be challenged throughout the bag tee to green at the Copperhead Course, and I want guys who have shown an ability to have accuracy off the tee and to hit a lot of greens.
As we’ve noted along all of the stops in the Florida Swing, you won’t be able to fake it around here and that tee-to-green form will be the driving force behind my picks this week.
Aguiar: The main difference between Innisbrook and the other Florida tracks we’ve seen played the past few weeks comes down to the tree-lined portion of the layout. Think Pete Dye for the concepts (even though he wasn’t involved), and you get this compact off-the-tee test that’s highlighted by the complicated variable of removing a driver from the players’ hands with their first shot.
The common denominator of wind, water and overseeded textures will remain heavily present, but there is a reason this track typically plays as one of the more difficult challenges yearly. Look for the 24-yard fairways and three-inch rough to turn this tournament back into the behemoth we used to get before the Sam Burns 17-under era of Innisbrook the last two seasons.
Bretwisch: Overall, this is a quality tee-to-green type of golf course that demands all facets of a player’s ball-striking, but I’ll be adding a bit more emphasis to scrambling and around-the-green play. Innisbrook made some changes to the rough and cut-out a lot of the greenside fringe to make this track a bit tougher than it’s been in years past.
Our Best Bets
Sobel: Justin Suh Top-10 (+360, FanDuel)
I listed Suh as a potential OAD selection in my preview this week, but the truth is, he fits the bill for pools, DFS and props, if not a small outright sprinkle, as well. He finished T-5 at the Honda Classic three weeks ago and T-6 at The Players last week, neither one by coincidence.
Suh has now gained strokes tee-to-green in each of his last seven starts and recently he’s not just gaining ‘em; he’s stacking ‘em up. In his last five starts, Suh has gained at least 1.45 strokes per round in this category on four different occasions, and that’s with a tepid wedge game around the greens.
Unless he gets bit by some fatigue playing his fifth consecutive week, I expect Suh to once again be up there on the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.
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Murphy: Will Gordon Top 40 (+110, BetMGM)
I’m going uber conservative with my best bet this week with Will Gordon, but this top-40 bet is where I will simply be starting my exposure to him. I’ll be betting him up and down the board including the +8000 to win as he seems to be really close to a breakout.
We often do this with the rising PGA Tour stars where we love them for a few weeks and then jump to the next hot thing like many are doing with Suh, who I also like. Gordon has fallen by the wayside a bit, but if you look at his past few weeks he has had some really impressive rounds it’s just that he has one equally ugly day to bring it back down.
Sometimes, this can be a sign of a player ready to breakthrough, and I’ll chase that a bit this week on a player that currently ranks fourth on TOUR in the PGA’s version of Ball Striking (Total Driving + Greens in Regulation). Those metrics will be really important this week and for him to rank that high with a nice sample size of data in play, it tells me how well he has things going tee to green.
I absolutely love getting him at plus money to essentially do just a bit better than make the weekend and as I noted, I’ll have him in all markets up to his potential maiden victory. (Note: I’m playing at BetMGM, where the number is slightly lower than other books, but they pay out ties in full.)
Bretwisch: Will Gordon Top 40 (+130, DraftKings)
I’ve been riding Will Gordon for the past month or so and love what I see when it’s not the volatility.
Gordon is going to be a bit of a mixed bag week-in, week-out, but I like the form with the accuracy off the tee and iron play heading into Innisbrook. With a bit of a weaker field, I think Gordon makes a statement this week with a top-15 GIR rate and manages his short game issues enough to finish inside the top 40 for the first time since the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Vincenzi: Tommy Fleetwood +2400
It was an encouraging PLAYERS Championship for Fleetwood. The Englishman was 4-over par on the front-nine of his second round on Friday, but he rallied to not only make the cut but also to have a strong weekend charge as well. Fleetwood shot 65 on Saturday before running out of gas on Sunday.
For the week, Fleetwood gained five strokes on approach, which was ninth in the field. The performance on approach was his best in the category since the 2018 Honda Classic. The 32-year-old finished 16th at the 2022 Valspar Championship and gained 3.9 strokes putting. The fact that he’s putted well on these greens may be an encouraging sign considering he’s a good putter who’s struggled to get in a rhythm of late.
It’s no secret that Fleetwood has failed to convert a win on the PGA TOUR. In many ways, his career thus far has mirrored the career of Paul Casey, who was very successful on the European Tour but struggled to win on U.S. soil despite an enormous amount of talent. Casey did win in 2009 at the Shell Houston Open but was finally able to get his second win at Copperhead in 2018. This feels like an ideal spot for Fleetwood to follow suit.
Aguiar: Stephan Jaeger Top 20 (+280), Taylor Moore Top 20 (+320)
Most prices this week throughout the space are less than encouraging for an event that bookmakers don’t want much exposure to, for obvious reasons. However, our friends over at bet365 have a few extremely enticing placement bets, led by the duo of Taylor Moore and Stephan Jaeger.
Both Jaeger and Moore grade as top-15 win equity candidates in this field. While it might not sound like an overwhelming total for a weaker event, their projected price points at bet365 of 22nd and 27th do generate optimism that we are gaining some value.
I am linking these two golfers together all week, hoping the duo can work in unison to maneuver their way up the leaderboard and provide us with a hefty payout.