- Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri, will host the 2018 PGA Championship, which has had some recent winners from the mid-tier.
- Patrick Cantlay (50-1 odds to win) looks like a good value, given his recent form. His 11-1 odds to finish top-5 are particularly enticing.
- Matt Kuchar's odds to win are +8000, which are long enough to deserve a dart throw. He's a solid bet to finish in the top 20 (+275 range).
I have to thank Justin Thomas for padding the bankroll a week before a major by taking down the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at a completely undervalued 30-1 price. That marks the 11th outright winner picked in my Action Network articles this season. Let’s try to keep it going at this week’s PGA Championship.
The mid-tier has been a great spot to find value at the PGA Championship in recent years.
Just last season, Justin Thomas cashed at 50-1. The year before that, it was Jimmy Walker bringing home the title in the 80-1 range.
Jason Dufner and Martin Kaymer also claimed majors in this part of the betting sheet within the past decade.
A trio of mid-tier players popped up for me this week. Let’s get to it.
Odds via Sportsbook.ag as of Monday evening unless otherwise noted. Always shop for the best number.
Betting odds: 50-1 to win; 11-1 to top-5
Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Cantlay will be a popular pick both in the betting and DFS world this week. I grabbed him at 68-1 on Sunday night on BookMaker, but that number has dipped a bit. He’s coming off another solid performance at the Bridgestone, where he finished tied for sixth, giving him four top-15 finishes in his past five starts.
Cantlay has been great all year from tee to green, ranking eighth in strokes gained this season.
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His putting — which ranks right around tour average — is what’s kept him out of the winner’s circle since breaking through for his first tour win in the fall.
The talent is there. The game is in good shape, and the PGA Championship has been a spot where players from outside that top tier snatch a major title.
I really like those 11-1 odds that he’ll finish top-5.
Betting odds: 40-1 to win; 9-1 to top-5
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Much like Cantlay, I’d imagine Finau will be a popular selection this week. He’s finished inside the top 10 in all three majors this year and seems to put together a strong performance week in and week out.
Finau is in the Brooks Koepka mold, just without Koepka’s putting ability.
Like Koepka, Finau is going to be a fixture in my major top-20 plays because his tee-to-green prowess means his game can travel to just about any setup. We’ll still be getting him in the +150 to +200 range for now, so I’m going to take advantage of those numbers while they’re still available.
As I mentioned, it’s the putter that tends to hold Finau back. But we’re on bentgrass greens this week, and he actually gains strokes putting on that surface, as opposed to Bermuda, where he is pretty bad.
Betting odds: 80-1 to win (Bovada); +1450 to top-5
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Matt Kuchar
Unlike the previous two plays, I don’t think Kuchar will get a lot of looks this week. His claim to fame has been his consistency, making him a DFS cash game staple, but over the past couple of months, he’s missed about half of his cuts. That’s caused him to lose his luster a bit in that realm.
In the betting markets, Kuchar has never really been that popular, because he’s a guy who just doesn’t win tournaments at a good clip.
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I’m going to gamble a bit with the veteran here this week, despite his missing two of his past five cuts. Why? The three times he’s made the weekend during this span, he’s finished inside the top 15, making him a decent value in the top-20 markets (+275 range).
I kind of view him in the same light as Walker when he won two years ago. It looks like Kuchar’s window has closed, and the numbers are drifting to the highest we’ve seen on him in years. But he’s playing well, and with the Ryder Cup looming, he knows a strong result could lock up a spot on Team USA.