2024 PGA Championship Best Bets, Expert Picks for Xander Schauffele & More

2024 PGA Championship Best Bets, Expert Picks for Xander Schauffele & More article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured (left to right): Jordan Smith & Xander Schauffele.

The golf world heads to Louisville, Kentucky for the 2024 PGA Championship as Brooks Koepka looks to defend his title. Let's get into our 2024 PGA Championship best bets & expert picks.

Spencer Aguiar, Nick Bretwisch, Matt Gannon and Tony Sartori have expert picks as 156 golfers will clash with the Wanamaker Trophy on the line this week at Valhalla Golf Club.

Valhalla hosts a major this week for the first time in a decade since hosting the PGA Championship in 2014, when Rory McIlroy last won a major championship. The course is a 7,609-yard par-71 designed by Jack Nicklaus in 1986, and you can find a full course preview for Valhalla here.

Here's everything you need to know, along with our PGA Championship best bets and expert picks for the weekend.

2024 PGA Championship Best Bets & Expert PGA Picks

Spencer Aguiar: Shane Lowry -129 Over Tom Kim (BetRivers)

No player in this field is graded as a more overpriced commodity than Tom Kim.

I run my model from a two-year perspective to avoid some of the recency bias that can quickly plummet a profile. Essentially, I didn't want Kim's five straight starts losing with his irons or recent poor play with his driver to ruin an otherwise stout profile if the numerical returns were there from an extended period.

However, even the long-term data has presented a massive red flag that is placing him outside the top 100 overall golfers in my sheet.

When faced with the specific challenges of a long course with thick rough, Kim's performance is less than stellar. He graded 124th in these conditions, and his re-projected Strokes Gained: Total outlook could only muster a measly 92nd-place grade.

Additionally, in his three career PGA Championship attempts, he has yet to make a cut, losing an average of 2.36 strokes to the field per round.

Last week's no-cut contest provided an opportunity for a more aggressive approach in backing golfers with better upside. However, this week we're reverting back to the typical strategy of seeking missed-cut equity and doing so with a safer option.

Lowry has made seven consecutive PGA Championship weekends, including five finishes in the top 23.

Nick Bretwisch: Jordan Smith Top 40 +300 (BetMGM | Ties Paid in Full)

Jordan Smith is someone I’ve valued in the golf space for the past three years. On paper, I am a little worried about the massive loss in distance off the tee (down 12 yards in two years), but he’s remained constant among the top three in Par-5 Scoring on the DP World Tour.

Jordan Smith doesn't often play in PGA Tour events, but he should be closer to +250 in this market with his consistent long-iron play and ability to make cuts. He enters in strong form with top-24 finishes in four of his last five starts on the DP World Tour.

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Matt Gannon: Xander Schauffele Top 10 +170 (DraftKings)

The consistency king is always a great candidate for a top 10.

While many associate Xander Schauffele with backdoor top 10s, I think he'll walk through the front door this week because the concentration of long irons at Valhalla suits his game perfectly. He leads the PGA Tour this season in Approach Proximity Over 200 Yards and is seventh overall in Strokes Gained: Approach.

When his game gets out of rhythm, it tends to be with the driver. This week, there are few drives that I would really consider demanding. I have never seen so many golfers practice from the fairway and not even acknowledge the “major rough.” They know that these fairways will be easy to hit, and the scores will be low.

The more long irons from the fairway you give Schauffele, the better he will fare. He has multiple avenues to success and will tally another major top 10 this week.

Tony Sartori: Cameron Davis Top 20 +500 (FanDuel)

Cameron Davis finished 12th at the Masters last month and fourth at last year’s PGA Championship. As a result, I will gladly bet on him to grab another top-20 finish at 5-1.

He profiles well here because he is a long hitter off the tee but also an accurate ball-striker. I don’t think his ceiling is necessarily there for a victory this week, but his floor is high as there really hasn’t been a flawed club in his bag this season.

Davis has been great with the driver and putter while the irons have done their job. Once you get to his wedges and greenside play, things start to get a bit sketchier for the Australian, but Valhalla is a course where long hitting is a greater reward anyways. It's no surprise that three of his four best results this season have come on some of the longest courses on Tour such as Bay Hill, Augusta National and Memorial Park.

2024 PGA Championship Expert Picks, Fades

Favorites We’re Backing

  • Aguiar: Brooks Koepka +1700
  • Bretwisch: Jon Rahm +2000
  • Gannon: Xander Schauffele +1800
  • Sartori: Ludvig Åberg +2200

Mid-Tier Golfer to Back

  • Aguiar: Viktor Hovland +5000
  • Bretwisch: Max Homa +3500
  • Gannon: Sahith Theegala +8000
  • Sartori: Will Zalatoris +8500

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Best Long Shot

  • Aguiar: Dustin Johnson 105-1
  • Bretwisch: Jason Day 75-1
  • Gannon: Stephan Jaeger 200-1
  • Sartori: Min Woo Lee 85-1

Biggest Bust

  • Aguiar: Will Zalatoris +8500
  • Bretwisch: Ludvig Åberg +2200
  • Gannon: Cameron Smith +4500
  • Sartori: Patrick Cantlay +5000

For more on Tiger Woods' odds, PGA Championship market movements and the latest information from oddsmakers/risk supervisors, check out Patrick Everson's PGA Championship Odds and Betting Trends article on Vegas Insider. 

Contrarian Player To Target

  • Aguiar: Jon Rahm +2000
  • Bretwisch: Jon Rahm +2000
  • Gannon: David Puig 500-1
  • Sartori: Bryson DeChambeau +2800

Your Betting Strategy for the 2024 PGA Championship

Aguiar: All PGA Championship designs demand quality Total Driving (geared toward Driving Distance) and long iron play. I weighed putting more than most because par-saving qualities are needed to salvage a score after missing a green in regulation, but this is a course where it is hard to separate from the pack.

The thick rough around the surface does take away some of that high-end skill set since it becomes less of an artistic mastery and more of a chop-out-and-make-your-putt viewpoint, although I like this course at its most basic level.

Gannon: While distance will never hurt you, it is not a requirement around Valhalla. After walking the course, I noticed how often there is a forced layup off the tee. Outside of that, there are no hazards that a big hitter will take advantage of that a short hitter cannot simply just play with longer clubs into greens.

This week will boil down to the golfer who hits his long irons the best. I have never seen such a massive concentration of approach shots from 175 to 225 yards as over 75% of approaches will come from this bucket. The greens are soft as of Monday afternoon, and the rain in the forecast won't speed them up. Focus in on great iron players this week as the winning score may be lower than many want.

Sartori: Valhalla Golf Club is a par-71, 7,609 yard track designed by Jack Nicklaus that is going to play extremely long this year. Big hitters will benefit, but not at the sacrifice of accuracy as these are the third-smallest greens on Tour thus far this season.

I’m looking for bombers who are also accurate ball-strikers, which is the recipe for success at Valhalla (hence, why Rory McIlroy won here in 2014). Out of those guys, I then narrow down from there looking at recent form and recent performances at major championships, given the difficulty of the field in these events.

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