Rory McIlroy is a short-priced 4/1 favourite for the final stage of the European Tour’s ‘Desert Swing’, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which gets underway on Thursday.

At that price I simply can’t get excited about putting any money on McIlroy. He may prove me wrong and win the tournament but there is a lot more value in the each-way betting this week with some big prices on in-form players.

The same could be said for Martin Kaymer and Lee Westwood who are priced at 9/1 and 10/1 respectively. Neither player has been in outstanding in the last two tournaments but there were signs in Kaymer’s game that he could be hitting form.

Had the Commercialbank Qatar Masters gone the full 72 holes last week, we might have seen Kaymer climb the leaderboard higher than his ninth place finish. Of the three favourites, my money would be on Kaymer for an outright win bet this week.

There will plenty of backers for the defending champion, Alvaro Quiros, this week at 20/1. Despite his obvious claims in the Middle East, where he seems to play his best golf, I’m avoiding him again. In his two starts this year, he simply hasn’t shown enough to suggest he could win this week, regardless of his track record here.

I’m inclined to back Thomas Bjorn again this week at 25/1. He got off to a shocking start in Qatar last week, shooting a 79, but fought back with a 65 and a 68. After his performance in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, that 79 looks like a momentary blip in an otherwise excellent start to 2012 and I think he can go all the way this week.

My final pick this week is France’s Jean-Baptiste Gonnet at 50/1. Gonnet looks dangerously poised to cause an upset this week. In his two starts in this competition he has finished 4th and 14th, while he finished 5th in Qatar last week and 12th in the Abu Dhabi.

Elsewhere in the field there are a number of others that also appeal, something which has made this tournament a tough one to call. Anders Hansen looks like he could be building towards a big performance in Dubai and is priced at 25/1.

Paul Lawrie is playing some of the best golf of his career at the moment and is at 33/1, while ‘Tiger-slayer’ Robert Rock is a very tempting 40/1 shot.

Omega Dubai Desert Classic betting guide and tips:

1pt win Martin Kaymer @ 9/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way Thomas Bjorn @ 25/1 with Ladbrokes
2pts each-way Jean-Baptiste Gonnet @ 50/1 with Ladbrokes