GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for THE NORTHERN TRUST

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below we will cover the best bets for THE NORTHERN TRUST based on current form, course fit, and, of course, the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook. In a smaller than normal field with just the top 121 golfers (after a few withdrawals) teeing it up, the second tier of stud golfers has a slightly higher chance of pushing for a win and can be gotten at similar odds to a regular field event.

The best tend to clean up in these types of events, so long shots are a better play to contend for a decent finish than actually take it down. That being said, one of the longest shots to ever win a Playoff event was Heath Slocum right here at Liberty National back in 2009. So the bottom of the board doesn't need to be totally ignored, but just know you are hoping for another crazy, unpredictable week and unpredictable events are notably hard to forecast. We'll stick mostly with the top guys and touch on a few longer odds worth sprinkling.

For more info on Liberty National Golf Club and the key stats this week, check out this week's course primer.

At the Top

Rory McIlroy (+1000) - While it can sure seem like Brooks Koepka (+850) just wins every tournament, McIlroy has just as many wins (two) and top 5s (seven) as Koepka in calendar year 2019. Rory is an immediate value at a few points longer than Brooks and over his career has won every leg of the Playoffs except THE NORTHERN TRUST. With no major championships again in 2019, McIlroy can hang his hat on a push for the FedEx Cup and the cool $15 million first prize. He'll happily take the consolation prize, and a win this week would put him in pole position after a terrific season.

Patrick Cantlay (+2200) - Cantlay finally nabbed his first PGA win this season at The Memorial, and Muirfield Village overlaps as a comparable course as we outlined in our primer earlier this week. Bethpage Black is another comparison, and Cantlay was third at the PGA Championship back in May. He is one of the few studs at the top of the board who's elite in both ball-striking and scrambling -- over his last 50 rounds, Cantlay is 11th off the tee, 13th on approach, and 6th in scrambling, according to stats accumulated at Fantasy National Golf Club. Between the four majors and three WGC events -- which are the strongest fields of the year -- Cantlay finished inside the top 12 five times.

Value Spots

Tiger Woods (+2700) - What a difference a couple poor finishes can make. Let's retrace our steps -- Tiger was done until he suddenly wasn't in 2018, then he was back but not elite, then he won the Tour Championship and the Masters and was elite, then he missed a few cuts and is now done again. Got it. Will this event be the one where he's "back" or "elite"? Either way, a strong finish at a much better fitting course is in the cards for Woods this week. The Open conditions are just not ideal for his game, age, and injury history, and Bethpage was a bear that Tiger could best at his physical peak but not at this stage. And so here he is, offered at close to triple the odds he went off at the freaking Masters and U.S. Open, at a course where approach shots will be key (check), he'll get some leniency off the tee (check), and he has two runner-up finishes (checkmate).

Bryson DeChambeau (+3400) - Those lucky enough to capitalize on longer odds earlier in the week will be tickled to see DeChambeau going off at this price. Between last year's Playoffs and the start of the 2018-2019 season, Bryson was inarguably among the best players in the world. A couple rough patches bracketing back-to-back top 10s at the Travelers Championship and the 3M Open have diminished his name in betting markets, and earlier this week he was offered at twice the length of Cantlay. To recap, DeChambeau has five PGA Tour wins and Cantlay had exactly zilch until a few months ago. The wins will come, and he is so good at flipping the switch that he doesn't have to be in terrific lead-in form to take a tournament down.

Hideki Matsuyama (+4000) - One of the game's best without the resume to back it up, Matsuyama is one of the premier long iron players in the world and is overdue for a win. He is fifth in both strokes gained: tee to green and strokes gained: approach over his last 50 rounds, but he is so bad at putting that at least one round per week costs him a chance to hoist the trophy. A long-ish course with a short field and soft conditions should be his ideal fit. Given his ability to play well for four rounds yet not seriously compete for a win, he is also worth a look in the top 10 (+470) and top 20 (+200) markets as insurance in case he coughs up another opportunity.

Long Shots

Byeong-Hun An (+6500) - An was in contention last week and let it slip away, just as he did at Muirfield Village in 2018 when he finished as runner up to DeChambeau. The tee to green game is unimpeachable -- An is a bomber off the tee, above average on approach, and elite around the green (second in this field over his last 50 rounds). He was actually positive putting last week, and even though we are moving from bermuda to bent, that type of differentiation has never been a big deal with An. If he carries the hot putter, another high finish is in order. A win would be his first, but it is coming.

Danny Willett (+10000) - Willett is a former major winner who will not be afraid of the big names if he finds himself in the hunt on Sunday. Before a lackluster T41 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, the Englishman had finishes on the PGA Tour of T6 at The Open, T12 at the U.S. Open, and T8 at the RBC Canadian Open. His game sets up nicely as he does most of his damage tee to green. He would also be a nice bet to finish inside the top 10 (+900).