If you’re looking for a nice, relaxing sports weekend, you might want to take this one off.
The WM Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl will both be taking place in sunny Arizona this weekend, about 30 miles apart. The golf tournament will be played at TPC Scottsdale and will wrap up right around the time of the opening kickoff on Sunday afternoon.
If you’re like Phil Mickelson a few years ago, just jump into a waiting helicopter and take the short jaunt to State Farm Stadium in Glendale. That way you beat the traffic leaving one event and the traffic heading to the second event.
That would be simple if you’ve got unlimited funds like some of these guys.
This week promises to be filled with hard-hitting action, and that’s from the 250,000 fans who will be fighting for the best seats at TPC Scottsdale’s famed 16th hole. It’s golf’s wildest spot every year and it’s not even close.
So while there will be plenty of cheering and partying as the Chiefs and Eagles meet in the Big Game, it will pale in comparison to the PGA Tour’s stop.
So grab a cold drink, your sunglasses and sunscreen and, of course, your ear plugs, and get ready for one of golf’s most exciting weekends.
Don’t believe us? Well, go on Google and check out Tiger Woods’ hole-in-one way back in 1997. The crowd roars were impressive, but the flying beer cups (many full) that soon litter the fairway are downright astounding.
We’ll try to keep it a little more civilized this week, but we can’t make any promises if there’s an ace on the 16th again.
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Odds to Win the WM Phoenix Open
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Focus, Focus, and Focus
Most PGA Tour events see a couple of spots where the crowd gets a little excited. This week’s event, known as “The Greatest Show on Turf” is a rock concert-on-steroids experience.
Back a few years, before they started limiting the number of fans, a typical Saturday at the tournament would see some 20,000 fans bunched together around the 16th hole alone.
The record came in 2018 when 719,179 fans came through the turnstiles over four days. That included 216,818 on Saturday alone.
Add in bright sunshine (usually), cool drinks (usually lots of them as college kids make up a good portion of the fans) and great golf, and you’ve got a party that stretches out for six to eight hours during all four days on the course. Then add in the nightlife in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, and it’s quite appealing for the golf and party crowd.
But we digress. Let’s look at who might be able to focus on golf rather than the party atmosphere, and wind up in the winner’s circle to miss the Super Bowl kickoff.
WM Phoenix Open Expert Analysis
The field ramps up this week as big guns are showing up in droves to take aim at a big payday.
How big? The tournament prize has grown by leaps and bounds from $8.2 million last year to an astounding $20 million in 2023.
It’s no wonder golf’s elite are on hand. No. 1 ranked Rory McIlroy? Yep. No. 2 Scottie Scheffler? You bet. No. 3 Jon Rahm? Oh, yeah. In fact, nine of the world’s top-10 players are teeing it up.
For our main pick this week we’re back to where it all began for one guy whose career has skyrocketed over the last year. That would be Scheffler, who is a healthy +1400 to win this week.
He came here last year without a win on the PGA Tour. He left here as the champion and added three more victories during the year to go along with Player-of-the-Year honors. The fans, the course, the memories, and the money all have to bring positivity to Scheffler.
He picked up that first victory and hasn’t looked back since. A repeat champion? There’s no reason Scheffler can’t hoist that trophy again.
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It’s Going to be Crowded at the Top
With this many star players on hand, it’s no wonder the odds are so lean at the top. We’re going to stay near the top for our second pick and look at McIlroy at +800, co-favorite with Rahm at +800.
We know we’re not exactly going out on a limb with the Scheffler and McIlroy picks. But when you’ve had the success these two guys have had, it’s tough to bet against them.
To make matters worse, not picking Rahm is tough for us. It’s a home game for him, and he’s won two of his last three starts worldwide.
Since last June, McIroy has teed it up in eight events with three wins (including his only PGA Tour event in the 2022-2023 wraparound season, the CJ Cup played last fall) as well as a third, a T-5 and a T-8.
Oh, and he also won in Dubai in his only 2023 start. It’s simple for us: If McIlroy’s in the field, he will be in the hunt.
Around the Prop Scene
We’re going to go with a favorite this week just because of the thrill it brings to the fans. We’re betting there will be a hole-in-one in the first round at +350.
Remember, this is just for the first round. An ace for the tournament is -165, so the value just isn’t there. In the history of the event there have been 11 aces on the 16th hole alone, including two last year.
One more bet to ponder: Well, actually two bets as we are going to look at a pair of last-hole scenarios with decent payouts.
We’re looking at the winner carding a birdie on the 72nd hole (at +400) or a bogey or worse on that final hole (at +350). We’re bypassing the winner carding a par (at -240) for obvious reasons.
If you’re really feeling daring, if the champ wins with an eagle (it’s a par-4 so it would need to be a hole-out), the payout is +10000.
Also read: Five Bets to Make (or not) on 2023 Majors | Longshots who can win Majors in 2023 | McIlroy, Rahm Lead Odds to Win 2023 Major