GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the PGA Championship

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 PGA Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

With the first major championship of the year, we head out West and will be treated to primetime golf and, hopefully, another down the wire finish. We've seen Brooks Koepka run away and hide in some of these major victories, but if the event plays out the way most have since the restart, we should see a loaded leaderboard. The PGA Championship used to be the rando major, the one where (whenever Tiger Woods didn't win at least) decent golfers with otherwise lackluster major championship resumes could add a huge prefix to their name.

However, more recently, we've seen the big guns take aim. Of the past eight PGA winners, only one was ranked outside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking, and five were inside the top 5. Justin Thomas was 14th at the time of his 2017 triumph at Quail Hollow and has basically been a staple inside the top 5 in OWGR since then. So in trying to peg a winner, we'll look to the top of the talent pool, if not always the top of the market. Finding value is difficult when we have 10 golfers priced at 30/1 or shorter.

For more info on TPC Harding Park, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Xander Schauffele (+1800) - Credit to all those who grabbed Xander at 22/1 or 20/1 before the market corrected. Frequent readers of this space will note we have been touting Schauffele (without success) all season. The talent is too great and the span too long since his last victory, and here or Winged Foot would do just fine. TPC Harding Park is up first, and this California kid is the best bet of the week. A disastrous eight on Friday tanked his WGC hopes, but he battled all the way back to T6 and made just one other bogey all week. The time is now.

Dustin Johnson (+2300) - With the shuffling at the top of the world ranking the past few weeks, it is easy to forget the man who has been inside the top five since midway through 2016. DJ picked up a win at the Travelers Championship a few weeks ago, his 13th straight season with a win. His active streak dates back to his rookie season, and the only golfers to have had longer stretches are Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, and Jack Nicklaus. Johnson has more career PGA Tour wins (21) than Jon Rahm (4), Brooks Koepka (7), and Webb Simpson (7) combined. His legacy will be the missed opportunities at major championships above all else, as a talent who won one but deserved so many more. He'll have something to say about that this week if the driver cooperates.

Value Spots

Daniel Berger (+3500) - Like Schauffele, Berger's price has skyrocketed throughout the week, opening on Sunday night at +4700 on FanDuel. He has been on fire dating back to the pre-COVID tournaments and has only improved. With five top-five finishes and a missed cut on the number at the Memorial in his last six events, Berger is in about as good a form as any. We are typically looking for golfers with a win on their resume earlier in the year when pegging PGA winners, and Berger got that win at Colonial along with a few other close calls.

Gary Woodland (+4500) - Many spots have rightly touted Tommy Fleetwood (+4000) in this range, and while Fleetwood certainly presents a great value, we have more win equity with Woodland at a better number. He has a California major in his back pocket already, and he has posted two top 10s since the restart. With cool temperatures suppressing ball flight, we'll need golfers who can break through with the driver. Woodland has made great strides in his all-around game, but when driving it well, he jumps up a level in class.

Long Shots

Adam Scott (+7500) - This number is only here because of his long layoff, and while that is certainly a concern, it is just too far out of whack. It's not like Scott's been injured or laying on a hammock for the past five months. He checks a lot of the PGA Championship trend boxes -- already a winner this year and a top 10 player in the world by OWGR, as well as a great record in majors over his career. If he had played even one event since the COVID restart and posted a middling finish like T22, he'd likely be half these odds. Hedge your bets with a juicy Top 20 Finish (+280).

Marc Leishman (+7500) - Another Aussie who won't mind the wind, is a top 20 player, and has already won this year. Leishman has been inconsistent out of the break but has always been a spike-week golfer. He's just not the kind of guy who trends up with five straight top 20s before a win. He was runner up at Bay Hill in grueling, windy conditions right before the layoff.