Since its inception in 1974, the Players Championship has been a highlight on the PGA Tour thanks to its talent-laden field and unmatched prize pool. Over 150 of the sport's very best will descend upon TPC Sawgrass in Florida for the record $15 million purse with over $2 million going to the winner. With last year's event being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, 2019 winner Rory McIlroy will look for back-to-back wins when the 2021 Players Championship tees off on Thursday, March 11.

While there has been six multi-time winners at the tournament, no one has ever repeated but McIlroy is a strong favorite to make history this week. McIlroy is going off at 14-1 to repeat according to the latest 2021 Players Championship odds from William Hill Sportsbook. However, McIlroy will have some stiff competition with the likes of World No. 1 Dustin Johnson (11-1) and Bryson DeChambeau (14-1), the winner of last week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, among a plethora of proven champions in the 2021 Players Championship field. Before locking in your 2021 Players Championship picks or entering any PGA DFS tournaments on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, be sure to see the latest golf predictions and projected leaderboard from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.

SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has been on fire since the return of the PGA Tour last June. In fact, it's up over $11,000 on its best bets since the restart, nailing tournament after tournament.

Last month at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, McClure nailed Daniel Berger's win at +1400 in his best bets. McClure was also all over Viktor Hovland's (+2500) victory in his best bets at the Mayakoba Golf Classic in December. That was one of many huge calls he's made in the past few months. 

After nailing Sergio Garcia (+5500) finishing on top of the leaderboard at the Sanderson Farms Championship, McClure finished up over $6,200 yet again on his best bets in that tournament. The model had him in the top five from the start and McClure's best bets included Garcia winning outright. 

He also finished profitable at the U.S. Open, nailing two of his best bets, including a +1100 top-five bet on Matthew Wolff. In all, the advanced computer model has also nailed a whopping six majors entering the weekend. Anyone who has followed its golf picks has seen massive returns. 

Now that the 2021 Players Championship field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. Head to SportsLine now to see the projected leaderboard.

The model's top 2021 Players Championship predictions 

One huge shocker the model is calling for at the Players Championship 2021: Bryson DeChambeau, one of the top Vegas favorites, stumbles and doesn't even crack the top 10. DeChambeau has certainly had some banner moments during the 2020-21 PGA Tour season, winning the U.S. Open to begin the season and then taking first in the Arnold Palmer Invitational last week.

But between those wins have been a few frustrating performances. He missed the cut at the Genesis Invitational in February and finished outside the top 20 at the WGC-Workday Championship and the 2020 Masters. He's been explosive off the tee, but has struggled on the greens at times, entering this tournament ranked 65th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained: putting. The model indicates there are far better values this week at the Players Championship 2021. 

Another surprise: Webb Simpson, a 22-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He has a much better chance to win it all than his odds imply, so he's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

Simpson hopes to claim his second Players Championship victory after hoisting the trophy in 2018. The 10th-ranked player in the world, Simpson has shown great form as of late as 19 of his last 20 rounds have been par or better. He has four top-10 finishes in his last nine events and his 71.63 driving accuracy percentage (fourth-best on PGA Tour) should come in handy on a course with narrow fairways surrounded by hazards.

Simpson was poised to be in contention at last year's event as his first-round score had him tied for seventh before the rest of the tournament was cancelled. With one win and three other top-16 finishes at TPC Sawgrass, he has what it takes to excel on this challenging course. Those impressive stats, plus his long odds, make Simpson a strong value pick in 2021 Players Championship bets this week.

How to make 2021 Players Championship picks

Also, the model is targeting four other golfers with odds of 22-1 or higher to make a strong run at the title, including a monster long shot. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big. You can only see them here.

So who wins the Players Championship 2021? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and then visit SportsLine to see the projected 2021 Players Championship leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed six golf majors and is up over $11,000 since the restart, and find out. 

2021 Players Championship odds (via William Hill)

Dustin Johnson 11-1
Rory McIlroy 14-1
Bryson DeChambeau 14-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Justin Thomas 20-1
Webb Simpson 22-1
Collin Morikawa 22-1
Patrick Cantlay 22-1
Tony Finau 25-1
Jordan Spieth 25-1
Viktor Hovland 25-1
Tyrrell Hatton 33-1
Tommy Fleetwood 35-1
Scottie Scheffler 35-1
Hideki Matsuyama 35-1
Patrick Reed 35-1
Daniel Berger 35-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 40-1
Sungjae Im 45-1
Paul Casey 45-1
Jason Day 45-1
Joaquin Niemann 50-1
Cameron Smith 50-1
Louis Oosthuizen 55-1
Adam Scott 55-1
Will Zalatoris 60-1
Christiaan Bezuidenhout 66-1
Jason Kokrak 66-1 
Lee Westwood 70-1
Sergio Garcia 70-1
Harris English 70-1
Max Homa 70-1
Billy Horschel 70-1
Abraham Ancer 70-1
Justin Rose 80-1
Corey Conners 80-1
Kevin Na 90-1
Francesco Molinari 90-1
Marc Leishman 100-1
Russell Henley 100-1
Lanto Griffin 100-1
Sam Burns 100-1
Si-Woo Kim 100-1
Carlos Ortiz 100-1
Kevin Kisner 100-1