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Gambling

Players 2021 best bets: Our 9 favorite prop bets

Warren Little

It’s the eve of one of golf’s biggest tournaments, which means if you’re like us, you’re scrambling to absorb as much information as you can before entering your bets or your picks in your pools. With all the preview content and podcasts, it’s tough to soak it all in.

We’re here for those who are so focused on picking winners, and we’ve done all the research for you. You need some action on other markets—matchups, first-round leader bets, top-10 and top-20s. These are some of the most fun bets you can make. Because, yes, betting is supposed to be fun, albeit profitable at the same time.

Watch the below video, which highlights our favorite prop bets of the week:

Hideki Matsuyama, first-round leader (40-1, William Hill)

Mike Ehrmann

Don’t underestimate the golf gods. Matsuyama shot the course record at TPC Sawgrass despite his round being wiped out last year. It’d be fitting for him to go low yet again this year. –Stephen Hennessey, deputy managing editor

Jordan Spieth, first-round leader (40-1, William Hill)

Steph Chambers

Spieth’s recent play speaks for itself, and though he hasn’t closed the deal, his starts have been sizzling hot. --SH

Sam Burns, first-round leader (80-1, William Hill)

Harry How

The natural overreaction to Sam Burns’ missed cut last week, when the whole gambling community was on him, is to hop off the bandwagon. Don’t, because Burns has showed multiple times this season that he can quickly bounce back. His approach game is still clicking, and if the putter gets cooking Thursday he could make a ton of birdies. He ranks T-10 on tour in first-round scoring average. –Christopher Powers, assistant editor

Joaquin Niemann, top 20 after Round 1 (+335, DraftKings)

Harry How

Niemann has been quiet since his consecutive runner-up finishes in Hawaii, but that’s only because of a few weekend fades. On Thursday and Friday, however, he’s still been great (67-68 at Riviera, 69-72 at WGC). I’m betting him to win this week, but a very safe backup bet is top 20 after round 1, which DraftKings usually only offers for major weeks, which means … don’t say it … the Players must be the fifth major? --CP

Tommy Fleetwood, top-20 finish (+200, William Hill)

Andrew Redington


Like so many other top Euros, Tommy Fleetwood feasts on the Florida swing. He’s great at Honda, great at Bay Hill and yes, even great at TPC Sawgrass, a place it’s very hard to consistently contend at. But the Englishman has done just that in his last two Players trips, with a seventh and a fifth. I don’t trust him to win, but I absolutely trust him to make the weekend and make a move, like he so often does. That should be plenty good enough for a top 20 at +200, a juicy number for a guy who lives in the top 10 in the Sunshine state. ---CP

Keegan Bradley, top-20 finish (+550, William Hill)

Abbie Parr

His last two finishes at TPC Sawgrass: T-16 and T-7. And Bradley has popped up the leader board the past couple weeks, at courses where approach shots are important. That’s the case here, and that’s the strength of his game. These odds are really enticing for a top-five approach player in this field.

Top Canadian Player: Corey Conners (+125, William Hill)

Sam Greenwood

Conners’ ball-striking exhibition at Bay Hill was so impressive, and that’s not an anomaly. Per RickRunGood.com, the Canadian ranks in the top 10 in SG/approach since the restart. That should be a recipe to success at TPC Sawgrass, and to beat these other Canadians, I think is a great bet at plus-money. --SH

Sergio Garcia, top-30 finish (+164, DraftKings)

Sam Greenwood


As Justin Ray pointed out earlier this week, Garcia has made the cut at the Players an astounding 16 straight times. That’s impressive by itself, but what’s really impressive is that he’s finished inside the top 30 10 of those 16 times. This is an impossible tournament to handicap, but the one thing we do know is that Garcia, who appears to be in good form, has the place figured out. –CP

Make the cut parlay: Collin Morikawa, Corey Conners, Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau all to make the cut (+887, Bet365)

What better way to sweat the cut on Friday night than with a massive parlay like this? We feel good about this one … which means it’s probably doomed. --SH