Tour Championship Predictions - Odds to Win the Tournament
Date: September 22-25,†2016
Course: East Lake GC Ė Atlanta, GA
TV: The Golf Channel/NBC
by Evergreen, PGA Golf Betting Analyst, Predictem.com
What started in October of 2015, finally comes to an end this weekend. I talk every week about the ebb and flow of the PGA Tour schedule as I am in true awe of its relentless yet peaceful nature. Golf fans can mark the passing of the seasons as the Tour winds its way across North America and there are landmarks along the way that raise a golf tournament to near national holiday levels. The end of the í15-í16 PGA season comes this weekend in Atlanta with the Tour Championship. The top-30 FedExCup point earners take to East Lake GC with the playoff title on the line and its ten million dollar top prize. This is the tenth edition of the FedExCup Playoff and a remarkable field will be sending the season out on a high note.
There are five golfers that can win the playoff simply by winning the Tour Championship. Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Adam Scott, Jason Day and Paul Casey are all in win-win scenarios should they come out on top. Each of the remaining players can still win the Cup but they need help in the form of lower finishes by the higher ranked golfers. Charl Schwartzel enters as the 30th and final exempt player but even he can go home ten million richer with a win and some help. A quick look at the previous winners of the Tour Championship reveals many recognizable names but this event has been kind to the lesser knowns as well. Billy Horschel, Bart Bryant and Chad Campbell are all Tour Champions and getting a win against just 29 others is statistically the easiest situation these guys face all year. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are the only two-time Tour Champions with no champion able to successfully defend his title so Jordan Spieth has some trend-breaking to do if he is going to raise the trophy again like he did last year.
East Lake GC has meaningful roots in golf history as the former Atlanta Athletic Club. The AAC is where Bobby Jones learned to play the game and East Lakeís clubhouse has many references to the Jones and the earliest days of the Club. Today, the 7,385 yard, par-70 course is the official home for the Tour finale and it has been a tough test with winning totals right around ten-under par with no one better than minus-13 since 2008. Without getting lost in the minutiae of what it takes to win here, players simply need to be on top of all aspects of their game. Everyone here has earned their spot by overcoming the attrition of the season and no one gets an easy win at East Lake.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best bets. We make some picks to win and breakdown a couple of popular head-to-head matches. Here are our picks to win the 2016 Tour Championship.
Patrick Reed (16 to 1)
Reed is motivated to be one of the best in the game and he seems to understand the moment. He has put together a masterful season with eleven top-10 finishes and has gone 1, T5, and T13 in the three playoff events. Reed enters the week 4th in money and 8th in OWGR and really doesnít get the spotlight he probably deserves with so much attention on guys like Spieth, Rory and Rickie Fowler. He isnít the most powerful player on Tour but is long enough off the tee to get the important short iron approaches and he is one of the best finishers behind the 2nd best overall putting average. That putter also produces a top-5 par-save rate so he is able to grind out good rounds even if he is off a bit. Reed isnít a top-flight ballstriker but his determined attitude and focus are way past his years. He will be a factor this week.
Bubba Watson (33 to 1)
Watson is on the short list to take the final Captainís pick for the Ryder Cup and this is the last chance to shine. Watson is mercurial on and off the course but his best produces results that almost no one can duplicate. Bubba has missed just one cut on the season, which is a surprisingly low number given how his style doesnít translate well to certain courses. He should be just fine at East Lake as he is top-5 in driving distance and 19th in greens hit. That leads to a lot of birdie looks but Watson enters the week at 114th in putting average per GIR. He just isnít making anything. He isnít even putting poorly as he ranks 3rd in approach putting but he hasnít been able to regularly contend behind prolonged par-streaks. He is one of the best bounce-back players on Tour so he is a threat to birdie any hole and if he gets hot on these greens, he can easily win this week.
Kevin Na (60 to 1)
Firmly in the darkhorse category, Na might be one of the biggest surprises if he should win this weekend but a good performance is not all that far-fetched. His 7th place finish at the US Open was a career best, as was his T22 at the British Open. He finished the 2016 Major season with another T22 at the PGA Championship to make the cut in all four Majors and he only missed four cuts total this season. Kevin comes into the week 25th in fairways hit and also inside the top-25 in total birdies, birdies per round, scoring average and putts per green in regulation. The bottom line is that he can score it. Na is 9th in par-4 birdie percentage so the two fewer par-5ís this week is more a benefit to his game than anything and he ranks 3rd in a consolidated stat that measure overall approaches to the green. There isnít a lot of flash in his game but he has been around the block and overcome some of the worst on-course demons a golfer can have. He just celebrated the birth of new baby so he should be free-wheeling and that is often good for the game.
Jason Day v. Jordan Spieth (pick to win: Spieth)
This is a heavy-weight matchup between two of the best putters on Tour today. Both men are so statistically superior in the putting categories that they belong in a category of their own in that regard. Day is significantly longer and hits a few more green as a result but Spieth still nets a better birdie average with the absolute best putts per round total. Most troubling for Day is his balky back. He withdrew from the BMW after his troublesome back flared up mid-round but has said that was a precaution to protect his ability to play this week. He has rested and feels optimistic about his health for East Lake but that cloud of potential injury is difficult to ignore. This one is probably a 50/50 bet most weeks so I feel pretty good about backing Spieth given the concerns with Day. Jordan is even an underdog at some betting sites and a fantastic value.
J.B. Holmes v. Jimmy Walker (pick to win: Walker)
You could throw all of the stats for these two in a hat, pick them out, blindly reassign them and wind up with no discernable difference. That is how close these guys are metrically. They are both long, sometimes crooked off the tee with both making a lot of birdies and scoring pretty well. The one thing I often point to is birdie average as it applies to scoring. Holmes has a slightly better birdie average but it is Walker that has the edge in scoring. That has to mean that Walker is just a little more consistent, making probably one fewer bad swing a round. That is how close it gets cut on Tour these days and reason enough to lean to Walkerís side. Jimmy is just that little bit better at converting his up-and-down chances and that matters on a par-70. Where do you bet on golf/sports? Does your bookie offer reduced odds? Betting at a cheaper price can save you a ton fo cash, as it's like receiving a bonus every time you bet. Not to mention, 5Dimes is probably a lot more stable than wherever you're placing your bets as they've been around forever. Make the switch today to start saving big money! It's the smart thing to do! (Oh, and you help support our site too, which we greatly appreciate!)
Good luck and good golf!
2016 PGA Tour Championship Betting Odds
Dustin Johnson 9/2
Rory McIlroy 5/1
Jason Day 17/2
Adam Scott 9/1
Jordan Spieth 9/1
Patrick Reed 15/1
Paul Casey 15/1
Bubba Watson 25/1
Hideki Matsuyama 25/1
Brandt Snedeker 30/1
J.B. Holmes 30/1
Jimmy Walker 30/1
Matt Kuchar 30/1
Phil Mickelson 30/1
Emiliano Grillo 35/1
Russell Knox 35/1
Charl Schwartzel 40/1
Daniel Berger 40/1
Gary Woodland 40/1
Ryan Moore 40/1
Kevin Na 50/1
Justin Thomas 55/1
Kevin Chappell 60/1
Si Woo Kim 60/1
Roberto Castro 65/1
Kevin Kisner 80/1
Jason Dufner 85/1
William McGirt 95/1
Jhonattan Vegas 100/1
Sean O' Hair 100/1
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