My 2022 PLAYERS Championship Betting Card, Storylines, Final Thoughts

Written By John Haslbauer on March 9, 2022
the players championship bets

Only hours remain to lock in pre-tournament odds for THE PLAYERS Championship bets.

I cannot express how excited I am to watch this tournament. I’ve only played two other PGA TOUR courses in my life (Bethpage Black, Mayakoba), so getting to see TPC Sawgrass on TV for the first time since I was there is going to be a treat. Oh, and it’s also one of the most entertaining events of the season each year, with a loaded field and even larger purse than ever before.

Click on the odds below if you’d like to add my 2022 PLAYERS Championship bets as well.

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MY BETTING CARD: HOW I BUILT MY PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP BETS

THE PLAYERS is known as the Fifth Major, and I take that to heart with my betting approach, upping the risk/reward to that of a Major event, just to give it the heightened viewing atmosphere it deserves. So this week from an Outright perspective, I’ll be upping the unit payout to 30U from the usual 24U, and bumping up the units proportionally from 3U to 3.75U. For Props, I’m bringing the risk down a bit to even out the over-exposure from Outrights, but embracing the volatility of this tournament, I’ll be looking to take some bigger swings (2.4U in to pay out 3.75U each). FRL will remain exactly the same (0.5U in to pay out 10U+), and I’ll be going a little heavier in DFS GPPs to get more exposure to this volatile field.

THE PLAYERS has bred an even mix of longshot winners (Si Woo Kim, Webb Simpson) and favorites (Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day), so I ended up building my card out to mirror that with a balance of studs and bombs at both ends of the board. I’m just hoping to have at least one guy in the mix come Sunday, but I’m still excited to follow along no matter what happens.

I’ll be back in TheLines’ Discord golf channel Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET to talk through all my favorite 2022 PLAYERS Championship bets, DFS plays, and final thoughts for this week in addition to everything covered here. Hope to see you there!

THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP BETS: OUTRIGHTS (3.75 UNITS)

Collin Morikawa

My Bet: +1800

Best Odds Still Available:

You’re not going to find anything not to like about Collin Morikawa’s form coming into this event. Even the putter is hot at the moment, having gained in each of his last three measured events. His game is tailor made for a shorter Pete Dye course, and he should be licking his chops this week after closing out the 2021 PLAYERS Championship with the low round of the day on Sunday. I would’ve considered betting Collin down to 14-1, but happy to have landed on this odds discount.

Sungjae Im

My Bet: +5000

Best Odds Still Available:

The bet was in on Sungjae Im two weeks ago, and while he’s drifted down closer to 40-1 odds across most books since then, this 50-1 total still remains available. Sungjae is a proven winner on TOUR and can gain in all four major categories, which is what you need on a difficult all-around test like TPC Sawgrass. He always thrives on the Florida swing and carries some strong momentum once again into THE PLAYERS.

Marc Leishman

My Bet: +9000

Best Odds Still Available:

It’s shocking that Marc Leishman doesn’t have better results at TPC Sawgrass, considering it’s a course that often takes driver out of your hands and forces you to work the ball in both directions off-the-tee to set up approaches. His odds have dipped because of the poor course history, not the recent form, so I’m happy to buy low on Leishman who carries a streak of 13 consecutive made cuts since the Open Championship into this week. He’s been fairly consistent here tee-to-green, so just needs to keep the momentum from his recent putting form going into this week.

Alex Noren

My Bet: +11000

Best Odds Still Available:

Noren has started to pop more and more in models over recent weeks, but sportsbooks have been sharp to keep him in the mid-range of odds despite that. In this loaded field, Noren’s finally dipped down to a reasonable 100-1 or longer range, so I’m ready to jump on now.

As volatile as this event has been over the years with its wide array of winning profiles, the one consistent through line seems to be trending approach play. Noren has gained strokes on approach in five consecutive events coming into this week, highlighted by the 5.4 strokes he gained on approach in his last start at the Honda Classic. He also has a T5 and T6 within his last three starts, so seems to be circling around contention more and more. Add in two top 20s at THE PLAYERS over four career appearances and there’s plenty to be optimistic about.

Jason Kokrak

My Bet: +12000

Best Odds Still Available:

This has to be my favorite value bet of the week. Kokrak was a winner in difficult conditions at the Houston Open just five starts ago and has finished inside the top-40 in each of his next four starts since. Last time he came to TPC Sawgrass, he finished T9, gaining over 7 strokes ball striking. Though I would typically think of Kokrak on a fit for more of a bomber’s course, he proved he can go the angular route with a win at the Charles Schwab last year. I would expect him to go as far as his around-the-green game will take him this week.

Tom Hoge

My Bet: +15000

Best Odds Still Available:

I like Tom Hoge for all the reasons I like Collin Morikawa, with the added bonus that his odds are 10x longer and Hoge has won on TOUR more recently. It’s a crucial week to have the irons dialed in, so I’m happy to go right back to Hoge who ranks third in the field SG: APP.

Keegan Bradley

My Bet: +16000

Best Odds Still Available:

Keegan Bradley was the last player I added on to fill out my card. I say this (1) because it’s true and (2) because the last two players I wrote up as my final adds were Tom Hoge at Pebble Beach and Joaquin Niemann at The Genesis.

It’s no surprise that Keegan ranks amongst the best in this field tee-to-green, or that he’s gained strokes T2G in six consecutive events entering THE PLAYERS. What did surprise me however, is that he showed signs of life with the putter on Bermuda last week at the API, gaining 3.7 strokes putting. He’s also gained over 2.0 strokes putting in two of his last three trips to  TPC Sawgrass. Anytime I sense reason for optimism for the Florida native, I’m happy to take another chance.

Mito Pereira

My Bet: +21000

Best Odds Still Available:

This should surprise nobody, but I’m putting a 210-1 Mito Pereira on the card at a course that rewards elite Tee-To-Green play and Bogey Avoidance, regardless of the lack of course history. I’m fine to look past the worst putting performance of his career at the Honda Classic and focus instead on the fact that he’s gained at least one stroke putting in six of his last seven starts.

Lanto Griffin

My Bet: +28000

Best Odds Still Available:

There are so many viable options over 200-1 odds this week, but I think Lanto Griffin has the best chance of any of them to win. He lives right here in Ponte Vedra Beach, he finished T35 in his PLAYERS debut last year, and he enters this week having made nine consecutive cuts with three T10s over that span.

The Major Championships Are Coming:
April – The Masters
May – PGA Championship
June – U.S. Open
July – 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews

FIRST ROUND LEADER (0.5 UNITS)

Sebastian Munoz

My Bet: +10000

Best Odds Still Available:

Munoz continues to roll tee-to-green. It’s only a matter of time before the putts start falling.

Tom Hoge

My Bet: +10000

Best Odds Still Available:

Tom Hoge is a FRL hero, recently cashing for some at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am before his pseudo wire-to-wire victory. The short game may get him in some trouble this week, but if he hits a high clip of greens in regulation on Thursday, he’s liable to generate plenty of birdie opportunities.

Lanto Griffin

My Bet: +10000

Best Odds Still Available:

A Thursday round at TPC Sawgrass should be a walk in the park for the Ponte Vedra Beach resident. I have some pause about how Lanto will fare under pressure if he’s in the mix on Sunday, but he suits the course well and enters in strong form for a hot Thursday start.

Russell Knox

My Bet: +11000

Best Odds Still Available:

the same sentiments for Griffin are also true for Russell Knox. He knows the course well, and is no stranger to a hot start, twice cashing as First Round Leader last season at the Sanderson Farms and Mayakoba.

KH Lee

My Bet: +11000

Best Odds Still Available:

When on a TPC Course, you play KH Lee. We know the rules by now, and while I couldn’t get exposure to him anywhere else on my betting card, I like these odds for the FRL market.

PROPS (3 UNITS)

Top-30 Finish: Russell Knox

My Bet: +350

Best Odds Still Available:

It looks like I’m much higher on Knox than the market is this week, so I’ll keep chasing the value in the T30 market. Knox enters with four consecutive made cuts and ranks out #1 in the field in both Good Drives Gained and GIRs Gained, which is a great recipe for a high floor, top-30 bid.

Top-20 Finish: Jason Kokrak

My Bet: +600

Best Odds Still Available:

This is a huge value offered on FanDuel Sportsbook, which was quickly bet down to the 3-1 range. I’m not sure if I’d still take this at half the odds, but regardless, I’m very high on Kokrak this week and think he’s not getting the respect he deserves from sportsbooks for his combination of recent form and recent course history.

Top-20 Finish: Lanto Griffin

My Bet: +650

Best Odds Still Available:

I like Lanto Griffin for all the reasons I mentioned as an outright, but considering the number of heavy hitters in this field, I’ll take the top-20 at long odds for the added security.

Top-20 Finish: Adam Hadwin

My Bet: +700

Best Odds Still Available:

All of my props are effectively longshots this week; I’m embracing the volatility of an event that’s seen players like Jim Furyk, Eddie Pepperell, and Colt Knost find the top-5 in recent years. Hadwin is a pure model play for me, rating out 23rd for me across the key stats for TPC Sawgrass. He’s top-20 in SG: Short Game, Good Drives Gained, GIRs Gained, Bogey Avoidance, Scrambling, and P4: <350 Yards.

ONE AND DONE

My Pick: Collin Morikawa

Last year I got off to a slow OAD start, which was then masked entirely by a Justin Thomas win in this event. That kickstarted a great recovery for the rest of the season, and I’m hoping I can tap into the same run this year with Morikawa. From a profile standpoint, this course should suit Collin’s strengths in iron play perfectly. The form couldn’t be any better either with four straight T7-or-better finishes. With one of the biggest purses of the year at stake, I have no reservations rolling out a player in Morikawa who would become world no. 1 with a win.

There’s a long list of OAD options to choose from this week beyond just Morikawa. Hard to poke a hole in any selection from the top-10 players in the world, but with this being one of the biggest purses of the year, you’ll want to use one of the biggest names here in OAD.

THE PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP BETS

CLOSING THOUGHTS AND STORYLINES

THE PLAYERS is already a highly volatile event, and now we have an additional layer of volatility with thunderstorms forecasted Thursday through Saturday. Sepp Straka and Lucas Herbert have showed us that when weather influences a tournament, there’s a higher likelihood to see a random winner. In more modest conditions, we’ve still seen Si Woo Kim and Webb Simpson win this event at odds over 100-1, so I want to embrace the randomness of this event with a longer card and wider DFS player pool. Here’s a final look at some storylines I’m excited to watch play out at the 2022 PLAYERS Championship.

The Rain / The Drainage

TPC Sawgrass is about the get a ton of rain throughout this tournament. They’ve recently done an ambitious overhaul of their drainage systems, so even still, there are few other courses in the world that can handle this level of rainfall better. It’ll be interesting to track along if conditions are softer, which would lead to easier scoring and a higher percentage of greens in regulation.

Ejections

With water in play on 17 holes, TPC Sawgrass yields one of the highest penalty stroke percentages on TOUR. That means a good round round can easily be flipped on its head with one poor swing. Paul Casey, for example, made quadruple-bogey on the 17th hole in round one last year, then went on to lose by three strokes. Players who open up a big lead are just as viable to give it back with one bad hole, which should create appealing live betting options.

Repeat Winner?

There have only been two repeat winners at THE PLAYERS over the last 30 years: Tiger Woods and Davis Love III. I’ve ended up chasing that narrative and have no former PLAYERS Champions on my card this week, so I’m hoping to see that trend continue.

Good luck with THE PLAYERS Championship bets!

John Haslbauer Avatar
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John Haslbauer

John Haslbauer writes about golf betting and advanced golf metrics for TheLines.com. He is a passionate golf fan, golf writer, and (casual) golfer. A graduate at Syracuse University, John works out of Jersey City as a Director of Media Strategy for HBO and HBO Max. He created the website thepgatout.com at the start of 2021 and is active on Twitter (@PGATout). No, he is not a tout. The Twitter handle is a joke. Touts are lame. We hate touts.

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