Golf Betting & Odds ⏤ The Mayakoba Golf Classic

Fantasy Golf

El Cameleon3

The craziest calendar year maybe in the history of the PGA TOUR will come to a close this week at the Mayakoba Golf Classic at El Camaleon Golf Club in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. While Masters Champion Dustin Johnson has pulled out of the event (due to injury I'm sure), the event has still managed a reasonably strong field as many players have a lot left to play for before the calendar strikes 2021.

It has been a season to remember in a lot of ways and a season to forget in others. We saw the cancellation of the Open Championship for the first time since World War Two. We saw a Masters Tournament played without patrons for the first time in our lifetime. We saw first-time major winners in Collin Morikawa and Bryson Dechambeau take home titles at TPC Harding Park and Winged Foot while Dustin Johnson put an exclamation point on his incredible year with a win at Augusta National. We saw the professional game come to a standstill in March and then watched the recreational game explode later in the summer. All in all, we think that golf could have ended up a lot worse off this year and compared to most sports on both levels the game is emerging from 2020 with some momentum.

Brendan Todd will make the final title defense of the season as he returns to the site of his one-shot victory over three players last year. With a score of 20-under par 264 he finished one clear of Adam Long, Vaughn Taylor and local favorite Carlos Ortiz. The win was Todd's second in a row as he had claimed the Bermuda Championship the week prior.

The Field and the Favorites

Among the interesting dynamics here include the influence of the Official World Golf Ranking on the approach some players decided to take in scheduling the week. Rickie Fowler wouldn't necessarily be a likely addition to the field, but we'll see him in action as he is ranked 48th going into the final event of the year and needs to stay among the top 50 to get into the 2021 Masters Tournament. No doubt Kevin Streelman (at 51st) will similarly be looking for a big week.

Two players that we are surprised to see in Mexico include Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka. They both lend some star power to the marquee at Mayakoba and predictably come into the event as the two favorites. Thomas (+500) is a fair ways in front of Koepka (+1000) from an odds perspective with a pretty strong crowd (e.g. Tony Finau, Daniel Berger and Viktor Hovland) lurking a ways back in the +1600 to +2400 range. Amazingly enough, that group does not include Fowler but does include some lesser known names like Harris English (+1800) and Russell Henley (+2200). 

The Golf Course

The Greg Norman design at El Camaleon Golf Club is routed through a fascinating myriad of ecosystems along the Riviera Maya. Participants this week will play out and back through the jungle, the mangroves and even make their way right down to the ocean for the scenic par-three fifteenth. They will encounter unique hazards like the cavernous fairway bunker at the first crafted out of an ancient cave.

Weather is destined to be a pretty significant factor this week. Thunderstorms with potentially gusty winds are expected on an intermittent basis throughout the first three rounds. The Weather Channel lists the probability of precipitation at 75% for those three days before dropping in half come Sunday. This may polarize the scoring based on the draw as players caught in potential squalls may face difficult conditions while their counterparts enjoy calm winds and a soft golf course.

Nevertheless, our forecast is for low scoring at the Mayakoba. The winning score at El Camaleon has only once drifted to a higher total than 16-under 268 once in its history. Brendan Todd's 20-under par last year was only good enough to beat three players by one and would not have won in two of the three previous years. It's hard to imagine that this year will buck that long-standing trend. 

Here are our selections for this week's Mayakoba Golf Classic:

Group A (Justin Thomas)

Group B (Harris English)

Group C (Charles Howell III)

Group D (Viktor Hovland)

Group E (Corey Conners)

Group F (Camilo Villegas)