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PGA Championship 2022 Expert Picks: Matthew Fitzpatrick, 3 More Outright Bets

PGA Championship 2022 Expert Picks: Matthew Fitzpatrick, 3 More Outright Bets article feature image

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew Fitzpatrick.

Not much to report from the Bryon Nelson. All the bets made the cut, but none were ever in contention. Davis Riley gave a brief glimpse of hope that he might backdoor a top five, but cooled off on the back nine and finished 9th.

Now we’re on to the second major of the season with Southern Hills set to host the PGA Championship.

It’s the first time we’ve seen the PGA at this venue in 15 years. The last time it was here Tiger Woods held off Woody Austin and Ernie Els to capture the title.

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The Course

Southern Hills is set to play 7,356 yards for a par 70, about 200 yards longer than when Woods won in 2007.

We’ll see water play a factor on 15 holes, so precision both off the tee and with the irons will be key. Length, as always, will be an edge, but much of that advantage will come into play on the par 5s. Both are set to play well over 600 yards, limiting the amount of players who will legitimately be able to reach in two. The par 4s are fairly short by recent major championship standards with seven set to play under 450 yards and just one was over 500 yards on the initial scorecard.

The weather, mainly the wind, could come into play with gusts above 20 MPH fairly common. Early forecasts have late Thursday and early Friday potentially catching the worst of it, but we all know how forecasts can fluctuate during the week. Still, it’s something to monitor.

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The Favorites

At the top, we have Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm, who opened between +1000 and +1200 at various sportsbooks. Scheffler has four wins in the past three months, while Rahm finally got on the board this season in his last start in Mexico.

In that +1400 to +1800 range, we see Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson. Spieth will be popular in this range. He’s got the win at Harbour Town and was second at the AT&T Byron Nelson, so the form is there. McIlroy was second at Augusta and followed that up two weeks ago with a fifth-place finish at the Wells Fargo. However, of that group, this may set up best for Morikawa. He was fifth at Augusta and gained seven shots on approach at Harbour Town. If this ends up playing a little tighter because of the rough, creek and wind, he’s the elite guy who would fare best in my eyes.

In the +2000s we Cameron Smith, Brooks Koepka, Viktor Hovland, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. Hovland will be popular after playing college golf in Oklahoma, but with plenty of run off areas around the greens, we’ll see how the short game holds up for him. Schauffele and Cantlay got the win in Zurich and Schauffele followed that up with a hot weekend to finish inside the top 5 at the Byron Nelson. We haven’t seen Smith in a few weeks since the Zurich and he hasn’t popped up on the leaderboards since Augusta. However, he and Scheffler are on the card along with Shane Lowry at much larger numbers, but I wouldn’t recommend them at the current prices.

The Midtier

I’ll open here with Max Homa at +6500 on FanDuel. He was added to my card at +9000 when he got into contention at Wells Fargo, but I still like him here. The ball striking has been dialed in for a few months now. He gained 10 strokes in his win two weeks ago. He’s got five other finishes inside the top 20 in 2022 and picked up a win during the fall as well. With three victories now in the past 15 months, he’s becoming one of the better players in the game when he gets near the top of the leaderboard. We haven’t seen Homa do it yet in a field of this caliber, but he’s won at Riviera and Quail Hollow, which have held majors in the past so he’s capable of getting it done at these type of venues.

We’ll also go to Matthew Fitzpatrick at +5000 on Bet365. He’s been playing well all season, finishing inside the top 20 in seven on his nine starts in 2022. The better form has been tied to better ball striking. He continues to gain ground off the tee and with approach. Both of those areas used to be slightly above average for him and he would ride his short game. His short game is still solid, but now he ranks inside the top 25 in all four strokes gained categories. He’s become a more well-rounded player and that’s led to strong results.

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The Longshots

I’ve got two names here, but let’s start with Keegan Bradley at 110/1 on Bet365. Anywhere that needs a complete tee-to-green game and where the winning score is likely to land around 10-under, Bradley can be a factor. He’s finished 11th or better in five of his past seven starts, so the form is there. The reason it’s been better is an uptick in the short game. He gains strokes around the green nearly every week now and has been above average with the putter in three of his past five starts.

I’m also going to Davis Riley at 350/1 on BetRivers. This is probably more of top 20, but his form is really good. He was ninth last week and has placed inside the top 10 in four of his past six starts. He’s been riding a hot short game in many of those results, but at the Byron Nelson he was able to gain ground in all four categories — a promising sign for the rookie who has locked up a tour card for next season. It doesn’t take much of anything for me to bet Riley, but like last week, I think this could be a spot where he plays better than the odds suggest.

With the earlier adds, that pretty much wraps up the outrights for the week, so we’ll focus on the props when they become available and see if anything else catches our eye.

The PGA Championship Card

  • Matthew Fitzpatrick +5000 (.66 units)
  • Max Homa +6500 (.5 units)
  • Keegan Bradley +11000 (.3 units)
  • Davis Riley +35000 (.1 units)

Total Stake: 1.56 units

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