2019 BMW Championship Analysis & Picks

by | Aug 13, 2019 | golf

Event: BMW Championship
When: August 15-18, 2019
Where: Medinah CC - Medinah, IL
TV: The Golf Channel/NBC

The new PGA Playoff sprint leaves no room for error and makes this week’s BMW Championship a huge event for anyone looking to make it to East Lake. With 70 players in the field at Medinah, there will be no 36-hole cut, but only the top-30 will advance for a chance to win the FedExCup, and there are
several big names on the outside looking in. Jason Day, Phil Mickelson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Tiger Woods all have work to do to make it beyond this week. Jordan Spieth has played well in back-to-back events to make it to 44th on the points list. He will need
another solid result to avoid being left out of the finale for the second consecutive year. A win at this time of year is ultra-valuable as evidenced by Patrick Reed vaulting from 50th to 2nd on the points list after his Northern Trust win. Every shot could
be the one that keeps a player in or leads to elimination from here on out.

Medinah CC has never been part of the regular PGA Tour course rotation, but the course has hosted five Major Championships, including the ‘99 and ‘06 PGA Championships, won by Tiger Woods and was the site of a European win at the 2012 Ryder Cup. The 7,657 yard, par-72 course is nearly 100 years old, but
upgrades have given this Illinois beauty the look of a modern-day monster. The average par-4 here measures 450 yards long with number six stretching out to 509 yards. Two par-5s hit the 600-yard mark, and the par-3s all require long irons with the 245-yard,
thirteenth sure to produce some fairway woods from the tee. Tree-lines and fairway bunkers are ready to gobble up wayward drives, so players need to be both long and straight off the tee to see green light approaches. Many greens are pitched and will accept
only the most controlled iron shots. It is no surprise that Tiger at his ball-striking peak won two Majors here. Given the ball-striking requirements, the quartet of Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, and Dustin Johnson are the legitimate betting favorites,
not just the biggest names in the field. Everyone here has earned their spot, but Medinah seems like a place where the best will shine.

Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle, and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches as well. Odds and pairings for this week come courtesy of the board at Bovada. Here are our picks to win the
2019 BMW Championship.

Justin Rose (16 to 1 oddsto win)

I talked about that big-4, but you probably don’t need someone to make a case for them so let me talk up Rose.
A missed cut at Augusta is Rose’s only poor result from a season that saw him win the Farmers and log six other top-10 finishes in just fifteen starts. Rose was 11th at the St. Jude, 10th last week and hasn’t been outside the top-20 in any event since May
to show a long term positive trend. Rose still busts it out there over 300 yards and can handle this course’s length, but his best work might come on the greens where he is ranked 2nd in strokes gained putting. Justin’s putter is one of the best in all
categories, including Tour-best marks in one-putt percentage and overall putting average. That helps Rose net the 6th best scoring average, and he remains one of the better scramblers on Tour. Experience counts in big-time events and Rose has plenty of experience
to call on, including being one of the few that was around for the ‘06 PGA at Medinah.

Louis Oosthuizen (33 to 1)

Oosthuizen was a factor heading into the weekend at the Northern Trust before settling for a T6 finish and
hasn’t missed a cut in a singles event since March. That extended run of consistency has seen him T2 at the ball-striking Valspar and T7 at the U.S. Open where all had to be on top of their games. I think that the BMW will play similarly to a Major and that
puts Louis in a comfort zone. Oosthuizen ranks 33rd in overall tee-to-green performance and is 40th in fairways while averaging just under 300 yards per drive. His putter tends to run near Tour average but is still good enough to produce a top-25 scoring mark.
Oosthuizen is crafty around the greens, which will help at Medinah but his irons remain among the best in the game, and those clubs will be the ones to carry him toward the top this week.

Matt Kuchar (50 to 1)

Even with a missed cut last week, Kuchar is fourth on the FedEx list and remains a real threat to win the Cup.
It is easy to look past that hiccup last week considering Kuchar’s two wins and two runner-up finishes as part of his eight top-10s this season. If I am right that this will be a Major-like event, you have to consider Kuchar who is fourth in strokes under
par in all Majors since 2017. Matt is a bit light on distance but makes up for it by hitting the 25th most fairways and 9th most greens. His overall tee-to-green performance is 17th and putts inside the top-50 to produce the 10th best scoring average. Kuchar
rounds out the stat sheet with a top-20 scrambling rate, and he checks all the boxes of a player that should do well at Medinah. His 50 to 1 odds represent the best talent to value ratio on the board, in my opinion.

Head-to-Head Matches

Picks to win based on predicted score after all four rounds. Check with BetNow for single round pairings and a variety of prop bets.

Brooks Koepka (-115) v. Jon Rahm (-115) (pick to win: Koepka)

Rahm has spent his entire professional career, proving he is one of the best ball strikers out there. He should
have a fine week, just as he did with a T3 at the Northern Trust but Koepka has one of the best fastballs in the game, and it is hard to ignore his three wins and three more seconds this season. Even with Rahm’s recent hot streak, he is 1-2 in the last
three straight up against Brooks. There aren’t many significant advantages on the stat sheet for either man, but it stands out that Koepka is just a bit better at scoring even though Rahm has the better putter and slightly better birdie rate. Brooks
makes no mistakes, ranking 31st in scrambling while Rahm is back at 80th. That steadiness will save Koepka the stroke or two over the week to win this head-to-head.

Patrick Reed (-115) v. Adam Scott (-115) (pick to win: Reed)

Momentum and trend are important words in Tour, and few have a better trend than what Reed has put together
recently. Patrick was 10th at the British Open, 12th at the St. Jude’s and won last week, beating Scott in all three events. There were plenty of chances to make money betting against Reed this season, but it appears that he has found the groove at the absolute
right time to finish with a bang. Both players are essentially even off the tee, with Scott, the better player into the greens and with the putter. That should be a huge factor this week, but Scott is also more mistake-prone and doesn’t have a significant edge
in scoring average. Medinah should reward Reed’s ability around the greens and bet on his recent hot play to continue at a tough track.

Good luck and good golf!

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