Waste Management Phoenix Open expert picks and predictions with our PGA pro’s best bets for 2024 golf tournament | Sporting News Canada

Waste Management Phoenix Open expert picks and predictions with our PGA pro’s best bets for 2024 golf tournament | Sporting News Canada

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ — From a wild weather event in Monterey, we head southeast to the desert for more…rain? Yes, the PGA TOUR better pack an umbrella for the start of the WM Phoenix Open. TPC Scottsdale is the well-known venue for 500,000 fans who will travel to Phoenix for the annual party in the desert. Only the Summer Olympics has more attendees than the WMPO. We all know what weather did to the finish at Pebble Beach — let’s hope this week runs a little smoother.

Let’s take a moment and break down the format for this annual tournament, as well as some winning traits from TPC Scottsdale.

  • A whopping 132 players will be cut after 36 holes to the top 65 and ties.
  • The field features 10 of the top 20 in the OWGR, all competing for $8.8 million and $1.584 million for first place.
  • Eight of the last nine WMPO winners are major champions.
  • Don’t mistake the TPC title for a straight birdiefest. Solid ball-strikers win here.
  • Over the last 10 editions of the WMPO, the average winning score has been 17 under par, and eight of the past 16 years have ended with extra holes in a playoff.

More proof great players win in Scottsdale is the average winner’s pre-tournament odds. Over the past decade, only one winner has possessed odds longer than +5000 when the tournament started. Six of the last 10 winners held odds of +2800 or shorter! To select a pre-tournament winner, we must pay attention to what the course calls for in a player.

Our best bet last week, Mav McNealy fulfilled his role finishing T39 and inside the top 40! For full coverage of the WM Phoenix Open, subscribe to our Read The Line newsletter (it’s free!) and follow us on Twitter!

Let’s get to our best bets and top props for the WMPO, then list the live outright odds and go into more detail about TPC Scottsdale. 

For a complete list of my betting predictions covering the WM Phoenix Open winners, placements, and H2H matchups, please go to Read The Line and subscribe.

Waste Management Phoenix Open: Expert picks and predictions

Best bet to win: Justin Thomas (+1000 on BetMGM)

Scottie Scheffler is the betting favorite this week in Scottsdale, but there’s no doubt Justin Thomas is the fan favorite to win. JT’s ball-striking has been impeccable since September, and the results succinctly display it. He has logged two starts in the top 6 this year and he was second in strokes gained tee-to-green at the AT&T. When JT was winning majors, he led with excellent approach play. That iron-game radar is back, which will soon lead him to another trip to the winner’s circle.

Take Jordan Spieth over Sungjae Im H2H (-130 BetMGM)

Both of these players have a successful track record at Scottsdale. As we watch the odds move this week, Jordan Spieth’s number continues to tumble, while Sungjae Im’s odds are climbing. What the books feel is what I see. Jordan was third at the Sentry and earned a top-10 ball-striking week at Pebble Beach. Sungjae’s last two starts were a missed cut at Farmers and T66 in an 80-man field in the AT&T. Follow the board and take Spieth to build on his success and Im to continue searching for answers.

Best bet of the week: Eric Cole to finish in the top 20 (+200 on BetMGM)

Eric Cole plays every week and consistently hits the top-20 market. His strength is mid-iron approach play and putting, two keys for TPC Scottsdale that will bolster his current record of seven top-20 finishes in his last 10 starts. Tail Cole and take home another best bet of the week.


Waste Management Phoenix Open odds to win

Here are the latest golf odds for the Waste Management Phoenix Open courtesy of BetMGM.

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Golfer Odds 
Scottie Scheffler +500
Justin Thomas +1000
Jordan Spieth +1600
Max Homa +1600
Sam Burns +1600
Byeong Hun An +2800
Sungjae Im +2800
Wyndham Clark +2800
Cameron Young +3300
J.T. Poston +3300
Matt Fitzpatrick +3300
Min Woo Lee +3300
Sahith Theegala +3300
Eric Cole +4000
Tom Kim +4000
Adam Hadwin +5000
Adam Scott +5000
Beau Hossler +5000
Hideki Matsuyama +5000
Si Woo Kim +5000
Corey Conners +5500
Rickie Fowler +5500
Akshay Bhatia +6600
Alex Noren +6600
Brian Harman +6600
Denny McCarthy +6600
Thomas Detrty +6600
Emiliano Grillo +6600
Kurt Kitayama +6600
Shane Lowry +6600
Andrew Putnam +8000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +8000
Kevin Yu +8000
Mark Hubbard +8000
Tom Hoge +8000
Harris English +9000
Keith Mitchell +9000
Luke List +9000
Taylor Montgomery +9000
Aaron Rai +10000
Adam Schenk +10000
Billy Horschel +10000
Brendon Todd +10000
Daniel Berger +10000
Erik van Rooyen +10000
Nick Taylor +10000
Ryan Fox +10000
Adam Svensson +12500
Austin Eckroat +12500
Lucas Glover +12500
Matt Kuchar +12500
Michael Kim +12500
Nate Lashley +12500
Taylor Moore +12500
Ben Griffin +15000
Chesson Hadley +15000
Doug Ghim +15000
Gary Woodland +15000
Jake Knapp +15000
K.H. Lee +15000
Sam Ryder +15000
Scott Stallings +15000
Alexander Bjork +15000
Davis Thompson +15000
Joseph Bramlett +17500
Nick Hardy +17500
Brandon Wu +20000
J.J. Spaun +20000
Justin Suh +20000
Matt Wallace +20000
S.H. Kim +20000
Seamus Power +20000
Vincent Norrman +20000
Patton Kizzire +20000
Greyson Sigg +22500
Maverick McNealy +22500
Ben Kohles +25000
Chris Gotterup +25000
Jhonattan Vegas +25000
Lee Hodges +25000
Robby Shelton +25000
Sam Stevens +25000
Tyler Duncan +25000
Vince Whaley +25000
Victor Perez +25000
Sami Valimaki +25000
Adrien Dumont de Chassart +30000
Camilo Villegas +30000
Carson Young +30000
Charley Hoffman +30000
Dylan Wu +30000
Grayson Murray +30000
Justin Lower +30000
Lanto Griffin +30000
Matt NeSmith +30000
Matti Schmidt +30000
Will Gordon +30000
Zach Johnson +30000
Ben Martin +35000
Cameron Champ +35000
Carl Yuan +35000
Garrick Higgo +35000
Peter Malnati +35000
Stewart Cink +35000
Bud Cauley +40000
Callum Tarren +40000
Chez Reavie +40000
David Lipsky +40000
Harry Hall +40000
Joel Dahmen +40000
Kevin Streelman +40000
Martin Laird +40000
Nico Echavarria +40000
Troy Merritt +40000
Zac Blair +40000
Kevin Chappell +40000
Aaron Baddeley +45000
Andrew Novak +50000
C.T. Pan +50000
Chad Ramey +50000
Hayden Buckley +50000
Luke Donald +50000
Ryan Brehm +50000
Ryan Moore +50000
Brandt Snedeker +60000
Ben Taylor +75000
J.B. Holmes +100000
Jesse Mueller +100000
Kevin Stadler +100000
Tyson Alexander +100000
Jim Knous +100000
Nicolo Galletti +100000

Waste Management Phoenix Open past winners betting trends

Winning at TPC Scottsdale takes a very well-rounded approach. The best representation of this is par-4 scoring. This strokes gained skill influences contending at the WMPO more than any other category. The complement of excellent driving skill, precise approach, and opportunistic putting make up this composite player characteristic. TPC has 11 par-4s. Sixty-one percent of the holes played in the desert this week give players a chance to differentiate themselves.

Ball speed and the ability to miss small off-the-tee starts the process of scoring consistently. I like to evaluate a stat called “good drives gained.” This is an off-the-tee measurement that rates the best drivers because when they do miss, they miss closer to the fairway than their competitors. This analytic is especially significant in the desert, because if you can just keep it on the grass and out of the barren terrain, you will score.

Longer drives also lead to closer approaches. Five of the 11 par-4s are over 450, and we have three par-5s. Deeper drives get you closer for those 175-plus yard approaches. The biggest gains in proximity to the hole happen with a mid and long iron in hand. Look quickly at the best players in the world — Scottie, Rory, and Viktor — they’re all exceptional from long range attacking the green. That’s how they separate in the rankings, and how they contend week after week.

Once they reach the green and create those birdie chances, TPC gives players a great opportunity to convert. Consistently ranked in the top three for made putts over 15 feet, expect to see a plethora of long range rolls find the cup. Unfortunately, great putters have a tough time building an edge for this reason. Look at two-time defending champion Scottie Scheffler. His weakest skill by far is the flat-stick.

Smooth, flat greens give more of the field a chance if they can flush the ball. TPC is really a ball-striker’s course. It will test every club in the bag, and those who compress it score frequently. Other factors considered while watching the world’s best warm up across the TPC’s practice areas are scoring ability or BoB%. Can they balance making sub-par scores against avoiding bogeys? Ten holes at TPC Scottsdale have a bogey percentage of over 15 percent.

Blend in a careful look at who is leading in ball-striking and short game. Opportunities gained is important, as the last five winners averaged 23 under par scores over four days. Our best bets are all bombers who can go deep on the scorecard, and each has positive experience in the WMPO arena. That’s the last key I will mention: it takes a certain type of person (not player) who embraces the atmosphere this week.

TPC Scottsdale is the third-most predictive course on the PGA TOUR. Waialae (Sony Open) and Augusta National Golf Club (The Masters) are the only ones ranked lower. History repeats itself often in the desert.

Waste Management Phoenix Open: TPC Scottsdale course breakdown

TPC Scottsdale was designed by Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf in 1986. The essence of this layout is the relentless risk reward/challenge. TPC Scottsdale constantly asks you “do you want “to go for it?” Aggressive players like Brooks, Scottie, and Hideki have all won here multiple times. Each of them attacks a golf course with controlled aggression, a game plan set to go low at every opportunity — and when in trouble, save par and then try to create a sub-par situation on the next hole.

  • The scorecard displays a par-71 layout measuring 7,261 yards.
  • The course features three very reachable par-5s, four “pay attention” par-3s, and a venerable cornucopia of 11 par-4s.
  • Unlike coastal Pebble Beach, TPC Scottsdale sits at 1,500+ feet of elevation. The ball will be flying in Phoenix and historically speaking the longer you can hit it; the better.

Besides the past champions already listed, JB Holmes won here twice and Phil Mickelson emerged victorious three times. The greens are above TOUR average in size at 7,069 square feet and covered in the winter with a Poa trivialis overseed. Common for many of the courses we see at this time of year, the blend of that seed and the Bermudagrass underneath gives these greens a very smooth roll.

Sixty-seven bunkers dot the landscape, and six of the last eight holes have water in play. TPC Scottsdale is always a fun tournament to cover because the end is always entertaining. Sixteen’s amphitheater, 17’s risk/reward, and 18 always provide us with an epic conclusion. TPC Scottsdale is true shot-makers course, a sentiment reflected by past winners as well as our best bets for this weekend. 

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