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 Fortinet Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their golf betting odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
We capped off the 2021-22 season with a Rory McIlroy win at 9/1, and after a brief break to make room for football to take its rightful place in the center of our lives, we are right back at it with the first event of the new PGA Tour season. The Fall Swing is always a mixed bag as far as top-tier talent goes, but for the true die-hards, these events serve as an introduction to the Korn Ferry grads and an opportunity to find value deep down the board.
The field is led by Hideki Matsuyama and defending champion Max Homa at 15/1 on FanDuel, and while we are frequent backers of both, the price at the top of the board is just too thin to justify. As we scour for value further down, we'll key in on big hitters as a priority. Each of the last five winners finished the season of their win in the top 25 of driving distance except Homa, who was 53rd and just three yards in average distance behind the 25th spot.
For more info on the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa along with this week's key stats and Brandon Gdula's win simulations, check out Brandon's article.
At The Top
Taylor Pendrith (+2600) - Pendrith wrapped up his rookie season in style, finishing T13 or better in six of his final seven events, with the lone blunder a 68th at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, but he followed it up with an impressive T8 at the BMW Championship. He climbed over 100 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking over that span, and after vacillating in the low 200s for almost all of last season, he enters this Fall Swing just outside the top 100. Pendrith was 10th in average driving distance and 12th in strokes gained: off the tee for the season, a strong turn for a first-year PGA Tour cardholder. He finished T36 here, feasting on the par 5s but doing little else and breaking 70 just once on the week. A big driver with some solid form coming in makes Pendrith a great candidate this week to open our card.
Davis Riley (+2900) - Riley really came on in the spring of his rookie season, with five straight finishes of T13 or better from May through early June, followed by spotty finishes the rest of the season. He missed the cut here last year, but his game has grown by leaps and bounds this season. Like Homa in years past, Riley has a solid ball-striking profile but lacks consistency. The defending champ kicked off his best season with a win here last year, and Riley will hope to do the same. He's a prime (and popular) breakout candidate this season, and a win in the fall would be a massive step toward controlling his own destiny the rest of the year and through the new season.
Cameron Champ (+4500) - Champ won here in the 2018-19 season and has shown over his short career that his best is good enough to win on the PGA Tour. Of course, he is infrequently at his best; last year he started the season with five missed cuts in his first eight events and no finishes inside the top 45. He followed that stretch with T10 at Augusta, T6 in Mexico, and T38 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and then he had five more missed cuts, which tells the Cameron Champ story quite well. That top-10 at The Masters will punch Champ's ticket there this year, and with three career wins, he's hardly scrapping to keep his card, but Champ still has to prove he can perform consistently at this level. While he works on that consistency, he's as good a spike week candidate as we're likely to see at 50/1.
Patrick Rodgers (+6000) - Rodgers has made the cut in six of the last seven years at this event, including each of the last five, and was T6 last year. He drives it well enough, ranking 30th last season in average driving distance, but at this stage, he has proven his best game is really only good enough against second-tier PGA fields. His three top-10s last year came here, the Sanderson Farms Championship, and the Mexico Open at Vidanta, all below-average field strength. He went to college at Stanford and has played some of his best golf on the West Coast over his career, with multiple top-20s over the years here, at Riviera, and TPC Scottsdale, and a top-10 at both Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines.
Luke List (+8500) - List got his long-awaited first PGA Tour win last year at the Farmers Insurance Open -- and promptly fell off a cliff. After booking four top-20s in the fall, List kicked off the new year with a T22 at the American Express and his win at Torrey Pines. He had just one such finish the rest of the season. Early season and West Coast vibes are what we're looking for, and List certainly has plenty of zip to his driver. He ranked 12th in driving distance, but it didn't stop there. He was 17th in strokes gained: approach and consequently was 6th in the all-important strokes gained: tee to green. The issue, as always, was putting. List was 192nd out of 193 qualified golfers in strokes gained: putting. If the ball-striking stays steady... well, he couldn't putt it any worse than he did last year, right?