And the biggest underdog (by far) on Day 1 of the WGC-Dell Match Play is …
You can bet matchups on the PGA Tour every week, but the WGC-Dell Match Play is the one tournament you'd betting on actual matches. In other words, this is the one week you can truly count on whomever you back to grind to the finish to try and beat the other player in the pairing. Well, unless you bet on Stephen Ames the year Tiger Woods drubbed him in 10 holes. That thing was over before it started.
Anyway, Westgate Las Vegas Superbook golf oddsmaker Jeff Sherman shared betting lines for all 32 of Wednesday's group-play matches. And nothing jumped off the page more than the odds for the match between Dustin Johnson and Chez Reavie. Check out the full list:
Sure, it's a meeting of the World No. 1 vs. a guy even avid golf fans probably couldn't pick out of a lineup, but that's pretty lopsided. At -310, you'd have to risk $310 to win $100 if you bet on DJ, or you could potentially get a $250 payout off a $100 wager on Reavie (+250).
The 37-year-old Arizona State product is No. 57 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he already has two top 5s on the PGA Tour in 2019. Reavie at 2.5-to-1 odds is pretty tempting …
The next biggest favorites on Day 1 (There are three days of group play before 16 players advance to a single-elimination bracket for the rest of the way) are Justin Thomas and Francesco Molinari, who are both -260 against Lucas Bjerregaard and Satoshi Kodaira, respectively. Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka are -250 favorites in matches against Luke List and Tom Lewis.
Some other matches to note? Tiger Woods is -190 against Aaron Wise (+160), a player who was born a few weeks after Woods won his first NCAA title at Stanford. A struggling Patrick Reed is getting a lot of respect at -180 against Andrew Putnam (+150). And Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson are a tossup (both -110) in a rematch of their incredible duel at Royal Troon at the 2016 Open Championship.
Our advice? Stay away from the tossups and bet on the underdogs. Anyone in this field is an elite player. And again, it's match play. For 18 holes. There's a reason why you'll hear the phrase "the vagaries of match play" about 2,834 times throughout the TV coverage.