A stern challenge is on tap as the PGA Tour begins its Florida swing at the 2023 Honda Classic, but most of the world's best golfers will be absent. The tournament, which tees off Thursday at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, suffers from a tricky spot on the schedule, but it's an opportunity for overlooked golfers to break through. Six of the past 10 winners have come in at 80-1 odds or higher, so it's also an opportunity for savvy bettors. Sungjae Im (18th), Billy Horschel (19th) and Shane Lowry (20th) are the only top-20 golfers in the Honda Classic 2023 field, and only eight of the top 50 will tee up. Sepp Straka will be back to defend his title, and another player could follow him this year as a first-time PGA Tour winner at PGA National. 

Im is the 17-2 favorite, followed by Lowry (14-1), in the latest 2023 Honda Classic odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Aaron Wise (22-1), Min Woo Lee (25-1), Chris Kirk (25-1) and Alex Noren (25-1) also are top contenders in the 2023 Honda Classic field. Denny McCarthy and Matt Kuchar are both priced at 28-1, followed by Horschel at 30-1. Before making any 2023 Honda Classic picks, be sure you check out the PGA Tour predictions and best bets from SportsLine golf insider Patrick McDonald.

After spending time at FanSided and NBC Sports EDGE, McDonald joined CBS Sports as a golf writer in the spring of 2022. Now covering the sport from a broader perspective, McDonald still likes to dip his toes into the betting pools on a weekly basis on the PGA Tour. McDonald takes a measured approach to his outright selections and is having a profitable 2022-23 season. He is up almost 25 units this season, meaning a profit of nearly $2,500 for $100 bettors.

McDonald nailed the Farmers Insurance Open, backing Max Homa (25-1) as his top choice. The expert also just missed a massive 130-1 score at the Sony Open when Hayden Buckley finished as runner-up. He hit another 25-1 shot at the Houston Open, taking Tony Finau to win. The expert finished the 2021-22 season up 42 units on his outrights, including a monster 250-1 payout on Hudson Swafford at The American Express. Anyone who follows McDonald's advice has been cashing in.

Now, McDonald has studied the 2023 Honda Classic field and has locked in his best bets, top sleepers and favorites to avoid. You can head to SportsLine now to see all of McDonald's PGA picks and analysis.  

Top 2023 Honda Classic expert picks

Shockingly, McDonald is fading Wise, who "has had a less-than-stellar beginning to his year." The 26-year-old is among the favorites but comes off consecutive missed cuts and has just one top-10 finish this season. That came back in October's CJ Cup, and his previous top-10 was last June. The 2018 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year remains an excellent putter (17th in strokes gained), but the rest of his game is lacking. Wise ranks 167th in strokes gained approach and 96th tee to green. He also is 140th in proximity to the hole, so that putter will have to be stellar.

On the other hand, McDonald expects Im to be right in the mix, saying the South Korean "appears primed to break through once again." The 24-year-old got his first tour victory at PGA National in 2020, and his strong all-around game is a good fit for the tough course. Im ranks 18th on tour in scoring average (68.82) and 14th in strokes gained total. His strokes gained numbers are all in the top 60, and he is 46th in greens in regulation. Im has finished in the top six twice in his past three tournaments, and McDonald knows he is "the clear belle of the ball." You can see who he is backing this week at SportsLine.

How to make 2023 Honda Classic golf picks

McDonald has locked in his best bets for the 2023 Honda Classic, and he has tabbed five longshots coming in well over 60-1. One of these golfers is "simply elite off the tee" and almost always puts it in the fairway and hits the green in regulation. You can only see who it, and get the rest of the picks, at SportsLine.

So which 2023 Honda Classic players should you target or avoid? And which golfer in the Honda Classic 2023 field could bring a massive payday well over 60-1? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Patrick McDonald's top prop picks for Honda Classic 2023, all from the expert who is up almost $2,500 on his PGA Tour picks this season.

2023 Honda Classic odds, field, top contenders

See McDonald's picks, best bets and predictions here.

Sungjae Im +850
Shane Lowry +1400
Aaron Wise +2200
Min Woo Lee +2500
Chris Kirk +2500
Alex Noren +2500
Matt Kuchar +2800
Denny McCarthy +2800
Billy Horschel +3000
Thomas Detry +3500
Taylor Pendrith +3500
Sepp Straka +3500
J.T. Poston +3500
Adam Svensson +3500
Harris English +4000
Cam Davis +4000
Adrian Meronk +4000
Jhonattan Vegas +4500
Lee Hodges +5000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5000
Will Gordon +5500
Robby Shelton +5500
Patrick Rodgers +5500
Nick Hardy +5500
Garrick Higgo +5500
Ben Griffin +5500
Ryan Palmer +6000
Justin Suh +6000
Danny Willett +6000
Byeong Hun An +6000
Stephan Jaeger +6500
Padraig Harrington +6500
Joseph Bramlett +6500
Hayden Buckley +6500
Aaron Rai +6500
Webb Simpson +7000
Lanto Griffin +7000
Davis Riley +7500
S.H. Kim +8000
Erik Van Rooyen +8000
Russell Knox +9000
Harry Hall +9000
Charley Hoffman +9000
Brandon Wu +9000
Ben Taylor +9000
Callum Tarren +10000
Matthias Schwab +11000
Matt Wallace +11000
Mark Hubbard +11000
Greyson Sigg +11000
Aaron Baddeley +11000
Zach Johnson +13000
Pierceson Coody +13000
MJ Daffue +13000
Michael Kim +13000
Kramer Hickok +13000
Dylan Frittelli +13000
Chesson Hadley +13000
Carl Yuan +13000
Ben Martin +13000
Adam Schenk +13000
Adam Long +13000
Sam Stevens +15000
Peter Malnati +15000
Matti Schmid +15000
Luke Donald +15000
Harry Higgs +15000
Eric Cole +15000
Danny Lee +15000
Austin Eckroat +15000
Akshay Bhatia +15000
Zecheng Dou +18000
Erik Barnes +18000
Dylan Wu +18000
David Lingmerth +18000
Satoshi Kodaira +20000
Ryan Moore +20000
Ryan Armour +20000
Kevin Tway +20000
Vincent Norrman +25000