PGA Picks: Northern Trust Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
It must be August 2020, as the PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs are set to kick off this week, joining the NBA and NHL postseasons.
The field is set at 125 qualifiers. And if somebody drops out, there are no replacements as we see in regular Tour events. For those that made this field, the money is massive and the stakes are enormous. The purses this week and next are 9.5 million, and the Top 70 in FEC points head to Chicago next week. That is important because next week is a no-cut event, which allows players to recover from a weaker first round.
If any golfer is satisfied just to reach this point, they are missing the point. If they had worked hard since the virus-induced stoppage, now is not the time to pump the brakes but instead put the pedal to the floor to be richly rewarded.
TPC Boston joined the tour schedule in 2003 and is an Arnold Palmer design. Renovations have been few over the last decade, and it will play to a par-71, at 7,342 yards on the scorecard. The list of winners tells this course does not favor big hitters or extremely accurate players and is a fair test of golf. In the past 10 years, bombers like Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, and Rory McIlroy have gotten the big check, but so have those with less prodigious drivers like Chris Kirk, Henrik Stenson, and Webb Simpson. However, if you hit it high and long, that is an advantage.
Scoring typically comes early and late at TPC Boston, with the toughest holes in the middle section of the course. The greens are super quick, often reaching 12.5 or faster on the stimp meter. However, because they roll so true, the scores will be lower than one might expect for these kinds of stakes.
A Look at the Field
Congrats to Jim Herman last week for shaking the golf odds to their core by winning the Wyndham Championship and climbing from 192nd in FedEx points to 54th and making this tourney. The 42-year old will not be among the favorites at 20,000-to-1, but here is who will be:
Bryson DeChambeau +1200 - Jon Rahm +1400 - Justin Thomas +1400 - Rory McIlroy +1400
Dustin Johnson +2000 - Xander Schauffele +2000 - Collin Morikawa +2200 - Jason Day +2200
Brooks Koepka +2800 - Daniel Berger +2800 - Patrick Cantlay +2800
Patrick Reed +2800 - Webb Simpson +2800
DeChambeau won in BeanTown in 2018 and is the perfect player for this course. The landing areas are generous for those that crush the dimpled-ball, and that sets him up to fire away at the pins.
If you are making golf picks, McIlroy is a fascinating choice. His best finish since golf returned is a T-11 at the Travelers Championship. Otherwise, in five other events, he posted scores outside the Top 30. If his game is going to come around, it will be here, having won in 2012 and 2016. If you believe in numerology, 2020 fits his pattern.
Others playing causing consternation are Kopeka and Tigers Woods. Koepka showed up last week in Greensboro and missed the cut. He needs to move up 27 positions to advance to next week. And with the U.S. Open in four weeks, what is his true motivation? Woods makes a return, and he’s played very well here and has a win, two runner-up finishes, and a third-place finish at TPC Boston.
Reed has won this tournament in New York (2016) and New Jersey (2019) and again should be a factor.
One player that is drawing immense attention is Jason Day. He’s put together four Top 7 finishes in four tourneys and could be ready to breakthrough. A very interesting choice on multiple levels.
Finally, Schauffele, Morikawa and Simpson will attract attention to how they have played the last month or more.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
Because Day’s odds are somewhat higher than the smaller favorites, he looks like a very logical choice for Top 5 and Top 10 wagering. Day also is a good bet for top Australian.
Reed snuck into the Top 10 last week with a final round 64. Having won this twice as mentioned, if he’s straight enough off the tee and can put the ball inside 15 often enough, he could take advantage of the outstanding putting conditions like few in the field.
If you want to cash more tickets, make certain to look at consistent finishers like Daniel Berger and Tony Finau, whom you won’t hear much about, but who can score at a course like this.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has 21 documented No. 1 titles and finished in the Top Ten 80+ other times in a distinguished career. Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several of the football newsletters you have read before.
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