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Well, whether you like it or not, we’re in Portland, Oregon, for Week 2 of the LIV Golf tour.

Now don’t get us wrong, there are certainly enough big names in the event to warrant attention when it comes to betting.

But the top LIV players, headlined by Dustin Johnson and Phil Mickelson, were nowhere to be seen when it came to Saturday’s finale in the opening event in London.

In fact, if you had the trifecta of Charl Schwartzel (the winner who pocketed the $4 million winner’s check), Hennie du Plessis (second) and Branden Grace (who was third as he won a tiebreaker over Peter Uihlen) you would be cashing a healthy ticket.

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Now granted, most golf fans and those in the golf betting world have heard of three of those four. But not many would have picked any of the four…let alone all three and a handful of others…to beat Johnson and a couple of other former PGA Tour stars.

And now adding to the confusion (well, at least confusion on our part) is the fact players like Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau, Patrick Reed and Pat Perez are in Portland this week with fatter wallets after signing on.

That makes it eight of the top 50 players in the world rankings who have jumped ship.

That’s not the problem we have. The problem that worries us the most is which players will be cut from the LIV ranks? After all, these fields are limited to 48 players. There is no cut and they had a full contingent at the first event.

With that said, if they are adding four or five new players that would lead us to believe four or five players are on their way out the door. Where do those three castaways end up? They certainly won’t be welcomed back to the PGA Tour or the Korn Ferry Tour. Are they just in limbo?

They have already sacrificed a lot just to be part of the LIV group and now they may be exiled. Who will be next if a few more PGA/Korn Ferry guys decide the guaranteed $120,000 for last place in these events is enough to entice them? Hang on. More answers to come, eventually.

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Dustin Johnson is the betting favorite in LIV Golf's second event this week. (AP Photo/Matt York)
Dustin Johnson waves after making a putt on the 17th hole during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at Southern Hills Country Club, Friday, May 20, 2022, in Tulsa, Okla. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Odds to Win LIV Golf Portland (BetRivers)

Dustin Johnson +650

Louis Oosthuizen +900

Brooks Koepka +1000

Abraham Ancer +1100

Talor Gooch +1200

Bryson DeChambeau +1200

Sergio Garcia +1400

Patrick Reed +1400

As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.

A Rebound by the Big Guns?

Let’s face it, Greg Norman’s league needs guys like Johnson, DeChambeau and the recently signed Koepka. Will these two be paired together in Portland with their ongoing feud?

With players like Itthipat Buranatanyarat, Phachara Khongwatmai, Ian Snyman and a few others in the 48-man field, it’s probably not the high-profile field tournament organizers hoped to field when the tour kicked off. And names like those make picking a winner that much tougher.

The odds say Johnson, the favorite at +650, should have a great chance to pocket the $4 million top prize. But with Koepka and DeChambeau newly added, the intrigue just ramped up a little, and much to the chagrin of the PGA Tour’s management.

Should We Be Looking Down the List?

The big names faltered in the first LIV event and had so-so showings at the U.S. Open (where only four of the former PGA Tour players made the cut). So, like everything else with this tour, we’re still trying to find our bearings.

Schwartzel’s victory certainly pointed out there is a hunger for those players who haven’t had success on the PGA Tour recently. Who’s next?

We feel Patrick Reed is one of the obvious choices at +1400. He’s been middle of the pack in recent PGA Tour starts but that may be just good enough to be in contention come Saturday’s final round. (Remember: three rounds, no cut, Saturday finish, shotgun starts).

How About a Former Up-and-Comer?

Talor Gooch at +1200 might just be a name to circle. He’s one of the young guns who left the PGA Tour in his prime. The 33-year-old was No. 15 in the FedEx Cup points race before he gave up his PGA Tour status to make the move.

He’s situated between the big-name superstars and the hoping-to-be-stars group and should be able to watch his stock rise with a victory here.

As the LIV Tour grows in name recognition by adding more and more PGA Tour names (Matthew Wolff being the latest early this week), the more oddsmakers may have to focus on this tour.

Also read: Open Championship Betting Guide

About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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