2023 Players Championship first-round leader odds, picks: Best bets and predictions for opening round from a golf expert


The best field of any golf tournament in the world competes when The Players Championship tees off on Thursday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. The field features 23 of the top 24 players in the Official World Golf Ranking. Rory McIlroy, who is No. 3 in the world, is the +2200 favorite to lead after the first round in the latest Players Championship odds from Caesars Sportsbook. He is followed by World No. 1 Jon Rahm and No. 2 Scottie Scheffler, who are both +2500.

Before you consider your Players Championship picks and who will lead the tournament after the first round, you NEED to see what Sia Nejad has to say. 

Nejad is a golf and NFL betting and DFS expert who has had incredible success in the first-round leader market. While those markets tend to be highly volatile, Nejad managed to hit six first-round leaders in a 12-week span last year. He utilizes the inherent volatility in the market to identify value with golfers more likely to spike in one round versus a full tournament. He maintains that proper bankroll management is centered upon head-to-head matchups and the top 20 and top 40 markets but has been exceptional in spiking bankrolls via first-round leader cashes.

In 2022, his first-round leader hits included Danny Lee (150-1 at the American Express), Kevin Na (40-1, Sony), Tom Hoge (80-1, Players), KH Lee (85-1, Phoenix), Jhonattan Vegas and Adam Hadwin (70-1 and 100-1, Valspar). He also hit a handful of outrights and live outrights, including Cameron Smith (28-1, Tournament of Champions) and Sam Burns (80-1 after Round 1, Charles Schwab Challenge).

Last month Nejad correctly hit Max Homa (+1750) to lead after the first round of the Genesis Invitational and Joseph Bramlett (+2000) to lead after the first round of the Honda Classic in back-to-back weeks.

Now Nejad has identified his first-round leader picks for the 2023 Players Championship.

One shocker: Nejad is high on the chances of Tom Hoge (+8000) to lead after the first round. “He’s a good course fit, has good course history and has been known to flash in first rounds,” Nejad tells SportsLine.

However, Nejad also likes a triple-digit longshot who has “elite ball-striking.” You ABSOLUTELY need to see who it is before entering any Players Championship 2023 picks.

What players offer the best value to lead after the first round of the 2023 Players Championship? And what triple-digit longshot who has elite ball-striking is a must-back? … Join SportsLine now to see Sia Nejad’s top predictions and analysis for the 2023 Players Championship, all from the golf expert who recently hit in back-to-back weeks!

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