2023 Tour Championship First-Round Leader Pick: Bet Jon Rahm FRL at East Lake

2023 Tour Championship First-Round Leader Pick: Bet Jon Rahm FRL at East Lake article feature image

Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Jon Rahm.

Click to expand Tour Championship Odds via bet365
GolferTour Championship Odds
Scottie Scheffler+140
Rory McIlroy+360
Viktor Hovland+500
Jon Rahm+900
Patrick Cantlay+2000
Xander Schauffele+3000
Max Homa+3500

GolferTour Championship Odds
Lucas Glover+4500
Matt Fitzpatrick+5000
Brian Harman+5000
Wyndham Clark+5500
Tommy Fleetwood+6000
Rickie Fowler+7500
Russell Henley+8000
Sungjae Im+11000
Tom Kim+14000
Collin Morikawa+14000
Keegan Bradley+17500
Tony Finau+17500
Corey Conners+17500

GolferTour Championship Odds
Jordan Spieth+22500
Tyrrell Hatton+22500
Si Woo Kim+22500
Jason Day+25000
Sam Burns+35000
Taylor Moore+45000
Emiliano Grillo+60000
Sepp Straka+75000
Adam Schenk+100000
Nick Taylor+100000

With the BMW Championship in the rearview mirror, we can look forward to the final round of the FedEx Cup Playoffs: Tour Championship in Atlanta, Ga. East Lake Golf Club hosts this event once again, which it has done annually since 2004.

East Lake is a par-70, 7,346-yard track designed by Don Ross. It features bermudagrass greens and has also been worked on by Rees Jones and Andrew Green.

Here is my pick in the first-round leader market for the 2023 TOUR Championship.

Phone With the Action App Open
The must-have app for golf bettors
The best golf betting scoreboard
Free picks from proven pros
Live win probabilities for your bets

TOUR Championship First-Round Leader Pick

Jon Rahm +1200 (FanDuel)

First-Round Tee Time: 1:49 p.m. ET

The chalk in this market is Scottie Scheffler, and for obvious reasons. Entering this week in the No. 1 spot of the FedEx Cup rankings, Scheffler starts at 10-under and boasts a two-stroke advantage over the remaining field.

Therefore, the world's No. 1 golfer is unsurprisingly priced as a -165 favorite in this market. If you want to hedge against a long-shot pick, he is the guy to back. Scheffler has no business not leading after the first round given his record-setting ball striking metrics this season and the fact that he led after the first round last year after also starting at 10-under.

With that said, if you want to take a flyer on a first-round leader, there is tremendous value on Jon Rahm at 12/1. That is an implied win probability of just 7.69%. If you simulate this round 100 times, Rahm ends up as the leader eight or more times — you can sell me on that.

In staggered formation, he starts in fourth-place at 6-under. Gaining four strokes on Scheffler on Thursday is going to be difficult, no doubt, but not impossible.

We also have an opportunity to buy low on Rahm, which sounds weird because he finished T2 at The Open Championship just three tournaments ago, but two straight T31 or worse finishes has people discounting him.

Rahm is not in his best form, but when his game is on, he is every bit as good as Scheffler. This is a guy who hoisted four trophies — the fourth being a green jacket — over a nine-tournament stretch earlier this season, and he seems to always step up when the pressure is higher.

The biggest knock on Rahm this year has been his inconsistent driver. Although he pounds the hell out of the ball, he misses a ton of fairways, and East Lake has extremely thin fairways.

However, I would argue that actually helps Rahm in the sense that everyone is going to be missing a bunch of fairways, so the weakest part of his game is now level with the rest of the field. If you remember the Tour Championship in 2020, we saw the exact scenario play out for Dustin Johnson when he went on to win the tournament despite finishing third to last in driving accuracy.

Do I think Rahm catches Scheffler in the first round? No, probably not. But do I think it happens more than 7.69% of the time?


What is QuickSlip?

QuickSlip is an Action Network feature that allows users to automatically pre-load their bet slip at FanDuel Sportsbook.

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.