2024 Valspar Championship predictions, odds: Three long-shot bets

New York Post
2024 Valspar Championship predictions, odds: Three long-shot bets

Scottie Scheffler isn’t in the field for the 2024 Valspar Championship and that’s great news for bettors. The World No. 1 has won the last two PGA Tour events, halting the “Year of the Longshot.”

The Tour now heads from TPC Sawgrass to the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook for another challenging event during the sport’s annual Florida swing.

Scheffler may not be making the trip to the Gulf Coast for the Valspar, but this field does boast some starpower with plenty of players looking to get into form ahead of the Masters in three weeks.

Xander Schauffele is the consensus betting favorite at FanDuel at +700 odds, with Sam Burns (+1200), Justin Thomas (+1400), Jordan Spieth (+1600) and Brian Harman (+2000) rounding out the top five.

Trouble lurks around every corner at the Copperhead Course (nicknamed “The Snake Pit”), which is why this tournament usually produces winners around 10-under par.

That’s good news for those of us who like to play some long shots.

Expect some chaos this week.

He doesn’t have a top-10 finish in his account yet, but Mackenzie Hughes has quietly been solid in 2024.

The Canadian has finished T31 or better in four of seven starts and has only missed one cut.

Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but considering he’s almost always a long shot, they become pretty appealing.

Hughes has the skillset you want to back at this kind of course — great touch on, and around, the greens — so he’s well worth a punt on a course where he has a top-15 finish to his name.

This is a pretty straightforward play. Victor Perez has winning upside — he has three DP World Tour wins, including at the 2019 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship — and he’s in good form.

He finished 16th at the Cognizant Classic on a similar style course in Florida two weeks ago and he posted a T3 at the Puerto Rico Open last time out.

There’s a very plain reason why Davis Riley is sitting at this price despite finishing runner-up and T19 in his two starts at the Copperhead Course.

He’s been bad in 2024.

Riley has missed the cut in five of eight starts this season and has yet to post a top-50 finish. That said, we know that Riley has tournament-winning ability.

The Alabama alum lost in a playoff to Sam Burns here in 2022 and has four other top-5 finishes on Tour. He does have a win on the PGA Tour, though it was in a team event.

Riley will have to find form from nowhere, but his course history is worth a sprinkle at this price.