PGA Championship 2020 Betting Preview

Jordan W
Founder/el Jefe

"First I figured out where the sharp action was, where the guys who had a plan were, the guys who grinded." - Bobby Axelrod (Billions)

Although we have our mainstream “major” sports back … kind of, I’ve spent the past few months in the golf space. An avid golfer, and a follower of the sport for years — wagering on this beautiful game was always an afterthought. After intaking some golf content earlier this summer, making a few friends on #GamblingTwitter, I came out guns blazing picking two outright winners in consecutive tournaments. While hitting outrights each week is not sustainable (nor very likely) I have found handicapping and projecting golf to be an exciting new project of mine.

Strange week, last week … hit outrights in both the Barracuda & WGC-St Judes and still lost money. Doesn’t happen often that it works out that way. Matchups were tough for me last week — one tournament with no cut, and one with modified scoring.

As we say in New England … “We’re onto Cincinnati San Francisco”.

The GVD Process:

This is the fourth article I’ve done on golf. I detailed my process on how I wager/stake golf in great detail in my first golf article.

If you want a refresher, click here.

Course Breakdown:

No one is coming to read these articles for my in-depth breakdown featuring imagery of the courses. Rather than waste time on that, moving forward I will focus more on the statistics and numbers of the course.

Basics:

TPC Harding Park

San Francisco, CA

7251 Yards, Par 70

Greens: Bent Grass

First time hosting an event since 2015.

Hit the recording of my stream at the bottom of the article if you want my version of a course breakdown. Being a major, every website covering golf has a course breakdown — if you want my take, check the stream.

Scorecard:

As you can see in the screenshot above, the Par 4 holes are both some of the easiest and hardest on this course. Strokes gained on par 4s will be weighed accordingly, as golfers need to work hardest to avoid bogeys on the challenging ones as well as earn birdies on the easiest ones. This course will have dangerously narrow fairways and long rough — those who keep it in the fairway will be rewarded.

Picks:

Enough of the fancy golf talk, we all are here for the picks, right?

Note: This week, because I did the live stream — I am only going to cover matchups in this article. (excluding Round 1 Matchups).

My full card and a link to the recording of the stream will be found at the base of this article and if you have questions — shoot me a message on twitter. The live stream contains my full breakdown of the outright market, top finishes, and props.

Odds are as of when I placed the bets. Golf is a fickle market, do your homework in shopping around for the best possible odds.

NOTE: As of writing this, Round 1 matchups are not released. I will update this article and my twitter when they are posted.

Full Tournament Matchups

Jim Furyk o Cameron Smith (-125): Jim Furyk, is hot off his first Champions tour victory, in his first ever appearance. A mainstay on the PGA Tour since the 90s — ole reliable Jim Furyk and his straight tee shots may not win him the tournament, but it will win him this matchup. Over the past year, Mr. 59 has ranked third in fairways gained (a driving accuracy statistic), while Smith comes in at 130th in the field. Smith struggles with his irons, and has missed three cuts post-restart. With Furyk’s reliable tee shot, above average approach and putting, I bet Mr. 59 is still around on Saturday while Cameron Smith is packing his bags.

Brooks Koepka o Jon Rahm (+115): In a major championship in the past five years, is there any player you’d rather back than Brooks? For some reason, Koepka always performs at majors. A two-time PGA Champion (and the reigning champion) I love this matchup. Rahm is undoubtedly one of the 5-10 best golfers in the world, but getting Brooks as a dog? C’mon man … I’m throwing my model and statistics out the window on this one and happy to back one of my favorite golfers in today’s game.

Chez Reavie o Billy Horschel (+115): Chez Reavie is no newcomer to the PGA Tour, however to some it feels like it might be. After placing in the top-25 in the last few tournaments, Chez has made a name for himself with crisp iron play, straight tee shots and solid wedge game. He finished sixth at the WGC St. Jude while gaining 7 (!!!) strokes on the approach. Reavie ranks fourth in the field in fairways gained and finds himself hitting greens in regulation as well. Horschel, by no means is a scrub and possesses many of the talents of Chez Reavie — albeit with considerably worse iron play. On a course that features a number of dog legs, Horschel’s struggles with the long irons may shine through on this track.

Tyrrell Hatton -1.5 o Jordan Spieth (+120): In the golf matchup market — golfers are paired against others whose outright odds are near their own. In this matchup, the outright odds do not make sense. Tyrrell Hatton has been one of the most consistent golfers in 2020, with four top-10 finishes in the five tournaments he’s played. Last week was his worst tournament but with no-cut it was a guaranteed payday. Hatton has been one of the top putters this season and is one of the best Par 4 players, which comes in handy for a course with 12 of them. Spieth showed some renewed form his past two tournaments — but I still cannot trust him over four rounds. If they both make the cut … my opinion is this — Hatton has at least a small chance to win the tournament outright, while Spieth’s chance is significantly smaller and therefore I am happy to lay the stroke-and-a-half.

Full Card

As mentioned, the first round matchups aren’t posted yet… Be sure to keep an eye on my twitter feed for my complete card entering the tournament.

Stream