2015 Barclays Predictions to Win – Golfer vs. Golfer Picks

Barclays Predictions to Win
Dates: August 27-30, 2015
Course: Plainfield CC Edison, NJ
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Handicapper, Predictem.com

Individual athletics and playoffs arent often associated with each other but organizations like NASCAR and the PGA Tour have added their versions of playoff systems over the years in order to send their seasons out with a competitive bang. The Barclays is the first of the FedExCup events and 125 players are qualified to tee it up at Plainfield CC this year. The ultimate goal is to win but simply making it to next week is also on the players minds, especially the bottom of the field.

Given that this is an exempt field, the competition will be very strong with the likes of Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Jason Day leading the way. Outside of a few statistical exceptions, the ultimate winner of the FedExCup needs a win at some point during the next four events so there is no one just mailing it in and that makes for great golf.

This will be the second Barclays hosted at Plainfield Country Club. The 7,030 yard, par-70 course held this event in 2011 and while bad weather shortened the tournament to 54-holes, Dustin Johnson was still able to tie a Barclays scoring record at 19-under. This course is tricky in many subtle ways. The layout was improved in recent years with some re-tooling of the greens and the removal of about 1,000 trees. That redesign added difficulty by bringing many bunkers into play and the players now have several holes where tee shot choice determines how a hole will play.

The course isnt long by Tour standards and you will see many hybrids and long irons off the tee. That method will keep players away from trouble but also set up longer approaches to greens that are heavily sloped and difficult to putt except from the correct locations. Long players can attack many holes but tee ball trouble awaits them if they stray and tough approaches await them if they cannot control their approaches. The scoring pace promises to be pretty fast so a good putter, or at least a streaky hot one, will be required through the week.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the players that we think are the best bets to win. Aside from making a few picks to win, we breakdown a couple of head to head matchups that are most commonly advertised across the online sportsbooks, the best one with the lowest odds and most offerings being 5Dimes Sportsbook. Here are our picks to win the 2015 Barclays.

Dustin Johnson (12 to 1 odds to win)
There are five, maybe six true studs on Tour and DJ is one of them. You gotta love Spieths chances to stay hot and win here but his betting value is so low that he basically qualifies as a low-unit hedge bet. Johnson, on the other hand has roughly the same chance of winning this week but at a much better value, main him a more attractive bet, not necessarily a higher likelihood of paying. That said, he is the 2011 champ here and has racked up eight top-10 finishes in his seventeen starts this year. DJ is the longest driver of the ball on Tour and should nearly dominate this course in terms of length. He can take advantage on some shorter par-4s and will be able to get to the par-5s, including the 604 yard, 16th hole. He bookends his stats well as he is inside the top-9 in GIR putting average and overall putting average so look for him to put that to good use on these difficult greens.

Brooks Koepka (20 to 1)
Koepka is often overlooked in the PGA Tour youth discussion but this 25-year old is super talented and will be a household name in short order. Brooks is riding a streak of eight straight top-20 finishes and hasnt been outside the top-6 in his last three starts. That is about as hot as you can get without winning an event but the youngster has proven he can go toe-to-toe with the deepest fields. He enters the week inside the top-10 in both driving distance and greens hit while being strong enough across the board to produce the 4thbest all-around mark. He has shown veteran poise and has a better scoring average than his raw birdie rank so he is good at limiting the mistakes and getting the most out of his rounds. Saving pars can be just as important as knocking home birdies in a shootout and Koepka appears poised to make a splash on a big stage.

Adam Scott (40 to 1)
Scott is about as far from relevant as a player of his talent can be. He is still 12thin the world rank but his putter has simply let him down over portions of the last two seasons. That leads to a lot of so-so finishes and that has really taken him off the radar when talking about contenders. Being a bad putter is bad but given that the rest of his game is in shape, a return to the winners circle is just a hot week on the greens away. Scott is 11thin ballstriking, 15thin total driving and 26thin greens hit so he simply needs to get that putter going to be right back in the picture. Im not really sure if that is going to happen this week as Plainfield is not a regular rotation course but his talent greatly exceeds the other players listed in this range and he becomes one of the best value bets.

J.B. Holmes (80 to 1)
We are sticking with the long hitters this week and J.B. fits that mold as the 5thlongest driver on Tour. The Shell Houston winner is top-15 in putting average and 1-putt% so its not surprising to see him at 14thin birdie average but he does have a habit of giving a few too many away and doesnt contend as much as he should as a result. That birdie possibility is intriguing enough to make him a nice longshot bet and the Barclays is the best chance for a journeyman to sneak through the field and grab a win.

Head to Head Matches
Picks to win based on final score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and prop bets.

Jordan Spieth v. Jason Day (pick to win: Day)
Here is the match of the week and you are likely to find it everywhere bets can be made. There is no hotter tandem right now and there is almost no true statistical advantage separating the #1 and #2 players in the world. I see the difference here and pick Day because he has just broken through to win his first Major so the pressure is gone. Both golfers are fresh off remarkable Major seasons and are in a tier by themselves and McIlroy. Day is longer with Spieth a bit straighter but I imagine both will be successful this week across the board. I give the pick to Day from a value standpoint as well as he is routinely listed at even money or better and that really makes taking him pretty easy. Neither of these players looks like they are going to fall off their current paces so take the value in this figurative slugfest.

Harris English v. Hunter Mahan (pick to win: English)
This is a case of two ships passing in the night as it appears English is on his way up the golf charts while Mahan might be sliding a bit. Harris owns the yearly win between the two in FedEx points but Hunter is still about 30 spots better in the world rank. Golf is a sport where you can be biased to the most recent results and that gives English the edge. Harris has hit more greens, made more birdies and scored better than Mahan and owns advantages in ballstriking and scrambling as well. The ballstriking edge is particularly telling as Mahan has historically been one of the strongest on Tour in that category and it goes to show that perhaps Hunter is legitimately slumping. I really dont expect either player to do anything outside of character this week so if they just duplicate their standard results, look for English to be two or three ahead by Sunday. Bet your Barclays picks FOR FREE by taking advantage of a massive 100% bonus offer where you can deposit $100 and get $100 extra credited to your sports betting account at GTBets.

Good luck and good golf.