2021 Charles Schwab Challenge Picks: Our Best Outright Bets at Colonial
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Reed
The PGA TOUR heads back to Texas this week for the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial. One of the TOUR’s most iconic stops, Colonial is a par 70 that measures around 7,200 yards. If the wind picks up, it can play fairly difficult. If it’s calm, we’ll could see a winner near 20-under par.
Jordan Spieth is the betting favorite at +1000, but he’s got plenty of company at the top of the board with Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa, Abraham Ancer, Tony Finau and Patrick Reed right behind him.
Here are our favorite outright bets for the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge:
Will Zalatoris (+2500)
Admittedly a bit gun-shy after two fave outright plays with longer prices in the past three weeks MC’d (Harold Varner III at the Wells Fargo and Marc Leishman at the PGA), I’m going with a player who has a shorter number this week.
Zalatoris is fresh off his third top-10 in his third career major and I can see him stepping on the gas pedal soon, still trying to qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs as a member and with the Ryder Cup firmly in his sights. A win would guarantee the first of those and help the second become more of a reality.
On a course which I’m sure the Dallas native knows well, one which gives an advantage to the game’s best iron players, fresh off a few weeks of stellar iron play, I think it’s time for a momentous first victory from a very obvious up-and-comer.
Collin Morikawa (+1500)
I will be sprinkling some values and long shots on my betting card this week, but I really think there are a handful of names up top positioned to take this field down. Collin Morikawa is actually my top golfer on the board this week, which makes it an easy decision between him and Jordan Spieth who is just +1000.
Morikawa has some rough memories from this tournament last year when he missed a kick in putt to extend the playoff against Daniel Berger. It was the first real sign of his boom-or-bust putting and that will seemingly always be a big piece of the puzzle for Collin. The reality is that his ball-striking is so elite that any week he can simply putt to field average, he will be in contention and in the weeks he gain strokes on the field, he’s got a great shot to win.
Colonial Country Club is a second-shot golf course, with small greens, making his short game woes less magnified and lining him up as a perfect fit at this event every year. He ranked fifth tee to green last week at the PGA, and found his way into a top-10 finish despite losing 2.3 strokes to the field putting.
I’ll play the putting variance angle on a course that is an ideal fit for his game.
Jordan Spieth (+1000)
For me to bet a guy at the very top of the board, he has to check all of the boxes. Jordan Spieth checks all of the boxes.
Course history has proven to be extremely important at Colonial and there is none better (or even close) than Spieth. In his past six trips to Fort Worth, he has five top-10 finishes including a win and two runner-ups.
Do you prefer prioritizing recent form over course history? No problem. The Texan is currently scorching hot, averaging 5.2 strokes on approach per start in his past five starts.
I don’t see too much value on the board this week, which is another strong reason to hit the top of the board. Sometimes you just have to bet the favorite!
Abraham Ancer (+2100)
Ancer is going to break through for his first PGA Tour victory one of these days, and plenty of signs point to that being this week. Driving accuracy will be paramount at Colonial which is right up Ancer’s alley, as he ranks No. 2 in this field over his past 48 rounds in that department. He also ranks fourth in greens in regulation in that same timeframe and has been simply locked in for the majority of the 2021 season.
As Matt alluded to earlier, I do not see a ton of value on the board this week, and while I do love Spieth and think he’s got a great chance to win for the second time in four weeks in his home state, I believe Ancer’s time is coming.
Getting over 20/1 is pretty fair when you consider he’s in by far the best form of anyone near the top of the board this week. On the heels of three consecutive top-eight finishes, Ancer gained 5.65 strokes tee-to-green during his final round at Kiawah and his game is razor sharp right now.
He finished T-14 here last year and you should expect him to seriously contend again this week.
Patrick Reed (+2200)
My course regression model for Colonial Country Club places a heavy emphasis on approach and putting, while significantly downgrading the importance of gaining strokes off the tee. This week the winner will likely be someone who has been hot with both the irons and the putter of late. Nobody fits that mold better than Patrick Reed.
Reed is coming off four straight events with positive SG: Approach numbers, and a scorching hot putter which has gained over nine strokes on the greens in just the last two events. Whenever I see Reed consistently gaining strokes on approach, I take notice. History tells us that when the irons heat up for him, a win is on the horizon.
With studs like Rory, Bryson, D.J., Xander, and Rahm all taking the week off, there is value in this number at +2200. I think Reed improves on his 7th place finish here last year and wins the Charles Schwab Challenge this week.
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