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Best Bets - WGC Mexico
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Club de Golf Chapultepec – Par 71 – 7,300 yards

After many of the big names on Tour dealt with a weather ravaged Genesis Open in LA last week, nearly all of them head south to Mexico for the first WGC event of 2019. Last week's piece had some solid results with Marc Leishman finishing 4th, the longshot Beau Hossler finding a Top 20 finish with his 15th, and Sergio rounding out the trio with a 37th. This week there are plenty of big names to back and hopefully similar results are in store.

In terms of the course down in Mexico, it's played at a high elevation meaning that the driving distance numbers you'll see from basically everyone this week will be heavily skewed. That means that distance isn't as important as accuracy this week, and with the last two winners of this event – Dustin Johnson in 2017 and Phil Mickelson in 2018 – finishing with -14 or better scores at this track, guys will have to go low and limit the mistakes as much as they can.

As we saw with Justin Thomas squandering that big lead in LA last week, avoiding a trip on the bogey train is arguably more important then simply catching fire for a stretch of holes, and with all the best players in the world in the field this week, the adage of golf being a game about minimizing mistakes should come into play.

Small greens will test that mantra right from the outset, as GIR numbers won't be as high as we see on easier tracks on Tour, meaning guys that can lace irons and scramble well around the greens should find themselves in contention. With Strokes Gained stats for this 2018-19 season still growing in sample size, weighing them against last year's (or even last few years) numbers is still suggested, but this is still one of the deepest fields on Tour, and sometimes all the number crunching can't account for a few guys getting scorching hot for a couple of days.

Here's hoping these three guys are among the latter group, as statistically they all set up well to find success in Mexico this week.

Odds per -

Golfers to Watch:

Bryson DeChambeau (16/1) – Both DJ and Mickelson were priced under +2000 when they won this event the past two years, so chances are we see someone in that group hoist the trophy on Sunday evening. Of the nine guys in that range, it's DeChambeau (although Jon Rahm came in a close 2nd) that I'm hitching my wagon to as, if there is ever someone who can blend the physical skills of the golf stroke with the mental aspect of dealing with elevation and more importantly, club selection because of it, it's got to be Bryson.

DeChambeau also enters the event as a guy riding tremendous current form, as he's finished no worse than 15th in each of his last five starts. That 15th did come last week in LA which could be considered a knock, but that tournament was so disjointed in terms of tee times, playing 20+ holes a day etc, that the sometimes fiery DeChambeau likely wasn't at his best in terms of focus.

Skill wise, DeChambeau has got everything you need to excel at this track, as his recent string of resutls would attest too. The weakest part of his game may be around the green as he currently ranks 41st in Strokes Gained in that category, but he's 6th on Tour this year in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, after finishing 11th on Tour in that category a year ago. If he can get his putter hot and have early success reading the greens here in his first time on this course, at +1600, he's one of the lone guys at the top of the odds list that blends skill with betting value this week.

Patrick Cantlay (33/1) – Cantlay has been branded with the moniker of the next great golfer yet to fully arrive on Tour, as injuries derailed his early years as a pro, and they've forced him to take longer than expected to get accustomed to life on Tour.

Cantlay is also a guy who's been knocked for his poor chipping/around-the-green play before, but that's something he's already shown substantial improvement in this year. Cantlay ranks 22nd on Tour in Strokes Gained: Around-the Green, and like DeChambeau, he's got great numbers everywhere else outside of one category.

For Cantlay, that problem number is with his putting, but with a 30th place finish at this event a year ago, he won't be seeing these greens for the first time like DeChambeau. But like the latter, Cantlay is a superb ball striker when he's on, dialing in his approaches to pin point accuracy when he's going, and if that's the version of Cantlay's game we get for these four days then +3300 is going to look like a steal.

Emiliano Grillo (80/1) – In terms of my longer shot selection this week, it's Emiliano Grillo I'm going with as the recent form from the Argentine has made him more of a forgotten name in this loaded field.

Like the first two guys I'm backing this week, Grillo can be extremely accurate both off the tee and with his approach game, he's just got to be able to avoid mistakes around the green. He's another guy that has had great overall Strokes Gained numbers in recent years (15th in Strokes Gained: Total in 2018), and this year ranks 3rd in terms of the strokes he picks up on the field with his approaches. The more looks he gets at birdie, the better chances Grillo's putter finds a way to knock down a few of them, and he's another guy that could use a WGC win to break out and finally have others talking about him starting to tap into the full potential many expected to see from him.

An 80-1 longshot may not be the best way to go in an event as loaded as this, but a +325 price tag for a Top 20 finish with Grillo is also another way to go.

WGC-Mexico - per
Justin Thomas 8/1
Dustin Johnson 10/1
Rory McIlroy 10/1
Jon Rahm 14/1
Bryson DeChambeau 16/1
Rickie Fowler 16/1
Brooks Koepka 18/1
Tiger Woods 20/1
Xander Schauffele 20/1
Marc Leishman 25/1
Phil Mickelson 25/1
Webb Simpson 25/1
Hideki Matsuyama 28/1
Jordan Spieth 28/1
Paul Casey 28/1
Bubba Watson 33/1
Gary Woodland 33/1
Patrick Cantlay 33/1
Tommy Fleetwood 33/1
Tony Finau 33/1
Rafael Cabrera Bello 40/1
Sergio Garcia 40/1
Cameron Smith 50/1
Francesco Molinari 50/1
Haotong Li 50/1
Ian Poulter 50/1
Matt Kuchar 50/1
Patrick Reed 50/1
Billy Horschel 66/1
Henrik Stenson 66/1
Lee Westwood 66/1
Louis Oosthuizen 66/1
Matt Wallace 66/1
Shane Lowry 66/1
Tyrrell Hatton 66/1
Alex Noren 80/1
Branden Grace 80/1
Emiliano Grillo 80/1
Joost Luiten 80/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 80/1
Russell Knox 80/1
Thorbjorn Olesen 80/1
Chez Reavie 100/1
Keegan Bradley 100/1
Kevin Kisner 100/1
Abraham Ancer 125/1
Andrew Putnam 125/1
Kiradech Aphibarnrat 125/1
Richard Sterne 125/1
Aaron Wise 150/1
Alexander Bjork 150/1
Danny Willett 150/1
Eddie Pepperell 150/1
Kevin Na 150/1
Lucas Bjerregaard 150/1
Patton Kizzire 150/1
Shubhankar Sharma 150/1
Aaron Rai 200/1
Erik van Rooyen 200/1
David Lipsky 250/1
Kyle Stanley 250/1
Shugo Imahira 250/1
George Coetzee 300/1
Jake McLeod 300/1
Matthew Millar 300/1
Sanghyun Park 300/1
Shaun Norris 300/1

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