With the Tiger Woods circus off the PGA Tour for the next two tournaments, the emphasis on betting will be on the favorites at the PGA Tour’s Waste Management Open. Two-time defending champion Hideki Matsuyama and No. 3 ranked Jordan Spieth are 9/1 picks to win this week in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Hideki Matsuyama
Hideki Matsuyama has won the Waste Management Open the last two years and could match Arnold Palmer as the only golfer to three-peat at this event. (Image: Getty)

Former Arizona State standout and No. 2 ranked player Jon Rahm is next at 10/1. He won the Career Builder Challenge two weeks ago but was tied for 29th last week at the Farmers Insurance Open. Rickie Fowler is at 12/1 and Justin Thomas is next at 14/1. A fourth at the Tournament of Champions was a good start for Fowler but he did miss the cut last week. Thomas has not played since Jan. 14 at the Sony Open where he finished tied for 14th.

One superstar who’ll be playing at TPC Scottsdale is Phil Mickelson. The Arizona State graduate owns a home in the Phoenix area, as well as eight golf courses in the state, and tries to play this event every year. He leads the career money list here and has won it three times, the last in 2013. He is going off at 50/1 and might be worth a look.

Shooting for Three

The Japanese golfer obviously loves this event and is comfortable with the rowdy crowds and rock concert atmosphere. He has won the last two years in playoffs and if he won this year he would join Arnold Palmer as the only golfers to capture it three successive years.

“What would it mean to me to join him as a three-time consecutive winner? It would be a dream come true,” he said. “Just unbelievable. It would show me that the work I put in has paid off.”

The fifth-ranked player in the Official World Golf Rankings has not played as well as he would like to begin the year, but was encouraged by a 69 on Sunday at Torrey Pines. He finished tied for 12th at the Farmers.

Long Shots to Consider

The one player that enjoys this tournament is Webb Simpson. He lost to Matsuyama last year in the sudden-death playoff that went four holes. At 33/1 he is definitely someone to ponder. Seven of his last eight rounds have been under par and he finished tied for fourth at the Sony Open.

Go a little farther down the board and golfers at 40/1 and 50/1 are enticing. JB Holmes is at 40/1. He’s won here twice and was tied for 24th in 2017. The only question mark is how he’ll handle the criticism he faced for his slow play at last week’s Farmers, where he finished fourth.

Matt Kuchar finished well here last year, tying for ninth. He has had one start in 2018 finishing tied for 32nd at Abu Dhabi two weeks ago.