FedEx Cup Picks: Deutsche Bank Championship Odds and Predictions
by Alan Matthews - 8/28/2014
Hunter Mahan by all accounts is one of the good guys on Tour, so it was nice to see him win last week's PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoff opening Barclays event in New Jersey for his first title in his past 47 starts and 30 months or so.
Mahan is now a lock, barring injury, to continue his streak as the only player in Tour history to play every single playoff tournament since the FedEx Cup was devised in 2007. He entered The Barclays at No. 62 in the standings but now is No. 1, which guarantees him entry into the final three playoff tournaments. It also got the notice of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, who has to make his three captain's picks this Tuesday.
Mahan shot a 65 on Sunday to finish at 16-under and win by two shots over Cameron Tringale (his best Tour finish), Stuart Appelby and Jason Day, who led after the third round at 9-under with Jim Furyk. The Top 125 in the points played the Barclays, and seven guys moved inside the Top 100 to qualify for this week: Bo Van Pelt, Stewart Cink, Andres Romero, Danny Lee, Paul Casey, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Morgan Hoffman, who rose the most by going from No. 124 to No. 72 with a T9. A bogey on the 72nd hole cost Troy Merritt a shot at advancing as he finished No. 101 in points. Probably the biggest names bumped out were Jonas Blixt, Nick Watney and Retief Goosen.
Love to say I had Mahan winning last week, but this season just hasn't gone that way. I liked both Furyk and Rickie Fowler. The good news is that Furyk paid +200 for his Top-10 and Fowler +165. Sergio Garcia disappointed as I pegged him for a Top 10 and Top European, but he finished T57, his worst tournament in months. I did project Rory McIlroy to cool down, and he did with a T22. Thus, I hit on Adam Scott (T15) at +135 head-to-head against Rory as well as Scott at -120 against Henrik Stenson (T38). Also right on Fowler (-115) over Justin Rose, Sergio (-115) over Phil Mickelson (MDF) and Jordan Spieth (-115) over Graeme McDowell.
It's off to the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston this week, and if you are thrown by the Friday-Monday schedule, it's an annual thing on Labor Day weekend. The only other tournament that has a Friday-Monday schedule is the season-opening Hyundai Championship in Hawaii. There are five players as of this writing who qualified to play this week and won't: Garcia, Rose, McDowell, Casey and Jason Dufner. Garcia and Rose are comfortably in the Top 70 to advance to the third leg. McDowell and Casey have impending fatherhood or just had a baby. Casey will not advance now. McDowell will. Dufner has a neck injury and hasn't played since the PGA Championship. He also will not advance.
There will be a ton of scoring at TPC Boston. Last year's scoring average of 69.207 was a tournament record and the second-lowest among par all 71s in 2013. The worst winning score in the past eight years was -15. Four times the winner has been at least 20 under.
FedEx Cup Golf Odds: Deutsche Bank Championship Favorites
McIlroy is again the heavy 4/1 favorite to win at Bovada, and again I don't like him much this week -- I think he also should have skipped this tournament to recharge, but what do I know? McIlroy won here in 2012 but has finished outside the Top 35 in his other two visits outside of Boston. Scott is 11/1. He has finished at least in the Top 15 in seven straight tournaments. His first PGA Tour win was here in 2003 (the inaugural event), and he finished in the Top 10 from 2010-12.
Defending champion Stenson and Day are 11/1 . Stenson shot a final-round 5-under 66 last Labor Day to win by two shots and take over the top spot of the FedEx Cup standings, and he would go on to win the playoffs. Stenson really isn't the same player this year. Day struggled much of the summer with injury but seems back in form following last week's runner-up and a T15 at the PGA Championship. He was T13 here in 2013 and in the Top 3 in 2010-11. He has never missed the cut here in six starts. Matt Kuchar (18/1) rounds out the favorites. He's not great here with just one Top-10 in 10 starts, but that was a T4 last year.
FedEx Cup Picks: Deutsche Bank Championship Predictions
Since 2007, the start of the playoffs, the winner of this event has been lower than 13th in the points just once. He has been outside the Top 10 only twice. With that said, for Top-10 finishes take Scott (+125), Day (+175), Furyk (+125) and Mickelson (+300). Lefty won here in 2007 and has never missed the cut, so I like him even though he's outside the Top 10.
Head-to-head, I like Scott (-140) over Stenson (+110) and Day (-115) over Stenson (-115). Also Mickelson (-115) over Jordan Spieth (-115), Furyk (-165) over Mahan (+125), and Brandt Snedeker (-115) over Keegan Bradley (-115). In what seems like easy money, take Graham DeLaet at -250 as top Canadian over David Hearn (Bovada being a Canadian site). Ditto on Hideki Matsuyama at -250 as the top Japanese player over Ryo Ishikawa (+185).
Furyk appears to be great value at 28/1 to win. The guy hasn't won since 2010 but should have about six titles since then -- he keeps coughing up third-round leads. Furyk's worst finish in his past five PGA Tour starts is a T15 with two 54-hole leads. He has never missed the cut in the playoff era at TPC Boston with three Top 10s. Frankly, I'd link Furyk and Day together for a wager, but if pressed I lean Day. He's also priced at 15/8 as the top Australian.
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