PGA Betting Guide for the PGA Championship
The PGA Championship's move to May will be solidified in just a few short hours, and it will be the second major for the 2019 season. As far as field strength goes, the PGA Championship rivals the best of them, and this year's field is especially loaded.
Of course, we have some favorites to win -- Dustin Johnson (+1100), Brooks Koepka (+1100), Tiger Woods (+1100), and Rory McIlroy (+1200) -- but a bet on them, in theory, should limit the other action you can take, assuming you exercise good bankroll management.
With a deep and tough field, though, perhaps it's best to seek out the mid-range value a bit more often, as 156 golfers head to Bethpage Black, the first time the course will be hosting a PGA event since 2016.
Let's dig into the field and see what stands out and which golfers might fit your eye. (All stats come from FantasyNational.com and cover the past 100 rounds on the PGA Tour, unless otherwise noted.)
Picks to Consider
At the Top
Dustin Johnson (FanDuel Sportsbook Odds: +1100) - Of the four favorites, I like Johnson the most. Among the field, he grades out second in strokes gained: off the tee and fifth in strokes gained: approach, and he's the best putter on poa greens of the four. DJ has four top-13 finishes at his past six majors, including a third at the 2018 US Open and a runner-up at Augusta last month. He should be able to thrive at Bethpage Black.
Brooks Koepka (+1100) - I'm not advocating you bet both of these favorites. I'm just here to explain why I think these guys deserve your attention more than the other options near their range. You also don't need me to talk you into Koepka at a major, as he has won three already and has finished 21st or better in 13 of his past 14 majors. That's absolutely nuts. Koepka's stats take a bit of a hit because of his event selection, but he's 5th in the field in distance and 10th in strokes gained: off the tee. He -- like Johnson -- doesn't seem to mind the cold weather, either.
Xander Schauffele (+3300) - This is my favorite range to fill a betting card. We've seen Schauffele win in tough fields before (WGC-HSBC, TOUR Championship, and the Tournament of Champions), though those are not full-field events like the PGA is. But he's thrived at majors: Schauffele ranks third in total strokes gained over the past four majors. Schauffele's adjusted strokes gained (as measured by datagolf's True Strokes Gained) imply he's a top-five player in the the world -- backing up his ninth-place ranking in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Tommy Fleetwood (+3500) - Fleetwood has three wins since the start of 2017, all on the European Tour and in fields that aren't nearly as strong as the PGA (at least as far as the OWGR's field strength ratings go). However, he has played the weekend at eight straight major events and has finished top-four at the past two US Opens. Bethpage Black has hosted US Opens in the past. It's not exactly the same, but it's not nothing. Fleetwood also should be accustomed to playing in the cold and the wet, and he has both distance (26th) and accuracy (36th) to avoid trouble and grind out a place near the top of the leaderboard.
Patrick Cantlay (+3800) - Cantlay has shortened from 48/1 to 38/1 on FanDuel Sportsbook, which is unfortunate, but we can still throw him in the mix if we're avoiding the betting favorites. Cantlay was close at Augusta, taking the lead late on Sunday after the par 5s, and he finished ninth. He's a great ball-striker (11th off the tee, 10th in approach) and has made five of six cuts at his majors.
Bryson DeChambeau (+4000) - I think Bryson is overpriced on FanDuel ($11,000) to the point where I'll have only tournament sprinkles, but his odds are dropping -- a lot. He was +2100 this weekend and is now priced like an afterthought among the almost-elite options. Bryson's long-term form (50 or 100 rounds) is much more promising than the more recent data, as he ranks 10th among the field in total strokes gained over his past 100 rounds.
Henrik Stenson (+7000) - Stenson's approach play has been on point lately and over a large sample. Even when missing cuts on the Euro Tour this season, his issue wasn't greens in regulation. In fact, over the past 100 rounds (just on the PGA Tour), he ranks third in strokes gained: approach and in accuracy, as well as first in greens in regulation. Stenson has finished top-13 in four of his past seven majors and is someone who plays well in the cold, even if he says he doesn't like it.
Jason Kokrak (+9000) - Kokrak has been on our radar for a while now. It does feel like a waste to chase too many longshots in a field this tough, but Kokrak grades out 25th off the tee and 8th in approach while also providing distance (19th), accuracy (71st) and greens in regulation (7th). He's not a core play for me on FanDuel because of his around-the-green game (138th), but for Kokrak to win, it's going to be because he is lights out and pin seeking -- not because he's grinding out greenside pars.
Aaron Wise (+1200) - Wise is 15th in strokes gained: off the tee and also has enough accuracy (72nd) to go along with his distance (23rd) that we can buy in at 120/1. Wise also offers up some promising poa splits and got a major weekend under his belt when he finished 17th at the Masters -- after missing three straight to start his career. Wise should pick up strokes tee-to-green even in this tough field.