Players 2021: Why sportsbooks will be rooting against Jordan Spieth this week
Despite a disappointing 75 on Sunday, Jordan Spieth still managed a top-five finish for the third time in four starts. And even without a trophy in that span, gamblers have certainly taken notice of the three-time major champ's improved play.
Ahead of the 2021 Players Championship, Spieth has emerged as the most heavily bet golfer at two major sportsbooks. At William Hill, the former World No. 1 is No. 1 in both highest bet (9 percent) and handle (6 percent), while at BetGM, he's first (7.1 percent) and third (6.8 percent) in those two categories, respectively.
Spieth, currently listed at 25-to-1 odds, is also the biggest liability at both books heading into the PGA Tour's flagship event.
Spieth's six-percent handle at William Hill is matched by Collin Morikawa, who recently picked up a fourth PGA Tour title in only 39 starts as a pro at the WGC-Workday Championship. At BetMGM, only Cameron Smith (7.8 percent) and Justin Thomas (7.4 percent) have had more money bet on him to win at TPC Sawgrass this week.
When it comes to backing Spieth, gamblers are going with recent form over track record. The 27-year-old finished T-4 in his Players debut in 2014, but has missed the cut four of his five starts there since with a T-41 in 2018 being his next best finish.
Backers are also showing faith that Spieth is close to ending a winless drought that goes back to the 2017 Open Championship.
We talked about Spieth and the rest of the field at TPC Sawgrass on this week's episode of Be Right with guests Matthew Fitzpatrick and CBS Sports' Kyle Porter:
And if you need any other reason to plunk a few bucks down on Spieth, our Chris Powers reports he had a nice cut working with the driver on TPC Sawgrass' range on Wednesday—a good sign for a guy ranked 181st on tour this season in strokes gained off-the-tee. Just saying. . .