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 comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the FedEx-St. Jude Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their golf betting odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The first leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is filled by a familiar (but confusing!) event and course this week. Historically the first event has been a rotating course in the Northeast, and by that time TPC Southwind had already hosted, depending on the year, a weak-ish summer field or a strong World Golf Championships event. So it's new to this slot, but this course isn't sneaking up on anyone.
Southwind stud Daniel Berger is out with an injury so we can't just set and forget this week. We'll do our best to dig through a deep, strong field as the PGA Tour's strangest season ever winds to a close. Our main focus will be ballstrikers and specifically iron players.
For more info on TPC Southwind along with this week's key stats and Brandon Gdula's win simulations, check out his article.
At The Top
Justin Thomas (+1800) - Thomas won here in 2020 and certainly has the iron firepower to fit our Southwind profile. He has not been sharp since winning his second PGA Championship in May, playing just five times and posting a MC, 3rd, T37, MC, and T53.
A light summer schedule post Wanamaker Trophy isn't too surprising, and even with a lackluster close, it was still a solid season for Thomas. He finished with nine top 10's, good for a tie for the second most on Tour. He had the same number of such finishes as FedEx Cup frontrunner Scottie Scheffler (+1500).
Will Zalatoris (+2200) - Zalatoris has shown in his young career that he shines brightest against the toughest competition, and he fits the bill having led the Tour in strokes gained: approach this season. He also has some FedEx Cup revenge in his corner this week, having been frozen out of last year's Playoffs because he had not earned Tour membership yet in his Rookie of the Year campaign.
He arrives this week 12th in FedEx Cup points, yet still looking for the elusive first PGA Tour win. He's one of just two players in the top 22 of the Standings without a win this season, the other being Cameron Young (+2900). Zalatoris is long overdue for his breakthrough, and it's only fitting it would occur on a big stage against the world's best.
Sam Burns (+3100) - Burns reached some high points this season, winning three times and accruing enough points to rank third in the final FedEx Cup Standings. But there's still some doubt in the bookmaker's minds apparently, enough to push his odds all the way up to 31/1, about double the odds of the only two men in front of him in the Standings.
Burns still has a lot to prove and hasn't yet truly contended on a big stage, but his combination of ballstriking and bermuda affinity draw us in this week.
Viktor Hovland (+3300) - The promise of Hovland's early-season form is yet unfulfilled, but a T4 at The Open where he was tied for the lead going into Sunday signals a return. He's had plenty of time to shake off his Sunday 74 when the rest of the field was tearing up the Old Course. It was his sixth top 10, but first since THE PLAYERS in March.
Hovland ranked 12th in strokes gained: approach this season, and so far his chipping game is the only thing holding him back. He ranks 204th on Tour -- dead last among qualifying players. Surely part of the short game woes is mental at this point, and while we usually would shun a golfer with such a glaring weakness Hovland has proven he can still contend. If he straightens the chipping out, or even just gets a little lucky, he will be hard to stop.
Max Homa (+5500) - We'll round out our card with Homa, a two-time winner this season who has developed into a complete player. Top-15 finishes at TPC Sawgrass, Colonial, and Muirfield Village show the irons are for real, and his missed cut at his Open Championship debut can hardly be held against him. To his credit though, it was his first missed cut since the Farmers Insurance Open in January.
Homa has demonstrated time and again that if he putts well he'll likely contend, and having that type of consistency in the rest of his game is very attractive at 55/1. He still has the final hurdle to prove he can win against an elite field, but he's hungry to be the best and the game is right there.