2019 WGC Mexico Championship odds: Surprising picks from top-rated model that nailed four golf majors

 cbssports.com  02/19/2019 21:38:00   CBS Sports Staff

Phil Mickelson looks to defend his title this week at the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship, which starts on Thursday. Mickelson defeated Justin Thomas in a playoff last year and enters this week with 28-1 WGC-Mexico odds to repeat. Thomas, meanwhile, is the Vegas favorite at 9-1 in the latest 2019 WGC-Championship odds. They'll be grouped together on the tournament's starting day along with Dustin Johnson, with 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship tee times beginning at 12:03 p.m. ET. At stake is a slice of a $10.25 million purse and plenty of momentum heading into the Masters. Nine golfers are going off at 20-1 or lower and the latest weather is calling for sunny skies with highs in the 70s. Before you lock in any 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship picks of your own, be sure to see the latest PGA predictions from the team at SportsLine. 

SportsLine's prediction model, which was built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the last eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has been spot-on early in the 2018-19 season. It was high on champion Rickie Fowler at the 2019 Phoenix Open, projecting him as one of the top six contenders from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka's (9-1) victory at the CJ Cup earlier this season. Additionally, it correctly called Bryson DeChambeau's (9-1) seven-shot victory at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Anyone who has followed the model is up huge.

Now that the field for the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Woods, a seven-time winner of this event, doesn't even crack the top 10.

Woods is making just his second start in a World Golf Championship event since 2014. Last season, he finished 31st at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. And despite winning this tournament on seven different occasions, Woods is making his first competitive start in Mexico.

That doesn't bode well for Woods, who will be playing a course that sits nearly 8,000 feet above sea level. The significant elevation change will cause players to be accurate with their drives off the tee, an area where Woods struggled mightily last season. In fact, Woods finished last season ranked 127th on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy percentage (59.35). There are far better values to be had in this loaded WGC-Mexico Championship 2019 field.

Another surprise: Hideki Matsuyama, a 33-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

Matsuyama finished last season with five straight top-15 finishes. He's carried over that momentum into the new 2018-19 PGA schedule. In fact, Matsuyama has finished 15th or better in three consecutive starts. And he's been red-hot as of late, shooting 69 or below in nine of his last 12 rounds.

Matsuyama is eighth in driving distance on the PGA Tour at 309.0 yards and 14th in scoring average at 69.887. He owns an Official World Golf Ranking of 26 and has crushed it off the tee overall, posting a total driving efficiency of 50, the 16th-highest mark on the PGA Tour. He has all the skills needed to rise up the 2019 WGC-Mexico leaderboard in a hurry and will likely continue to be overlooked in this loaded field.

Also, the model says three other golfers with 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship odds of 18-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.

So who wins the 2019 WGC-Mexico Championship? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full WGC-Mexico Championship projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors, and find out. 

Justin Thomas 9-1 Dustin Johnson 10-1 Rory McIlroy 11-1 Bryson DeChambeau 16-1 Jon Rahm 16-1 Rickie Fowler 16-1 Tiger Woods 18-1 Brooks Koepka 18-1 Xander Schauffele 20-1 Jordan Spieth 28-1 Phil Mickelson 28-1 Bubba Watson 33-1 Gary Woodland 33-1 Hideki Matsuyama 33-1 Marc Leishman 33-1 Tony Finau 33-1

Webb Simpson 33-1

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