European Tour Betting Guide: BMW PGA Championship
This week’s BMW PGA Championship has one of the stronger fields Wentworth has seen the last decade.
Given the strength at the top of this field, it is fairly likely that the winner will come from the top tier. Alternatively, the strong field gives us some value deeper down the odds board for things like top-10s and top-20s.
Here are a couple of the best bets for this week.
Tony Finau is the fifth-highest OWGR-ranked player in this field but is tied for eighth in the odds market on FanDuel Sportsbook. This is likely due to his lack of European Tour play and course history, but Tony had a great finish to his summer and could ride that to victory this week. He had two top-five finishes in his last four standard stroke play events of the season (throwing out the handicapped Tour Championship).
One of those finishes was at the British Open at Portrush, showing that his game does travel well. In the similarly-named BMW Championship (not to be confused with this week’s event) at Medinah a month ago, Finau gained over eight strokes with his approach play, proving that his irons are locked in at the moment. As one of the best players in the world, he’s being disrespected with his price this week, and datagolf ranks him fifth in win odds.
Bet: To Win (+2700)
Thomas Pieters has been a bit disappointing since his breakout performance at the Ryder Cup in 2016 and subsequent Masters performance the following April. But he seems to be on the upswing again: he won his first event since 2016 a few weeks ago at the Czech Masters and has followed that up with three straight top-20 finishes. His recent success has largely been on the back of stellar iron play. Per the European Tour's stats, he gained over 3.0 strokes per round with approach in his win and followed that up by gaining over 2.0 strokes per round with approach at the Omega European Masters and over 1.5 strokes approach per round at the Porsche European Open. For the season, he ranks 11th on the European Tour in strokes gained: approach. Given his form and talent, he’s a steal in the middle tier of the betting market.
Bet: To Win (+4000)
Last time we saw Robert Macintyre, he narrowly lost in Germany to Paul Casey, so he’s certainly knocking on the door of victory. For the key stats this week, he ranks 15th in the European Tour in strokes gained: approach for the season and 25th in greens in regulation percentage. This season has been a big coming out party for Bob, and it would be a fitting cap to his season to come out at this big boy event and show the world he’s here to stay.
Bets: To Win (+6000), Top-5 (+1200)
Guido has been a breakout star on the European Tour this season with two victories. He has been killing it with approach this year, ranking seventh on the European Tour in strokes gained: approach. Additionally, his iron play has been very strong coming in, with Guido gaining around 1.5 strokes approach per round in each of his last two starts. The kid is bursting with confidence, and I would not be shocked one bit if he went out and won this thing.
Bets: To Win (+10000), Top-10 (+1000)
As I noted yesterday in my course preview, Ross Fisher has some of the best course history at Wentworth, especially for players in the lower tier of this field. Looking at the odds board, they don’t seem to be pricing in his course history though, which seems to be an opportunity. Fisher has not had a great year, but maybe coming back to one of his seemingly favorite courses will help him kick it into gear. He has made his last two cuts after a long stretch of not playing in the middle of the summer. Is he likely to win? No, but I think he’s an awesome value at this course given the circumstances, and he ranks sixth in approach in 2019.
Bet: Top-20 (+600)
Jordan L. Smith has not had a great stretch of play this last month, coming into this week’s event with three straight missed cuts. Go back to the beginning of the summer, though, and he was one of the hottest players on the tour. His iron play has been elite this season as he leads the European Tour in greens in regulation percentage and is 19th in strokes gained: approach. He has shown some form with the irons as well recently when he ranked 16th at the Omega European Masters in approach even though he missed the cut. If the irons are trending back, he could definitely be a factor this week. A month ago, he was regularly priced under 30/1 and now -- just a few events later -- he’s five times that. I don’t expect him to win, but I would not be shocked if we see him return to form and contend.
Bet: Top-20 (+550)