The Tour Championship PGA Golf Props Odds and Betting Picks
by Alan Matthews - 9/18/2012
I previewed this weekend’s FedEx Cup-ending Tour Championship last week at Doc’s, going with Phil Mickelson to take the tournament and the $10 million grand prize. Today, let’s look at some various Bovada props on the final big-time event on the PGA Tour for 2012 (Ryder Cup isn’t a Tour event).
Since I like Lefty to win, one would assume that I would, of course, take him on the prop to be the top American at 11/2 as well as a Top-10 finish (“yes” -200, “no” +150) and head-to-head against Dustin Johnson (Lefty -120, Johnson -110) and vs. Tiger Woods (Tiger -200, Mickelson +150).
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But that’s not necessarily so on all those props – why put all your eggs in one basket? I do like Mickelson for a Top-10 finish even if he doesn’t win. Mickelson, one of three players to qualify for every FedEx Cup finale, has Top-5 finishes in his past two events and he has five Top-10 finishes in 16 previous Tour Championships (including last year), with victories in 2009 and 2000.
I would also take Mickelson vs. Johnson even though DJ has finishes of sixth or better in each of the first three playoffs events and hasn’t shot a round higher than 72 in that stretch. His back is clearly 100 percent now. But some courses just don’t suit some players and East Lake appears to be one of those for Johnson. He hasn’t finished in the Top 20 in three previous Tour Championships and has just two rounds in the 60s.
Lefty vs. Tiger? Probably go Mickelson there as well because of the value price. I wonder if Woods not having played this tournament since 2009 will cause him to be at a disadvantage. But Tiger has finished either first or second six combined times in 12 Tour Championships. You can also get Tiger vs. scorching-hot Rory McIlroy head-to-head, with both at -115. I’m going Woods there again because of familiarity. McIlroy has won two straight tournaments and three of the past four but is playing East Lake for the first time. It’s so hard to maintain that level of play this long so I think Rory fades at East Lake.
I am pretty high on Jim Furyk this week. He’s at -115 head-to-head vs. Louis Oosthuizen (also -115) and -105 vs. Jason Dufner (-125). Take Furyk on both. He has eight Top-10 finishes in 13 Tour Championships. Furyk didn’t play in the tournament last year but didn’t finish worse than 11th in the previous five, including his lone win in 2010. Oosthuizen is playing East Lake for the first time, while Dufner has a finishes of T13 and T19 in his two previous Tour Championships. As a side bet, I will also be putting money down on Furyk at 12/1 to be the top American finisher and +115 to have a Top-10 finish.
Perhaps my favorite head-to-head prop this week is Zach Johnson at even vs. Justin Rose (-130). Johnson has slowed down since winning the John Deere the week before the British Open, but he has an average finish of 11.2 in five Tour Championships. He was a co-runner-up in 2007. Rose hasn’t played great in the playoffs and has yet to have a Top-10 finish in three Tour Championships.
I don’t generally like betting on the first-round leader at tournaments because of the size of the fields. But with only 30 players this week, it’s worth taking a chance. And my pick is Adam Scott. The Aussie has shot in the 60s in four of his past six opening rounds, highlighted by a 64 at the British Open, where he memorably finished second. Scott has opened at the Tour Championship with a 65 in 2007 and a 67 last year. The Aussie won here in 2006 and was T6 last year. I like him at -125 to finish in the Top 10, +125 as top “rest of the world” player and -200 vs. John Senden (+140) as the top Australian.
Here are the rest of my Top-10 choices: yes on Tiger (-400), Lee Westwood (-150), no on McIlroy (+333), Dustin Johnson (+105), Luke Donald (-110), Oosthuizen (-140) and Sergio Garcia (-160). Take Westwood as the top European player at 4/1 and top Great Britain and Ireland player at +333. Take Oosthuizen, at -188 vs. Ernie Els (+140) for the top South African player. Els hasn’t had a Top-25 finish since winning the British Open. It wouldn’t surprise me if he finishes dead last at East Lake.
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