Butterfield Bermuda Championship betting guide: 3 picks we love this week

Akshay Bhatia strikes a shot in the ZOZO Championship

In his young career, Akshay Bhatia has shined in warm weather.

Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, where we share our favorite bets for the upcoming action. This time around, it’s the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, which gets underway Thursday at Port Royal Golf Course, in Bermuda. Along with our recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirpa free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

What are the odds on Betschart?

The question makes it sound like Betschart is a sportsbook.

In fact, he’s a boy, playing among men. 

Justin lower hits drive at 2023 World Wide Technology Championship
2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship odds: This long shot is eyeing his breakthrough moment
By: Kevin Cunningham

His full name is Oliver Betschart. He is 15 years old and he’s one of three Bermudians in the field this week at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship, having earned a spot by way of 54-hole local qualifier. He is also the fifth-youngest player to ever peg it in a PGA Tour competition, after Lorens Chan, Andy Zhang, Tianlang Guan and Michelle Wie West (née Wie), who was a shade over 14 when she played in the 2004 Sony Open.

The venue is Port Royal Golf Course, a renovated Robert Trent Jones Sr. design that sits along the water, where the wind can blow but where Tour pros tend to go low, anyway. Last year’s winner, Seamus Power, posted 19 under. 

Power did not make the trip to Bermuda this week. Neither did many of the game’s biggest names. As the second-to-last stop in the FedEx Fall schedule, the tournament is also a next-to-last gasp for players outside the bubble to snag coveted exemptions for 2024. The Rory’s and Rahm’s of the world are resting. At 31st in the Official World Golf Ranking, Lucas Glover is one of just two top-50 ranked players on hand this week. The other is Adam Scott. 

So, what are the odds on Betschart? The current line has him as at a distant 250-to-1 to win, which, even against less-than-heavyweight competition, seems fitting for someone who isn’t old enough to drive. 

We’ll be rooting for the kid. But we won’t be betting on him. Here are the three plays we’re making instead: a favorite, a contender and a long shot.

Favorite: Akshay Bhatia, +1,800

When the weather gets warm, Bhatia heats up. Though his breakthrough win on Tour this year came in the mountains of California, the SoCal native has otherwise shined in balmy conditions, beside the sea. Evidence includes a runner-up finish in Puerto Rico; a T-7 in the Bahamas, and a top 10 last week on Tiger’s course in Cabo. Now, comes another tournament in the tropics, against one of the weaker fields in memory. We’re sunny on his chances.

Contender: Ryan Palmer, +3,300

With 16 missed cuts in 27 tries in 2023, the 47-year-old Texan played much of the season with the look of a man with something else on his mind. Like, maybe a future on the Champions Tour. But there’s life in this veteran yet, as we saw from his T5 finish last week in Cabo. When Palmer bears down, he can still bring it. At this point in his career, Bermuda amounts to a tropical vacation, a good place for this fine ball-striker to cut loose. 

Long shot: Camillo Villegas, +10,000

Nine years have passed since Villegas notched his last Tour win, but it seems like another lifetime since he ranked among the Tour’s brightest young stars. It had gotten to the point where we thought we’d never see his name atop a leaderboard again. But there he was last week, fighting down the stretch at the World Wide Technology Championship, in Cabo, ultimately finishing T2 alongside fellow veteran Matt Kuchar. At 41, Villegas is a relatively old dog with a new swing coach and a new mental-game guru in his stable. “You never know, you never know,” Villegas said after last week’s narrow miss. Our thinking exactly. Hence the long-shot play.

Who Chirp users like this week

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3 golfers who chirp users are picking to win butterfield bermuda open

Josh Sens

Golf.com Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.