Courtesy of Jim Mandeville

This week, we gear up for another star-packed field for round two at Muirfield Country Club in Dublin, OH.

If the Workday Charity Open taught us anything last week, it was that elite ball strikers are who you should be putting your money on this week. If not for an errant drive by Justin Thomas in the 3rd playoff hole last Sunday, he might be looking for a repeat this week. He'll be the favorite heading into the tournament on Thursday. Let's take a look at some favorable odds, as well as a couple of long shots to take a chance on.

First, you need to head over to Fanduel and create an account for their sports book. It should be noted that Fanduel Sports book is only available in PA, NJ, IN, WV, and CO. If you are outside one of these states, you will be unable to place a bet.


Justin Thomas reacts after missing a putt in the playoff Gregory Shamus

Justin Thomas +1200

Thomas was three shots up with three holes to play last week in the Workday Charity Open, but a late push by Colin Morikawa and a bogey-par-bogey finish was enough to push the duo to a playoff where Thomas ultimately fell. Thomas should be right near the top of the leader board again this week. His ball striking and form are top notch right now which is what Muifield requires to be in contention. Thomas is a good bet to be in contention on Sunday.

Viktor Hovland smiles after making a putt GETTY IMAGES

Viktor Hovland +2200

Hovland started last week strong, but ultimately fizzled out after a number of missed putts. Hovland has all the tools to score well at a course like Muirfield this week, but it all rides on the flat stick when it comes to his finish. If he can work out some of the putting issues that plagued him last week, he should have a great shot at being at the top of the leader board when Sunday comes to a close. At +2200 on Fanduel's Sport Book, he could be a money maker this week.

Patrick Cantlay reacts after making a putt GETTY IMAGES

Patrick Cantlay +1200

The 2019 Memorial Champ posted a T7 finish last week in the Workday Charity Open. He knows the course well, and his form the last three times he's been here has been impeccable. As long as he can keep the driver in play this week, he will be in a good spot.

Long Shots:

Ian Poulter all smiles after an approach to the green Icon Sportswire

Ian Poulter +8000

A T5 finish in last week's Workday, the odds makers didn't give him much of a bump coming into the Memorial this week. Poulter put together a solid four days in last week's tournament and could be a sneaky underdog play this week considering his recent form and his finish last week. If not for Thomas and Morikawa running away from the field last week, he would have been right in the mix late on Sunday.

Jason Day lines up a putt Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Jason Day +5000

Day, a previous winner of this tournament, had one of his worst career showings at Muirfield last week, missing the cut for the first time in his last eight appearances at the course. He had won or finished in the top 10 the last seven times he had played their. His course history is too hard to ignore this week, even with his hiccup at the Workday Charity Open last week. I look for Day to refocus and bounce back this week looking for some redemption.

Paul George grabbing a rebound in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals

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In a must win game for the Los Angeles Clippers, Paul George was finally able to look like the best player on the floor in a playoff game.

After a slow start, George poured it on in the second half on his way to a game high 41 points in Game 5. The performance elevated the Clippers over strong outings from the likes of Devin Booker and Chris Paul as L.A. outlasted Phoenix 116-102.

The Clippers don't have much time to bask in their win however as they have to turn around and play two more elimination games just to make it out of the West. The Suns jumped out to a 3-1 series lead as Los Angeles struggled to find their identity without Kawhi Leonard. If the Clippers are to stave off elimination any longer, George has to continue this level of play.

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Ben Simmons disappointed in the playoffs this season

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Following a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Philadelphia 76ers and coach, Doc Rivers, are questioning if Ben Simmons is the right guy to be running their offense through moving forward.

Offense being the key word here.

Simmons is an all-world defender possessing the ability to guard virtually any opponent on the court from the perimeter to the rim. But it was his lack of offensive help throughout this playoff season that stood out beyond any accomplishments this year. Simmons joined Rudy Gobert as unanimous selections for the NBA's All-Defensive First Team this year and also finished fifth in the NBA in assists per game with 8.8 per contest.

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The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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