Sentry ToC 2021 Betting Card
Betting The Sentry Tournament of Champions
Aloha golf addicts! 2021 is off to the races in Hawaii as the PGA TOUR heads to The Plantation Course at Kapalua for the Sentry Tournament of Champions (kinda). We're getting the "champions" from 2020 plus non champions that made it to Eastlake for the Tour Championship due to the ol' Corvid.
With this tournament seeing the strongest field in it's history, and the fact that the best players in the world tend to win here anyway...it's going to be tough to peg a winner at a number greater than 25/1. But, my balls are large and I'm going to give it a shot! Past winners here include Prime Spieth, Reed, DJ, JT, Xander, etc... with winning scores primarily falling in the -20 to -25 range.
The only true defense on this golf course is wind. As of Tuesday morning, Thursday looks to be the only really windy day. I see the winning score getting to -22. These are the widest fairways on the planet and super large greens. HItting fairways and greens should not be a challenge for anyone. Therefore, the guys who hit it the closest and make the most putts are going to win. Simple. I like aggressive players that are good with their wedges, putt well on Bermuda and I give a slight edge to experience at Kapalua. We've heard from a caddie friend that understanding how aggressive one needs to be as well as navigating the winds at Kapalua are vital.
My Betting Approach
I bet on golf for fun. You should too. Life is too short to bet favorites! Therefore, I don't get the betting erection I crave betting guys at 18/1 or 9/1. I realize that may be the sharper way to do things, but F that. I've felt the rush of have a big triple digit winning golf bet hit...and Daddy likes!
Throughout the season, I'm going to show you my pre tournament bets, including what I'm risking, odds, and some brief logic behind the pick. I'm actually betting these guys. I'm taking $50 a week at $10 per unit to show you how I allot my dollars. Follow along, bet with me if you like, or completely fade everyone on this betting card. Up to you. However...I will say...I hit 5 bets in 2019 at 100/1 or longer. I finished the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season up 10 units over 30 weeks strictly betting the long shots (nothing shorter than 25/1).
Every week, I'll publish this with Outright bets that I'm watching closely on Tuesday. Then, late on Wednesday afternoons, I'll finalize the Outrights and First Round Leader selections for the $50 card. You can read up on Tuesday to get a sense for who I'm eyeballing, and then Wednesday to see who didn't quite make the cut for me when it came time to finalize the card.
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My Sentry ToC 2021 Picks
We're continuing to track our Big Balls units for the PGA TOUR 2020-2021 season that started back in September. I'm currently down 10 units strictly betting long shot outrights and first round leaders. Be sure and check back Wednesday afternoon for the final card. I usually eliminate some plays, add some others and sometimes sprinkle in some first round leader bets if I see an edge. Ok...let's let em hang!
***ADDED Wednesday*** So given the strength of field and pedigree of past champions here, I eliminated Lanto and Laird from the outright ticket. It hurts to take Champ out of there, but the number was too short by the time I wrote this. It was 80/1 on Monday and that was the time to buy.
I decided to take the value with Sungjae at 40/1 despite being a 1st timer here. He's one of the best ball strikers in the field and loves bermuda. Plus, is there anyone else in this field you'd be more confident that all they did over the break was hit golf balls and get better at their job than Sungjae...? The answer is"no."
I also added a first round leader bet on Laird. He's at the longest number I've seen on any book at 80/1 given the 42 player field, but I love him in the wind. He's proven over his entire career that he can gain strokes in the wind. Tomorrow looks to be rather tough with sustained winds in the mid teens and gusts up to 20mph. According to Fantasy National, Laird gains 8x more strokes in windy AF conditions versus calm conditions.
In Tony Finau's first appearance here since 2017 where he finished T9, he's got to be feeling grateful he made considering he hasn't been able to lift the Puerto Rico Open winner's curse. I'll admit...he's choked on a few Sundays over the years. But, I just still believe he's capable of going low, learning from his Sunday mistakes, and closing the door in 2021. This course and event set up perfectly for his skill set.
Berger's 28/1 is shortening, but still enticing considering he's got the chops to beat an elite field. I'll take Berger anywhere with Bermuda greens, breezy conditions and loads of birdies. This marks his 3rd trip to Kapalua following a T11 and T14 a couple of years ago. Berger was written up here back in June at 70/1 when he won the Charles Schwab Challenge in the 1st event back after a lengthy layoff. I don't doubt Berger's ability to arrive in great form and hungry for more. He had four top 3 finishes over the summer.
I love Niemann's fit here from a statistical standpoint. He's a bomber that flights the ball down, his irons have been fantastic, and he finished T5 here in 2020. 40/1 feels like one of the best values on the board. I'd price Niemann in the 33/1 range. His one victory came at the Greenbrier, but he's a young guy that too many are overlooking.
Cam Champ's number has shortened a good bit since Monday, but I still think you grab it at 50/1. He's the longest hitter in the field and makes his 3rd appearance here at Kapalua. His irons over the last 24 rounds have been excellent and he ranks 3rd in the field in Opportunities Gained. Plus, the only green surface that he's positive in strokes gained would be bermuda.
The last time I backed Kisner at the RSM a few weeks back, he lost in a playoff to Robert Facking Streb (may or may not be his actual middle name). I like Kevin's fantastic wedge ability and bermuda putting prowess here at Kapalua. This is his 4th trip to Kapalua, and he's gained 5 strokes total in his first 3 attempts. We all know how hot Kiz can get when he's feeling it.
Sebastian Munoz makes his 2nd straight appearance at Kapalua after a T17 last year. The PGA TOUR winner is coming off three top 10s since August and riding some fantastic iron play. Historically, he's about 4 times better putting on bermuda than any other surface. 100/1 is a huge number for a guy that's been hitting it as well as he has since August.
Similar to Munoz, Lanto Griffin at 100/1 is too long considering his play of late. Lanto also making his second appearance at Kapalua after a T13 in 2020. He's not as great on bermuda as I'd like, but his iron play has been super solid since the restart in June. He's had seven T25s and two T10s since June. Over the last 24 rounds, only 3 players in this field have gained more strokes with approach play.
The biggest potential bomb would be the same guy that won in October on the PGA TOUR at around 350/1. Martin Laird is a seasoned veteran making his second appearance at Kapalua since 2012 when he finished runner up. Statistically over the last 24 rounds, he's in the top half of this field in the following categories; SG: OTT, SG: APP, Opps Gained, Driving Distance and SG: Par 5. You could do worse at 250/1 than a guy who won 2 months ago, has anchored his lengthy career with fine ball striking, and gains more strokes over his career the windier conditions become.
Tony Finau at 25/1 on BetMGM $10
Daniel Berger at 28/1 on PointsBet $10
Joaquin Niemann at 40/1 on PointsBet $8
Sunjae Im at 40/1 on PointsBet $8
Kevin Kisner at 66/1 on BetMGM $7
Sebastian Munoz at 100/1 on BetRivers $4
Martin Laird at 250/1 on BetRivers
Cam Champ at 50/1 on PointsBet
Lanto Griffin at 100/1 on PointsBet
First Round Leader
Martin Laird at 80/1 on PointsBet $3