Tour Championship Betting Guide: Is This the Year to Bet the Favorites?

Tour Championship Betting Guide: Is This the Year to Bet the Favorites? article feature image

Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Billy Horschel

  • The usual favorites on the PGA tour have not won the past four events heading into the Tour Championship.
  • Justin Rose (+750), Dustin Johnson (+800) and Rory McIlroy (+900) are at the top-3 favorites to win.
  • Longshot Aaron Wise (+6600) could be in play for a top-10 finish.

For a three-year stretch, the FedEx Cup Playoffs were a stage where stars shined.

That seemed to change a year ago at this event, when Xander Schauffele won the Tour Championship at +8000.

Put that win alongside the two Bryson DeChambeau wins, and Keegan Bradley‘s triumph a couple weeks ago and we’ve had four straight events without anyone near the top of the betting odds winning.

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This year, it’s been a combination of things. DeChambeau was a prospect who many figured could make into the game’s elite class. That time is now, and the days of betting him at +6600 are probably gone.

We’ve also seen some indifferent form from many of the stars outside of Justin Rose. Just looking at this week’s 30-person season finale, Rose, Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy are at the top of the betting.

The Favorites

Rose is the favorite at +750, DJ is next in line at +800 and Rory checks in at +900. Among this trio, I’d lean toward Rory. He won the Tour Championship before in 2016 and finished tied for second in 2014. He’s just as likely for me to take this down as Rose.

The next range of guys doesn’t do much for me from a value perspective. Justin Thomas at +1100, Brooks Koepka at +1200, Tiger Woods at +1400 and Rickie Fowler at +1600 all look like they’re priced about right.


My card will actually start in the next range with a pair of players. I’ll be targeting Billy Horschel at +2800 and Webb Simpson at +3000.

At East Lake, I’m looking for a basic combo of form and course history. Horschel is playing well and has won here.

His approach game has been on point for months now. He’s gained strokes in every event since the St. Jude in June. When he’s added a good putting week to the approach game, he’s been able to rack up top-five finishes.

Simpson recently struggled with the approach side of things in the first two events but seemed to figure out that part of the game at the BMW two weeks ago.

The tee ball hurt him since his win at the Players. He’s lost strokes in six of his past eight events because he’s been more errant. He’ll need to find fairways this week, and if he does, I think the iron play and short game can keep him in contention.

That’s pretty much it for outright winners right now. With a 30-person field, there usually isn’t a whole lot of value. Guys don’t come out of nowhere for this event very often.

The form usually holds true, and we get a winner who is playing really well heading into the week. Even though Schauffele won as a longshot last year, I just tend to stay clear of that whole area.

Aaron Wise is of some interest to me at +6600, but he’s more likely just going to be a top-10 play in the +400 range. He’s had a couple of good playoff results already and is probably undervalued considering the names at the bottom of the odds sheet.

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