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Welcome to one of the events in the golf world’s silly season.

This event, the Hero World Challenge, is a Tiger Woods special where Woods and 19 top-ranked players (notice we didn’t include Woods in the top-ranked portion as he is No. 1,206 in the world rankings) were supposed to tee it up in paradise.

We say ‘were’ supposed to tee it up because the biggest draw, Tiger, withdrew from the event on Monday. More on that in a minute.

The tournament will be held this week in the Bahamas where some of these guys have a second home (or is it a third home?).

Throughout the odds list are good numbers and that starts right at the top with Jon Rahm as the favorite at +500. That’s a decent number when you consider we’ve seen more than our share of favorites around +400 or so during recent PGA Tour full-field events.

The good news is we’re dealing with a limited field this week. The bad news is this field is talented from top to bottom. There are no weak links to just toss away.

Well, there was one who was way down the world golf rankings list but, like we said, Woods has withdrawn. If you were looking for a tournament that Woods just might be able to win on his comeback tour, this would have been it.

But let’s take a look at a couple of players we think have a chance to help bettors get the most bang for their buck.

Odds to Win Hero World Challenge

Odds to Win FedEx CupFanDuel
Rory McIlroy+550
Jon Rahm+800
Scottie Scheffler+800
Justin Thomas+1200
Xander Schauffele+1200
Patrick Cantlay+1200
Collin Morikawa+1600
Tony Finau+2000
Viktor Hovland+2000
Will Zalatoris+2000
Sam Burns+2700
Cameron Young+2700
Tom Kim+2900
Sungjae Im+2900
Jordan Spieth+3300
Hideki Matsuyama +3300

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

Good Odds for the Defending Champ

With just 20 players in the field, there’s no reason to look past the defending champion.That would be Viktor Hovland, coming in this week at +1400.

Why he’s that far down the list has us a little bewildered, but we will certainly take that number and hope he plays as well as he did last year in winning when he was in the field for the first time.

Viktor Hovland (AP Photo/Tomohiro Ohsumi)

You can’t get much better than being one-for-one in an event unless you go two-for-two, which we’re banking on. Hovland has two top-10s along with a T-21 in his three events during the latest wraparound season.

Add to that a No. 11 spot in the world rankings, and there’s no doubt in our mind he should be in the hunt come Sunday. Hovland won last year at 18-under-par. That should be his goal again this year, as this event’s winner has landed on 18-under-par in four of the five tournaments held here.

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Put Collin Morikawa on Your Radar

Sure, Collin Morikawa has been struggling a little recently. Well, struggling might be a tad strong when you consider he’s still ranked 10th in the world rankings. He’s down the list in the FedEx Cup standings at 96th, so he’s going to want to finish the 2022 portion of his play on a high note.

Morikawa’s moving up the leaderboards slowly but surely. He was T-45 at the ZOZO Championship and followed that up with a T-29 at the CJ Cup.

A T-15 finish at the Mayakoba event where he overcame an opening-round 71 to get into the hunt has his game trending in the right direction. He wound up T-5 here last year.

Now, while that may seem like a solid finish, a deeper dive shows a final-round 76 took him out of a shot at a victory as he came into the final round with a five-shot lead.

This would be a great week for Morikawa to post a redemption victory as everyone gets ready for 2023.

If You’re a Tiger Fan, This Could Have Been Your Week

Tiger had the second-worst odds this week at +3400. That was pretty generous for someone who’s trying to fight his way back into contention. But when there’s 19 other world-class players in the field, it makes sense.

Now, granted, Woods’ resume is definitely one of the best ever (it’s always a good bar argument when talking Jack and Tiger) but that was then and this is now.

Well, it was now until Monday when a foot injury (plantar fasciitis) knocked him out of action. Just another injury to add to a growing list of ailments he’s been trying to overcome.

He still plans to play in two other silly season events coming up real soon, the Match (with Rory, Justin and Jordan) as well as the PNC Challenge family event with his son, Charlie.

Also read: Longshots who can win Majors in 2023

About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 45 years of experience in the sports-writing industry. He's spent the past 20-plus years covering the golf scene, including 10 years as a writer and editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. Bowman also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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