2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks & Odds: Bet Collin Morikawa & Sam Burns in Memphis

2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Picks & Odds: Bet Collin Morikawa & Sam Burns in Memphis article feature image

Via Raj Mehta/Getty Images. Pictured: Collin Morikawa of the United States plays his shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club on July 02, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.

Click arrow to expand FedEx St. Jude Championship odds via bet365
GolferFedEx St. Jude Championship Odds
Scottie Scheffler+650
Jon Rahm+850
Rory McIlroy+950
Patrick Cantlay+1700
Viktor Hovland+1900
Xander Schauffele+1900
Collin Morikawa+2200
Tyrrell Hatton+2700
Rickie Fowler+3000
Tommy Fleetwood+3000

GolferFedEx St. Jude Championship Odds
Jason Day+3200
Sam Burns+3200
Jordan Spieth+3500
Tony Finau+3500
Wyndham Clark+3500
Max Homa+3500
Cameron Young+3500
Tom Kim+3800
Brian Harman+4500
Matt Fitzpatrick+5000
Hideki Matsuyama+5000
Russell Henley+5000
Sepp Straka+5000
Sungjae Im+5500
J.T. Poston+5500

GolferFedEx St. Jude Championship Odds
Byeong-Hun An+6000
Corey Conners+6500
Justin Rose+8000
Si Woo Kim+8000
Keegan Bradley+8000
Emiliano Grillo+8000
Harris English+8500
Cameron Davis+9000
Denny McCarthy+9000
Lucas Glover+9000
Stephan Jaeger+9000
Aaron Rai+10000
Keith Mitchell+10000
Lee Hodges+10000

GolferFedEx St. Jude Championship Odds
Sahith Theegala+11000
Brendon Todd+11000
Eric Cole+14000
Beau Hossler+14000
Thomas Detry+14000
J.J. Spaun+14000
Adam Svensson+14000
Taylor Moore+14000
Andrew Putnam+14000
Seamus Power+16000
Alex Smalley+16000
Chris Kirk+16000
Patrick Rodgers+17500
Kurt Kitayama+17500
Adam Hadwin+17500

GolferFedEx St. Jude Championship Odds
Davis Riley+18500
Vincent Norrman+20000
Adam Schenk+20000
Tom Hoge+20000
Nick Hardy+20000
Nick Taylor+20000
Matt Kuchar+22500
Mark Hubbard+22500
Sam Stevens+22500
Brandon Wu+30000
Ben Griffin+30000
Hayden Buckley+32500
Mackenzie Hughes+35000
Sam Ryder+35000
Matthew Nesmith+35000
Taylor Montgomery+40000

This week's 2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship marks the beginning of the 17th annual FedExCup Playoffs — and while the various alterations and iterations have changed this dynamic since the first one, it’s difficult to insist that the end-of-season schedule hasn’t done its job, which has always been to, well, actually promote an end to the PGA Tour season.

Allow me to offer a little history lesson for those who still grumble about the playoffs never being “as important as a major championship” or “as compelling as playoffs in other sports.”

The reply to each of those opinions falls somewhere between, “Yeah, true” and “No duh,” but such failure to see the big picture is a massive swing and a miss. The point here is that the FedExCup Playoffs might not be perfect, however they do give some finality to a season which desperately craves it.

All of which leads to that lesson: In 2006, the year prior to the inaugural FedExCup, the season-ending Tour Championship was held from Nov. 2-5, during Week 9 of the NFL season. That year, the two biggest draws in the game, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, decided to forego the event — not because of injury or illness, just because they essentially didn’t feel like playing.

The point is, there was a glaring weakness with the conclusion to the PGA Tour schedule, and the powers-that-be fixed it. Does that mean we should universally praise the three-tourney format or the staggered-scoring start at the finale? Of course not, but it does suggest one seemingly inarguable take: Whatever we’ve had over the past 17 years beats whatever we had before it.

The postseason gets started for a second straight year in Memphis, site of the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which has undergone a transformation from regular PGA Tour event to WGC to playoff venue.

Before we look ahead, though, let’s look back at the other biggest story from this past weekend’s Wyndham Championship besides Lucas Glover’s win — the race to make the playoffs and the Ryder Cup repercussions within.

As you know by now, Justin Thomas nearly holed out a chip for birdie on his 1,296th and final hole of the season but instead finished 71st on the final points list and won’t be competing this week. Now the conversation turns to whether he should – or will – be named as one of six captain’s picks for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team.

“Come on now… you can’t be serious!” pic.twitter.com/rGBhq8b2P3

— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelTAN) August 6, 2023

Such discourse is always interesting to me because I think we tend to lose the plot a bit – and that collective “we” includes plenty of past Ryder Cup captains.

These wildcard selections – which were once two, then multiplied to four and now six – have often been a celebration of players who “deserve” to be on the team, the unsubtle intonation that they are being rewarded for having a strong season. This is utter fallacy, of course. If these players deserved it, they would’ve qualified. That’s how it works.

No, instead the players selected to the roster should be those who can best help the team win the competition, which is sort of the whole point of this thing in the first place.

These picks should be used for specific circumstances. It’s no mystery: They’ll play two sessions of fourball, two sessions of foursomes and Sunday singles. Players should be chosen based on how they fit with one of the other players as a partner or how they match up for a particular format.

What if there’s a player who finishes 23rd on the points list and gets picked over someone who was eighth? It shouldn’t matter, as long as it’s done for the proper reason. I mean, let’s be real: Will Zalatoris, who hasn’t played golf since March, is still ahead of Tony Finau in the standings, so let’s not fall too much in love with the number next to each player’s name.

It’ll be fascinating to see whether U.S. captain Zach Johnson – and to a lesser extent, just because he has a smaller talent pool from which to pick, Europe’s captain Luke Donald – selects players based on who “deserves” it or who can best help the team triumph. It’s not a definitive line, of course; these Venn diagrams are overlapping all over the place.

Don’t get me wrong: None of this is to suggest I’m advocating for Thomas to make the Ryder Cup team. At least, not yet. Much like his FedExCup bid, it’s not solely about how he’s played, but how others play.

The top-six players on the current points list are Scottie Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Brian Harman, Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay. If that stays the same – granted, a big if – it means Johnson will need to choose six more from a group which includes Max Homa, Cameron Young, Jordan Spieth, Keegan Bradley, Collin Morikawa, Rickie Fowler, Sam Burns, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and one other player coming off a victory, in addition to Thomas.

Just so I’m not accused of JT-cheerleading, the same pretense can be applied to Bryson DeChambeau. After shooting 58 to win LIV Golf's Greenbrier event by a half-dozen strokes this weekend, he will also “miss the FedEx Cup playoffs,” which means any chance he owns to make the roster is similarly more about how he can help the team win, rather than enjoying a campaign for which he should be rewarded with a roster spot.

The big-hitting Bryson blasting away in best-ball with a more conservative partner might be a winning idea, though I’d be surprised if Johnson is seriously considering him.

One last thought, as if this situation didn’t have enough variables already: There’s a nonzero chance that some of those who qualified for the playoffs might play poorly, potentially hurting their prospects more than those who aren’t playing at all, not unlike a top-level college football team which schedules a difficult non-conference opponent and gets blown out, eliminating themselves from national championship contention.

Alright, back to the task at hand, which is prognosticating this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship – not to be confused with the FedEx St. Jude Classic (played from 1958-2018) or the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational (played from 2019-2021). Even with decades of data at TPC Southwind, this isn’t an easy one to research, if only because a search of the current form of this event will offer results from the erstwhile Northern Trust prior to last year.

My advice is to turn up the dial on Strokes Gained: Motivation this week. While those near the top of the FedExCup Points List understand these next few weeks are more marathon than sprint, this feels like a nice spot to target those who have played well throughout the year but haven’t quite peaked.

As I prepare to be on-site in Memphis offering up thoughts and notes throughout the week, here’s my initial breakdown of selections, starting with one who fits the profile nicely.

The must-have app for golf bettors

The best golf betting scoreboard

Free picks from proven pros

Live win probabilities for your bets

Outright Winner (Short odds)

One player to win the tournament

Collin Morikawa (+2700)

“There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies and statistics.”

That phrase was popularized by Mark Twain, though he still might’ve liked Collin Morikawa at this week’s event. It’s not a lie in pointing out that Morikawa has missed the cut in two of his last three starts, losing strokes with his irons in each of those.

It’s also not a lie to note that the other of those three starts was a playoff loss, and he’s actually gained strokes with those irons in 16 of his 18 starts this year. The numbers can serve as optimism or pessimism, depending on how we choose to use them, but I’ll opt for the former when it comes to a player who’s performed well enough to win this yea, yet hasn’t quite gotten over that threshold.

It’s difficult to boil down TPC Southwind to simply a “ball-strikers’ course,” but if we’re seeking the same formula that led Will Zalatoris to the winner’s circle last year – namely, identify a world-class iron player who putts well above his baseline for the week – then Morikawa makes the most sense.

In fact, while finishing T5 here a year ago, he actually ranked just a notch above Zalatoris in putting, which should give us some confidence he can repeat that performance.

Outright Winner (Long odds)

One player to win the tournament

Sam Burns (+4000)

My outright selection with long odds doesn’t have odds as long as the usual weekly selections in this category, which admittedly could be a massive whiff considering the recent Brian Harman/Lee Hodges/Lucas Glover run of longshots that we’ve seen over the past three events.

There’s good reason for this, though. In at least one book on Monday morning, 25 players in this limited 70-man field had opened with a price of 50/1 or shorter, a 35.7 percent clip. By comparison, last week’s Wyndham Championship had just 20 players at 50/1 or shorter, but with 86 more in the field, leaving just 12.8 percent in that top tier.

We get it: There were more players in that tournament who had less of a chance of winning than there are in this one, but the numbers alone suggest it’ll be more difficult to find a winner with a bigger number here.

All of which leads to Sam Burns, whose 40/1 price sounds right for a few reasons. He contended here two years ago, losing in a playoff. He obviously performs better on Bermuda greens. He’s motivated to make the Ryder Cup team.

And he’s fresh off a T14 result in Greensboro where he gained strokes tee to green, on approach shots, around the greens and on the greens. Since his WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play victory, he has just one top-10 finish in 11 starts, which is keeping his odds from being lower, but with five top-20 finishes, that number is a bit deceiving.

He certainly owns the skillset to win this one.

FedEx St. Jude Championship One-and-Done Picks

Other OADers

Potential selections for one-and-done pools

Hideki Matsuyama (+3500)

While he didn’t play in Memphis last year, Hideki Matsuyama lost in a playoff here two years ago and was T20 the previous year, which suggests he’s taken a liking to TPC Southwind.

Last week’s missed cut at the Wyndham Championship should push your fellow OADers in other directions, but it’s about time for Hideki to find his way onto a Sunday leaderboard again. In his past dozen starts, he’s finished 32nd or better on 10 separate occasions, hinting that he’s not too far from contending soon.

Cameron Young (+3500)

During his first year-and-a-half as a PGA Tour member, Cameron Young rose to the level of top 20 in the world. From mid-April to late-June, he looked downright mortal, failing to finish inside the top 30 in seven starts.

Then he found it again, posting a T6 at the John Deere Classic and T8 at The Open. I’m not too deterred by a missed cut at the 3M Open in his most recent appearance, as Young ranked second to only winner Will Zalatoris in tee-to-green numbers in Memphis last year.

Kurt Kitayama (+13000)

There’s little in Kurt Kitayama’s recent form which suggests he’s ready to take down a big field again, as he did at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year, but we do know that he’s the very essence of a high-ceiling/low-floor type of player.

If you’re way behind in your OAD and want a total contrarian play with some win equity, Kitayama offers a chip-and-a-chair, so to speak. If I’m dipping into the triple-digit prices for a pool play, I at least want one who’s won before against this level of competition.

FedEx St. Jude Championship Placement Market Bets

Top Five

One player to finish in the top five

Tommy Fleetwood (+550 for top-five finish)

As a general rule of thumb, I try not to put too much stock into what players tell us through social media. My reasoning is that it’s not a level playing field. For every player who tweets that his game is trending in the right direction, there are five others who are quietly growing optimistic about their own games on the back of a range somewhere, cell phones turned off in their golf bags.

That said, every once in a while I’ll notice a post which piques my interest. That was the case on Sunday afternoon, when Tommy Fleetwood tweeted, “Flying visit to see this legend before the Playoffs!!” along with a couple of photos of himself alongside swing instructor Butch Harmon in Las Vegas.

It’s no surprise that Fleetwood is working with the game’s most renowned coach – that’s been going on for a while – but tune-ups with Butch have been known to bring immediate success for some of his pupils.

It’s not like Tommy needed much work under the hood, either. He owns four top 10s in his last five starts and has been inching toward that long-elusive first career PGA Tour victory ever since the first in that string, a playoff loss to Nick Taylor at the RBC Canadian Open.

I was very close to making him my favorite outright above, but his win equity at the same price as Morikawa just doesn’t match. Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons to love Tommy this week in every platform.

Top 10

One player to finish in the top 10

Russell Henley (+350 for top-10 finish)

How many different ways can Russell Henley suffer heartbreak in Greensboro? Well, he found a new one this past Sunday, returning from a weather delay to bogey his final three holes after receiving some brutal breaks as far as where his ball wound up.

Over the past four years, Henley is now 592-19-8 against fellow competitors at that event, with four top 10s and no wins. Perhaps that will only help steel him for another title contention at this one, as his ball-striking should continue to put him in position to make birdies, and another uncommonly hot putting week could make all the difference.

Top 20

One player to finish in the top 20

Byeong-Hun An (+162 for top-20 finish)

Like with Henley, I’m banking on another return performance from last week, though Ben An’s share of runner-up honors should feel a lot better than those of Henley.

Last week, An gained nearly a stroke per round off the tee and well more than a stroke per round with his irons and putter. I don’t mind playing him up to a top-10 or maybe even a top-five and love his value for DFS, as well.

FedEx St. Jude Championship DFS Picks

DFS Free Bingo Square

A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups

Patrick Cantlay

You’ll need to get a little creative over the next few weeks, especially in tournament contests, considering limited fields will create limited variance. With everyone in this 70-man field viable of consideration with four rounds guaranteed, I’d expect the biggest names – Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm – to have plenty of ownership with decent low-priced options to offset them.

That means players just below them could go a bit overlooked, and Patrick Cantlay might epitomize that sense. In his past two starts, Cantlay missed the cut at the Scottish Open and finished T33 at The Open Championship, but I’d rather chalk that up to the links venues than any lack of form. In his 11 starts prior to that, he posted six top 10s and never finished outside the top 30.

You’re taking a chance here by fading both form and history (he was T57 here last year and never finished better than T12 when the WGC was held on this course), but he offers a chance to be a little contrarian at the top, though with plenty of potential upside.

DFS Mid-Tier

A medium-priced option for DFS lineups

Harris English

The winner in Memphis a decade ago, Harris English has bounced back and forth for much of the year between title contentions and results outside the top 30/40. On familiar territory and with no cut, I’m willing to take a chance that this could be one of those better weeks, as he represents one of the few players in the mid-tier who brings a been-there/done-that mentality to this event.

DFS ‘Dog

A lower-priced option for DFS lineups

Adam Schenk

As I wrote above, I’m largely fading the longshots this week as far as outrights are concerned, but if there’s one on whom I might take a chance, it’s Adam Schenk.

For those who haven’t paid too much attention, this has been a breakthrough campaign for Schenk, who finished the regular season at 24th on the FedEx Cup points list – behind only Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele, Tyrrell Hatton and Collin Morikawa among non-winners. In a whopping 30 starts, he posted nine top 25s, five top 10s and two runners-up.

If he’s ever going to step on the gas pedal, now is the time, since finishing inside the top 30 after next week yields not only a spot in the Tour Championship, but all sorts of spoils over the next year. He makes for a terrific low-priced DFS play, but I’d be confident playing Schenk for top-10/20 props and, as I wrote, perhaps a small outright, as well.

First-Round Leader

One player to post the low round Thursday

Tony Finau (+3300 for FRL)

A couple of notes here: On this 7,243-yard par-70, you’ll need to go low to cash FRL tickets, as Si Woo Kim and J.J. Spaun posted matching 62s last year.

Also, this is the type of course where things can flip in a hurry, so save some of that bankroll for live action. Will Zalatoris opened with a 71 at that one, nine strokes off the pace, only to then shoot 63-65-66 and claim the title.

Anyway, I’ll go with Tony Finau here, who led off with a 64 in last year’s edition of this event. After struggling since his victory in Mexico, there were signs of rejuvenation from Finau during a T7 performance at the 3M Open a few weeks ago. Don’t be surprised if this turns out to be a big three-week stretch for him.

If you’re looking to bargain shop for some bigger prices in the FRL market, Andrew Putnam and Eric Cole similarly make some sense as single-round investments.

Matchup Man

One player who should beat comparable players

Thomas Detry (+11000)

In his first full season as a PGA Tour member, Thomas Detry has proven he’s got the stuff to stick around and find success for a while.

Perhaps the only knock on him coming from the DP World Tour was the fact that his bevy of top-three finishes never led to a victory, and so playing him outright feels a bit far-fetched, but he does seem to be trending in the right direction for another strong result.

At 110/1, if you can find him in matchups against similarly priced players such as the struggling Sahith Theegala, short-hitting Brendon Todd or inconsistent Beau Hossler. I’d pull the trigger on any of those.

Also Receiving Votes

Other players who should provide value

Tyrrell Hatton (+2200), Wyndham Clark (+3000), Emiliano Grillo (+8000), Taylor Moore (+9000), Eric Cole (+11000), Adam Svensson (+11000)

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.