The Asian swing gets underway with this week’s CIMB Classic at TPC Kuala Lumpur. This is the first of three events, with the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges next week and then the first WGC event at Sheshan for the HSBC Champions event. Then things come back stateside for the events before the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday break. The CIMB Classic is co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, so you’ll see quite a few unfamiliar names in the field this week. Also, with things coming to a head in the European Tour with the Race to Dubai drawing closer, a lot of those players won’t be on hand in Malaysia. Many will have to trek to China for the WGC event, but that will be the only time we see most of them until some of the early events in 2019. There are only 78 players in this prestigious field, so there will not be a cut. The field is made up of the top 60 from the final FedEx Cup points list, the top 10 from the Asian Tour, sponsor exemptions, and two Malaysian players – the winner of the CIMB National Championship and the highest available Malaysian player on the Official World Golf Ranking to form this week’s set of players. The top player on the OWGR, Gavin Green, backed out, so Ben Leong will take his place. In any event, this has only been a joint PGA/Asian Tour venture since 2013. Ryan Moore won in 2013 and 2014 and Justin Thomas won in 2015 and 2016. Pat Perez was something of a surprise winner last year. This is definitely a scorer’s course, as most are early in the season. The winning score here has been at least 23-under over the last three years. This does draw some players because of a $7 million purse and because it is a good tune-up for the other Asian events. The reason this is such a scorer’s course is that TPC Kuala Lumpur is just over 7,000 yards, but still plays as a par 72. This is quite a picturesque course in spite of its proximity to the big city. There are a lot of tree-lined holes and backdrops, but the landing areas in the fairways are still pretty wide. There are a handful of reachable par 4s for those aggressive enough to take driver and the par 5 18th was birdied by 33 percent of the players last year even though it comes in at over 630 yards. Justin Thomas is about as overwhelming of a favorite as you will see in the golf betting market. Thomas is +450 this week at 5Dimes Sportsbook. After all, he is a two-time winner of this event with just five years of PGA Tour players being on hand. He did struggle last year and only finished 11-under in a tie for 17th, but Thomas was on top of his game at the Ryder Cup and was the top US point scorer. Because he’s in terrific form and a two-time winner, he’s got a low price tag. The unfortunate thing is that Thomas’s low price hasn’t done much to provide value on the rest of the board. Still, it’s virtually impossible to take a +450 in a golf tournament. There is no value on that number. Ryan Moore is also a two-time winner, but he checks in at +1400. Moore played very well at last week’s Safeway Open as he finished second, but lost in the three-way playoff with winner Kevin Tway and Brandt Snedeker. Moore had some hiccups on Saturday with a 73, otherwise he would have claimed the title. The Las Vegas native was knocked out of the FedEx Cup playoffs with the second event at TPC Boston and seemed to use his month off for good with that strong finish at the Safeway. Moore had five top-10 finishes last season and a handful of top-15 results. Even though he’s won here twice, there isn’t a lot of meat on the bone when it comes to this price either. Billy Horschel is +1500. Horschel was excellent in the FedEx Cup playoffs and that seems to be influencing his price a bit here. Horschel withdrew from the Dell Technologies Championship, but finished second in the Tour Championship, third at the BMW, and third at the Northern Trust. Horschel’s strong finish to the 2017-18 season has him at the CIMB Classic for the first time since 2014, when he finished T-37th. There isn’t a lot on this price either, but Horschel was in very good form and hasn’t had that long of a layoff. Paul Casey, who also played well at the Ryder Cup, is +1600 along with Xander Schauffele. Both of those guys seem like reasonable prices, though Schauffele was not in great form at the end of the season as his first full year seemed to take a bit of a toll on him physically. Marc Leishman is +2000, with Keegan Bradley and Gary Woodland at +2200. Of that list, you have to like Keegan Bradley’s chances, as he was second last year and sixth in 2016. He plays well here. Woodland was second in 2014, but that was a while ago. Cameron Smith is a guy to have on your card this week at +3300. Smith tied for fifth here last year with Hideki Matsuyama, one shot ahead of Paul Casey. Smith was great in the two Asian events he played last year, as he bookended his 72 holes at TPC Kuala Lumpur with 64s and finished at 16-under. He was third in the CJ Cup at Nine Bridges. Smith struggled in the middle part of last season, but he was fifth at the Masters and then finished third in the Northern Trust and the Dell Technologies Championship. He’s one of the best bets on the board this week. Danny Lee is another good mid-range option at +4000. Lee was 10th last week at the Safeway Open at Silverado. He tied for seventh here last year. After a rough 73 to open, he shot 65-68-68 to finish at 14-under. He also struggled in his first two rounds in 2016 before going 66-69 over the weekend to finish at 4-under. Five rounds under 70 out of his last eight is a pretty good starting point, especially with last week’s showing to open the new season. Another guy at 40/1 to consider is Kevin Na. Na just needs to get hot with that flatstick and he can make things happen. Na was T-44th last year at 5-under and T-29th at 9-under two years ago, but Na was third in 2015 and second in 2014. This is a course that he does seem to play pretty well at. You can take some longer shots here, but this looks like an event for mid-range guys or that Justin Thomas will win. Coverage of the 2018-19 CIMB Classic will be in the very early morning hours this week on Golf Channel. Odds as of October 8, 7:30 p.m. ET: Justin Thomas +450 Ryan Moore +1400 Billy Horschel +1500 Paul Casey +1600 Xander Schauffele +1600 Marc Leishman +2000 Keegan Bradley +2200 Gary Woodland +2200 Brandt Snedeker +3000 Kyle Stanley +3000 Louis Oosthuizen +3000 Byeong Hun An +3300 Cameron Smith +3300 Emiliano Grillo +3300 Danny Lee +4000 C.T. Pan +4000 Kevin Na +4000 Kevin Tway +4000 Branden Grace +4500 Charles Howell III +5000 J.B. Holmes +5000 Chez Reavie +5000 Peter Uihlein +5000 Beau Hossler +5500 Pat Perez +6000 Anirban Lahiri +6600 Thomas Pieters +6600 Jimmy Walker +7000 Jason Kokrak +7000 Kevin Chappell +8000 Abraham Ancer +8000 Si Woo Kim +8000 Stewart Cink +8000 Kiradech Aphibarnrat +8000 Scott Piercy +9000 Troy Merritt +9000 Austin Cook +9000 Jhonattan Vegas +9000 Jamie Lovemark +9000 Brian Gay +9000 Bronson Burgoon +9000 Brendan Steele +10000 Chesson Hadley +10000 J.J. Spaun +10000 Andrew Putnam +10000 Tom Hoge +10000 Scott Stallings +10000 Ryan Armour +10000 Nick Watney +10000 Scott Vincent +10000 Joel Dahmen +11000 Brice Garnett +11500 Keith Mitchell +12500 James Hahn +12500 Jason Dufner +12500 Ryan Palmer +12500 Whee Kim +12500 Gaganjeet Bhullar +13500 John Catlin +15000 Justin Harding +15000 Ted Potter, Jr. +15000 Ollie Schniederjans +15000 Shubhankar Sharma +15000 Brian Stuard +15000 Michael Kim +17500 Rahil Gangjee +17500 Satoshi Kodaira +20000 Sihwan Kim +20000 Kelly Kraft +22500 Davis Love III +30000 Ernie Els +30000 Ben Leong +30000 Berry Henson +30000 Min Chel Choi +50000 Jon Curran +50000 Kim Leun-Kwang +75000 Sang-Hyun Park +100000