2019 BMW Championship Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets at Medinah
Steven Flynn, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Ryan Moore
- The 2019 BMW Championship begins on Thursday, August 15 at Medinah Country Club.
- Our staff lists their favorite bets for the second FedEx Cup Playoff event:
The 2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs roll on this weekend with the BMW Championship at Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
Medinah hasn’t hosted a tournament since the 2012 Ryder Cup, so there’s limited data on the course but what we do know is that it plays long, measuring over 7,600 yards for a par 72.
Outside of the length, tree-lined fairways and a few strategically placed water hazards give golfers something to think about. Despite being long, it’s not a course where the players can just bomb and gouge. Some precision is required off the tee.
Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy are tied atop the odds at 8-1 with Jon Rahm (10-1), Dustin Johnson (14-1) and Justin Thomas (14-1) right behind them.
Here are our staff’s favorite bets for the BMW Championship:
The Bet: Ryan Moore Top-20 Finish (+167)
I once asked Moore at which event he’d pick himself if he could only choose one. His answer: The Memorial, because he loves how Muirfield Village suits his game.
This is a story I inconveniently forget before the Memorial begins most years, only to see his name on an early leaderboard and start kicking the nearest table leg.
In any case, I’ll try to make it up to you here, as Medinah and Muirfield own a lot of similar characteristics.
Moore went through some dark weeks not too long ago, even parting ways with his long-time caddie, but back-to-back 18th-place finishes have him trending in the right direction once again.
Dr. Lou Riccio
The Bet: Jordan Spieth Top-10 Finish (+225)
The three-time major champ is starting to figure it out. He comes in with great momentum after the Sunday 67 at Liberty National, which should help him mentally. This could be the week he gets that elusive win of 2019, but even if not, I expect him to contend this weekend, and these top-10 odds in a 70-person field are appealing. My model gives him the fourth-best chance of winning at Medinah.
Dr. Lou Riccio, a PhD senior lecturer, teaches rational decision making at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business and has served on the USGA’s handicap research team for three decades. More of his predictive analysis can be found over at Golf Digest.
The Bet: Adam Scott Top-20 Finish (-120)
I’m really high on Scott this week. Medinah is a tee-to-green behemoth which should fit Scott’s game to perfection.
He’s been inside the top 10 in four of his last six events, so getting a top 20 isn’t asking too much here. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a stroke-play event here, but Scott finished third at the PGA Championship at this course.
His form is where it needs to be and we know he can play well here.
The Bet: Tommy Fleetwood (+110) over Webb Simpson
Webb has been playing lights-out golf in 2019, and it’s scary to fade a guy who hasn’t been outside the top 30 since March. He’s had two second-place finishes over his last three tournaments. The dude is certainly hot.
But a lot of that, especially recently, has been due to a crazy-good short game; he typically gains strokes in that area and with approaches rather than off the tee. With how long this course is, along with the penalizing rough, I’m going to emphasize the latter when picking golfers to back this week.
Fleetwood fits that mold and is one of the best drivers in the world.
He’s in the top-12 this season in SG: Off-the-Tee, whereas Simpson ranks 91st. Fleetwood’s been hot recently, too (outside of a disappointing 43rd last week), and this course fits him better. I’ll take the plus odds here.