Swinging Into The New Year: 2021 Golf Betting Preview

Written By Staff on December 31, 2020
2021 golf betting pga tour guide Dustin Johnson

The 2021 PGA Tour season is expected to create even greater betting interest than we saw this past season as fans will start to return to courses to watch live golf, and more and more states start to offer legal sports betting.

Interest in golf wagering was at an all-time high in 2020 despite the coronavirus slicing into a chunk of the schedule.

“It was a sensational year for golf and not only for the majors, but for each and every weekly tournament throughout the Tour,” DraftKings Sportsbook director Johnny Avello told TheLines.  “I’m looking forward to the 2021 campaign and expecting a herculean handle.”

The early PGA Tour schedule in 2021 features some premier events to pay attention to, leading into the four majors. They include:

  • The Farmers Insurance Open Jan. 28-31 is at Torrey Pines Golf Course, which is host of the 2021 US Open in La Jolla, CA.
  • The annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is Feb. 11-14 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. The World Golf Championships – WGC Mexico Championship is Feb. 25-28 in Mexico City.
  • The King is honored at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill March 4-7 followed by The Players Championship March 11-14 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
  • The World Golf Championships – Dell Technologies Match Play is at Austin Country Club in Texas March 24-28 just two weeks ahead of the 2021 Masters Tournament.

A full listing of the PGA Tour tournaments in 2021 are listed below, along with golfers to watch and the four major championship previews. Full coverage of the events with previews, odds and information you can bet on will be updated at TheLines the week of each tournament.

Golfers to watch in 2021

Dustin Johnson: Johnson finished 2020 as the betting favorite at all four majors in 2021. His 2020 Masters Tournament victory was just his second career major title, but it was his third win of the calendar year, in addition to the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. He was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year for the second time in his career prior to his victory at Augusta National Golf Club.

Bryson DeChambeau: DeChambeau was the most talked about player in golf upon the Tour’s mid-June restart. His increased size and swing speed led to his commanding 6-stroke victory at the US Open and vaulted him as high as No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He entered the week of the Masters as the betting favorite, but had a disappointing T-34 finish.

Brooks Koepka: Koepka went into 2020 at No. 1 in the OWGR and the betting favorite at all four majors. The two-time winner of both the US Open and PGA Championship struggled amid injuries and was ultimately forced to withdraw from the US Open. A T-7 finish at the Masters should have restored some faith for 2021 and strong results early in the season will surely move him back up the odds board.

Jon Rahm: Rahm moved from No. 3 to No. 2 in the OWGR over the course of a strong 2020 campaign, overshadowed only by Johnson. The Spaniard earned his third career solo PGA Tour victory amid major-like conditions at the Memorial Tournament and later defeated Johnson in a playoff at the BMW Championship. He hasn’t yet won a major but has five top-10 finishes in 16 appearances as a professional across all four tournaments.

Rory McIlroy: After winning four times on the PGA Tour in 2019, McIlroy went without a professional victory in a calendar year for just the second time since 2008. The four-time major champion hasn’t accomplished the feat since doing so twice in 2014, but he finished in the top 10 at both the Masters and US Open. His 2012 PGA Championship win was at 2021 host venue Kiawah Island Golf Resort, where he won by 8 strokes.

Justin Thomas: Thomas was the PGA Tour money leader for the 2019-20 season, ending with the Tour Championship. His three victories on the season came against small but elite fields at The CJ Cup, Sentry Tournament of Champions and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Of his 13 career PGA Tour wins, four have come in January or February, with the other nine spread between August and November.

Tiger Woods: A list of golfers to watch in any given year would be amiss without Woods. He slipped from No. 6 to No. 41 in the OWGR over the course of a year that saw him play just nine events with a lone top-10 result (T-9) – coming at the Farmers Insurance Open last January. The 2021 US Open will be played at that same venue (Torrey Pines-South), where Woods has averaged 2.40 strokes gained on the field per round across 45 career rounds. His best odds to win a major in 2021 are for The Open Championship at Royal St. George’s Golf Club, where he tied for fourth in 2003.

Collin Morikawa: Morikawa has won three times since turning pro at the 2019 RBC Canadian Open. After getting his first win in an alternate-field event at the Barracuda Championship, he broke through with victory at the Workday Charity Open in mid-July and followed with a PGA Championship title a month later. He had a disappointing end to 2020 with three missed cuts in his final eight PGA Tour events.

Matthew Wolff: Few golfers made as big of a leap in 2020 as Wolff, who catapulted from 117th to 15th in the OWGR. He collected three runner-ups in 2020 with two of those coming behind only DeChambeau at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and US Open. He lost in a playoff at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Viktor Hovland: Hovland got his first PGA Tour win at the Puerto Rico Open and managed to break the tournament’s long-standing curse with a win at the Mayakoba Golf Classic to end his 2020 PGA Tour schedule. He followed it up with a T-3 finish in Dubai the next week and ends the year at No. 14 in the OWGR. The Norwegian was the low amateur at both the US Open and Masters in 2019, and he’ll play Augusta National as a pro in 2021 after failing to qualify in time for the 2020 tournament.

PGA Tour odds

Check in with TheLines at the start of each week throughout the 2021 PGA Tour season for updated golf odds with comparisons from the top sportsbooks in the US.

View all the odds at DraftKings Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook and BetMGM.

Majors previews

A glance at all of the 2021 golf majors, which includes The Masters, PGA Championship, US Open and Open Championship.

Masters Tournament

  • Course: Augusta National Golf Club
  • Location: Augusta, Georgia
  • Date: April 8-11, 2021
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,475
  • Purse: $11.5 Million / Winner $2.07 Million (2020)
  • Defending Champion: Dustin Johnson
  • Twitter: @TheMasters

The 2021 Masters will be played at Augusta National in April just five months after Dustin Johnson won a green jacket with a record-breaking 2020 win. Johnson’s 5-stroke victory and 20-under par score of 268 was an all-time Masters scoring record and his second major championship win.

Johnson enters 2021 as the No. 1 ranked player in the world.  He (+750) is the early Masters favorite at FanDuel Sportsbook, followed by Jon Rahm (+1000), Rory McIlroy (+1000), Bryson DeChambeau (+1100) and Justin Thomas (+1100).

For a complete preview of the 2021 Masters and odds for the event, go to our Masters page here.

PGA Championship

  • Course:  Kiawah Island Golf Resort (Ocean Course)
  • Location: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
  • Date: May 20-23, 2021
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,676
  • Purse: $11 Million / Winner $1.98 Million (2020)
  • Defending Champion: Collin Morikawa
  • Twitter: @PGAChampionship

The 2021 PGA Championship will be one to watch with stunning coastline views overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Designed by Pete Dye, the Ocean Course boasts the most seaside holes in the Northern Hemisphere with 10 hugging the Atlantic and the other eight running parallel to those.

The Ocean Course is carved through ocean-side marshland, keeping a completely natural look and allowing an unequaled combination of golf, beauty, and nature. The brisk and unpredictable breezes off the Atlantic will add another challenge along with firm and fast greens as golfers shoot for a major title and the Wanamaker Trophy.

McIlroy will be one of the leading favorites in the 2021 event. McIlroy won the 2012 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island at age 23. His 8-stroke victory and 13-under par 285 total gave him his second major championship and broke Jack Nicklaus’ record in the PGA Championship for margin of victory.

Collin Morikawa was a young, rising star in 2020 and he captured his first major title in the PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.

For a complete preview of the 2021 PGA Championship and odds for the event, go to our PGA Championship page here.

US Open

  • Course: Torrey Pines (South Course)
  • Location: La Jolla, California
  • Date: June 17-20, 2021
  • Par: 72 / Yardage 7,698
  • Purse: $12.5 Million / Winner $2.25 Million (2020)
  • Defending Champion: Bryson DeChambeau
  • Twitter: @usopengolf

The 2021 US Open will be played at Torrey Pines Golf Course in San Diego, CA. Torrey Pines hosts for the second time. Tiger Woods won the 2008 US Open in an 18-hole playoff that went to sudden death and 19 holes to outlast Rocco Mediate for Woods’ 14th major title. The winning score was 5-under par, 283.

The 2008 event attracted 295,000 fans at Torrey Pines. Spectators are likely to be able to attend the 2021 US Open following the coronavirus pandemic that shut down live fan attendance at PGA Tour events for much of 2020.

Torrey Pines is a public golf course and sits on the coastal cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the community of La Jolla. The South Course was redesigned by Rees Jones in 2001 and plays to 7,698 yards from the championship tees. The Par 72 course is also host to the Farmer’s Insurance Open in February with the event played on both the South and shorter North course.

The most recent winners of the Farmer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines are Marc Leishman (2020), Justin Rose (2019), Jason Day (2018) and Rahm (2017).

For a complete preview of the 2021 US Open and odds for the event, go to our US Open page here.

Open Championship

  • Course: Royal St. George’s Golf Club
  • Location: Sandwich, Kent
  • Date: July 15-18, 2021
  • Par: 70 / Yardage 7,165
  • Purse: $12.5 Million / Winner $2.25 Million (2020)
  • Defending Champion: Shane Lowry
  • Twitter: @TheOpen

Golf’s oldest major championship returns to England and Royal St. George’s for the 149th Open. The 2021 event will be most anticipated major after the 2020 Open was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic.

Located on the Kent coastline, the seaside links at Royal St. George’s last hosted the Open in 2011 when Darren Clarke captured the Claret Jug with an emotional victory. Clarke’s 5-under par and 275 total was 3-shots better than Johnson and Phil Mickelson.

For a complete preview of the 2021 Open Championship and odds for the event, go to our Open Championship page here.

2021 PGA Tour schedule

Complete 2021 PGA Tour schedule.

2021 DateTournament Course/LocationDefending ChampionFedExCup Points
Jan. 7-10Sentry Tournament of ChampionsPlantation Course at Kapalua, Kapalua, Maui, HIJustin Thomas500
Jan 14-17Sony Open in HawaiiWaialae Country Club, Honolulu, HI Cameron Smith500
Jan 21-24The American ExpressPGA WEST (Stadium), La Quinta, CAAndrew Landry500
Jan 28-31Farmers Insurance OpenTorrey Pines (South), San Diego, CA Marc Leishman500
Feb 4-7Waste Management Phoenix OpenWaste Management Phoenix OpenWebb Simpson500
Feb 11-14AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-AmPebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, CANick Taylor500
Feb 18-21The Genesis InvitationalThe Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, CAAdam Scott550
Feb 25-28Puerto Rico OpenGrand Reserve Country Club, Rio Grande, PURViktor Hovland300
Feb 25-28World Golf Championships-Mexico ChampionshipPatrick ReedPatrick Reed550
Mar 4-7Arnold Palmer Invitational Bay Hill Club & Lodge, Orlando, FLTyrrell Hatton550
Mar 11-14THE PLAYERS ChampionshipTPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach, FLRory McIlroy (2019)600
Mar 18-21The Honda ClassicPGA National (Champion), Palm Beach Gardens, FLSungjae Im500
Mar 24-28World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match PlayAustin Country Club, Austin, TX Kevin Kisner (2019)550
Mar 25-28Corales Puntacana Resort & Club ChampionshipCorales Golf Course, Punta Cana, DOM Graeme McDowell (2019)300
April 1-4Texas OpenTPC San Antonio (AT&T Oaks), San Antonio, TXCorey Connors (2019)500
April 8-11Masters TournamentAugusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GADustin Johnson600
April 15-18RBC HeritageHarbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head, SC Webb Simpson500
April 22-25Zurich Classic of New OrleansTPC Louisiana, Avondale, LA Ryan Palmer/John Rahm (2019 team event)500
April 29 - May 2Valspar ChampionshipInnisbrook Resort (Copperhead), Palm Harbor, FLPaul Casey500
May 6-9Wells Fargo ChampionshipQuail Hollow Club, Charlotte, NCMax Homa (2019)500
May 13-16AT&T Byron NelsonTPC Craig Ranch, McKinney, TX Sung Kang500
May 20-23PGA ChampionshipKI Golf Rsrt. - Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, SC Collin Morikawa600
May 27-30Charles Schwab ChallengeColonial Country Club, Fort Worth, TXDaniel Berger500
June 3-6The Memorial Tournament Muirfield Village Golf Club, Dublin, OHJon Rahm550
June 10-13Canadian OpenSt. George's G&CC, Toronto, ON, CANRory McIlroy (2019)500
June 17-20U.S. OpenTorrey Pines (South), San Diego, CA Gary Woodland (2019)600
June 24-27Travelers ChampionshipTPC River Highlands, Cromwell, CTDustin Johnson500
July 1-4Rocket Mortgage ClassicDetroit Golf Club, Detroit, MIBryson DeChambeau500
July 8-11John Deere ClassicTPC Deere Run, Silvis, IL Dylan Frittelli500
July 15-18Barbasol ChampionshipKeene Trace Golf Club, Nicholasville, KY Jim Herman300
July 15-18The Open ChampionshipRoyal St. George's GC, Sandwich, Kent, ENGShane Lowry (2019)600
July 22-253M OpenTPC Twin Cities, Blaine, MN Michael Thompson500
July 29 - Aug 1Olympic Men's Golf CompetitionKasumigaseki Country Club, Saitama, JPN 0
Aug 5-8Barracuda ChampionshipTahoe Mt. Club (Old Greenwood), Truckee, CARichy Werenski300
Aug 5-8World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude InvitationalTPC Southwind, Memphis, TNJustin Thomas550
Aug 12-15Wyndham ChampionshipSedgefield Country Club, Greensboro, NCJim Herman500
Aug 19-22THE NORTHERN TRUSTLiberty National Golf Club, Jersey City, NJ Dustin Johnson2,000
Aug 26-29BMW ChampionshipCaves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, MDJon Rahm2,000
Sept 2-5TOUR ChampionshipEast Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, GA Dustin Johnson0
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