3 smart bets for the Hero World Challenge, according to a professional gambler

Tony Finau in finish position

Don't sleep on Tony Finau this week.

Getty Images

Erick Lindgren is a star of the professional poker circuit, with more than $10 million in career earnings. But he has proven to be a shark at golf wagering, too. Over a torrid stretch of making PGA Tour picks for GOLF.com last summer and fall, Lindgren picked five outright winners, among other spot-on picks. That sparkling track record inspired us to re-up with Lindgren as our gambling guru for the 2021-22 campaign, and he picked up right where he left off by choosing Hideki Matsuyama to win the Zozo Championship earlier this fall.

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The ground rules are the same as they were last season: Every week, we’re giving Lindgren a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money!). In return, he’s giving us — well, you — his favorite picks. Ordinarily, Lindgren offers his five favorite wagers. But given the limited field at this week’s Hero World Challenge, at Albany, in The Bahamas, Lindgren is going with three picks instead. See his playlist below.

(Looking to place any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM, and the online sports book is offering a ‘Risk-Free bet’ of up to $1,000).

1. Tony Finau to win, 18-1 ($400)

Finau’s big win in the 2021 FedEx Cup playoffs has Lindgren bullish on the big man’s prospects this coming season. Against a limited field in a laidback setting marries nicely with Finau’s demeanor, Lindgren sees him as the best value on the board.

2. Patrick Reed over Harris English for the tournament, +105 (wager: $400)

His notorious misadventure in the sand at the 2019 Hero not withstanding, Reed has had success at this event. Plus, Lindgren notes, “the guy is always grinding.” For those reasons, he’ll take Captain America as a slight underdog against English, who Lindgren feels is less likely to bring the same kind of fire to a no-cut competition in the tropics.

3. Patrick Reed, Top American, 20-1 (wager: $200)

Lindgren says he’s leery of both Rory McIlroy and Viktor Hovland this week. Good news is, those guys are European. In this wager, Reed only has to conquer his countrymen.


Josh Sens

Golf.com Editor

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.