Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Valspar Championship: Oddschecker’s Tom Jacobs reveals his picks

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Who is going to taste victory at the Valspar Championship? Oddschecker’s Tom Jacobs has made his picks to win at the Copperhead Course

Scottie Scheffler blew the competition out of the water at TPC Sawgrass to win the Players Championship by five shots, but who will succeed in the next leg of the Florida swing at Innisbrook Resort? Here are my betting selections for the Valspar Championship, but first…

2023 Valspar Championship preview

Venue: Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead Course), Florida, USA

Date: March 16-19, 2023

Course stats: Par 71; 7,340 yards

Course summary: This challenging, tree-lined course is a real test for the players, with plenty of factors to consider. Water is in play on five holes, with tricky dog-leg turns and the potential for devilish winds. Small Bermuda grass greens are hard to find and even harder to put on, with patience a key factor to success. Even par makes the cut here most years, with the three-hole ‘Snake Pit’ providing the final hurdle for players coming down the stretch.

Purse: $8.1 million

2022 champion: Sam Burns (-17)

TV Coverage

Thursday: Sky Sports Golf from 11.30am and Main Event from 6.00pm

Friday: Sky Sports Golf from 11.30am and Main Event from 11.30am

Saturday: Sky Sports Golf from 12pm and Main Event from 8.30pm

Sunday: Sky Sports Golf from 12.00pm and Main Event from 7.30pm

2023 Valspar Championship betting tips

The Banker: Davis Riley @ 30/1 with Bet365

I don’t typically love betting on Davis Riley, as I often think he’s overrated in the market, but he’s now returning to a course he finished 2nd on last year, losing out to defending champion Sam Burns in a playoff.

I am of the opinion a good effort here was not coincidental either, as I think this is the sort of test that suits him, given his 4th place finish at Colonial, a course where we have seen a lot of crossover with this one. His two best finishes have come on these two courses, both of which demand strong iron play, and his recent improvement in Florida suggests this could be the stop for him again.

Riley finished 29th at the Honda and 8th at Bay Hill and whilst he missed the cut at the Players last week, I am not too worried given the volatility of that golf course. Focus instead on the form he was showing going into last week, which saw him go into the final round of the Honda in 15th place, and into the weekend at Bay Hill in 5th place.

I fully expect another strong showing at Copperhead for Riley, even if it is just one of potentially two times I bet him all year.

The Each-Way Play: Justin Suh @ 35/1 with Bet365

Justin Suh has made 11 cuts in a row and has finished 6th or better in two of his last three starts. 5th at the Honda Classic and 6th last week at the Players Championship, Suh is warming up nicely for this event, which I think he can impress at on his debut.

Suh is more than capable of winning; he’s shown that on the Korn Ferry Tour and now the Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year has every chance of making that step up this season on the PGA Tour.

Suh has ranked 24th or better in SG Approach in four of his last five starts and on top of that he was 2nd in Tee to Green at the Honda and 15th at the Players in the same department, which is incredibly important coming into this complete test at the Innisbrook Resort. I expected Suh to make his hay on the West Coast, having attended USC and given he resides in Las Vegas, but it has been Florida that proved the most fruitful so far this season, so let’s see if that continues this week for the Valspar Championship.

Another Each Way: Gary Woodland @ 45/1 with Bet365

Gary Woodland won this event on his debut way back in 2011, and has followed with an 8th and two more top-29 finishes, so when he’s in form, he can certainly play well at this ball strikers paradise.

His recent finishes may not suggest he’s in the best form, but his Tee to Green and Approach numbers suggest his finishes could change very quickly IF he has a halfway decent putting week. That is a big if, but on a course where he has won before, he may just find some confidence on the putting surfaces here at Copperhead. Woodland has ranked 17th, 7th, and 9th in SG Tee to Green the last three times he’s made the weekend, and in those same starts he’s been 7th, 3rd, and 16th in SG Approach, so if he can find a short game, his long game will be there to charge him to contention this weekend.

Golf betting from Oddschecker. Get the best golf odds pre-tournament and in-play, with expert tips and stats, plus claim bookie offers and free bets.

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