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PGA Championship Prop Bets, Predictions, Odds

 
May 20, 2021

Golf Expert
VegasInsider.com

2021 PGA Championship Prop Bets

Interesting to see some of the price moves throughout the PGA Championship betting board since I sent in this piece late last week , as it doesn't appear as though I've got much of the market in my corner with any of the selections.

Part of that is the market maturation now that PGA Championship week has officially arrived, but it also reminded me why I built that consistent weekly routine of focusing on golf on Monday/Tuesdays just to simply have at least some understanding of how the maturing process has developed.

And while seeing every single number on those six selections get worse isn't great for the confidence, nor was last week's disastrous results in looking for guys off a win to miss the cut, I'm still hopeful this week's prop card can churn out some winners at lengthy Kiawah Island.

Most Popular PGA Championship Betting Resources

Best Bet – 72 Hole Matchup

Dustin Johnson +105 over Jon Rahm -137

Odds per DraftKings - Subject to Change

DJ hasn't been piling up the quality finishes as he's used to since his Masters win in November, but in no way to I agree with him being a plus-money underdog in this matchup. Rahm's coming off finishes of 34th and a MC in his last two starts as he is getting used to Tour life as a new dad, and this now makes it three consecutive weeks and four in five for Rahm teeing it up.

Not exactly the best spot to be this chalky against one of the best players in the world who just so happens to be back in his backyard, at home in the state he grew up playing this great game.

Length should be an advantage for both guys relative to the bulk of the field, but it's really the rest angle (DJ has been off the past two weeks, Rahm's been playing) and the price on Johnson, that forced my hand on backing him here. It wasn't hard to do considering I like DJ's outright chances to begin with, and I'm still a big believer that it's going to take Rahm a few months to comfortably settle into a new routine on and off the golf course that will ultimately bring the best results for him.

I got caught up in backing Rahm last week believing he had it all figured out already when that was just never likely to be the case.Put this price on top of the support I already had for Johnson coming into this event and it's the 72-hole matchup that leapt off the page.

Best Bet – Group Betting

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change

I went against Zalatoris in this same type of prop bet back at Augusta and got my ass handed to me with his runner-up finish. Zalatoris is a young guy that clearly has no fear in terms of his ability to compete with anyone at this level, and hopefully now that I'm on him this week he doesn't end up crapping the bed.

I don't believe that will be the case though, as with length being a key factor this week, it's Zalatoris who's got a huge edge over the others he's matched up with in this group. Zalatoris ranks 23rd on Tour in driving distance (306.5 yards average), while the numbers for Ancer (159th , 290.5 yards), Hatton (105th , 296.1 yards), and Leishman (148th , 291.2 yards) are well behind Zalatoris.

Strictly playing from those averages alone, Zalatoris should be getting +10 yards off-the-tee on every shot against these guys, and on a course that's nearly 8,000 yards, that should play out to a significant advantage over the course of four days.

Throw in the fact that he's piled up Top 30 finishes in seven of his last eight starts, as long as the inexperience bug doesn't bite Zalatoris too hard in his first PGA Championship, I think he wins this four-way matchup much more than the 31.25% of the time his price implies.

Best Bet –Top Lefty

Garrett Higgo +400

Odds per DraftKings - Subject to Change

  • Brian Harman +188
  • Bubba Watson +225
  • Garrett Higgo +400
  • Robert MacIntyre +400
  • Phil Mickelson +850

It's all about youth and length off the tee again with this prop, as Garrett Higgo is a young 22-year old who's been torching up the European Tour this season. Higgo has won twice in Europe since April 25th as part of four Top 10 finishes in his last four starts, after winning another Euro Tour event last fall.

Those quality finishes have come on the back of his Higgo's length (310.8 average yards off tee) and connecting with GIR at a nearly 70% clip (69.44%). Playing in his first career Major will bring some nerves which could be hit or miss here, but like Zalatoris in his grouping, it's that sizable advantage in length over the rest of these names that should help him grossly outperform this +400 price tag, part of which comes from being an unknown, young European Tour player.

Remember, it wasn't all that long ago that Brooks Koepka was in that same exact boat. With the average driving distances of the other southpaws in this list topping out with Bubba's 303.5 yards, that extra 6/7 yards Higgo could be picking up each hole shouldn't be discarded as insignificant.

Watson's a long way removed from his 11th place finish at Kiawah back in 2012 when Watson was in the midst of the time in his career when he was picking up multiple green jackets, and the favorite – Brian Harman – averages just 292.4 yards in driving distance which is going to put tremendous pressure on his strong putting and short game at this lengthy track.

MacIntyre is another young Euro Tour player who like Higgo uses his length to be involved in the top of leaderboards often overseas but he's still giving up about 10 yards a pop to Higgo off-the-tee and at the same price, I'll lean towards taking those extra yards. That only leaves Mickelson, the guy known as “Lefty”, and someone who's last result saw him cash a first round leader ticket at the Wells Fargo two weeks ago, only to finish T69 a few short days later.

Not exactly the most ringing endorsement for a guy who seems to want to follow in Joe Namath's footsteps and book as many leg and calf commercials for products that he can.

Best Best – Top 20 Finish

Xander Schauffele -105

Odds per FanDuel - Subject to Change

Schauffele was one of the final cuts for the outright piece last week, as it's hard to ignore his track record in the Majors (and bigger events) on Tour since he joined. Xander has started to take a bit more heat in the market for not closing out more victories, but since his first Major start at the 2017 US Open (finished T5), Schauffele has only missed one cut (2017 PGA championship), and has 11 Top 20's in his other 14 Major starts.

I don't care how sour the market perception has become on a guy like that, that's Major consistency that should eventually break through, even if playing him Top 20 and not outright is a bit of a cop-out on my end there. It's not like I can't add an outright bet on Schauffele on Sunday morning if he's in contention and a Top 20 already looks like it's in pretty good shape, right?

Best Bet – PGA Championship to be decided by a Playoff?

Yes +400

Odds per DraftKings - Subject to Change

It's been nine years since we had a playoff in the PGA Championship, a run that started coincidentally enough with Rory McIlroy's win at Kiawah back in 2012. But with it being playoff season in the sporting world in general right now (NHL, NBA), and outside of Rory's win at Kiawah in 2012, seven of the other eight winners during that span have come by two strokes or less.

With how long this course is and big numbers looming everywhere, the pressure of Sunday afternoon at a Major could see any potential leader play themselves back into the chase group with one bad swing.

I don't think we will see anyone create the type of separation from the field that McIlroy did here back in 2012, largely because the overall talent pool in the field I would consider quite a bit better, and there isn't really just one guy who's dominating out there like McIlroy was during the 2012 campaign (24 starts, 15 Top 10's with five wins).

With extra time being an early theme in the NHL playoffs, at a +400 price tag I'm willing to risk a partial unit on that type of result bleeding over into the golfing world this week.

How to Bet on Golf

Golf betting has gained much more exposure and interest in the past few years, and with plenty of plus-money prices littered throughout the various forms of golf wagers, the chance for bigger scores is part of the reason behind that increased popularity.

Golf Betting Schedule

Sportsbooks ensure that there are no shortage of wagering options on golf tournaments every week, and it isn't all about picking the winner. Grabbing the outright winner of a golf tournament is the best way to get that 'big score' but it's also the hardest wager to cash. After all, a typical professional golf tournament has a field of 140+ different players to consider.

Understanding Golf Odds and Bets

Most golf odds are listed in the fractional format – 10/1 on Dustin Johnson for example – and in that particular case you would multiply the amount bet by that first number to project your winnings. So a $100 bet on DJ to win that particular event would win you $1000.

If you are more comfortable with the American version of odds listings that you typically see across the other major North American sports – ie +1000 – these numbers are easily convertible. Online and app based books may already have that option built in, but the easiest way to do it yourself is to add two zeros to the first number in the fraction. So a 10/1 price on DJ converts to +1000 in that format.


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