/2021 Players Championship odds: Dustin Johnson enters as favorite ahead of Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau
2021 Players Championship odds: Dustin Johnson enters as favorite ahead of Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau

2021 Players Championship odds: Dustin Johnson enters as favorite ahead of Rory McIlroy, Bryson DeChambeau

Despite Bryson DeChambeau’s win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday and Dustin Johnson’s mediocre finish at the WGC-Workday Championship, DeChambeau could not unseat the No. 1 player in the world as favorite entering the 2021 Players Championship this week at TPC Sawgrass.

There is good reason for that, of course. D.J. has been the best player in the world from tee to green so far in 2021, and he won the Saudi International in February. He’s also won two of his last five (including the Masters) and three of his last 10 events.

DeChambeau has won three of his last 15 tournaments, but he’s not even a solo second on this odds board. Bryson shares that mark with technical defending champion (2019), Rory McIlroy, at 14-1. Interestingly, McIlroy is the only golfer in the field at 20-1 or better who has won at TPC Sawgrass. That’s not necessarily a prerequisite here as every golfer since 2004 — other than Tiger Woods in 2013 — was a first-time winner of this event.

Here’s a look at the odds, via William Hill Sportsbook, for this tournament broken down into a few different silos, starting with the heavyweights going into Players week. Check out our full set of 2021 Players Championship predictions and picks.

2021 Players Championship odds

Favorites

  • Dustin Johnson: 12-1
  • Rory McIlroy: 14-1
  • Bryson DeChambeau: 14-1
  • Jon Rahm: 16-1

These are your big boys, and they should be on top. They make up four of the top 10 in the world, and McIlroy is the defending champion while the other three have all won at least twice worldwide since the start of 2020. I probably like Rahm’s number more than the other three, if only because I view them all as pretty equivalent right now.

Top contenders

  • Xander Schauffele: 20-1
  • Justin Thomas: 20-1
  • Webb Simpson: 22-1
  • Collin Morikawa: 22-1
  • Patrick Cantlay: 22-1
  • Tony Finau: 25-1
  • Jordan Spieth: 25-1
  • Viktor Hovland: 25-1

It’s very easy to envision the winner coming from this group. It’s a list that includes some elite iron players — maybe even more so than the group ahead of this one — and I’m waffling between picking Schauffele, Morikawa and Cantlay to win the tournament. Cantlay has been tremendous so far in 2021, and the reason for his withdrawal from the WGC-Workday Championship (dehydration, upset stomach) does not scare me away. Tons of value with him.

Sleepers

  • Tyrrell Hatton: 33-1
  • Tommy Fleetwood: 35-1
  • Scottie Scheffler: 35-1
  • Hideki Matsuyama: 35-1
  • Patrick Reed: 35-1
  • Daniel Berger: 35-1
  • Matthew Fitzpatrick: 40-1

I’m not sure anyone at 33-1 should be considered a sleeper, but for the purposes of this exercise, that’s a fair label. This is a fascinating group of players who are underrated and undervalued here. According to Data Golf, Hideki Matsuyama has the best strokes-gained number at TPC Sawgrass of anyone over the last 10 years. Also, Scheffler has been on fire (and played well here last year). Reed and Berger are maybe the most intriguing. They’ve both won in the last two months and are seemingly always under the radar in terms of who we talk about the most in any given week (but especially in the big events).

Who will win the Players Championship, and which long shots will stun the golfing world? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard and best bets, all from the model that’s nailed six golf majors and is up over $11,000 since the restart to find out.