Valspar Championship 2023: Predictions, Best Bets, Sleepers

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Jordan Spieth watches his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Players Championship golf tournament Friday, March 10, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable Mar 16, 2023, 9:37 AM
  • The Valspar Championship, which isn’t a designated event, is March 16-19.
  • The field is solid for a regular PGA Tour event.
  • Justin Thomas (+1000) has the best odds to win.

The last non-designated event on the PGA Tour was three weeks ago at the Honda Classic, which didn’t have a great field with virtually no stars teeing it up.

That will not be the case this week at the Valspar Championship; several big names, including Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, are playing.

It’s no surprise these two have the best golf odds to win. Thomas is at +1000, followed by Speith at +1200. Sam Burns, who has won the last two editions of the tournament, closely follows them at +1600.

While Bay Hill and TPC Sawgrass get a lot of attention for courses on the Florida Swing, the Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort is a great track that demands a lot from the players.

It’s a tree-lined course where length is not needed off the tee. It’s all about right positioning for shots into the greens, which are Bermuda. Players who hit their irons best, scramble well, and take advantage of the par-5s tend to do the best.

Course history may be more important than some other courses; in addition to Burns, Paul Casey also won two straight times (2018 and 2019).

The course is most known for its final three holes, the “Snake Pit,” two tough par-4s sandwiched between a brutal 200-yard par 3.

Although the course isn’t the easiest, good scores can be had. Only twice since 2013 has the winning score been less than 10-under.

Below are some players to target when golf betting, followed by my betting card for the week.

*All odds as of March 14.

Valspar Championship Predictions

Justin Thomas is predicted to win the Valspar Championship with a 9.09% implied probability – i.e., the overall chance of a potential outcome in relation to the odds – according to betting markets.

Jordan Spieth has the next best odds to win with a 7.69% implied probability. He’s followed by Sam Burns and Matt Fitzpatrick at 5.88%.

Valspar Championship Best Bets

Justin Thomas +1000 Odds to Win

Thomas doesn’t enter with the best form, with just one top-10 finish in six starts this calendar year, but he’s played very well at this event in the past.

The 29-year-old led the field tee-to-green last year when he barely missed out on the playoff between Burns and Davis Riley and finished T-3. He also finished T-13 in 2021.

Sam Burns +1600 Odds to Win

Of course, it’s very hard to win an event three straight times, but it has been done before – Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11. 

It hasn’t been the best year for Burns, but he enters following a solid showing at the Players Championship, where he finished T-35.

Valspar Championship Sleepers

Ben Griffin +5000 Odds to Win

Griffin was an unknown to many until last week when he played in the final group on Saturday of the Players Championship. While oddsmakers are now fully aware of his talent, +5000 is still a decent number.

He checks many of the boxes to succeed at the Copperhead Course, and has six top-25 finishes in 16 starts this season.

Matthew NeSmith +10000 Odds to Win

NeSmith has enjoyed great success in his two appearances at this tournament, finishing 

T-3 a year ago and T-21 in 2021. Course history plays more of a role in performance at this event than others, and not many players have scored better than NeSmith.

The 29-year-old has three top-10 finishes this season, but they all occurred in the fall. He’s missed six out of his last eight cuts overall.

Valspar Championship Betting Card & Other Predictions

  • Jordan Spieth Outright Win +1200
  • Tommy Fleetwood Outright Win +2500
  • Nate Lashley Outright Win +8000
  • Justin Thomas Top-5 Finish +225
  • Ryan Gerard Top-20 Finish +300
  • Akshay Bhatia Top-20 Finish +333
  • John VanDerLaan Top-20 Finish +700

I’ll admit, I don’t love Spieth at that number, but of the top players, I think he has the best value since he’s playing the best coming into the event. Meanwhile, Fleetwood and Lashley ranked high in my Fantasy National model.

While I considered Thomas to win outright, he isn’t playing his best right now. But I do think with a weaker field compared to other events he’s played in this year, he has a chance to bounce back. 

Lastly, I went with three long shots for top-20 finishes. 

Gerard got a sponsors invitation following a fourth-place finish at the Honda Classic as a Monday qualifier and then finishing T-11 at the Puerto Rico Open two weeks ago. He’s hot and has a chance to earn a special temporary membership on the PGA Tour basically by making the cut.

Bhatia is coming off a runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open, earning him special temporary membership for the remainder of this season. He’s a solid player who can go low on any day. 

VanDerLaan ranked very high in my model following a T-7 finish in Puerto Rico, and at that number, why not take a shot?

Below is the top 10 of my model: 

  1. Adam Hadwin
  2. Justin Rose
  3. Tommy Fleetwood
  4. Davis Riley
  5. Justin Thomas
  6. John VanDerLaan
  7. Xander Schauffele
  8. Wyndham Clark
  9. Nate Lashley
  10. Jordan Spieth

Read More: Valspar Championship 2023: First Round Leader (FRL) Bets

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”