Getty Images

After most of the top golfers sat out the first few events of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, many will be back in action starting Thursday as the 2021 CJ Cup tees off. Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas are among the most notable names in the 2021 CJ Cup field who haven't competed since the Ryder Cup. The prize pool ($9.75 million) and winner's share ($1.755 million) undoubtedly are enticing to many as both will be the highest for any domestic PGA Tour event until the Genesis Invitational in February.

The Summit Club in Las Vegas will host the CJ Cup 2021, which limits the field to the top 60 in FedEx Cup rankings from the previous season, in addition to sponsor exemptions. Johnson, Thomas and Xander Schauffele are the 12-1 co-favorites in the latest 2021 CJ Cup odds at Caesars Sportsbook. Morikawa isn't far behind at 16-1 and nine different golfers have odds of 25-1 or shorter. Before locking in your 2021 CJ Cup picks, be sure to see the golf predictions and projected leaderboard from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

SportsLine's proprietary model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has been red-hot since the PGA Tour resumed last June. In fact, it's up almost $10,000 on its best bets since the restart, nailing tournament after tournament.

At the 2021 Open Championship, McClure's best bets included Collin Morikawa winning outright even though he was listed as a massive 40-1 long shot. He was also all over Daniel Berger (+220) and Emiliano Grillo (+700) finishing inside the top-20. McClure's best bets netted over $2,200 at the 2021 Open Championship.

In addition, McClure's model was all over Jon Rahm's (10-1) first career major championship victory at the 2021 U.S. Open. Rahm was two strokes off the lead heading into the weekend, but the model still projected him as the winner. And at the 2021 Masters, McClure nailed Rahm's (+250) top-five finish in his best bets, as well as Corey Conners' (+550) top-10 showing.  

This same model has also nailed a whopping seven majors entering the weekend. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns.

Now that the 2021 CJ Cup field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. Head to SportsLine now to see the projected 2021 CJ Cup leaderboard.

The model's top 2021 CJ Cup predictions 

One major surprise the model is calling for at the 2021 CJ Cup: McIlroy, a 19-time PGA Tour champion and one of the top favorites, doesn't even crack the top five. McIlroy had a sensational season in 2020-21, winning the Wells Fargo Championship and securing a total of seven top-10 finishes. He finished last season strong as well, recording a top-15 finish in three of his last four starts. 

However, McIlroy struggled at the CJ Cup last year, finishing outside the top-20. In addition, the 32-year-old had trouble finding the fairway off the tee last season, ranking 145th in driving accuracy percentage (57.36). His inability to find the fairway off the tee, coupled with his ineffectiveness around the green doesn't bode well for his chances to finish on top of the leaderboard this week. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in the 2021 CJ Cup field.

Another surprise: Viktor Hovland, a 28-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. Hovland had a solid 12th place finish at this event last year, though it took place just down the road at Shadow Creek. But that placement was part of a magical run for Hovland last season, as he had seven top-15 finishes over a nine-tournament stretch.

The main reason for Hovland's success was his initial shots as he ranked fifth on tour in strokes gained: off-the-tee. That allowed him to post both a top 10 birdie average (4.40) and overall scoring average (69.888). The 2021-22 season has started off even better for the Norwegian as he ranks first in strokes gained: off-the-tee.

The Summit Club is a course that favors great ball strikers like Hovland and he has the added benefit of already competing in an event this season unlike many others in the CJ Cup field. Hovland has a much better chance to win it all than his odds imply, so he's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

How to make 2021 CJ Cup picks

The model is also targeting three other golfers with odds longer than 28-1 who will make surprising runs. Anyone who backs these long shots could hit it big. You can only see them here.

So who will win the CJ Cup 2021? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and then visit SportsLine to see the projected 2021 CJ Cup leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed seven golf majors and is up almost $10,000 since the restart.

2021 CJ Cup odds

Dustin Johnson 12-1
Xander Schauffele 12-1
Justin Thomas 12-1
Collin Morikawa 16-1
Rory McIlroy 18-1
Jordan Spieth 22-1
Brooks Koepka 25-1
Tony Finau 25-1
Sungjae Im 25-1
Sam Burns 28-1
Viktor Hovland 28-1
Louis Oosthuizen 30-1
Cameron Smith 30-1
Scottie Scheffler 30-1
Abraham Ancer 33-1
Webb Simpson 33-1
Hideki Matsuyama 33-1
Harris English 35-1
Paul Casey 40-1
Shane Lowry 40-1
Tyrrell Hatton 40-1
Tommy Fleetwood 40-1
Marc Leishman 45-1
Jason Kokrak 45-1
Joaquin Niemann 45-1
Si-Woo Kim 50-1
Adam Scott 50-1
Max Homa 50-1
Justin Rose 50-1
Patrick Reed 50-1
Sergio Garcia 50-1
Kevin Na 55-1
Aaron Wise 55-1
Cameron Tringale 60-1
Talor Gooch 60-1
Russell Henley 60-1
Alex Noren 70-1
Charley Hoffman 70-1
Maverick McNealy 70-1
Brian Harman 80-1
Jason Day 80-1
Harold Varner 80-1
Ian Poulter 901
Keegan Bradley 90-1
Kevin Streelman 90-1
Gary Woodland 100-1
Emiliano Grillo 100-1
Rickie Fowler 100-1
Erik Van Rooyen 100-1
Jhonattan Vegas 100-1
Branden Grace 100-1
Cameron Davis 100-1
MacKenzie Hughes 125-1
Chris Kirk 125-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 125-1
Kevin Kisner 125-1
Matt Jones 125-1
Carlos Ortiz 125-1
Patton Kizzire 125-1
Charl Schwartzel 150-1
Rasmus Hojgaard 150-1
Stewart Cink 150-1
Sebastian Munoz 150-1
Lucas Glover 200-1
Tom Hoge 200-1
Byeong Hun An 200-1
Keith Mitchell 200-1
Harry Higgs 250-1
Sung-Hoon Kang 250-1
Hudson Swafford 250-1
Robert Streb 300-1
Joohyung Kim 300-1
Hanbyeol Kim 400-1
Minkyu Kim 500-1
Sanghun Shin 500-1
Seong-Hyeon Kim 500-1
Jaekyeong Lee 500-1
Yoseop Seo 500-1