Mayakoba Golf Classic matchups, placings and first-round leader predictions

Conventional tournament play wraps up on the PGA Tour’s 2020 schedule with this week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Below, we’ll look for the best value bets in the 2020 Mayakoba Golf Classic betting odds with tournament matchups, placings and first-round leader (FRL) predictions.

The tournament boasts its strongest field ever as defending champion Brendon Todd looks to hold off world no. 3 Justin Thomas, four-time major winner Brooks Koepka and company. El Camaleon has hosted a PGA Tour event every year since 2007 and measures just over 7,000 yards while playing to a par 71.

Odds provided by BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. ET.

Mayakoba Golf Classic: Fantasy rankings | Betting odds

Matchup bets

Justin Thomas vs. Brooks Koepka (+138)

Thomas is a -189 favorite in this head-to-head tournament matchup against Koepka. They are the top two betting favorites for the Mayakoba Golf Classic with Thomas’ +650 odds representing an implied win probability of 13.33% to Koepka’s 7.69% win probability at +1200 outright odds.

Thomas is the top player in the field at No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin world rankings while Koepka is No. 32. Thomas is also the better iron player and seems a better fit to the course but golf betting is about value and Koepka, a four-time major winner, shouldn’t be plus-money against anyone. Chase the value with anything possible over 72 holes, especially in the final event of the year.

Tony Finau vs. Corey Conners (-106)

Conners is a nice value here as a slight underdog off of back-to-back T-10 finishes at the Masters and RSM Classic. Finau tied for 38th at Augusta National Golf Club and sat out last week. Ride the hot hand of Conners in the battle of top ball-strikers.

Placing bets

Top 5: Harris English (+350)

English won here in 2013 and finished fifth last year. Those results may have been different if the fields would have been as strong as this, but he’s highly experienced at this venue and has been in great form in the second half of 2020. He finished fourth at the U.S. Open and is coming off a T-6 at the RSM Classic two weeks ago.

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Top 10: Doug Ghim (+800)

Ghim, a former top college player, is making his debut at El Camaleon ranked 164th in the Golfweek rankings. He’s coming off of back-to-back top-20 finishes and is averaging 0.95 Strokes Gained: Approach over his last 11 measured rounds (18 total), according to Data Golf. He’s in store for a big 2021, and bettors should be jumping on the bandwagon early.

Top Asian: Byeong Hun An (+200)

An is the top player in a much less competitive Asian group than usual. He’s the second-ranked Asian in the Official World Golf Ranking (excluding Japan), but he’s the only one of the top three in attendance this week. He missed the cut in his lone appearance in 2017, but his typically-strong approach game should play well and the slower greens won’t be as punitive to his poor putting.

First-round leader

Akshay Bhatia (+12500)

Take a flier on Bhatia, who made it into the tournament as a Monday qualifier. The 18-year-old would be 126th in the Golfweek rankings but has not met the minimum requirement of events played.

He missed the cut against a much easier field at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, but he tied for ninth against stiffer competition at the Safeway Open, where he opened with a 66 in the first round.

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