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Rory McIlroy is the defending champion and favorite at the Wells Fargo Championship. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

This week’s PGA Tour stop, the Wells Fargo Championship, has a theme to it that most people may not see.

First, it’s the 20th anniversary of the event. Second, Rory McIlroy, the three-time champion and the defending champion, has 20 career PGA Tour victories.

Sense a theme yet?

Well, if not, we’ll add to it a little.

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Abraham Ancer, who was runnerup to McIlroy in last year’s event, is currently the 20th ranked player in the official world rankings.

What we’re trying to get across is there’s a definite theme this week–20–that is going to be pivotal in our picks.

It’s not a star-packed field at the Wells Fargo (just like last week) so there is definitely money to be made if Rory McIlroy (the favorite at +750) doesn’t win.

But, that just might be a huge ‘if.’

Let’s take a look at the PGA Tour’s latest stop, this one at TPC Potomac at Avenal Farm in Maryland.

Odds To Win The Wells Fargo Championship (DraftKings)

Rory McIlroy +750

Corey Conners +1600

Russell Henley +2000

Matthew Fitzpatrick +2000

Marc Leishman +2000

Tyrrell Hatton +2000

Tony Finau +2500

Seamus Power +2500

Keegan Bradley +2800

Cameron Young +2800

Max Homa +2800

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

20 Victories? It May Be Time For No. 21

McIlroy won last year’s event here over Ancer by a single stroke.

Like at the Mexico Open with Jon Rahm, it looks like there’s a top-ranked player, this time it’s McIlroy, who should be head-and-shoulders above the field. And then there’s the rest of the field that just may be battling it out for second place.

Rahm was the class of the field last week and held on to win as the +400 favorite. It looks like deja vu as McIlroy is +750 while the next best odds belong to Corey Conners at +1600. If you want to back Conners, FanDuel was dealing him at +1900 odds as of Tuesday morning.

That’s quite a gap and while we don’t like to back chalk picks, we are likely going to have to do like we did last week: Swallow our pride and back the biggest gun in the field.

That’s not a bad thing as he’s still +750 (as opposed to Rahm in Mexico at the +400 number).

McIlRoy Looks To Get Back In Spotlight

McIlroy won the CJ Cup At Summit late in 2021 and then slumped (for him) and went his next five tournaments without being in the picture on Sunday.

Then came the Masters and a second-place finish. McIlroy, for the last few years, has been one of those guys who is tough to figure out. His game is as good as anyone’s…for the most part and for most of the time.

But there are times where parts of his game desert him and he plummets down the leaderboard and out of contention.It may be his putting stroke, his short game or an errant drive here or there but in recent outings it just seems like he has trouble closing out events he probably should win.

Last year at this event he didn’t have those bugaboos and overcame an opening round so-so 72 to finish with three strong rounds to claim the win.

Can he defend his title?

Well, at his odds this week he’s got semi-decent value, and we’ve learned to never count him out of finding his way into the winner’s circle.

That Other ‘20’ Ranking Could Be In Play

That would be Ancer, who is +3500 this week. He was runnerup last year and that’s quite an improvement from his early tournaments here.

Well, better make that early tournament in singular. He didn’t compete two years ago (last year’s event was cancelled because of COVID) and he missed the cut in his first time around this event in 2019.

So last year was the first time he made an impact. And what an impact it turned out to be as he came up one shot short.

He has just one PGA Tour victory, the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, but he’s getting in the hunt a little more often.

In this wraparound season he has hot-and-cold finishes. He’s been as high as T-5 in another WGC event in March and a T-7 at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Add in a few other top-20 finishes and that’s the hot part.

The cold part includes four missed cuts and a couple of other also-ran finishes. This week has to bring back good memories with his runnerup finish including a final-round 66 that left him just a shot back.

Checking Out The Prop Value

This is one of those oddsboards where a couple of bets certainly stand out.

One wager we like is an old reliable: That the winner won’t be playing in the final group on Sunday. This one is still a solid plus at +175 and has won for us five of the last seven times we’ve put cash down on it.

It’s one of those bets that you’ll know if you’ve got a good chance to cash the ticket come Saturday night. If the leader has a good lead heading to the first tee, it might be lights-out. (Hint: If McIlroy is in the last group with a lead, that ticket may be just a couple of hours from being thrown out.)

But, if the final pairing is inexperienced when it comes to closing the deal, it might be in your favor as the collar can get just a little tighter and the palms can start to sweat just a little more.

One final prop bet is Tony Finau to finish in the top-five at +500. Finau is +2500 to win. We picked him as one of our two choices last week and after a slow start he rallied for a T-2, just one shot back. It was his first top-10 since the Hero World Challenge the first week of December 2021.

He’s ranked 18th in the world rankings but only 74th in the FedEx Cup race and those numbers just don’t add up to his stature. With his final round 63 last weekend and his meteoric rise up the leaderboard, he may have just found something in his game that has turned it around.

Also read: PGA Championship Betting Guide

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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