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Many of the world's top players will take on one of the PGA Tour's toughest courses when the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship tees off Thursday in Charlotte, N.C. Quail Hollow's tight layout, tree-lined fairways and brutal rough make it a challenge, but that is just what the players need as they gear up for the PGA Championship in two weeks. That major was held on this course in 2017, with Justin Thomas winning his only major championship, and it will host the PGA again in 2025.

Four of the world's top five players are in the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship field, led by Thomas, who is the 10-1 favorite in the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship odds from William Hill Sportsbok. World No. 3 Jon Rahm is going off at 12-1. Other top contenders in the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship field include fifth-ranked Bryson DeChambeau (16-1), Rory McIlroy (18-1) and world No. 4 Xander Schauffele (18-1). Before making any 2021 Wells Fargo Championship picks or PGA Tour predictions, you need to see who Sal Johnson is backing

A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson has a strong feel for which players have the momentum and how their games fit the courses.

Before Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters three weeks ago, Johnson made special mention of Jordan Spieth, Schauffele and Will Zalatoris as golfers to watch.

He listed Spieth and Schauffele in his top three contenders and had Zalatoris as his top rookie. Zalatoris nearly caught Matsuyama and finished as runner-up, while Spieth and Schauffele tied for third.

He also knows when surging players are poised for a breakthrough. He tabbed Sungjae Im as a top contender before his first Tour win at the Honda Classic last season, then touted Tyrrell Hatton before he got his first tour victory the following week. Anyone who has followed Johnson's advice has cashed in huge.

Now Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour," a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world's top golf stats database, has released his highly confident 2021 Wells Fargo Championship picks, and they will surprise you. You can only see them here.

Top 2021 Wells Fargo Championship expert picks

Shockingly, the golf expert is slightly fading DeChambeau, who is the third favorite at 16-1. The big hitter certainly has the skill set to succeed at Quail Hollow and has won on similar courses, including at the U.S. Open. DeChambeau is first on tour in strokes gained off the tee but is 136th in driving accuracy, hitting less than 58 percent of his fairways. That could be a serious issue at Quail Hollow, where trees and rough penalize wayward drivers. He hasn't played since tying for 46th at the Masters, and he isn't listed among Johnson's favorites to win.

Thomas is another player Johnson will have a close eye on this week. Thomas won the PGA Championship at this course in 2017 and he ranks first on the PGA Tour in scoring average (69.738) and birdies/18 (4.89). He piled up top-10 finishes left and right earlier this season, but has been a bit cooler since his win at the Players Championship in March, finishing T13 or worse in three straight events. And while he ranks among the PGA leaders off the tee and approaching the green, he's barely in the top 100 in strokes gained via putting.

Johnson also knows Viktor Hovland is talented enough that playing Quail Hollow for the first time shouldn't faze him. The 23-year-old comes off a T-3 at Innisbrook after shooting 65 in the final round, and he was third in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green and eighth on approach. The Norwegian has two victories in his young career, and he is fourth on tour this season in strokes gained off the tee and sixth tee-to-green. He also is 11th in par breakers, and the scores don't go particularly low at Quail Hollow, so if he can be an average putter he will be right in the mix.  

How to make 2021 Wells Fargo Championship predictions

This week, Johnson is touting a long shot who comes in at well over 50-1 odds. This golfer has a history of playing Quail Hollow well, and he could pull off a stunning victory this week. You can only see who it is here.

Who wins the Wells Fargo Championship 2021? Where do Thomas and Hovland finish? Which huge long shot do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see which golfers to back, all from the expert who has crushed his gold picks. 

2021 Wells Fargo Championship odds 

Justin Thomas 10-1
Jon Rahm 12-1
Bryson DeChambeau 16-1
Rory McIlroy 18-1
Xander Schauffele 18-1
Viktor Hovland 20-1
Webb Simpson 25-1
Tony Finau 28-1
Patrick Cantlay 28-1
Patrick Reed 30-1
Will Zalatoris 30-1
Corey Conners 30-1
Sungjae Im 33-1
Joaquin Niemann 35-1
Cameron Tringale 35-1
Abraham Ancer 35-1
Max Homa 35-1
Brian Harman 40-1
Jason Day 40-1
Russell Henley 45-1
Shane Lowry 45-1
Tommy Fleetwood 45-1
Keegan Bradley 50-1
Bubba Watson 50-1
Stewart Cink 55-1
Rickie Fowler 60-1
Emiliano Grillo 66-1
Harold Varner 66-1
Harris English 66-1
Matt Wallace 66-1
Lucas Glover 70-1
Kevin Streelman 80-1
Brendan Steele 80-1
Gary Woodland 90-1
Matt Jones 90-1
Brendon Todd 100-1
Joel Dahmen 100-1
Maverick McNealy 100-1
Francesco Molinari 100-1
Cameron Davis 100-1
Talor Gooch 100-1
Keith Mitchell 100-1
Sebastian Munoz 125-1
Adam Hadwin 125-1
Ian Poulter 125-1
Ryan Moore 125-1
Denny McCarthy 125-1
Carlos Ortiz 125-1
Matthew NeSmith 125-1
Erik Van Rooyen 125-1
Russell Knox 125-1
Charl Schwartzel 125-1
Aaron Wise 125-1
Luke List 125-1
Phil Mickelson 125-1
Lanto Griffin 125-1
Nick Taylor 150-1
Kyle Stanley 150-1
Sepp Straka 150-1
Camilo Villegas 150-1
J.T. Poston 150-1
MacKenzie Hughes 150-1
Harry Higgs 150-1
Zach Johnson 150-1
James Hahn 150-1
Patton Kizzire 150-1
Jhonattan Vegas 150-1
Michael Thompson 150-1
Tom Hoge 150-1
John Huh 150-1
Tom Lewis 175-1
Scott Stallings 175-1
Vaughn Taylor 175-1
Pat Perez 175-1
Richy Werenski 175-1
Rory Sabbatini 175-1
Troy Merritt 200-1
Henrik Norlander 200-1
Byeong Hun An 200-1
Jason Dufner 200-1
Chez Reavie 200-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 200-1
Nate Lashley 200-1
Chase Seiffert 200-1
Wyndham Clark 200-1
Adam Schenk 200-1
Sam Ryder 200-1
Doc Redman 200-1
Adam Long 200-1
Patrick Rodgers 250-1
Roger Sloan 250-1
Brice Garnett 250-1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 250-1
Chesson Hadley 250-1
C.T. Pan 250-1
J.B. Holmes 250-1
Danny Lee 250-1
Tyler McCumber 250-1
Andrew Putnam 250-1
Brian Stuard 300-1
Bronson Burgoon 300-1
Cameron Percy 300-1
Akshay Bhatia 300-1
Bo Hoag 300-1
Robert Streb 300-1
Mark Hubbard 300-1
Vincent Whaley 300-1
Ben Martin 300-1
Brandon Hagy 300-1
Will Gordon 300-1
Ryan Armour 300-1
Kris Ventura 325-1
Jamie Lovemark 350-1
Ted Potter 350-1
Scott Piercy 350-1
Tyler Duncan 350-1
Joseph Bramlett 350-1
Peter Malnati 350-1
Scott Brown 350-1
Bo Van Pelt 400-1
Sean O'Hair 400-1
Scott Harrington 400-1
Seung-yul Noh 400-1
Michael Gligic 400-1
Beau Hossler 400-1
Jim Herman 400-1
Jimmy Walker 400-1
Hank Lebioda 400-1
Sung-Hoon Kang 400-1
Austin Cook 400-1
Kevin Tway 500-1
Hunter Mahan 500-1
Bill Haas 500-1
Kramer Hickok 500-1
Johnson Wagner 500-1
Grayson Murray 500-1
Jonas Blixt 500-1
Rob Oppenheim 500-1
Xinjun Zhang 500-1
David Hearn 500-1
Robby Shelton 500-1
K.J. Choi 500-1
Luke Donald 500-1
Ryan Brehm 500-1
D.J. Trahan 500-1
Kelly Kraft 500-1
Satoshi Kodaira 500-1
Rafael Campos 500-1
Martin Trainer 1000-1
Cory Schneider 1000-1
Michael Kim 1000-1
D.A. Points 1000-1