2024 PGA Championship Data-Driven Picks: Bets for Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry & More

2024 PGA Championship Data-Driven Picks: Bets for Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry & More article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured: Jon Rahm (left) and Shane Lowry (right).

One of the more critical points I have yet to discuss as much as I would have liked this week is the importance of staying patient throughout the drastic shifts in odds from Monday to Wednesday of a major championship. 

Books always make week-long deviations since they are fighting and competing for every last dollar. Any of the sharp movers near the top of the board are going to be the ones who get hit first and end up getting stuck in their basement-dwelling zone. However, there is always value to be found from that middle-tier region of options when their prices start to drift, including golfers like Kurt Kitayama, Lucas Glover and Cameron Davis this week.

Let's see if we can pinpoint a few more options who might be worth a look if you still have a clean card and also highlight the official wagers I am on entering Thursday at Valhalla.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

2024 PGA Championship Data-Driven Picks

Every Monday, I take an aggregated total from a handful of books I respect and form a median outright price. None of that suggests you wouldn't be able to find better prices if you shopped around, but that is a total I use to compare against a golfer's outright odds movements.

Those returns indicate where the square versus sharp money has entered the market and show potential DFS value for those looking to round out their player pool. Let's dive into some of the shifts in the market and see how they line up with the outright bets I discussed on the Links + Locks 2024 PGA Championship Betting Preview podcast.

2024 PGA Championship Biggest Market Movers

We do this every week when trying to find sharp versus square movement. More often than not, the activity from the public ends up in a direction that falters for all bettors placing wagers on those golfers to win the event.

My answer here doesn't derive thoughts from within my model. I would have a stronger or weaker stance for some of these players than others, but this list features three of my favorite value targets when diving into Max Homa, Joaquin Niemann and Kurt Kitayama

The market remains too low on Homa and Niemann because of their general lack of major championship high finishes. However, these are two golfers with top-25 marks for Expecting Scoring and Projected Strokes Gained: Total at Valhalla. 

Kitayama doesn't quite reach that area of the board, which is why he is better suited as a placement target versus anything else, but the UNLV alum graded as a top-15 Weighted Proximity golfer in this field and has the prerequisite requirements you would hope to see for a course that stretches over 7,600 yards.

I talked about this at the beginning, but there are books that have moved in the opposite direction and now sit closer to 200-1 than these 125-1 prices. This is the beautiful nature of a major championship. 

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2024 PGA Championship Worst Current Values

I've talked throughout the week about why Tom Kim is one of my favorite golfers to oppose in matchups. My preferred route is taking Shane Lowry -129 over Kim at BetRivers, although I do tend to believe most of the options out there will still provide value against a golfer who has yet to make a cut in three career PGA Championship attempts, losing an average of 2.36 strokes to the field per round. 

The other notable name that we at least have to discuss is Tiger Woods. The 82-time PGA Tour winner loses much of the intrigue that made him an option to consider at the Masters because of this thick rough and 7,609-yard demand. Woods' understanding of the subtle nuances at Augusta presented a much safer floor than he will get this week. There is a reason Woods is no worse than -188 to miss the cut, stretching at some locations up to -222. 

2024 PGA Championship Outright Picks

Brooks Koepka 17-1 

This is an answer you never see from me since I am typically the anti-Koepka guy most weeks because the hype is always baked into the price. However, Brooks Koepka graded first in my model for past PGA Championship results also ranked as the man to beat for his course-specific Strokes Gained projection at Valhalla. 

It's hard to overlook Koepka's historical dominance on Zoiysa fairways and Bentgrass greens. These situations have consistently provided a pure and fair expectation, setting a high bar for his performance based on past comps. 

Jon Rahm 20-1 

Every golfer who moves to LIV Golf experiences a certain negative trajectory movement at some point. Rahm experiences that here after he was 8-1 to capture the PGA Championship last year and 12-1 at the Masters earlier this season. However, he has now jumped into this juiced-up price zone after failing to realize his long-term production in one shaky start at the Masters. 

I assume this becomes the norm for players who leave for LIV but aren't winning since it turns into this out-of-sight, out-of-mind sort of outlook. Nonetheless, Rahm's first-place rank for Projected Ball-striking at Valhalla generated a profile that made him my favorite value on the board when odds were updated on Monday. 

Dustin Johnson 105-1 

Dustin Johnson has consistently graded as one of my top fade candidates during most of his recent major championship starts because this bullish public sentiment always drives up his price. Outside of the 2022 Open Championship and the 2023 U.S. Open, I have recommended taking him on during each other example, but there is something to be said about my model correctly predicting his two quality major championship performances over the past two seasons. 

I think Johnson has another chance or two of capturing a major before he rides off into the sunset, and a venue that rewards his first-place grade for off-the-tee production at long courses with thick rough is an excellent place to find one of those opportunities. 

Viktor Hovland 50-1

The recent production from Viktor Hovland will leave much to be desired, although we have now reached the point where most of that downside is being baked into the price.

The data continues to love him if he can build off his weekend performance at Quail Hollow, and throwing a dart that he has fixed his game isn't the same doing it at 50-1 versus some of the 18-1 totals a few months ago.

My Model's Top Projected Win Equity Choices

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Brooks Koepka
  3. Rory McIlroy
  4. Xander Schauffele

Best Values To Consider At New Price (Not In Order Of Perceived Edge)

Most of the value on these boards typically will come from the deeper options. That will continue throughout the week, as books will overprice certain golfers heading into the final round because of the narrative of the favorites winning.

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