Florida is known for its sun, sand and water, and there will be plenty of those for the PGA Tour golfers to contend with when the 2022 Honda Classic tees off Thursday. The tournament at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens is the first leg of the PGA Tour Florida Swing, and the course is a bear. The water along the Bear Trap, made up of holes 15-17, has swallowed countless golf balls, and sand traps and water are in play on almost every hole. Matt Jones is the defending champion after winning by five strokes last year at 12-under par. Many top European players return to the States this week to join a field that features, 2020 champ Sungjae Im as well as Florida natives and Jupiter residents Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger.

Im's victory here two years ago was his first on the PGA Tour, and the 23-year-old is the 12-1 favorite in latest 2022 Honda Classic golf odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Berger (16-1) and Koepka (20-1) also are among the favorites in the 2022 Honda Classic field. Genesis Invitational winner Joaquin Niemann (20-1), Florida native Billy Horschel (22-1) and Louis Oosthuizen also are expected to be right in the mix. Before making any 2022 Honda Classic picks, be sure to check out the PGA Tour predictions from SportsLine golf insider Sal Johnson

The esteemed golf insider has been around the game for many years and knows what it takes to win. He called Im's first career victory at the Honda two years ago. "After a great year last year, (Im) has been dormant this year," Johnson said before the 2020 tournament. "That's because he is best in Florida and on Bermuda, and I think he will be great this week as he shows us his real game."

The South Korean, then 21, went out and shot two rounds of 66, including Sunday. He started off the final round with four birdies in five holes then came through down the stretch, getting two more over the final four to hold off McKenzie Hughes.

Johnson also had a strong run during the fall season. Before the Mayakoba event in Mexico, the expert had Viktor Hovland among his players to watch, while he predicted Koepka would miss the cut. Koepka went home early, while Hovland shot 23 under to cruise to a four-stroke victory.

Before the Zozo Championship, Johnson tabbed Hideki Matsuyama in his best bets, and he was right on the money. Matsuyama shot a final-round 65 and won by five strokes after trailing by one with eight holes to play on Sunday. At the Sanderson Farms, Johnson nailed Sam Burns as his winner. Anyone who has followed Johnson's advice has cashed in huge.  

Now Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour" and longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, has released his highly-confident 2022 Honda Classic picks. The picks from the founder of GOLFstats.com, the world's top golf stats database, will definitely surprise you. Johnson's Honda Classic picks, predictions, and expert analysis are only available at SportsLine.

Top 2022 Honda Classic expert picks

In a huge surprise, the golf expert is strongly fading Genesis winner Niemann. The oddsmakers have put a lot of stock in that victory, but Johnson knows the Chilean star outperformed his typical play on his approach shots at Riviera. He ranks 87th in greens in regulation for the season but tied for 14th in that stat last week. Niemann has finished outside the top 25 in five of his eight events this season, and Johnson doesn't expect a repeat of last week's performance. The expert has more than a dozen other players he recommends for this week's event ahead of Niemann.

Koepka has been unpredictable, but Johnson knows he has the game to excel on a course like PGA National. He tied for second at the Honda in 2019 but missed the cut in 2020 before having to withdraw because of a knee injury last year. He has struggled with injuries in recent years, but he is a four-time major champion and has 15 career wins internationally. He is 22nd in driving distance (311 yards) and 21st in birdie average (4.63 per round) this season, but his other stats have been poor so far. He tied for third at Phoenix but missed the cut last week. 

Im has been the opposite of that, posting excellent numbers and playing consistently well. He won the Shriners in October and has four top-10 finishes in nine events this season. He is 11th in both scoring average (69.780) and greens in regulation (74.5 percent) and is second on tour in scrambling. Those are all numbers that will be key this week, and he plays his best golf on Bermuda grass. That is why he has finished in the top 10 at PGA National the past two years, including his 2020 victory. He is in the top 10 in strokes gained both off the tee and tee-to-green.

How to make 2022 Honda Classic golf picks

Johnson is backing a long shot this week in Palm Beach Gardens who comes in higher than 50-1. This player finished strong over the weekend in this event last year. He also closed out with an excellent run last weekend at Riviera, and he could pull off an unexpected victory at PGA National. You can only get Johnson's PGA picks and expert analysis at SportsLine.

Who wins the Honda Classic 2022? Where do Koepka and Im finish? And which long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2022 Honda Classic, all from the insider who knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and find out.

2022 Honda Classic odds, field, top contenders

Sungjae Im +1200
Daniel Berger +1600
Joaquin Niemann +2000
Brooks Koepka +2000
Louis Oosthuizen +2200
Tommy Fleetwood +2200
Billy Horschel +2200
Shane Lowry +2500
Matthew Wolff +3300
Keith Mitchell +3300
Matt Jones +3300
Alex Noren +3500
Mito Pereira +4000
Brian Harman +4000
Patrick Reed +4000
Aaron Wise +5000
Denny McCarthy +5000
Taylor Moore +5000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee +5000
Mackenzie Hughes +5000
Jhonattan Vegas +5000
Gary Woodland +5000
Cameron Young +5000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000
Nicolai Hojgaard +5000
Russell Knox +5500
Ryan Palmer +6000
C.T. Pan +6000
Lee Westwood +6600
Ian Poulter +6600
Lucas Glover +6600
Chris Kirk +6600
Martin Kaymer +6600
Rickie Fowler +6600
Brendan Steele +8000
Aaron Rai +8000
Zach Johnson +8000
Lucas Herbert +8000
Charles Howell +8000
Michael Thompson +8000
Brendon Todd +8000
Taylor Pendrith +9000
Sam Ryder +9000
Dylan Frittelli +10000
Greyson Sigg +10000
Kevin Streelman +10000
Hudson Swafford +10000
Adam Svensson +10000
Stewart Cink +10000
Sepp Straka +10000
Garrick Higgo +10000
Nick Taylor +10000
Beau Hossler +10000
Padraig Harrington +12500
Charl Schwartzel +12500
Camilo Villegas +12500
Matthew NeSmith +12500
Mark Hubbard +12500
Henrik Stenson +12500
Patrick Rodgers +12500
Davis Riley +12500
Harry Higgs +12500
Chad Ramey +12500
Matthias Schwab +12500
Alex Smalley +12500
Satoshi Kodaira +15000
Adam Schenk +15000
Lee Hodges +15000
Hayden Buckley +15000
J.T. Poston +15000
Doug Ghim +15000
Kramer Hickok +15000
Doc Redman +15000
J.J. Spaun +15000
John Huh +15000
Rory Sabbatini +15000
Nate Lashley +15000
Danny Willett +15000
Vincent Whaley +17500
Stephan Jaeger +20000
Nick Hardy +20000
Brandon Hagy +20000
Sung-Hoon Kang +20000
Austin Smotherman +20000
Ryan Armour +20000
Robert Streb +20000
Trey Mullinax +20000
Kyle Stanley +20000
David Lipsky +20000
Hank Lebioda +20000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat +25000
Brian Gay +25000
Roger Sloan +25000
Peter Uihlein +25000
Andrew Novak +25000
Tyler Duncan +25000
Dylan Wu +25000
Brian Stuard +25000
Jason Dufner +25000
Jimmy Walker +25000
Brice Garnett +25000
Kevin Tway +30000
Nick Watney +30000
Anirban Lahiri +30000
Luke Donald +30000
Austin Cook +30000
Wesley Bryan +30000
Paul Barjon +30000
Bill Haas +30000
Brandon Wu +30000
Justin Lower +30000
Bronson Burgoon +30000
Jared Wolfe +30000
Tyler McCumber +30000