After an exciting pair of weeks on tour at the API and TPC Sawgrass, the PGA Tour finally downshifts with the Valspar Championship at the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort in Florida. The last stage of the Florida swing prior to the WGC Match Play event, a few of the stars wanted one more taste of Bermuda grass before leaving the state. For us, we look for our first outright of a slow season. First, we must preview the field, odds, and course prior to publish our betting picks article. Let’s get to it!
Valspar Championship Betting Odds at BetMGM Sportsbook
At the time of this writing – March 13th – you can find these odds at BetMGM Sportsbook. The below list features all golfers priced at 50/1 or better.
Here are the recent winners of The Valspar Championship:
- 2022 – Sam Burns (-17)
- 2021 – Sam Burns (-17)
- 2019 – Paul Casey (-8)
- 2018 – Paul Casey (-10)
- 2017 – Adam Hadwin (-14)
- 2016 – Charl Schwartzel (-7)
- 2015 – Jordan Spieth (-10)
Sam Burns returns for a go at a three-peat at the Copperhead Course in what might previously been known as the Paul Casey Open. Burns has back-to-back wins at the Innisbrook Resort as well as two additional top thirty finishes. He has putt extremely well at this course despite struggling a bit from tee-to-green. Burns has been going through a tough stretch but finally showed some life at The Player Championship, gaining more than 2 strokes on approach in his final round. With his history and familiarity, a bit of a spark might be all he needs.
Burns will be joined by Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Matt Fitzpatrick. Another previous winner, Adam Hadwin will tee it up while both Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood look to continue strong form. Ben Griffin, Justin Suh, and Brandon Wu continue to seek a breakthrough win while playing very well this season.
2023 Valspar Championship Betting Preview
- Course: Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort
- Date: March 16-19
- Par: 71
- Yardage: 7,340
- Greens: Bermuda
A unique Par 71, Copperhead Course features four Par 5s but five Par 3s. The course demands excellent ball-striking, with several dog legs and many forced layups. Fairways are very difficult to hit even with laying up and because of all of the layups, a bulk of approach shots are above 175+ yards. The course rewards excellent approach games, Par 5 specialists, and proficient putters on Bermuda Greens. Sam Burns gained north of 5 strokes putting in his victory last season.
All of the Par 5s fall roughly between 550-600 yards. Three of the more difficult holes on the course fall between 450 and 500 yards while one of the Par 3’s is a beast — measuring a whopping 235 yards.
SG: Approach and SG: Putting see an increase in importance at this event. GIR% at this course is relatively lower than the tour average while scrambling is far more prominent. Players’ short games will be tested on and around the greens. On the green, players will not be successful unless they putt well. Sam Burns has gained a pile of strokes on the greens during his tenure at this course. Paul Casey did not pile up the strokes on the greens with his victories but was solid in all facets including great displays tee-to-green.
Let’s take a peek at some of the golfers to watch this week.
Golfers To Watch This Week
Unless mentioned otherwise, all strokes gained statistics will be referenced over the player’s previous 36 rounds on the PGA Tour.
Sam Burns +1600
We would be foolish not to start our research with the back-to-back winner of this championship. While his recent form has been troublesome, Sam Burns showed some welcome signs of life at TPC Sawgrass. His play with his irons was enough to bring plenty of confidence given his ridiculous resume at this course.
He is going to be a one-and-done darling, a DFS staple, and likely on many betting cards being placed below a few of the stars on the betting board. His putting on this course has been borderline unsustainable, gaining north of five strokes on the greens in his last three appearances.
Burns put together a phenomenal season in 2022 and could be rounding into form at one of his favorite courses. We need to keep an eye on pricing for his matchups and monitor his ownership in one-and-done this week.
Davis Riley +3500
Davis Riley lost in a playoff to Sam Burns at this event last season and has also been rounding into better form. Riley missed the cut at The Players but put back-to-back strong showings together at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Honda Classic.
Riley gained 7.1 strokes on the green at the Copperhead course last season and finished second in his first start at the event. He struggled on approach but was able to do enough in other facets to parlay his putting into a big finish. With the field strength a bit diminished, Riley is rightfully just a tier below the cream of the crop.
Reaching better form, Riley could finally earn his breakthrough win. He would be a very, very contrarian OAD selection but certainly a strong consideration for a betting card.
Ben Griffin +5000
Griffin continues to perform at every event he plays when he isn’t on my betting card. The one time I was high on Griffin, I used him as my OAD selection and he missed the cut. Since then, he has three consecutive made cuts in better fields and ranks second in the field in total strokes gained.
I can’t use him in OAD but he would certainly be a strong option. He has gained strokes on all three Florida starts on Bermuda greens and should be able to work the ball and put himself in positions for opportunities at Copperhead. Griffin is going to win often on tour- will this be his first victory?
Eric Cole +9000
The veteran rookie has made some waves in Florida, making two of his last three cuts and nearly winning the Honda Classic. Cole lost to Chris Kirk in a playoff but not before putting together an incredible performance on and around the Bermuda greens.
Cole gained over 8 strokes putting at the Honda and gained a couple more strokes putting at TPC Sawgrass. We must consider that Cole continues to play events for the first time and is rolling the ball very well despite lacking experience on each course. At 90/1, we could do worse than a speculative outright on the bottom of our card. This course benefits great Bermuda putters. In a small sample, Cole seems worthy of that distinction.
Follow me on Twitter at @JoeCistaro to follow along with any additions, matchups, or top finishers I add to my outright betting card. Good luck with all of your wagers this week and thanks for reading.
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