Honolulu is the site of the first full-field event on the 2021 PGA betting calendar—and scoring will literally depend on which way the wind is blowing.
Wai'alae Country Club can be one of the breeziest courses on tour, and the wind bared its teeth in a major way over the first two rounds of last year's tournament, resulting in some challenging course conditions.
The wind is expected to be less of a factor this time around, however, which means golf betting fans can largely stick to focusing on the traditional metrics to determine their wagers. Be prepared, however, for the possibility that we see a little Oahu breeze kick up one day this weekend.
We preview the field, break down the course and give our golf picks, predictions and best bets for the Sony Open.
Waiʻalae Country Club Betting Stats that Matter
Accuracy will be key at Wai'alae Country Club, a par-70 measuring just over 7,000 yards. While recent winners haven't been the leaders in Driving Accuracy, it's pivotal that players leave themselves reasonable approach shots into some of the smallest greens on tour. For comparison's sake, think El Camaleon—the site of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, the last full-field event of 2021.
That all said, SG: Putting is by far the most important statistic of the week. Each of the previous four tournament champions finished no worse than fifth in Putting Average for the tournament and while the putting surfaces are on the smaller side, they run slow and flat compared to most PGA Tour venues and will reward those riding a hot putter.
Sony Open Outright Winner Bets
There will be plenty of star power in Hawaii, led by tournament favorite Webb Simpson at +1,100. Last week's Sentry Tournament of Champions winner, Harris English, is in a group of three players at +1,400, joined by Collin Morikawa and Daniel Berger. Other notables include defending tournament champion Cameron Smith at +2,800 and Russell Henley at +3,000.
Who will win the Sony Open? Here's our best guess:
Harris English (+1,400)
It's always a bold move to take the guy who won the previous week's tournament, but we simply can't ignore how well English played on Maui. He certainly wouldn't be the first player to win at Kapalua and Wai'alae in consecutive weeks, and with a few heavy hitters like Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson sitting this one out, the competition level is not what it was last week. English has five Top 10s in seven events in the new season and ranks fifth in scoring average (69.3). He's the one to beat.
Zach Johnson (+4,000)
It has been a long time since Johnson prevailed here, having won this tournament back in 2009. But his recent form at Wai'alae has been impressive: He has four Top-15 finishes in his last seven visits, with only one missed cut in that span. Johnson loves Hawaii, having also won a Tournament of Champions title in 2014, and while his off-the-tee game is lacking, he ranks 10th on the PGA Tour in putting—and that might be all he needs to make an unlikely run at a great price.
Sony Open Matchup Predictions
Webb Simpson Over Collin Morikawa (-120)
Morikawa got the better of Simpson at last week's tournament, finishing T7 to Simpson's T17. But you can't help but feel like this is one of the better matchups to bet given how truly awful Morikawa has been with the putter. He comes into this event ranked an astonishing 220th overall in SG: Putting at -0.753 per round, which is a major reason why last week's Top-10 finish is his best result in six tournaments in the 2021 season. Simpson placed third here last year, and should win this matchup handily.
Sungjae Im Over Hideki Matsuyama (-120)
It was a rough welcome to the 2021 calendar year for Matsuyama, who finished T41 in the 42-man field in Maui. And as has been the case in far too many tournaments, Matsuyama's putting let him down, as he finished with -2.435 strokes gained. Given just how important it will be to make putts at Wai'alae, we can't in good conscience take Matsuyama over Im, who hasn't been the strongest with the flat stick himself but has been far superior off the tee so far this season.
Sony Open Prop Bets
Jimmy Walker Top-20 Result (+900)
Walker has become a forgotten man on Tour, having not won a tournament since the 2016 PGA Championship (though, in complete fairness, the guy has had a litany of injuries and illnesses to deal with since then). But Walker loves Wai'alae—and it loves him back. He won back-to-back tournaments here in 2014 and 2015 and if there was even an opportunity for him to return to form, it's here. Don't go crazy, but throw a half-unit on Walker and cheer for one of the Tour's top feel-good stories.
Winning Margin: Won in Playoff (+333)
Congratulations to everyone who played the playoff prop we recommended last week! We're going right back to the well at Wai'alae, where three of the previous five Sony Opens have been decided in extra holes. That includes last year's tournament, with Cameron Smith outlasting Brendan Steele for his second PGA Tour title. With a strong field and no golfer really separating himself from the pack at this stage of the season, we could very well see a second straight playoff in Hawaii.
Sony Open Betting Card
- Harris English Outright (+1,400)
- Zach Johnson Outright (+4,000)
- Webb Simpson Over Collin Morikawa (-120)
- Sungjae Im Over Hideki Matsuyama (-120)
- Jimmy Walker Top-20 Result (+900)
- Winning Margin: Won in Playoff (+333)
Where Can I Bet on PGA golf?
With PGA betting growing in popularity, pretty much all online sportsbooks will offer golf odds for the Sony Open. Check out our top listings page for the best sportsbooks available where you live and see what PGA Tour odds they have available.