2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions Winner Prediction, Picks and Dark Horse Bets

Golf 2021 betting

The new year often brings sweeping change, but some constants remain as golf gets underway in 2021 and Dustin Johnson features among the betting favorites to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions.

“DJ” rounded out 2020 as Masters champion and with his first FedEx Cup crown in tow, securing the world No. 1 status ahead of some world-class talents:

https://twitter.com/GolfChannel/status/1346511330614902784

The Tournament of Champions has a long history as the curtain-raising event of the calendar year, where players will duel for their share of a total $6.7 million prize purse. 

This will be the 23rd year the competition is held at the Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort in Maui, Hawaii, though fans can bank on the competition being a lot more fierce than their surroundings.

Justin Thomas recently overtook Johnson as the +600 moneyline favorite to win at Caesars, but the titleholder at Kapalua isn’t the former champion who looks most attractive on paper. Falling to second in the stakes shouldn’t be taken as a slight on Johnson (winner in 2013, ’18), whose renewed form since golf’s return last year is plenty reason to keep the faith he can become just the sixth golfer to win three titles in this tournament.

Xander Schauffele is another past champion to keep an eye on as he looks to build on a transformative couple of years. The 27-year-old has finished among the top 10 in two majors per year since 2018, and this could be his time to finally shine on one of the biggest stages.

Schauffele—winner of the 2019 Tournament of Champions—could definitely hold better value than his current +1000 odds, however, particularly after recently overcoming the coronavirus:

It’s difficult to judge just how that will influence the Californian’s performance in Hawaii until the competition starts Thursday (Jan. 7), but caution may be advised backing him strongly as a result.

Looking lower down the rankings, a couple of names stick out as potential money-makers for the first tournament of the year. Not least of which is Norway’s Viktor Hovland, who won the final PGA Tour event of 2020—the Mayakoba Golf Classic—in December and has a chance to become the first player to win two tournaments in the series:

Hovland’s +2000 listing looks slightly underpriced for a player who has recorded only three 72+ rounds from 20 played on the 2020-21 Tour thus far, and his numbers are getting better. The Oslo native, 23, has shot 69 or lower in each of his last seven rounds played, including a combined 128 over the last two stages of the Mayakoba.

Another young prospect who could enter the fray as an outside pick is +2500 Collin Morikawa, whose displays so far this season haven’t quite lived up to the hype built in 2020.

The 23-year-old failed to make the cut in the first two Tour events this season—the first being the U.S. Open—and he’s since placed for a share of 50th and 44th in his last outings.

Last year’s PGA Championship winner is due an upturn in form, and where better to stage it than an event in Maui, where he still holds a number of close family connections. Morikawa tied for seventh when he made his Tournament of Champions debut at the Plantation Course in 2020, enough of a strong start at this venue to suggest he’s got break-out potential.

Prediction: Dustin Johnson to win (+650)

2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions: Odds Leaders

Player

Outright Win Odds

Justin Thomas 

+600

Dustin Johnson

+650

Jon Rahm

+750

Xander Schauffele

+1000

Bryson DeChambeau

+1000

Patrick Reed

+1600

Hideki Matsuyama

+1800

Patrick Cantlay

+1800

Webb Simpson

+1800

Viktor Hovland 

+2000

Collin Morikawa

+2500

Tony Finau

+2500

Daniel Berger

+2500

Harris English

+3000

Joaquin Niemann

+3500

Sung-jae Im

+3500

Abraham Ancer

+4000

Adam Scott

+4000

Scottie Scheffler

+4000

Cameron Smith

+4000

Cameron Champ

+4500

Odds via Caesars NJ

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