*Each-way terms: ¼ odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Brooks Koepka @ 21.020/1
I'm certain messrs McIlroy and Stenson will be hard to beat this week, but at a tempting price I will oppose with fellow big hitter, the still unexposed and in-form Brooks Koepka. I'm not concerned about fatigue following last week's win - one of my first encounters with Koepka was following him around Sunningdale as he won medallist honours in June 2013's Open qualifier, the day after claiming his third Challenge tour title of the season in Scotland. Koepka, made a late dash to the Berkshire course before beating a good quality field on just two hours sleep. There are plenty of examples of players stringing together multiple playoff wins in recent history, including Billy Horschel last year and Camilo Villegas in 2008. Don't be surprised if Koepka adds his name to the list.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Victor Dubuisson @ 21.020/1
After going into last week's Turkish event with blindingly obvious prospects, Victor Dubuisson blew all chance of victory on day one with 77 but the way he fought back, closing with 64 to make the top-15, suggests that one round should be written off as a blip. Perhaps the explanation lies in the extra pressure and commitments involved in being defending champion, not to mention a persistent nose-bleed. Regarding the Earth Course, this test is perfect. He hits it miles off the tee and leads for par-five performance among these - both key indicators - and was, of course, third last year. The Frenchman has clearly come on leaps and bounds since and is overdue a second victory.
Joe Dyer: Back Jonas Blixt @ 67.066/1
Jonas Blixt has enjoyed a consistent end-of-season spell in Europe and the Far East and at 66-1 I'm happy to have him onside at a venue that should suit his game. The US-based Swede went close at the Volvo Matchplay back in October and contended in China only to let himself down with a poor final round - with no worse finish than last week's 25th his game is clearly in decent shape. And this could be the week he puts it all together. Blixt was among the longer drivers in Turkey, an asset that will definitely suit the Dubai test, and his wizardry on the greens is an extra advantage. Blixt was 12th on his first look at the course last year and I'm hopeful he can build on that encouraging start by putting up another strong four days.
Steven Rawlings: Back Mikko Ilonen @ 81.080/1
Mikko Ilonen has already won twice on the European Tour this year - at the Irish Open and most recently at the Volvo World Match Play - and although he's not been at his best since that doesn't unduly worry me. He was hardly firing on all cylinders prior to his two wins and this week's course should really suit on the evidence of his fifth place finish at the Dubai Desert Classic in January and his playoff defeat to Sergio Garcia at the Qatar Masters last year. Those two venues have been excellent form guides for this tournament and at 80/1 the Finn looks to have been underestimated yet again.
Mike Norman: Back Rafa Cabrera-Bello @ 101.0100/1
It's been a terrible tale of woe for me in recent months, backing in-form fancied players has served me dreadfully so it's a change of tactics this week. And that's because possibly the only box Rafa Cabrera-Bello doesn't tick ahead of the Race To Dubai finale is the 'recent form' one. The Spaniard has shown a distinct liking for desert courses, winning the Dubai Desert Classic in 2012, while some of his best form this season was displayed when finishing fourth in Abu Dhabi and third in Qatar. RCB is long off the tee (essential around the Earth Course), has course form in the book (14th here 12 months ago), and it was as recent as July that he was finishing second at the BMW International Open. True, his recent form has been patchy, but the best of it was a 12th place finish at the Portugal Masters last month, a tournament that I know Steve believes has a strong correlation with this week's event.