2022 BMW Championship First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Joaquin Niemann, 3 Others Hold Value

2022 BMW Championship First-Round Leader Odds & Picks: Joaquin Niemann, 3 Others Hold Value article feature image

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Joaquin Niemann

The PGA TOUR heads to Wilmington Country Club to play the BMW Championship.

Wilmington Country Club has never hosted a professional event before, so while we can speculate how the course will play, there is plenty that we may not know until the event is underway.

At this stage of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, the cream tends to rise to the top of the leaderboard. But that doesn't mean that longshots can't get off to a hot start.

The course for the BMW Championship changes every year, but the event always has a small field that's loaded with talent.

In the past 10 editions of the tournament, there have been 19 first-round leaders or co-leaders. Of the 19, 10 of those leaders — or co-leaders — have teed off in the morning, and nine have teed off in the afternoon.

There doesn't appear to be an advantage for either wave, so I'll be targeting players who can make plenty of birdies. With six of the past seven BMW Championships resulting in winning scores of -20 or better, I expect another low-scoring event.

When building a first-round leader card, it's always important to keep an eye on the weather. The wind can always change, but as of Tuesday evening, there doesn't appear to be any significant wind for either the AM or PM starters.

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2022 BMW Championship First-Round Leader Bets

Joaquin Niemann +3500 (BetRivers)

Joaquin Niemann was extremely impressive at last week's FedEx St. Jude Championship.

The Chilean finished in 13th place and gained 5.8 strokes on approach, which was the third-best performance in that category this season. The hot-iron performance is a strong indication that a big week is coming for the 25-year-old.

Wilmington Country Club should be a great fit for Niemann. He hits the ball a long way and should be able to take advantage of some shorter par 4s.

He also tends to putt much better on Bentgrass greens and can get very hot once he starts to see a few go down.

Round 1 Tee Time: 2:10 p.m. ET

Cameron Davis +5000 (DraftKings)

Cameron Davis can make birdies in bunches, and that's exactly what we want in a first-round leader bet. In his past 24 rounds, Davis ranks 11th in this star-studded field in Birdie or Better Gained.

The Australian comes into the BMW Championship in great form and has finished in the top 16 in each of his past four starts. Davis tends to get in trouble on courses where there is a severe penalty for missing the fairway, and I don't expect that to be the case this week.

Davis is a fast starter who has opened with a score under par in each of his past seven first rounds.

Round 1 Tee Time: 12:40 p.m. ET

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Mito Pereira +5000 (DraftKings)

It feels like a lifetime ago when Mito Pereira sprayed his tee shot into the water at the PGA Championship, causing him to lose in heartbreaking fashion.

Understandably, the Chilean's season took a downward trend shortly after that disappointment. However, he's too talented to stay down for long, and there are some reasons to believe he is ready to contend once again.

Pereira has had an enormous amount of success on Bentgrass greens, having won on the surface multiple times on the Korn Ferry Tour. Southern Hills, where the PGA Championship was played, also features Bentgrass greens, and he gained 5.5 strokes putting that week.

Pereira ranks ninth in the field in Birdie or Better Gained, and he knows how to go low when the conditions allow.

Round 1 Tee Time: 10:10 a.m ET

Taylor Pendrith +6000 (DraftKings)

Since his return from injury, Taylor Pendrith has been extremely impressive. His first four starts after a long layoff all resulted in top-13 finishes.

He took a step back last week, but TPC Southwind was a course that was an obvious poor fit for what Pendrith does well.

The Canadian is one of the longest hitters on the planet, and that should give him a massive advantage at Wilmington Country Club. With long par 5s and short par 4s, Pendrith will have a wedge into most of the greens.

The 31-year-old rookie thrives with his wedges, and that was on full display in his runner-up finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. That week, he was the co-first-round leader and opened with a round of -8, showing he's capable of going low.

Round 1 Tee Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

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