Betting Preview of the PGA Championship 2018 – My Top Picks
It’s the last time that the PGA Championship will be the year’s final major, and I expect a flurry of excitement this coming weekend at Bellerive Country Club.
Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson have won the last two times out, and I’d be surprised if we didn’t see another world-class player land in the winner’s circle again this weekend.
Here’s the thing, though.
When it comes to making money betting on the 2018 PGA Championship, I’m not going to mess around placing wagers on who I think will hoist the Wanamaker Trophy. I’m going to stick to where the value is, and that’s with the matchups and top-20 bets.
It looks like the players are going to get a fairly soft test at the Robert Trent Jones-designed layout, and that should mean plenty of birdies will be flying around.
If you want to learn more about the venue or are interested in a more detailed description of the course, check out this guide to Bellerive Country Club.
The players will be treated to an absolute gem just a half-hour west of downtown St. Louis. I’ll have the pleasure of getting to watch the action play out on television, and I suggest you tune in to TNT and CBS and enjoy the golf as well.
As far as where you should be distributing your betting funds for the last major of the 2018 season, that’s why I wrote this blog.
Follow along below!
Tommy Fleetwood to Finish Inside the Top 20 (+130)
Give me this insane value, and give me all of it. Tommy Fleetwood is even money to finish inside the top 20 on Sportsbook.ag and he’s +125 on BetOnline. And then I saw Tommy sitting at +130 to crack the top 20 at Bovada, so I decided I couldn’t wait any longer.
Do I need to fill you in on how the Englishman has been playing as of late? Have the bookies really not watched any of the big tournaments over the past few months?
Since Fleetwood finished 7th at THE PLAYERS Championship in May, all he’s done is reel off four more top-15 finishes in succession. This includes a runner-up at the U.S. Open and a 12th at Carnoustie last month.
The fact that he finished 14th at the WGC-Bridgestone last week makes me think Fleetwood is in a perfect spot to pounce. He knows he’s swinging the club tremendously, but he won’t be mentally drained from being in serious contention.
By the time Sunday evening arrives, look for Tommy’s name to be on the first page of the leaderboard. The +130 number to wind up in the top 20 is just too appetizing to pass up, folks, so go ahead and lock this one in confidently.
PICK: Tommy Fleetwood to Finish Inside the Top 20+130
Zach Johnson to Finish Inside the Top 20 (+350)
I mean, this is just stupid how much value this wager carries. I legitimately thought Zach Johnson would be around +200 to finish inside the top 20 this week. So I was pretty ecstatic to see him listed at +275 at the Bovada review.
Allow me to give you a little inside scoop about the setup this week.
Bellerive CC is a fair test of golf, but there is no denying that the track favors a player who can turn the ball over from right-to-left. Anyone who has watched Zach Johnson dissect golf courses on the PGA Tour for the past 15+ years knows how comfortable ZJ is playing a right-to-left ball flight.
Johnson’s natural shot shape should fit Bellerive famously, making me love Zach’s chances of playing well this particular week.
The fact that Zach’s game is on absolute cruise control right now is another factor in his favor. He enters the week on the heels of five straight top-20 finishes, including in the previous two majors.
Stop looking for crazy value on the top-20 betting sheet. It’s right here with Zach Johnson.
PICK: Zach Johnson to Finish Inside the Top 20+350
Kevin Na (+110) vs. Daniel Berger (-140)
There are a few reasons I like this wager. For starters, these two men are evenly matched at -110 apiece in their matchup on BetOnline.ag. So right away, I know that snagging Kevin Na at +110 on Sportsbook.ag is a good find.
Secondly, Kevin Na plays a draw, and Daniel Berger plays a fade. Na’s got the better short game as well, so I like the fit for Kevin much more than I do for Daniel.
And thirdly, Daniel has been all over the place, going 67th-MC-48th over his last three events. On the flip side, Kevin Na won The Military Tribute at The Greenbrier a month ago and made the cut (51st) at Carnoustie.
A final-round 73 dropped Na back to a tie for 31st last week at Firestone, but I know the good form is there.
I see no reason to overthink this one, as the value I see in Na this week is more than worthy of pushing me over the edge. In a head-to-head matchup where I’d have no qualms about laying the -110 myself, this is an intriguing bet.
It’s not often that the books lay me the juice when I’d be willing to lay some myself!
PICK: Kevin Na+110
Aaron Wise (-105) vs. Thomas Pieters (-125)
There are never any guarantees in golf, but Aaron Wise could be a sleeper to get into serious contention this week.
If you are looking to back a player who has no fear and can bomb draws off the tee, Wise is your man.
The 22-year-old former NCAA champ at the University of Oregon had been in a mega slump after he won the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic in late May. However, Wise got things back on track in Akron last week, firing rounds of 67-71-67-67 en route to a T-6th finish.
He picked up some positive momentum just in time for the year’s final major, and I see Bellerive being an awesome fit. Forget about the missed cuts in June and July. For crying out loud, the kid was coming off a 2nd and a 1st and had just cashed for over 2 million bucks in less than two weeks!
He’s top-10 on the PGA Tour in birdies per round, and I know he is itching to play well in a major championship. I think this could be the week.
On the other side of the coin, Thomas Pieters has played in 5 of the last 6 majors, yet he has 3 missed cuts and has no finishes better than 28th.
I won’t pretend that the 26-year-old Belgian can’t pump it out there on a string like Wise can, but the fact of the matter is that he hasn’t cracked the top 20 in a PGA Tour event since the Honda Classic in February.
I understand Thomas plays the majority of his golf on the European Tour, but Pieters has recorded just one top-10 in his last 13 starts on that circuit.
Everything I’ve laid out here is enough data to make me want to hammer down on Wise in this bet. I won’t go crazy, but my sneaky suspicion that he’ll have a big week has me licking my chops.
PICK: Aaron Wise-105
Patrick Cantlay to Finish Inside the Top 20 (+200)
Patrick Cantlay isn’t the flashiest player on the PGA Tour. He most certainly doesn’t have the quickest routine. But the UCLA product is so calm and steady out there that he has become one of my favorite players to root for.
He’s doesn’t pout when things don’t go his way, and you won’t see him throwing clubs and letting out his emotion (cough, cough, Jon Rahm) if he makes a bogey.
What Cantlay does do is pick golf courses completely apart, utilizing every single facet of his golf game. In order to play well at Bellerive, players will need to keep the ball in the fairway and out of trouble. The fact that Patrick is 11th in strokes gained off-the-tee and clocks in at 8th in strokes gained from tee-to-green means he’s locked and loaded for another stellar week.
Coming off of 15th-12th-6th over his last three starts, Cantlay is poised this week in Town and Country to cash another chunky check and pick up a ton of FedEx Cup points. Take the +200 that BetOnline.ag is offering us for Patrick to accumulate his 4th top-20 in a row, and don’t think twice.
PICK: Patrick Cantlay to Finish Inside the Top 20+200
Browsing through all the matchups and prop bets available on the most reputable online betting sites was no easy task this week. The four majors present a plethora of betting opportunities compared to a typical PGA Tour event, so I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t diligently search through all the options.
After going through my arduous process, I was able to lock into 5 wagers that I believe show lots of promise.
I’m going to be glued to my couch on Saturday and Sunday watching the drama unfold, and it makes it even more exhilarating when I have a few bucks on the line.
I recommend you do the same, and you don’t even have to do the dirty work! Book these picks and try to find any others that may pique your interest.
I’ll be back next week for the Wyndham Championship, the final event of the regular-season FedEx Cup schedule!
Until then, good luck, and enjoy the PGA Championship!
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