Players Championship 2023 picks, predictions, odds, field: Justin Thomas fades from golf at TPC Sawgrass

The PGA Tour stars will shine again, but the iconic TPC Sawgrass will also get another moment in the sun this week at the 2023 Players Championship. The Pete Dye Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida presents one of the most comprehensive tests of the PGA season Tour. The 144 players in the 2023 Players Championship field will have to work to be the ones to claim the record $4.5 million winner’s payout. Leaders Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy lead a field that includes 43 of the top 50 golfers in the world. Justin Thomas, the 2021 Players champion, and fellow major winners Jordan Spieth and Colin Morikawa are also among those starting on Thursday. Cameron Smith won last year at 13 under, but won’t be back to defend. Former winners who will be available include McIlroy, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Adam Scott.

McIlroy won in 2019 and the world No. 3 is a 17-2 co-favorite with Rahm in the latest Caesars Sportsbook odds for the 2023 Players Championship. Second-ranked Scheffler is right behind at 10-1, with Thomas (19-1), Patrick Cantlay (19-1) and Max Homa (19-1) to be the only others less than 20-1. Xander Schauffele (25-1), Viktor Hovland (27-1), Tony Finau (28-1) and Morikawa (28-1) are also favorites in the 2023 Players Championship field. Before making any picks for Players Championship 2023, be sure to check out the PGA Tour predictions and best bets from SportsLine’s golf confidant Patrick McDonald.

After spending time at FanSided and NBC Sports EDGE, McDonald joined CBS Sports as a golf writer in the spring of 2022. Now covering the sport from a broader perspective, McDonald still wants to dip his toes into PGA betting on a weekly basis Tour. McDonald is taking a measured approach to his immediate picks and has a profitable 2022-23 season. It’s up nearly 19 points this season, meaning a profit of over $1,900 for $100 players.

McDonald clinched the Farmers Insurance Open, backing Homa (25-1) as his top pick. The specialist also dropped a massive 130-1 at the Sony Open when Hayden Buckley finished second. He posted another shot of 25-1 at the Houston Open, beating Tony Finau. The specialist finished the 2021-22 season with a 42-point increase in his odds, including a monster 250-1 payout to Hudson Swafford at The American Express. Anyone who follows McDonald’s advice has cashed in.

Now, McDonald has studied the 2023 Players Championship field and locked down his best bets, top sleepers and favorites to avoid. You can head over to SportsLine now to see all of McDonald’s PGA picks and analysis.

Top players league 2023 expert picks

Shockingly, McDonald eclipses Thomas despite being the most recent Players winner on the course this week. Thomas is also a two-time major champion and former world No.1, but McDonald says he is “a shell of himself for 2021.” The 29-year-old is 76th on tour in scoring average this season. And while he has finished in the top 25 in five of his six starts this season, only one of those has been in the top 10. Thomas tied for 33rd at Sawgrass last year, and his win was one of two top-10 finishes in eight tries, with the other coming back in 2016.

Rahm, on the other hand, will look to rebound from a week off and hang on to the No. 1 ranking he regained three weeks ago. The Spaniard started things off with a 65 last week at Bay Hill, but back-to-back rounds of 76 saw him slide down the leaderboard. He finished tied for 39th, snapping a streak of six straight top-10s. Still, he leads the tour in scoring average and strokes gained total, and has the well-rounded game to succeed at TPC Sawgrass. Rahm ranks 20th in overall driving, third in greens in regulation and seventh in strokes gained. See who he’s rooting for on SportsLine.

How to make golf picks for the players championship 2023

McDonald has placed his best bets for the 2023 Players Championship and has tabbed several longshots, including two that come in at more than 30-1. One of those golfers continues to find his form and “showed flashes” last week at Bay Hill. You can only see the picks on SportsLine.

Which Players Championship 2023 players should you target or avoid? And which golfer in the 2023 Players Championship field could bring home a massive payday of around 40-1? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Patrick McDonald’s top picks for the 2023 Players Championship, all from the expert who has won nearly $1,900 in PGA Tour picks this season.

Players Championship 2023 odds, field, top contenders

Check out McDonald’s picks, best bets and predictions here.

Jon Rahm +850
Rory McIlroy +850
Scottie Scheffler +1000
Patrick Cantlay +1900
Max Homa +1900
Justin Thomas +1900
Xander Schauffele +2500
Viktor Hovland +2700
Tony Finau +2800
Collin Morikawa +2800
Will Zalatoris +3200
Jordan Spieth +3200
Matt Fitzpatrick +3400
Tyrrell Hatton +3400
Cameron Young +3600
Jason Day +3600
Sungjae Im +3700
Joohyung Kim +4100
Shane Lowry +4800
Keegan Bradley +5000
Rickie Fowler +5000
Keith Mitchell +5500
Corey Conners +6500
Si Woo Kim +7000
Sam Burns +7000
Sahith Theegala +7000
Chris Kirk +7500
Tommy Fleetwood +8500
Hideki Matsuyama +8500
Kurt Kitayama +9000
Justin Rose +10000
Adam Scott +10000
Tom Hodge +10000
Francesco Molinari +10000
Harris English +10000
Webb Simpson +14000
Aaron Wise +14000
Brian Harman +15000
Wyndham Clark +15000
Seamus Power +15000
Russell Henley +15000
Gary Woodland +17000
Alex Noren +17000
Billy Horschel +18000
Ryan Fox +18000
Davis Riley +18000
Taylor Montgomery +18000
Sep Straka +19000
Adam Hadwin +19000
Min Woo Lee +19000
Maverick McNealy +21000
Patton Kizzire +21000
Justin Suh +21000
Taylor Pendrith +22000
KH Lee +23000
Lucas Herbert +23000
Danny Willett +23000

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