Look, predicting a pre-tournament winner in golf is not easy. While it’s true sports bettors can find fantastic value, it’s incredibly frustrating when one of your picks doesn’t even make the cut. That’s why I’m here to help.
Every Tuesday I’ll highlight three golfers who have a good chance to win the hardware for the upcoming weekend. This week it’s the Valspar Championship.
For a full Valspar breakdown, check out my betting preview here.
Odds courtesy of Bovada.
Jason Dufner (+4000)
This event has a long history of rewarding previous major champions, as seven of the 14 winners at the Valspar have taken home at least one major in their career. That lines up well for Jason Dufner, who’s a tad undervalued at +4000, in my opinion.
While the tournament is not exactly a big draw in terms of star power (only eight of the top 30 players in the world will tee it up in Florida), Dufner has long stated his love for Copperhead. The Ohio native has participated in the Valspar for nine straight years and hasn’t finished worse than 28th in that span.
Dufner is also in solid form right now, placing in the top 25 in three consecutive tournaments (T-25 at CareerBuilder Challenge, T-14 at Honda Classic and T-23 at WGC-Mexico Championship). Roll the dice with Dufner in the Sunshine State and bank on the major trend continuing.
Graham DeLaet (+4000)
DeLaet is coming into his own right now, as the Canadian has placed in the top 20 in three straight tournaments heading into this weekend (T-9 Phoenix Open, T-17 Genesis Open and T-10 Honda Classic). After suffering a back injury last November, he’s looked great since returning to the Tour in mid-January.
Health has always been an issue for DeLaet, but the talent has never been lacking. He is another player who enjoys the Valspar, and it has shown on the leaderboard. The 35-year-old finished T-5 in 2016, T-8 in 2015 and T-17 in 2014 at the event.
DeLaet isn’t lacking any confidence, as he recently told reporters “I feel like when my back is good, I can compete with the best golfers in the world.” The chipping issues that plagued him in 2016 appear to be well in the rear-view mirror now, and I expect him to pick up his first PGA Tour win sooner rather than later.
Luke Donald (+5000)
Donald knows the Copperhead Course extremely well, collecting four top-6 finishes at the Valspar Championship, including a win in 2012. The wiley veteran’s best days are clearly behind him at this point, but he still has a lot of gas left in the tank despite being in the twilight of his career.
Donald was T-22 here a year ago and has placed in the top 27 in each of his last three Tour appearances (T-23 at Pebble Beach, T-17 at Genesis Open and T-27 at Honda Classic). Donald won’t appear as a weekly pick very often, but he’s a good one-and-done selection depending on the course.