PGA Picks: WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Predictions with Betting Odds
Golf returns to the U.S. after Xander Schauffele picked up the gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. There are actually two tournaments this week; the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and the Barracuda Championship. The St. Jude’s is invite-only, and other PGA professionals are heading to Truckee, CA for the more minor event.
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This is nothing minor about all golfers having two final weeks to generate FedEx points to make the postseason tournaments.
Our focus is on the FedEx St. Jude tourney at Southwind, which is one the players love, being a no-cut event, and it will have fewer than 70 golfers teeing up.
A Look at the Field
Here is a look at the Top 12 and ties with the lowest golf odds to win it all at online sportsbooks.
Brooks Koepka +1200 - Collin Morikawa +1400 - Xander Schauffele +1400
Jordan Spieth +1600 - Justin Thomas +1600 - Dustin Johnson +1800 - Rory McIlroy +1800
Daniel Berger +2200 - Louis Oosthuizen +2200 - Bryson DeChambeau +2500
Hideki Matsuyama +2500 - Patrick Cantlay +2500 - Viktor Hovland +2500
Look for Koepka and Morikawa to attract the overwhelming majority of the money to win. Koepka was T2 at Southwind last year and is 5th in Strokes Gained at this course. Morikawa is the British Open champion and widely acknowledged as one the best ball-strikers in the sport who should do well, especially with the putter working.
Schauffele, as mentioned, just won the gold medal. And though he’s fit for this layout, will the excitement be too much to handle?
Spieth is not attracting much attention, but he’s had two runner-up finishes in his last four events and played great all year. Thomas is the defending champion. However, his game seems off-kilter. Can he turn it on here?
Johnson, McIlroy and Berger all have the game to be as tasty against the golf odds as the ribs and chicken smothered in the local barbeque sauce. Johnson’s won at this venue twice, the last three years ago. McIlroy T4 in Tokyo and was 4th two years ago at Southwind. Berger won back-to-back at this event in 2016-17 and is off a pair of Top 8 finishes.
Of the remaining contenders, Oosthuizen is playing the best golf to make a serious run.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
Much like the last Tour event in Minnesota, this TPC course has lots of water. A golfer can get wet on 11 of the 18 holes in Memphis, and it's the reason why golfers have averaged almost two double bogeys or more over 72 holes here in the past seven years.
With all the doglegs, big hitters could get into trouble trying to shave distance. On average, the driving distance is close to 10 percent less with the doglegs. Though not imperative, sacrificing distance to have proper fairway placement makes sense in hitting at smallish greens. There are eight par-4s at 450 yards or longer, making accurate iron play important.
Patience will be a big part of playing well, and you have to break it down into three types of thinking. First, drive the ball into the fairway, which keeps the ball out of the water and rough. Second, hit good irons that place you position for makeable putts. Lastly, those that putt well inside of 10 feet on the grainy, bermudagrass greens that have a fair amount of slope on them, will do well.
This course measures 7,244 yards and is a Par 70. Will a few different players go low, most likely, because this would be not described as a hard course, rather one that if you make errors, you will pay for it in lost strokes.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
If you are looking at a win, Top 5 and Top 10 betting tickets for golf picks, it appears Koepka and Morikawa are great choices, just with low odds. If you would want more favorable odds, Berger would seem a good fit also.
A Top 20 wager is almost out of the question with 25 or more golfers at Even money or worse at most online sportsbooks. Unless you want a longer shot with say a Will Zalatoris or Jason Kokrak.
Instead, this could lead to pod play, where three to five golfers are pooled together and you pick the winner. This along with head-to-head action is another method of wagering and DeChambeau and Cantlay have the look of play against material versus the field’s best.
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 - 21 Documented No. 1 Titles - 94 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 25 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: MLB May 2021) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.