PGA Championship Betting Guide, Odds & Picks: Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay Offer Enticing Prices
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Schauffele.
It’s been over a year, but major championship golf is finally back.
Beginning with the PGA Championship this week, there will be seven majors contested over the next 12 months.
We’ve seen how much form can carry a player through a year, so this is a unique opportunity for a player to get hot and add to the major total with a career defining stretch.
TPC Harding Park in San Francisco hosts the first major of the year, measuring 7,234 yards for a par 70. We’re expecting deep rough to serve as a primary defense for the course this week.
We’ve seen Harding Park on three occasions in recent history. The United States won the President’s Cup here in 2009. Tiger Woods was a perfect 5-0 that week in the 19.5-14.5 victory.
Speaking of Woods, he also has the only PGA Tour stroke play win on this course when he won the American Express WGC event in 2005 in a playoff over John Daly.
Rory McIlroy also picked up a win in the WGC Match Play in 2015 over Gary Woodland while Jim Furyk and Danny Willett made runs to the semifinals that week.
When Tiger and Rory have the only two victories, it’s tough to narrow down a style that should suit the course. They were the best players in the world when they won, which could bode well for elite players in great form like Justin Thomas or Brooks Koepka. But the course doesn’t have overwhelming length that will keep short hitters—like Furyk—from contending.
This comes as no surprise after last week, but Thomas and Koepka both opened as +1000 co-favorites. Thomas will be where my interest is as I have a +500 any major bet on him from January. The canceling of the British Open denied me one chance, but he’ll be in that +1000 range for the other three majors this year.
Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy are next at +1400 along with Bryson DeChambeau at +1600. DeChambeau is probably the best play of this group just because of the extra value you’d get. All three have been hit and miss since the restart, but Bryson has been finishing near the top of the leaderboard at a far greater clip.
The Middle Tier
I’m starting this range with two plays I’ve had on my card for a little while. I’ve got Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay at +3300 and +3500 respectively. BetMGM has Schauffele at +2200 and Cantlay at +3000. Those are decent values, but I would dip below those prices. Both are strong players off the tee with California roots. They’ve each picked up solid wins throughout their careers and had a taste of contending in major championships. This would be a logical spot for either to break through.
Schauffele’s form has been fairly consistent since his near miss at Colonial. He’s been finishing inside the top 20 routinely. The approach game hasn’t been its best at times, but with his tee ball and short game, he should be able to play well.
With Cantlay, I really like the way he closed at the WGC last week. It was a rough start, but weekend rounds of 65 and 67 were enough to convince me that he’ll be ready to go this week.
Lastly, I’ve got Jason Day at +8000. That number is long gone as I bet it early, but I think he’s still a solid value even at +4500. Day has finished inside the top 10 of his last three starts and, even more importantly, he’s been striking the ball well. He’s gained on approach in all three. That hasn’t been the case with many of Day’s high finishes in the past couple seasons where he’s relied more heavily on his short game. If Day is in form, then the past PGA Champion would be right in line with anyone in the +2000 range. The one concern will be how his balky back handles the cooler weather in San Francisco since all of his good results have been coming in some warmer temperatures.
Down here, I’ll be mainly looking for bombers who can putt for a potential outright and top 20 play.
I’ve got three darts starting with Cameron Champ at +17500. Champ is from Sacramento and has a win in California at the Safeway Open about 10 months ago. He’s 2nd in SG: Off the Tee this year and gains ground with the putter. He’s coming off at top 25 in the WGC field last week. TPC Southwind really isn’t the best spot for him with how much water is looming, so finishing in the higher end of that field is a good sign.
I’m also going back to Matt Wallace one more time at +15000. Wallace didn’t perform well at the WGC, but he’s a strong driver who putts well. Prior to last week, he’d gained strokes in both areas in three straight events. The Englishman should be accustomed to cool and breezy conditions we’ll see this week. He was also 3rd at the PGA for us last year, so I don’t mind taking another chance on a guy who has shown he can perform against the best fields.
Lastly, I’m going with Wyndham Clark at +60000. This will be better as a top-20 or make the cut type prop if you can find one. Clark is one of the longer hitters and has putted really well this season. The Oregon grad also has some west coast roots that I’d look for if I’m going this far down the board. Obviously his results haven’t been great and it could blow up, but that’s what you get this far down the board. He was able to string three solid rounds together last week at the Barracuda after finishing near the bottom of the field on Thursday. He led that field in birdies with 25, but 16 bogeys led to his downfall.
The PGA Championship card
- Xander Schauffele +3300 (1 unit)
- Patrick Cantlay +3500 (.94 units)
- Jason Day +8000 (.41 units)
- Matt Wallace +15000 (.22 units)
- Cameron Champ +17500 (.19 units)
- Wyndham Clark +60000 (.06 units)
Total Stake: 2.82 units