Perry’s Northern Trust Betting Guide: A Great Buy-Low Opportunity

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama

  • The 2019 Northern Trust will be played at Liberty National (Aug. 8-11) and mark the start of the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
  • Brooks Koepka is the betting favorite (8-1) with Rory McIlory not too far behind at 11-1.
  • Joshua Perry handicaps the best betting values in the field, including a marquee name who's a great buy-low candidate.

The FedEx Cup Playoffs are back with a more condensed version this year.

We’ll get just three tournaments this time instead of the usual four, putting a little more emphasis on the opening event than in years past.

We’ve mentioned it in this spot the last two years, but the playoffs are historically where the stars come out to shine. Longshots are few and far between, so it’s best to pick a couple of established talents and limit those bets further down the board that we love to take.

Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY NETWORK.

The Course

We’ve seen Liberty National Golf Club on a few occasions. It hosted this event in 2009 and 2013 along with the 2017 Presidents Cup, won by the U.S. in a rout.

Adam Scott and Health Slocum won the two previous events here on the 7,387-yard par 71. Tiger Woods was runner up in both of those two events. It’s a course that has small bentgrass greens and will require precision with the approach game.

The Field

We’re down to the top 125 in the FedEx Cup standings with the top 70 players at the end of the week advancing. Three players will sit out: Sam Burns (ankle), along with Henrik Stenson and Paul Casey, who are both choosing to skip the event.

Stenson and Burns are outside the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings, so their PGA seasons are over. Casey is high enough in the standings that he will be back for the BMW Championship next week.

The Favorites

Brooks Koepka opened as the favorite in the +800 range with Rory McIlory right behind at +1100. Only three other golfers — Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Rose — are below +2000.

I’ll start my card at that next level with Patrick Cantlay at +2500. Cantlay fits the mold of the guy I’m looking to target here. He’s great off the tee and his irons are solid. The form has dipped a little since his win at Memorial, but we’ll back him to rebound on a course that should fit his eye.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay

The Mid Tier

We’ll add two players here, starting with Bryson DeChambeau at +5000. DeChambeau opened up the FedEx Cup playoffs with a bang last year, winning the first two events. Liberty National is another course that should suit him. He nearly won the 3M Open a month ago before Matthew Wolff’s eagle at the last took away his chance at a playoff.

Next, I’ll go with Hideki Matsuyama at +5850. Matsuyama isn’t a good putter, and that’s amplified on Bermuda greens. He’s has two recent bad results on that surface coupled with a missed cut at The Open, causing his odds to triple from where they were a month ago. This is a buy-low play on Matsuyama that I’ll risk since we’re not on a Bermuda surface and it wasn’t that long ago that his tee-to-green game was completely dialed in.

The Longshots

I’m not backing anyone to win in this range, but I will take a shot on Kyle Stanley to Top 20 at +500.

Stanley is another great ball-striker who should be able to take advantage of a course the requires dialed in iron play. He’s out there at 160-1 to win outright, and while it’s tough to see him actually winning the event, he’s a guy who has the goods to stick around and have a good week.

The Northern Trust Card

  • Patrick Cantlay +2500 (1.32 units)
  • Bryson DeChambeau +5000 (.66 units)
  • Hideki Matsuyama +5850 (.56 units)
  • Kyle Stanley Top 20 +500 (1 unit)

Total stake: 3.54 units

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