This week’s PGA Tour event, the Mexico Open, is one of those tournaments where it should be a great opportunity for those looking to make their name and pick up a victory.
We emphasize the word ‘should’ in that statement because of one simple factor: The defending champion is Jon Rahm and the red-hot, world No. 1 player is coming back to defend his title.
That’s not good news for the rest of the field.
Ordinarily, this would be one of those tournaments where the guys outside the top 80 in the FedEx Cup rankings and the world rankings would salivate at the chance to hoist the trophy and the winner’s check.
When you look at the field, Rahm and No. 18 Tony Finau are the only players in the top 50 in the world rankings who will be teeing it up.
But when one of those players is Rahm, all bets are off.
Well, not really off, but the bets are placed a little more carefully.
In the end, it all comes down to two questions: Will Rahm bring his ‘A’ game to this tournament? And, two, can anyone else in the field raise their game and battle the world’s top-ranked player?
Let’s dig a little deeper and see if we can find a longshot as well as a couple of prop bets.
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Odds to Win Mexico Open (DraftKings)
|Byeong Hun An||+2200|
As always, shop around the betting market for the best odds for your plays.
Jon Rahm: Back a Big Favorite Is Tough
It’s one of the hardest things we’ve come across when it comes to betting golf: Betting an odds-on favorite to beat 140-plus other players over four days.
Granted, Rahm more than deserves to be the favorite at +280 but putting all your cash on those odds just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
After all, it just takes one bad round — or a marginal round — for the rest of the field to come into the picture.
And if you play or watch golf, you know plenty of trouble lurks all around golf courses. With trees, bunkers, and water everywhere, it just takes a couple of bad shots to derail a round — and possibly a tournament.
Rahm’s already won four times this year including the Masters.
It’s a hometown event for Rahm and with him being the defending champ, those are probably the only two reasons he’s in the field.
After all, the purse comes in at just $7.7 million.
That may sound like a lot but in two weeks, the PGA Tour players will tee it up at another ‘designated’ event with a $20 million purse followed two weeks later with the year’s second major: the PGA Championship.
That explains why a majority of the big names are on the sidelines this week.
But with all of those facts and figures in mind, if you’re going to bet golf this week, you’ve got to have Rahm front and center because he’s likely to be on top of that leaderboard from start to finish.
Time for Tony Finau to Win Again
We’ve picked Finau one other time to win this year and he almost paid off for us.
We know… almost doesn’t count when you’re trying to cash betting tickets.
But what does count is in a field like this one, his play makes him an ideal choice.
While that play hasn’t been up to his usual standards lately, he does have a win — even though it was last November at the Houston Open.
Since then, he’s recorded nine top-25s with three top-10s. He’s 11th in the FedEx Cup rankings and 16th in the world golf rankings.
At +800 and the second choice, he’s a good enough value to risk a few bucks on.
With the limited star power in the field this week and with him finishing second here last year, we like Finau getting back in top form and reliving that feeling of hoisting a trophy.
With Rahm and Finau as the clear-cut favorites (no one else in the field is less than +1800 and that’s Wyndham Clark), if these guys don’t win, bettors will have a very nice payday.
One for the Longshot Bettors
Take a look at Cameron Champ to win at +10000.
He was T-6 last year but was right in the hunt until a final-round 70 took him out of the picture.
It was a great finish considering where his golf game has been recently.
But there is a downside to this bet.
Champ has missed nine of his last 10 cuts.
We’re hoping getting back to familiar territory and, again with the limited firepower in the field, he can find his way back into the winner’s circle.
He’s won three times on the PGA Tour, the last time being the 2021 3M Open.
Prior to his victory at the 3M, he came in having missed four cuts in previous tournaments to go along with a WD.
We’re looking at this week as an ideal spot for him to turn his game around… again.
Around the Prop Scene
This is one of those bets we’ve never been confident enough to wager on but this week might just be the time to take the leap.
We’re looking at having a wire-to-wire winner.
But not just any wire-to-wire winner. That bet pays +1000.
We’re looking at Rahm as the wire-to-wire winner at +1600. If you’re thinking that’s quite the longshot, just remember: Rahm did just that last year at this event.
So, if you like Rahm to win but aren’t thrilled with his number at +275, this just might be the avenue to take.
One other prop bet to consider is Aaron Rai finishing in the top 10. We like him to finish in the top 10 at +450.
Rai has been consistent if not spectacular this season. He has just one top-10 and has made 10-of-14 cuts, so he hasn’t been setting the world on fire.
But a field like this one gives him a great shot of climbing back up the leaderboard.