Steve backs Bhatia at 39/140.00 on favoured grass
Dave says Champ to continue Mexico form
179/1180.00 Troy merits a bet at a generous price
Steve Rawlings: "If the weather forecast is correct and we experience a calm week, we can expect some very low scoring on what is essentially a resort course. And if the scoring is super low, concentrating on the early pacesetters will be the best way to play the event.
"It's never easy to come from behind when the weather is benign and it's even harder to do so when the scoring is really good...
"Given how well the players inside the top-50 on the FedEx Cup ranking have fared so far in the Fall Series, I was very keen to get at least one on side but the only one I really liked the look of price-wise was Bhatia.
"The 21-year-old missed a couple of cuts after he won his first PGA Tour event in July - the Barracuda Championship - but he's finished 43rd, 35th and 21st in each of his last three starts and if his fourth-place finish at the Mexico Open in April is anything to go by, he might take to the venue.
"He has an abundance of good form on paspalum and odds in excess of 40.0 are more than fair."
Dave Tindall: "This course should very much suit Cameron Champ's game. As well as the California visuals/comparison, he's recorded three top 10s in his last five starts in Mexico and placed 11th on his debut at the wide-open Plantation Course.
"A big part of his appeal for the ZOZO was current form, and before that strangley subdued performance Champ had finished 18th at the Shriners and ninth in the Sanderson Farms Championship in his other two October starts.
"The latter was his first top 10 since the Mexico Open at Vidanta Vallarta and the man who sits third in the Driving Distance rankings needs something strong soon to move inside the top 125 in the FedEx rankings (he's currently 127th) and secure his card."
Steve Rawlings: "At 115 in the standings, Troy Merritt is probably safe. It's hard to see ten players passing him over the next three weeks but he can eliminate any linger doubts with a good week here, in an event he's been warming to over the last three years.
"He'll be disappointed to have seen the tournament change venues given he has improving event figures reading 40-15-3 but if he putts a bit better than he did last time out at the Shriners, where he finished down in 64th place, the two-time PGA Tour winner could bounce back to form nicely.
"Prior to that disappointing performance he'd finished seventh in the Fortinet and ninth in the Sanderson Farms Championship so he looks fractionally over-priced at 180.0.."
Dave Tindall: "Sam Ryder was the first-round leader by the coast at Torrey Pines earlier this year while he's been 13th or better after 18 holes in three of his last four tournaments so has been starting well.
"This week's track is new but it's no bad thing that Ryder was third after day one on the old one, El Camaleon, in 2022 and 10th following the first round in 2019 given that both have paspalum putting surfaces.
"He's also twice a runner-up at the Corales Puntacana and has a third at the Puerto Rico Open, two more paspalum events played near the ocean."
Andy Swales: "Fairways are wide and, at an average 8,300 square feet, the greens are huge. Therefore, if conditions are benign, the potential to score low is high. However, anyone who fails to keep their golf ball on the short grass, faces the prospect of ending up in heavy scrubland that lurks dangerously close to fairway perimeters;
"Although there is a reasonable number of bunkers dotted across the course, water hazards won't be a concern for top-level Tour players...
"There can't be too many golfers right now whose confidence levels are higher than Ludvig Aberg 10/1. The Swede made his DP World Tour breakthrough in early September when he won the European Masters in Switzerland.
"A few weeks later he was part of Europe's victorious Ryder Cup team in Italy, and secured his PGA Tour card for 2024 thanks to back-to-back finishes of 2-13."