The Valspar Championship was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but the winner in 2018 and 2019 was Paul Casey, who will be gunning for three in a row this weekend on the par-71 Copperhead Course at the Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla. The Tampa Bay-area tournament has been a fixture on the PGA Tour’s Florida swing since 2007, although it’s generally played in early or mid-March.
Tour players have high regard for the Copperhead Course, which requires solid shot-making and accuracy to successfully navigate the layout. In Casey’s 2019 victory, he shot 8-under-par 206 after a 10-under-par 204 was enough for the win in 2018.
The winner will receive 500 FedEx Cup points in the Tour’s final event of the season in the state of Florida, with the players headed to North Carolina next week for the Wells Fargo Championship. With the PGA Championship in May, Copperhead is the kind of course that players like to play in preparation for a major championship.
Hoffman’s recent solid play, especially at the Valero Texas Open, indicates that he could be ready to add to his win total with odds of +4000.
Betting Odds Favorites
The favorite this week at +1000 is Justin Thomas, currently second in both the world rankings and the FedEx Cup point standings. His last event was the Masters, where he finished in a tie for 21st. Dustin Johnson, who is still tops in the world, is right behind Thomas at +1000, two weeks removed from a 13th-place tie at the Heritage.
Corey Conners is at +1400, followed by Patrick Reed at +1600 and two-time defending champion Casey at +2000. Tyrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland are both at +2200 and have the type of strong tee-to-green games that can work well at Innisbrook.
Underdog Betting Picks
Charley Hoffman has been playing well in 2021, with four top 10 finishes, including as a runner-up to Jordan Spieth in the Valero Texas Open. The 44-year-old has been a staple on the PGA Tour since 2006 and has four career PGA Tour victories, the most recent in 2016.
He is currently 28th in the FedEx Cup point standings and is ranked 70th in the Official World Golf Rankings. Hoffman’s recent solid play, especially at the Valero Texas Open, indicates that he could be ready to add to his win total with odds of +4000.
A player that hasn’t been heard from lately but who never really went away is Charles Howell III, who has odds of +6600. His top 10 at the Players and top 20 finish at the Heritage, both courses that are similar to the Copperhead Course, served notice that the 41-year-old may be able to follow up on his 2019 RSM Classic win to collect his fourth Tour victory.
Sam Burns at +8000 is looking for his first PGA Tour win and is on his way with four top 10 finishes in 2021, including a tie for fourth with Billy Horschel in last week’s Zurich Classic. The 24-year-old was third at the Genesis Invitational, held at a tight Riviera Country Club that is another similar layout to the Copperhead Course.