PGA Tour Picks: Canadian Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
If you are a big-time sports fan like me, then you probably have yelled at your TV screen on more than one occasion when an athlete screws up an easy situation with something along the lines of: "Even I could do (make) that!" You know, when some random baseball player drops an easy pop fly or DeAndre Jordan bricks about eight free throws in row.
Well, I had an "even I could do that" moment during Sunday's British Open when Jordan Spieth sliced a tee shot a ridiculous amount to the right on No. 13. If that had been an American course, Spieth is probably out of bounds or in the woods/water. Spieth looked like he was mentally breaking down late in a major again like he did in the 2015 Masters after that shot. He took an unplayable lie and then walked several yards away from the hole to take his drop on the practice range. Yep, purely legal. Long story short, Spieth miraculously escaped all that with a bogey and only a one-shot deficit but then played the final five holes at Royal Birkdale in in incredible 5-under to beat Matt Kuchar and win his first Claret Jug.
Except for one day, the weather largely cooperated on the northwest coach of England as Spieth led wire-to-wire and won at 12-under - compared to Padraig Harrington's 3-over score the last time Royal Birkdale hosted in 2008. Spieth now is 75 percent to the career Grand Slam, missing only the PGA Championship, which he can get next month in North Carolina. Only Spieth and Jack Nicklaus won three of the first four majors before the age of 24. Spieth, who will be 24 on Thursday, will only have one shot at becoming the youngest to win the Grand Slam. Tiger Woods did it before turning 25, and Nicklaus accomplished it before turning 27.Spieth is also the first player in golf history with at least 10 PGA Tour wins and three majors before turning 24.
So while there will never be another player to dominate golf like Tiger, Spieth has been more impressive in some ways at this point in his career. Although, to be fair, it took Spieth 18 majors as a pro to win his third. Tiger had six major wins by the end of his 18th appearance.
My main pick to win was Hideki Matsuyama, who was T14, but my value play was Dustin Johnson, Spieth and Rickie Fowler at +375 against the field (-600), so that's a winner. I also touched on perhaps better value on Spieth and Fowler at +650 vs. the field (-1200). Fowler was my pick for top American, but he was T21.
Now it's on to the Canadian Open, which might be in the worst spot calendar-wise on the Tour if you throw out the fall events after the Tour Championship. You just aren't going to get many big-name guys to fly back across the pond and head north of the border for this tournament. Spieth is still out celebrating. Most guys will rest this week and next ahead of the WGC-Bridgestone and then the PGA Championship.
The Canadian Open does move around but is held for the third straight year and fourth in the past five at Glen Abbey Golf Course in Oakville, Ontario. The defending champion is Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas. He was five shots behind leader Brandt Snedeker starting his round Sunday but shot an 8-under 64 to finish at 12-under and a shot ahead of Johnson, Martin Laird and Jon Rahm. Six of the past seven winners of this event trailed after 54 holes. The last player to repeat here was Jim Furyk in 2007.
No Canadian has won his national championship since 1954. A season-high 13 of them are in the field this week. Glen Abbey is a par 72 measuring 7,523 yards. There are 21 players competing who were at Royal Birkdale last week.
Golf Odds: Canadian Open Favorites
At Bovada , Johnson, still the world No. 1 despite a mini-slump is the +700 favorite. In addition to his runner-up here in last year, he also was second in 2013. Those are the only two times he played. DJ hasn't had a Top 10 in his past five tournaments this year and was 54th last week.
Matt Kuchar is +1100. I'm guessing he wouldn't be playing this week he had took him his first major title. Spieth is well-liked on Tour, but Kuchar is beloved and it sure seemed like most fans in England were rooting for him Sunday. It was Kooch's third Top 4 finish in his past four events overall (one in Europe). He was ninth at this tournament last year and a runner-up in 2013.
Snedeker (+2200), Charley Hoffman (+2200) and Tony Finau (+2500) had rounded out the favorites. Snedeker withdrew from the British Open before it started with a rib injury. He was in the field as of Monday but has decided he's not healthy enough to play here, either. Too bad as he might have been the winning choice considering Snedeker did win this tournament in 2013 to go along with fifth-place finishes in 2009 & last year. Hoffman, 20th last week, was seventh here in 2015. Finau has a 70th and 22nd to his name in two trips to this tournament.
Golf Odds: Canadian Open Picks
For a Top 10, I'll take Johnson at -165 only he is clearly the best player in the field if not playing great. Kuchar, on the flip side, might be a bit down after that great Sunday duel with Spieth. I also like Furyk (+300) and Chad Campbell (+400). Go with Shane Lowry (+350) as top European player.
Head-to-head, I lean Scott Stallings (-115) over Daniel Summerhays (-115), Canadian Graham DeLaet (-120) over Keegan Bradley (-110), Kevin Chappell (-130) over Chez Reavie (even), Ian Poulter (-115) over JB Holmes (-115), Campbell (even) over Danny Lee (-130), Furyk (+110) over Patrick Cantlay (-140), and Johnson (-130) over Kuchar (even).
You can get Johnson and Kuchar at +350 vs. the field (-550) but I don't love that. Kuchar, Hoffman and Finau at +475 vs. the field (-800) is where I'll go. Finau is my winner. He's consistently making cuts (27th last week), usually in the Top 20 and is sixth on Tour in Greens in Regulation.
Doc's Sports has a great offer for new clients. You can get $60 worth of picks from any expert handicapper for any sport he handicaps. All with no obligation and no credit card needed. Claim your free picks today .
Read more articles by Alan Matthews