PGA Tour
January 28, 2020

Waste Management Phoenix Open 2020 odds: Longshots who might break a surprising trend this week

Bubba Watson 2020 Farmers Insurance Open - Round Three

(Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

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The Action Network crew is on the board in 2020 after Marc Leishman came out on top at Torrey Pines.

Now we'll try and find another win this week at the biggest party in golf, the Waste Management Phoenix Open. A quick synopsis of the course:

TPC Scottsdale checks in at 7,266 yards for a par 71, and really isn't all that difficult. We can expect the winning score to be at least 14-under par when all is said and done on Sunday.

There is also the potential for a lot of movement on the leaderboard over the last four holes. Players need to find a perfect blend of length and accuracy down the stretch since water is in play on the reachable par-5 No. 15, the drivable par-4 No. 17 and the difficult closing hole. In the middle is TPC Scottsdale’s stadium hole, the par-3 No. 16, which is enclosed by grandstands and fits around 20,000 fans.

The Favorites

Jon Rahm (+650) (Bet $10 to win $65) and Justin Thomas (+850) (Bet $10 to win $85) sit atop the odds this week. Rahm is fresh off a second-place finish last week in which he let the 54-hole lead slip away. The Arizona State alum is very familiar with this event, finishing inside the top-20 in all four appearances at TPC Scottsdale.

Like Rahm, Thomas comes into this event in good form and has had some success in Phoenix, including a third-place finish last year.

Rahm and Thomas both are a threat to take down what's been a pretty top-heavy event over the years. Each of the last five winners here opened at +4000 or less.

Webb Simpson is the next player on the sheet at +1400. He's had a number of good results, including a playoff loss to Hideki Matsuyama in 2017. Speaking of Matsuyama, a two-time winner here, he joins defending champ Rickie Fowler at +1600 for this year. Xander Schauffele closes out this range at +1800.

There's a decent gap after Schauffele before we get to Bryson DeChambeau, Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa and past winner Gary Woodland in the +2600 to +3000 range.

The Mid-Tier

We'll stay away from the top guys for this week and start the card with Bubba Watson at +3500 (Bet $10 to win $350).

Bubba has a love/hate relationship with this event. He's stated in the past that he doesn't like the course, but does enjoy the atmosphere the event brings. His results show he's a good fit at this place, finishing inside the top-5 four times in the last eight years. Bubba is also coming off a great week at Torrey Pines. He matched Leishman for the best score in his three rounds at the difficult South Course, shooting 11-under par. Unfortunately, Bubba couldn't break par at the easier North Course, which kept him from threatening Leishman.

Last week, the +5000 number got to the winner's circle with Leishman, and I'll go back there for a couple more plays this week with Branden Grace and Scottie Scheffler.

Grace finished second here last year, and even though he's been in a slump for much of the past year, his win in South Africa a few weeks ago suggests his game is coming around.

Scheffler's number has nearly doubled after missing the cut last week, but he played well on a desert course two weeks ago and with the bigger number, I'll go back to him this week.

The final play I'm making in this range is Byeong Hun An at +9000. An has been fairly inconsistent early in 2020, but he's played well here in the past, including in 2017 when he was in contention before sliding back to sixth. It always comes down to the putter with An. He's usually awful, but if he is just average on the green this week, everything else can line up for him here.

The Longshots

The triple-digit guys usually don't threaten here. The last time a longshot won at TPC Scottsdale was in 2014 when Kevin Stadler came out on top. I'll still take a chance on a couple players who might break that trend.

First up is Harris English at 150-1. English hasn't played well here recently, but does have a couple top-10 finishes, including a third in 2016. He's also had a couple chances to shake off the holiday rust after contending at a few stops during the Fall Swing.

I'll also go to Sam Burns at 250-1. Burns is a guy I'm looking at more for the Florida Swing, but I'll gamble with this number on Bermuda greens, which have been his preferred surface so far in his young career. Burns didn't post a flashy result last week, but he struck the ball well and simply struggled with the rough and bumpy poa at Torrey Pines.

The WMPO Card

Bubba Watson +3500 (.94 units)
Branden Grace +5000 (.66 units)
Scottie Scheffler +5000 (.66 units)
Byeong Hun An +9000 (.37 units)
Harris English +15000 (.22 units)
Sam Burns +25000 (.13 units)

Total Stake: 2.98 units


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