News & Opinion

2021 Valspar Championship: Latest betting odds, favorites and sleeper picks for Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course

At 50-1 odds, Emiliano Grillo demands our attention as a real threat at Innisbrook Resort's Copperhead Course in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Top 2 players in world grab oddsmakers' attention, but 20-1 pick Corey Conners and 50-1 shot Emiliano Grillo could be worth a look

After all the walk-up music, team jockeying and flat-out fun that the Zurich Classic provides, a Presidents Cup duel broke out in the Bayou. Not international versus the U.S., but between Australia and South Africa. Luckily for the picks, Australians Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith prevailed over South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel in a playoff to record our third win of the year. It was Smith’s and Leishman’s first win of the season, respectively, after both had played well up to this point.

For the rest of our picks, Max Homa and Talor Gooch were able to hold onto a T-17, while Pat Perez and Jason Kokrak narrowly missed out on a top-20 by a stroke.

It is back to regularly scheduled programming this week in Palm Harbor, Fla., for the Valspar Championship. Paul Casey will be going for the COVID-19 three-peat this week after he won the Valspar in 2018 and 2019, and the 2020 edition was canceled. During the past 40 years, there have been only eight instances of a golfer winning a tournament three consecutive years, and Tiger Woods owns six of them. It's just another reminder that when you think you’re making history in this game, Woods makes you look pedestrian.  

According to William Hill, world No. 2 Justin Thomas is the favorite this week, at 9-1. Right behind is world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, at 10-1. Trending Canadian Corey Conners and Patrick Reed, who won the Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year, follow at 20-1. Casey and the young Norwegian star Viktor Hovland were both listed at 22-1.

For our favorite, we’re going to ride with the hot hand in Corey Conners at 20-1. In his last five stroke-play events, he has finished third, seventh, T-14, T-8 and T-4. He’s first in strokes gained ball-striking in his last 36 rounds, and that will be key at the Copperhead Course, which favors those who make solid contact tee-to-green. In his lone appearance at the Valspar Championship, Conners held the two-day lead going into the weekend in 2018 before finishing T-16. Look for Conners to keep the pedal down this week.

For a midrange pick, there is too much value on Emiliano Grillo at 50-1. The Argentine always has been a tremendous ball-striker, but the rest of his game has held him back. However, he’s on a bit of a run lately with a runner-up finish at the RBC Heritage and finishing 22nd-or-better in five of his past seven starts. In his past 24 rounds, he ranks third in driving accuracy, fifth in strokes gained ball striking and fourth in greens-in-regulation gained. The Copperhead Course sets up pretty well for Grillo, so let’s see whether he can take advantage.

For a deep sleeper, there is also terrific value on 2016 British Open champion Henrik Stenson at 100-1. Nowhere near his normal level of play, Stenson has figured something out recently, putting in good work at Augusta with a T-38 result and finishing T-11 with teammate Justin Rose last week in New Orleans. He’s now built momentum for a course that he loves. From 2015 to 2017, Stenson finished fourth, T-11 and T-7 at the Valspar. In 24 rounds at the Copperhead Course, he ranked first in strokes gained approach. Stenson should continue his upswing this week outside Tampa.

2021 picks scoreboard:

Winners: 3
Top 10s: 8
Top 20s: 9
Misses: 24

Here are some notable odds, according to William Hill:

Justin Thomas 9-1
Dustin Johnson 10-1
Corey Conners 20-1
Patrick Reed 20-1
Paul Casey 22-1
Viktor Hovland 22-1
Tyrrell Hatton 28-1
Scottie Scheffler 28-1
Russell Henley 30-1
Abraham Ancer 30-1
Sungjae Im 30-1
Louis Oosthuizen 30-1
Jason Kokrak 33-1
Joaquin Niemann 33-1
Bubba Watson 40-1
Justin Rose 40-1
Cameron Tringale 40-1
Charley Hoffman 45-1
Kevin Na 50-1
Chris Kirk 50-1
Emiliano Grillo 50-1
Ryan Palmer 50-1
Kevin Streelman 66-1
Max Homa 66-1
Kevin Kisner 66-1
Lucas Glover 70-1
Keegan Bradley 70-1
Sam Burns 70-1
Talor Gooch 70-1
Gary Woodland 70-1
Denny McCarthy 80-1
Cameron Davis 80-1
Charles Howell 80-1
Branden Grace 80-1
Erik Van Rooyen 90-1
Lanto Griffin 90-1
Ian Poulter 90-1
Adam Hadwin 90-1
Danny Willett 100-1
Brandt Snedeker 100-1
Phil Mickelson 100-1
Cameron Champ 100-1
Peter Uihlein 100-1
Matthew NeSmith 100-1
Mackenzie Hughes 100-1
Alex Noren 100-1
Doug Ghim 100-1
Charl Schwartzel 100-1
Sam Horsfield 100-1
J.T. Poston 100-1
Henrik Stenson 100-1

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