2023 BMW Championship Best Bets & Expert Picks: Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala & More
Via Getty Images. Pictured (Left to Right): Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Sahith Theegala and Hideki Matsuyama.
Our staff has analyzed the 2023 BMW Championship odds board and found their 2023 BMW Championship Best Bets and other expert picks for this week's PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs event at Olympia Fields Country Club (North) in Olympia Fields, Illinois.
This is the second event of the 2023 FedExCup Playoffs as the top 50 players from the FedExCup Standings are featured in this week's no-cut event from the Chicago area..
Check out our Action Network golf betting expert picks and previews for the 2023 BMW Championship, including picks for Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Hideki Matsuyama & more as we go through our 2023 BMW Championship Best Bets.
2023 BMW Championship Best Bets
Jason Sobel: Patrick Cantlay +1100 (FanDuel)
Cantlay's first-round tee time: 10:54 a.m. ET
Going for a three-peat doesn’t quite hold the same reverence when one of those wins took place in Maryland, one was in Delaware, and a third is in Illinois, without any real correlation between them other than the title sponsor’s signage around the golf course.
Then again, maybe it’s just this time of year which excites the unexcitable Patrick Cantlay.
On Sunday, he posted a 6-under 64 to force a playoff with Lucas Glover, only to warm up on the range for a while then immediately hit a tee shot into the water hazard, taking much of the drama out of the proceedings. That might be enough to scare us away from other losers in heartbreaking fashion, but this feels more like the start of something good for Cantlay, rather than the end of it.
Even though he posted ascending (or descending, depending on your perspective) scores of 68-67-66-64 and gained strokes in every major category for the week, it never quite felt like Cantlay was ever playing his absolute best golf. I’m willing to take a chance on the playoff loss just being the tip of the iceberg for what’s about to come over the next two weeks.
On my podcast prior to the FedEx St. Jude, I offered up Cantlay as a nice value to win the entire FedExCup at 16/1. Now that he’s moved into the fifth position in the standings, that play seems even smarter in retrospect. Just as his scores continued improving in Memphis, don’t be surprised if his performance keeps improving as the playoffs continue, as well.
Chris Murphy: Hideki Matsuyama +3500 (FanDuel)
Matsuyama's first-round tee time: 11:32 a.m. ET
Hideki Matsuyama is in form and fits at a big-boy track like Olympia Fields. He was one of two golfers outside of the top 50 in the FedExCup Standings who moved into the top 50 this past weekend as he made a charge on Sunday to cement his spot for the 10th consecutive year in this event.
His back-nine performance vaulted him into this tournament, and I think he can carry that momentum into a course that fits his game. He's a player I bought into last week, and while he didn't charge on Saturday like we had hoped, he showed signs of coming into form.
The volatility here doesn't concern me. Matsuyama looks like a player who's starting to put it all together — at +3500, he more than worth a shot in a short field.
Spencer Aguiar: Jordan Spieth -115 Over Lucas Glover (FanDuel)
Spieth's first-round tee time: 10:10 a.m. ET
It has been a moving dart board on all of these Lucas Glover bets that have entered the space because they don't last at any number for long, but my model seems to agree with the market that Glover is one of the better fade candidates in quite some time.
The logical explanation most would expect me to say is that Glover is overachieving his projected baseline. However, that is not necessarily why I believe the American is worth fading in most matchups.
At his best, the ball striking is world-class, and he grades as such against the top players in the world, but I don't know if this is the best course fit for him to continue his recent surge. Glover ranked 34th out of 50 players in this field for projected total driving because of the enhancement needed in distance off the tee, and the downturn continued when looking into his last-place grade at challenging courses with fast and firm conditions.
I don't believe this should be an indicator of why Glover should/shouldn't make the Ryder Cup team, but I am fading a bad course fit that has been propelled up the board as often as I can this week for any logical matchup I can find.
Nick Bretwisch: Sahith Theegala Top 20 +190 (FanDuel)
Theegala's first-round tee time: 9:59 a.m. ET
I love the action we can get on Jordan Spieth over Lucas Glover like Spencer mentioned above, but if I had to choose a second best bet, I’ll go with Sahith Theegala to finish in the top 20 at +190.
My numbers suggest this is an excellent course fit for Theegala with his strong mid-short irons, elite off-the-tee play and scrambling ability around the green. If we can get a positive weekend of approach play, Theegala should have no problem finishing inside the top 20. I have this priced at +145.
2023 BMW Championship Expert Picks, Fades
Favorites We’re Backing
- Jason Sobel: Patrick Cantlay
- Chris Murphy: Rory McIlroy
- Spencer Aguiar: Max Homa
- Nick Bretwisch: Rory McIlroy
Best Long Shot
- Sobel: Corey Conners
- Murphy: Taylor Moore
- Aguiar: Jason Day
- Bretwisch: Tony Finau
- Sobel: Matt Fitzpatrick
- Murphy: Lucas Glover
- Aguiar: Lucas Glover
- Bretwisch: Lucas Glover
Contrarian Player To Target
- Sobel: Byeong-Hun An
- Murphy: Keegan Bradley
- Aguiar: Jason Day
- Bretwisch: Cameron Young
Trend That Guides Your 2023 BMW Championship Betting Strategy
Sobel: Everything about this week’s event screams a best-of-the-best winning it – other than recent trends, which have bucked hard against the top of the odds board.
Using prices from the archives at golfodds.com, over the past month we’ve seen winners with pre-tourney numbers of 125/1 (Brian Harman at The Open), 80/1 (Lee Hodges at the 3M Open) and twice 60/1 (Glover at the Wyndham Championship and FedEx St. Jude Championship).
Anyone who’s been fading the short-priced studs during this span has at least given themselves a chance by being on the right scent.
That said, it doesn’t happen very often during the PGA Tour’s postseason.
On Sunday, Glover became the first winner of a FedEx Cup playoff event outside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking in the past five years.
Granted, the OWGR numbers don’t have as much relevance as they once did, but it’s still a viable delineation. As you can see, all dozen of the previous champions were 24th or better, with seven ranked inside the top five, suggesting these tournaments have been the domain of the big-name players.
Murphy: There isn’t a lot to this one as we have just one recent tournament to lean on at Olympia Fields, but it certainly highlighted the top tier players and a bit of an edge to players who are strong off the tee. I’ll use that alongside recent form to dial in on my favorite players this week.
Aguiar: Olympia Fields a very challenging course with 10 holes that will possess a bogey or worse percentage of over 20%. When you add that to the eight holes that bring water into play and 91 bunkers littered throughout the property, you get this claustrophobic feel of a venue surrounded by trees and pitfalls looming at all turns.
There is a reason Jon Rahm captured the title here in 2020 at just 4-under par, and I am expecting another single-digit winner.
Bretwisch: Like Spencer, I’m betting on the winning score being right around 5-under. Our Chicagoland area has been pelted with rain of late, and we are likely to see more on Thursday morning.
This course should play rather soft, and to me, that emphasizes driving distance as the shorter players won’t be getting much roll-out. The rough will be penal, but I still believe the route to success will be to gain as much distance as possible and scramble with those short-to-mid irons in play.