The 2020 Tokyo Olympics golf competition will feature fewer golfers than a normal PGA Tour event, which seemingly would make it simpler to wager on because there are not as many potential outcomes. The flip side of this is that the favorites -- the players that are the most well-known -- have much shorter odds than normal, which could mean there's not as much value to be found among players with real win equity.
I attempted to reconcile these two realities with fewer best bets than a regular event and put an emphasis on golfers at the top I'm convinced will be cream that rises with golfers further down the board who are playing better than you might think.
Here are four best bets for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with odds provided via William Hill Sportsbook.
Thomas Pieters (Belgium) over Alex Noren (Sweden) (+115): This is very much a play on advanced statistics. Both Pieters and Noren have been solid over the last few months (both between 0.7 and 0.9 strokes gained per round overall since June 1), but Pieters has done it from tee to green and Noren has done it almost exclusively with his putter. I'll take the underdog, who has also been stronger off the tee, in that scenario.
Xander Schauffele (USA) top 10 (-170): The only thing not to like here is the price. Schauffele has thrived at small-field events over the course of his career, and he, Paul Casey and Collin Morikawa stand out in this field in terms of tee-to-green play over the last two months. Nobody else is even all that close. It's difficult for me to envision Schauffele, who will get a guaranteed four rounds with no cut involved, not rising into the top 10 by the end of the final round on Sunday. He has six top 20s in his last eight starts.
Viktor Hovland (Norway) to win (+1100): I was intrigued when my friend Sean Zak said the course had some elements of Quail Hollow in it. Hovland crushed at Quail Hollow earlier this year and ranks No. 10 in this field over the last two months from tee to green. He also kind of wins a lot -- three times in his last 36 events -- and will have more energy and excitement about being at the Olympics than some of the other top-end golfers here.
Jhonattan Vegas (Venezuela) top 10 (+350): Vegas is sixth among golfers in this field from tee to green over the last two months. Only Casey, Morikawa, Schauffele, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas rank ahead of him. He has three top-11 finishes in his last four events, and though those all came at events a bit weaker than this one, there's not enough firepower at the very top to scare me away from him. He's also an interesting play to win gold at 66-1.