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PGA Players Championship 2021 Betting Picks
Before we give out our PGA Players Championship betting picks, we have to mention one thing — hitting on your wagers isn't the only way you can make money off this golf tournament.
You see, there's big money, and we mean big, to be made from promotional offers. Every single online sportsbook offers at least one. Many of those deals go unclaimed by players, which is a costly mistake.
The king of all promos is the sign-up bonus. It's given to first-time players of a betting site upon registering an account and topping off the account with money. The deals vary from site to site, but can reach as much as $1000 in free play!
That's certainly the case at BetOnline. Its 50-percent match bonus tops out at that exact grand figure. Now just imagine what you could with that extra $1000 in terms of betting? Surely, it would stretch your pockets a whole lot.
So word of advice: don't be like other bettors and leave that free money on the table. Whether it's BetOnline or another bookmaker, take advantage of those deals to make even more money from betting on golf. Speaking of that, let's switch gears to The Players tourney and the best betting strategy for it.
Familiarity Does Not Necessarily Breed Success
While The Players has existed since 1974, the event didn't move to the Sawgrass (in Ponte Vedra, Florida) course until 1982. In the almost four decades since, only five players — Fred Couples, Steve Elkington, Davis Love III, Hal Sutton, and Tiger Woods — have won the event on more than one occasion. No one has ever become a three-time winner at Sawgrass.
That trend should give pause to bettors who have a habit of picking golfers with a history of success at a particular course. That might work elsewhere, but much less so at The Players. In fact, every tourney victor here since 2014 was a first-time champion.
Pros have not been silent about the difficulties of playing at Sawgrass. Andrew Putman said the course is "visually intimidating." Along the same lines, Mackenzie Hughes said, "there's not a moment when you can let up." So long story short: Sawgrass is unforgiving, for new and returning golfers alike.
Johnson, Koepka, Or The Field
As with any other golf tournament in 2021, the immediate favorites have to be Dustin Johnson or Brooks Koepka. Johnson is the number-one ranked golfer in the world today, whereas Koepka is pegged at 12 — but would be much higher if not for injuries that plagued him throughout 2020 (which he's now fully recovered from).
Brooks last tasted victory at the Masters, held in November due to the pandemic. Koepka, on the other hand, is only a month removed from his first-place finish at the Phoenix Open. Either one of them would be the "safe" bet heading into the Players. But if you must only bet on one, then our money would be on Johnson.
In making our decision, we pulled results from the last five Players' tournaments between 2015 and 2019 (the 2020 event was canceled). In doing so, it was clear Johnson has outperformed Koepka at Sawgrass.
Here's where Johnson has finished in the standings during that five-year span (ranked from the oldest to most recent tourney): 69, 28, 12, 17, and 5. Koepka on the other hand? Missed the cut, 35, 16, 11, and 56 (using the same order).
For the most part, both golfers have gotten progressively better at the course. However, Johnson finally broke into the top-5 at the most recent 2019 outing, whereas Koepa regressed and fell into 56th place. That's why we feel Johnson just has more momentum going into the 2021 competition.
Betting pick to make: Dustin Johnson
Under-The-Radar Golfer To Bet On
For bettors that like "going against the grain" and betting on the proverbial dark horses, we have a prime candidate just for you — Tommy Fleetwood.
Fleetwood has been in the thick of things at the Players each of the past two turnouts. In 2018, the UK golfer placed seventh. The following year, he did even better by finishing in fifth. Fleetwood seems to have a grasp on Sawgrass — which isn't something you can say for many of his competitors.
Of course, Fleetwood has been without a PGA win since 2019. Heck, in his career, he's only at five wins. But hey, that's we he's a darkhorse and not a runaway favorite like Johnson.
Honestly, though, the smart betting strategy would be to bet on both Fleetwood and Johnson. Like we've said, Sawgrass is a punishing course. Given that, you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. So at the very least, spread the wealth on both of these golfers.
Betting pick to make: Tommy Fleetwood
That's a wrap for us, folks! If you're in need of more PGA odds — whether for The Players or another big-name event — you can find them all at one of the sportsbooks below.
While there's an abundance of betting sites these days, the ones featured underneath are among the very best. That goes for their promotions, customer service, quality of wagering lines, and so much more. Check any one of them out to get started right away!
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