PGA Championship Golf Picks with Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
If you read these weekly golf previews, you know that I spend the first portion recapping how my picks went last week. I'm not going to say much about there here because there's plenty to say about this week's 100 th PGA Championship, the last major of the year.
Justin Thomas won the last WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to be held in Akron as he finished at 15-under, four shots ahead of Kyle Stanley. It was Thomas' third win of the season, and he's right in the hunt to win the PGA Tour Player of the Year award for a second straight year. I liked Rory McIlroy and a long-shot bet on Kevin Chappell last week. McIlroy finished T6 and Chappell T39.
So, we move on to "Glory's Last Shot," which is the tacky way the PGA Championship used to be referred to. As far as I can tell, the PGA of America stopped that nonsense in 2013. It's the 100th staging of the fourth and final major, which began in 1916 as a match-play tournament. It wasn't held the following two years because of WWI, so that's why this is No. 100.
We will know the eight automatic qualifiers for the U.S. Ryder Cup team after this tournament as the top eight in points are on captain Jim Furyk's team. Guys like Dustin Johnson, Thomas, Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed are locks. Sitting No. 8 currently is Webb Simpson with Bryson DeChambeau at No. 9. I won't bore you with how points are accumulated because I frankly don't know or care. The four captain's picks will be selected in September, and I'm quite confident that both Phil Mickelson (who could get into the Top 8 this week) and Tiger Woods (who can't) will be picked.
Meanwhile, this is the last time the PGA Championship will be held in August for the foreseeable future as it's moving to May in 2019 as part of the Tour's goal to basically finish everything that matters before the NFL season gets going. The PGA Championship was always sort of the little brother of the four major tournaments as it was, so perhaps landing in between the Masters and U.S. Open will boost its profile a bit.
The PGA usually has the best field of the year, though, and 2018 should be no different with all but two of the Top 112 in the world set to tee it up at Bellerive Country Club outside St. Louis. That course also hosted the PGA Championship in 1992, and Nick Price won at 6-under. Hard to say what the course might play like this time as it has undergone a few major renovations since then. Early reports are that it's playing long but soft, so theoretically the big hitters could have an advantage (but then they usually do).
Thomas is looking for a double back-to-back as not only will he look to win for the second week in a row but second year in a row at the PGA Championship. Last year at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, he finished at 8-under to edge Francesco Molinari, Louis Oosthuizen and Reed by two.
Golf Odds: PGA Championship Favorites
Johnson is the +800 favorite to win his second career major and first PGA Championship - his best result is a tie for fifth. DJ won two weeks ago in Canada for his third victory of the season as he's right there for Player of the Year as well. Johnson was T3 last week in Akron.
McIlroy (+1200) likes even-numbered PGA Championships as he won in 2012 & '14 (did miss cut two years ago). Thomas (+1400) looks to become the first player since Tiger in 2007 to repeat in this tournament. The last player to win the PGA Championship the week after winning the PGA Tour event preceding it was McIlroy in '14. The last before that was Woods in '07. Tiger, incidentally, is +2800 to win his fifth PGA Championship, which would tie a record. He hasn't played in this tournament since 2015 or made a cut in one since 2013.
Jordan Spieth (+2000), looking for the career Grand Slam, Koepka (+2000) and 2016 PGA Championship winner Jason Day (+2000) round out the favorites.
Golf Odds: PGA Championship Picks
Per usual for a major, Bovada has way too many prop options to address them all.
For a Top 10, I like Johnson (-110), McIlroy (+140) and Day (+220). Top American, take Spieth at +1000. Top continental European I like Jon Rahm at +350. Top rest of the world, Day at +330. Tiger, if you are wondering, is -500 to make the cut and +330 to miss. I might take Phil Mickelson at +175 to miss.
I'm going with the Bovada prop of Rickie Fowler, Spieth and Justin Rose at +650 vs. the field (-1200). Fowler is way overdue to win a major, Spieth could salvage a bad season with a win (he hasn't since the 2017 British Open) and Rose is having a fine season and almost always contends in majors. The one worry with him was withdrawing last week with back troubles, but maybe not playing was the perfect tonic. Plus, last time he was having issues with his back he won the gold medal in the 2016 Olympics.
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