PGA Tour Betting Picks: Tournament of Champions

Happy New Year golf betting fans! The PGA doesn’t waste any time in January with 2 yearly events in the beautiful 50th state of Hawaii. The first of the two, Sentry’s Tournament of Champions is this week.

The field of golfers features the champions from the various tournaments played from the year before. The 2021 event is set up a little differently, though, as 2020 wasn’t exactly a normal year.

We don’t have as many winners obviously, so participants from the Tour Championship who were ranked high enough in the FedEx Cup points standings and make it past the first two rounds of the playoffs are awarded with some free money no-cut golf in Maui.

The Plantation Course at Kapalua features some of the widest fairways as well as some of the largest greens on the PGA Tour. It is a bomber’s paradise where tee-to-green couldn’t be more important.

I do like all around golfers to succeed here but they must be able to crush it deep to keep up. The Daniel Berger’s of the world are great picks most weeks. He made us some good money last year and I still felt bad that we didn’t jump on his train earlier.

That’s sports betting, though, right? Even when you win, the joy is never 100% pure because the fact remains, you could have won more. Even if you become the most non ego driven most responsible bettor and treat it like a job, that will always be there for us.

Please Note:
I think that is why a system is important and it takes a lot of the guess and second guesswork out of the process. After we cap an event, if we have a 5% edge on the sportsbooks, I like to be conservative and bet just half of a unit. Most of you know this but a unit is 1% of your bankroll at that time. As your bankroll increases, so do your bet sizes and if for some reason you hit a snag and begin to lose, you are somewhat protected with your bet sizes decreasing. If you have a 10% edge, that is strong enough to wager 1 unit, in my opinion. Some people will tell you to do more and others maybe even less but you know the old saying. Opinions are like belly buttons. Now, for every 5% more of an edge you believe you have on the sportsbook’s betting line, you can increase your unit size by 0.5. Again, this is a little conservative but let’s get on a roll first and earn some confidence in the new year.

2021 Betting Action

We are 1 for 1 so far. I knew I couldn’t ask you guys to pay (-350) for an untested and unproven Ryan Garcia to beat an Olympic Gold Medalist but when I saw BetOnline.AG was offering (-150) for the kid to score at least one knockdown, I had to tip it.

Speed kills and while it didn’t directly finish off Cool Hand Luke Campbell, it sure set it up nicely. That is one thing I love about 12 round fights. It is much more of a marathon and more adjustments can be made over a longer period of time. Campbell was smart to cover most of Garcia’s punches because the kid was too fast for him to try to parry and/or slip. He forced the young inexperienced fighter to either make an adjustment or be in for a very close bout. I don’t know if he got the advice from his corner or he thought of it himself but faking to the head and not even changing your level to go to the body is dangerous but he had a very strong idea that Campbell would cover high and heavy as he did. The liver was wide open and that was a wrap. I felt good about the play even if it didn’t hit because we bought a stock low at (-150) and watched it rise to (-250) before fight time.

Golf fans who hate boxing, I would apologize but there is money to be made in the fight game. There are far fewer variables involved than in team sports or even golf which is highly affected by the weather.

Moving on to the Tournament of Champions. We, of course, have a high level field of golfers and this is usually won by one of the best. Going back a few years from 2020-Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, and Dustin Johnson were your winners.

DJ is the favorite this year and why not, right?

He looked better than ever in the second half of 2020 and just posted on social media that he has barely taken any time off and is setting a high standard for himself from the very start of the year.

We won with him in our last golf prediction of 2020 when he took the crown at the Masters breaking Tiger Woods’ course record with a 20 under par performance of a lifetime. We got him at (+900) I think it was and only had one other play on Xander.

Dustin is just 6 to 1 to get the win this week and something crazy like (-700) to finish inside the top twenty so it appears the value on him may be gone but then again, his level of dominance lately is scary and appealing for the bettor.

Dustin Johnson: +650

The man is on fire. I know we had our long break and he should be suffering from the normal Christmas cool off for athletes coming off of dominant seasons.

I don’t think we are going to see a slow down from DJ any time soon, though. I think he has gone through most of the emotional and mental growth we will see from him in his career and that’s a good thing.

You know, the been there and done that thing. He has been at the very top and also fallen from grace but more so slid down the hill on his butt. It was never Jordan Spieth level ugly with DJ. He just set such high expectations for everyone.

1st, 2nd, 6th, 1st, 2nd, 1st, and 2nd. Those are his finishes from his previous 7 tournaments! You are probably aware of this already but these weren’t just cheap wins whatsoever.

The Masters, The US Open, The Tour Championship, the two other playoff events-Northern Trust and BMW championship, and the PGA Championship. That is 6 of the 7 right there and a run that will go down as one of the greatest of all time.

I know (+650) isn’t much. I would love to see 10 or 12 to 1 but I am on him to win here. He has done it before and finished inside the top ten here in all of his previous 8 starts.

Take him to grab a top 5 as well for plus money at (+140).

The Bets
DJ to Win!
Top 5

Colin Morikawa: +2800

This kid is special and I have a strong feeling that we haven’t seen anything yet! He isn’t quite as strong as fellow youngster Viktor Hovland off the tee but he makes up for it with his approach and putting.

Colin was able to finish 7th here in his first ever Tournament of Champions and this is a course that usually takes some getting used to; at least to score low enough to compete with all the greatness alongside you.

Many are shocked at how much value he has coming into this week and I think it is because he didn’t finish up December in the best of form. I think he was just a little emotionally and mentally zapped.

He is young and 2020 was undoubtedly the most important as well as the most successful year of his career. He needed a recharge and hopefully, the Cal Bear got it. At 28 to 1, he is a total steal and I like him as well at (+175) for a top ten finish.

The Bets
Morikawa to Win!
Finish Top 10

Bryson DeChambeau: +1100

This brute probably put on another 15 pounds of muscle over the Christmas break. What a monster he is!

Regrettably, I haven’t been able to time his outstanding performances very well lately. We would either get him a week early or a week late after a breakout event.

Bryson actually didn’t play in this tourney last year but he did in ‘19 and ‘18. As a debutant, he only managed 26th place but his sophomore special was a little better wrapping up Sunday in 7th place.

This is a bomber’s course and we have yet to see Bryson 2.0 with the added 30 pounds of muscle at Kapalua yet. I think he is going to smash! And we can’t forget how good of a putter he is.

That was his game before all the muscle so for a course where you need to have both power and putting, he is one of the best at both and should do very well.

He will be our only minus money play of the day at (-120) for a top ten. He can be helter skelter but most of those troubles are brought on by tightly lined fairways and he will be at O’Hare for this one.

The Plantation Course has the widest fairways on the tour.

The Bets
Dechambeau to Win!
Top 10

In Conclusion

I love our picks this week. We are doubling up on the proverbial egg basket with the placing bets as well as taking these outstanding golfers to win outright.

The Sentry Tournament of Champions is always a good time and I don’t expect anything less this weekend. I know that the newly expanded NFL Playoffs are kicking off this weekend so you will probably be glued to that.

This doesn’t mean you can’t win some money because you will probably lose a little bit with the football betting. The NFL has been pretty crazy this year but I will give you my tip and leave it at that.

Chiefs and the Seahawks in the Super Bowl for (+1100).

You don’t have to pick a winner or cover a spread. I think Russell Wilson is the best offensive player in football and it is arguable that safety Jamal Adams could be the best defender in the NFL.

Couple that with a likely repeat Chiefs Super Bowl berth and you have a flyer that will last you at least a couple of weeks, I think.

Get your bets in ASAP and let’s get the year started right!


Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.