2021 PGA Championship Picks: The Best Prop Bets & Matchups at Kiawah Island
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Charley Hoffman
The second Major Championship of the year has arrived. The 2021 PGA Championship will begin on Thursday, May 20 at The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.
Checking in at 7,849 yards, the Ocean Course will play the longest of any major in PGA TOUR history. In addition to the length, Mother Nature also figures to play a pretty big impact this week as there is some wind in the forecast.
Who do we think will win the 2021 PGA Championship? Check out our favorite props and matchup bets below:
Matt Wallace Top-40 Finish (+100)
Yet another form play, Wallace has been unsurprisingly impressive in his first full season in the U.S., posting a pair of top-10s and nothing worse than 34th in his last five starts.
He’s another player who might be rooting for the wind to play this week, as a lower ball-flight could translate into success this weekend.
Dean Burmester Top-20 Finish (+1400)
While Garrick Higgo has drawn a lot of the attention over in Europe in the past month, his South African compatriot Dean Burmester has been in a fine run of form as well.
Burmester picked up a win three weeks back and has five top-10 finishes in his last nine starts overseas.
He hits the ball a mile and tends to be a strong putter which should help him on this set up.
I think given how well he’s been playing lately, it’s worth a look at this price. You could also drift down to Top 30 or 40, where he’s +700 and +400, respectively, and give yourself some more margin for error.
Charley Hoffman Top-10 Finish (+900)
There aren’t many players on any TOUR that have been playing better than Charley Hoffman. He nearly snuck in the backdoor for a ticket to The Masters when Jordan Spieth edged him out to win the Valero back in April. He’s come back and posted two more top-20 finishes since that time and hasn’t had a missed cut in that timeframe.
Everything Hoffman does well checks out for The Ocean Course, and he has been known as a solid wind player throughout his career. I fully expect Hoffman not only to make the weekend, but to contend to have his name on the first page of the leaderboard when all is said and done on Sunday afternoon.
Emiliano Grillo Top-5 Finish (+2000)
Despite being one of the most infuriating golfers to bet on a regular basis due to his horrific putting, Emiliano Grillo offers a great deal of value this week. On paper, he is a perfect fit for the course.
In this field the Argentine boasts impressive ranks of: 16th off of the tee, 16th in total ball striking, sixth on courses longer than 7,400 yards, sixth on courses that feature paspalum greens and fourth in strokes gained in windy conditions.
In what should be a difficult test at Kiawah, elite ball-strikers have a big advantage and putting prowess may not be as big of a factor with the velcro-like paspalum greens.
Cameron Smith Top-5 Finish (+800)
Smith is playing the best golf of his career at the moment, now whether you want to attribute that to his new mullet is entirely up to you. Very quietly the Aussie is up to No. 25 in the world and seemingly always goes overlooked in these big time fields. Considering he has three top-10’s at Augusta and an additional T-4 at the US Open at Chambers Bay, maybe it’s time we stop doing that.
This week may very well turn into a battle of the short games, and very few have been better than Smith in that department of late. The 27-year old ranks fifth in this field in SG: Around-the-Green and third in SG: Putting both over his past 16 rounds. He also quietly ranks 27th on approach in that same time frame, and it seems his game is in a very good place at the moment.
I’ll take my chances he posts another top-five at a major at this price.
Cameron Tringale Top-20 Finish (+280)
I’ve written about Tringale before, and will continue to do so as long as the books continue to disrespect how good and consistent he has been. Since the start of this season, he has finished in the top-20 nearly 50% of the time, with eight top-20 finishes in 17 starts.
He has gained strokes tee-to-green in every tracked event he has played in since November, and is only two weeks removed from a third-place finish at Valspar. As a consistent fairways and greens player who doesn’t rely on bombing and gouging a golf course, I love how his game sets up for Kiawah’s Ocean Course this week.
I like his chances at cracking the top-20 at +280.
Dustin Johnson (+185) over Bryson DeChambeau & Jordan Spieth
Any time you can get the number one ranked player in the world as the third favorite in a three ball, you take it. DJ hasn’t been great lately but he can turn it on as quickly as anyone in golf.
His odds across the board are flat out disrespectful this week and I plan on taking advantage and buy the dip in multiple ways for the PGA Championship.
Xander Schauffele (-112) over Viktor Hovland
Hovland is everyone’s darling this week both in DFS and in the betting market. There’s no denying he’s been sensational of late, however, for him to be basically a pick ’em against a big game hunter like X is more than a little disrespectful.
This has been discussed, but in Schauffele’s career he’s teed it up at a major 15 times, making the cut in 14 of them and posting top-10 finishes in eight of those starts. That’s not human. If around the green play becomes an important factor this week like many believe, there’s no way Hovland should be priced the same as Schauffele.
There is just too much value on the X man to pass up here.
Webb Simpson (-126) over Cameron Smith
Based on 10,000 simulations of this matchup, my model makes this line -144 in favor of Webb Simpson. That’s a solid edge that I plan on hammering.
Both players are coming into this week in excellent form, with two top-10 finishes in each of their last four starts. In terms of how their games match up with this course, I believe Webb has a distinct advantage. I’ve made it clear that I’m looking for accurate drivers of the golf ball this week, as there is trouble lurking off of fairways that are missed. Webb has always been one of the most consistent and accurate drivers on TOUR. This season is no exception as he ranks 15th in this field in fairways gained over the last 50 rounds.
On the other side of this matchup, Cameron Smith ranks 113th in fairways gained in that same time frame. Smith tends to find success at courses that allow him to spray it a bit off the tee. Just look to his history at Augusta National, a course that historically favors long drivers of the golf ball who tend to miss a lot of fairways. He will not have that luxury at his disposal this week. Fire up Webb in this matchup.
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