PGA Picks: RBC Canadian Open Predictions and Golf Betting Odds
While LIV Golf is grabbing some of the headlines for stealing players from the PGA Tour, golf bettors will be far more interested in what takes place at St. George's Golf and Country Club in Etobicoke, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
That is where the RBC Canadian Open is being played one week before the U.S. Open. This is an important event for our neighbors north of the border and it should be, as its biggest golf event in the country.
The field is not overly deep as you might expect before a major. However, there’s still plenty of top level talent -- as we have learned about golf at this level in today’s world, it is about the money.
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A Look at the Field
Here is a look at the Top 12 favorites and ties for golf odds this week.
Scottie Scheffler +800 - Rory McIlroy +900 - Justin Thomas +1000 - Cameron Smith +1200
Sam Burns +1400 - Matt Fitzpatrick +1600 - Shane Lowry +1600 - Corey Conners +2000
Tony Finau +2500 - Tyrrell Hatton +2500 - Harold Varner III +3300 - Adam Hadwin +4000
Chris Kirk +4000 - Patrick Reed +4000 - Sebastian Munoz +4000
It is easy to forget that McIlroy is the defending champion because the last time this tourney was held was in 2019, because of Covid. McIlroy finally let backers down with a mediocre final round showing this past Sunday, knocking him out of Top 10 contention. He’s still a threat this week nonetheless.
It seems like Scheffler and Thomas are natural choices, having won the first two majors of 2022. But one has to ask what this week means other than a tuneup for both, with thoughts of next week to have a chance to win two Grand Slams this year?
Smith has been the best iron player over the last 36 rounds. Though he faded to 13th at the Memorial after having the mid-tourney lead, early reports don’t have golf bettors holding that against him.
Burns is the top possible bet in two areas. With three wins, two seconds and a third, he’s a Top 5 wager if on. Also, he’s a candidate for a Missed Cut bet, with five this year. Fitzpatrick is cut from the same cloth, as since March, four Top 10s and three missed cuts. Bet at your own risk.
Conners is Canadian, so you know what this means to him. Given his pension for one round in the 70s, it's hard to back him to win or even a Top 10.
Of the rest of the contenders, Finau is loved or disdained. He’s known for playing short courses well, and the small greens help him to avoid long lag putts.
Vanner lll is another with a love/hate relationship this week. He was fourth in New Orleans in late April, yet five of his last eight rounds have found the 70s.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
The St. George course was first built in the 1920s, back when persimmon woods were used and balata golf balls (Google them). At just over 7,000 yards, this course has lowered the par to 70, being somewhat land-locked to add more length. The scores should be low, though there are a few deterrents, starting with three par 5’s and five par 3’s as part of the design.
All the par 5’s are birdie holes, but four of the par 3’s are 200 or more yards, which could balance a few of those lower scores out.
This course last hosted this tournament in 2010, and five of the par 4’s are 460 yards or longer, so it won’t be a complete wedge-fest. Though not difficult to hit out of, there are 104 sand traps (old school language), which could add an extra shot or two to anyone’s scorecard when beached.
The fairways are relatively narrow and tree-lined. Therefore, if you are not in the short grass, there could be uncomfortable, if not difficult, shots in the greens, especially if the rough is as thick as it was 12 years ago. The greens are among the smallest on the Tour, averaging 4,000 square feet.
The greens are thought to be a tad faster than normal. However, they are not believed to be particularly tricky. Since it has been so long since this course has been used and changes have been made, exactly how the layout will play is somewhat unknown.
Here is what will happen for those in contention. Keeping the ball on the fairway is required because if the rough is up and the trees come into play, inventing good shots to the small greens is pure scramble mode.
Taking advantage of the par 5’s is a must, and the same goes for the shorter par 4’s, where close second shots will lead to birdie chances. On the par 3’s, don’t be greedy, with the smallish greens, get on the putting surface, make your two putts and be pleased if you roll one in for a birdie.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
With no ability to gauge desire with a major next week, Top 5 bets are a challenge. We will think Cameron Smith and Rory McIlroy have more to prove after disappointing finishes. Smith also has plus odds for a Top 10 finish, which could be a safe wager.
The odds for McIlroy or Justin Thomas are not awful at some sportsbooks for a Top 10 finish (shop around), and either feel safer in head-to-head action than Burns or Fitzpatrick.
For Top 20 bets, we are going patriotic and taking Canadians Corey Conners and Adam Hadwin. Conner has been solid, and Hadwin is Top 20 in shots gained: Approach and greens in regulation over his past 36 rounds.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 23 Documented No. 1 Titles - 97 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 28 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: NBA March 2022) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.