Our Staff’s 16 Best Golf Betting Picks For the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
- The WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational kicks off on Thursday at 11 a.m. ET, and our staff has plenty of betting insights to keep you entertained throughout the weekend.
- Get our 16 favorite golf bets for this tournament at TPC Southwind below -- outright winners, finishing position bets, matchups and more.
It is crowded at the top of the golf world right now.
Jon Rahm, fresh off his win at Memorial, is the new World No. 1 and, for the first time since the Return to Golf began, the tournament favorite. The Spaniard is the only golfer with single-digit odds (+850, $10 wins $85) for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational but he’s got plenty of illustrious company at the top of the oddsboard.
Justin Thomas (+1000), Rory McIlroy (+1150) and Bryson DeChambeau (+1200) are right behind Rahm but things get incredibly crowded in the next tier as there are 13 golfers between +1800 and +3500. That means that 22% of the 78-player field is 35-1 or shorter.
How should you play this wide-open event? Our golf analysts pick out their favorite outright bets, sleeper picks, props and matchup plays for the 2020 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational:
Justin Thomas (+1000)
JT won this event two years ago, but of course, that was the final time it was played as the WGC-Bridgestone and was held in Ohio, so that shouldn’t have much bearing on this one. Except, it sorta does. In his last seven WGC starts, Thomas has finished 12th or better in six of ‘em. He clearly enjoys showing up and showing off against his fellow world’s best players.
Since the restart, Thomas has fallen victim to short periods of poor play, from opening nine-hole stretches to the closing three-hole stretch at the Workday Charity Open. It feels like he’s close, though, to putting it all together for four straight rounds. He was T-12 at this event last year, which underscores a bigger point.
In today’s world, the most recent winner – whomever it is – often receives the deserved instant adulation on Monday morning; we’ve seen this for the likes of Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa and Jon Rahm since the restart. Let’s remember, though, that JT has played 18 tournaments in the past year.
He’s missed three cuts. In the 15 where he’s reached the weekend, he’s never finished lower than 18th place. I don’t think anyone has been questioning his talent, it’s just a matter of talking up others after those wins.
It’s only a matter of time, though, before Thomas wins again and all signs could be pointing toward him this week.
Patrick Reed (+3500)
Anytime Reed dips below 30-1 he’s worth a look. And considering the 29-year-old southpaw closed out Memorial strong, finished 12th here last year and already picked up a win in a WGC event this season, I think he’s in range for an outright bet in this field.
Reed drove the ball about as well as he has all year at Muirfield Village so if he can carry that over and keep up his usual short-game prowess
He’s also finished inside the top 15 here a couple of times including 12th a year ago. Reed drove the ball about as well as he has all year at Muirfield Village so if he can carry that over and keep up his usual short game prowess, then he’ll have a shot to contend on Sunday.
Tyrrell Hatton (+3000)
Whenever there’s wind and/or bad weather I immediately look towards European players and Hatton is my favorite of the bunch this week considering his current form and the fact that he won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which was the last tournament played in blustery conditions.
There’s also some statistical reasons to be bullish on Hatton, as the Englishman ranks 14th in ball-striking and second in approach in 2019-20.
Hatton has finished inside the top-20 (including two wins) in nine of his past 10 events, so it’s pretty clear this guy shows up to win.
Viktor Hovland (+3100)
I agree with Collin on the Hatton pick; he’s probably my favorite value of the week. But to mix it up, let me highlight the 22-year-old Norwegian youngster who is playing as well as anyone in the world since the return of golf following the COVID-19 hiatus.
In his six events since the return, he’s been inside the top-25 in all but the Memorial, which obviously played brutally tough. Still, he had a very solid two days to start before falling off; it’s tough to penalize him too much for that.
This week I want guys who can really rack up birdies, and Hovland’s been among the best in that regard, ranking fifth in recent birdies per tournament since COVID. Further, I really want guys who sit high in Total Driving, which combines distance and accuracy. Among the top of that list you’ll find guys like Paul Casey (who I really like this week, too), Jon Rahm and Bryson DeChambeau. Among them, though, is Hovland.
This maybe swerving into the narrative lane a little too much, but I also want guys who are going to be highly motivated to win even with a major in the very near distance. Hovland is young and hungry, and his form shows that he’s really dialed in right now. Sign me up over 30/1.
Matt Wallace (+15000)
Expect Wallace to be a popular play on the heels of his T-4 finish at the Memorial two weeks ago. He clearly plays well when conditions are tougher and the wind is blowing, which could be the case this week.
He’s now played a half-dozen U.S.-based events since the restart and his results are largely improving, which suggests an increasing comfort level. A share of 27th place at this event last year doesn’t scream at us to back him, but a third-round 65 proves that he owns the ability to post a low one here.
Even if you’re skittish to play him outright, he’s a nice top-10 play at 9/1.
Matt Wallace (+15000)
Wallace has put together a string of good results and he’s shown the ability to contend in strong fields before, so I think he’s worth a punt at this number.
The Englishman will need to sharpen his approach this week to contend, but his tee-ball and short game have both looked great recently.
Robert MacIntyre +22500
I guess I have a type this week in young Euro golfers. MacIntyre is a 23-year-old from Scotland who played collegiately at McNeese State and currently plays on the Euro Tour.
He’s definitely not at the level of Viktor Hovland or Collin Morikawa, but the kid clearly has game and showed it last year with a sixth at the Open Championship in a field nearly identical to this one.
I actually like his fit at this course: He can brave the elements, and he’s fairly long for the Euro Tour, which will be necessary to keep up with this field.
The two big concerns with him are his current form, as he hasn’t played since the COVID-19 layoff, and his accuracy off the tee. But if you’re looking for a dart in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker that a lot of casual golfers haven’t heard of, MacIntyre has intriguing upside.
Max Homa +15000
Homa is definitely interesting to me in the wind after what he showed during the third round of the blustery Arnold Palmer Invitational. The 29-year-old posted the low score in windy conditions that day and I think he’s got a chance of contending in this field if Mother Nature does play a big role.
Homa also seemed to figure things out during his third-place finish at the 3M Open last week. That was an encouraging performance from Homa, who posted great ball-striking and approach metrics, after three straight missed cuts.
Patrick Reed Top-20 Finish (+150)
Two-thirds of this week’s 78-man field will be out of contention by the weekend. Many of them will mentally check out, ready to move on to next week’s PGA Championship. I want players who tend to grind, even when they can’t win. This idea fits Reed perfectly.
In three of his four made cuts since the restart – at the Charles Schwab, the Travelers and the Memorial – Reed improved his leaderboard standing greatly on the weekend. At Colonial, he was T-35 entering the weekend and finished T-7; at TPC River Highlands, he was T-53 entering the weekend and finished T-24; at the second Muirfield Village event, he was T-64 entering the weekend and finished T-10.
You’re going to need a guy this week who doesn’t mail it in when he’s out of contention and Reed has proven he can be that guy.
Billy Horschel Top-20 Finish (+175)
Horschel was a little short for me to go to him in the outright market, but I do think he has a good chance to play well this week.
The Florida Gator is coming off a pair of top-20 finishes at Muirfield Village and was ninth here last year. Prior to that, Horschel finished inside the top-10 in four of the last five PGA TOUR stops at TPC Southwind.
Billy Horschel Top-20 Finish (+175)
I typically don’t love doubling up a pick, but I’ll use the opportunity to emphasize Horschel, who I really love this week.
The dude is playing awesome golf right now with a 13th and seventh in his last two events. The most recent one at the Memorial was particularly impressive. That was a brutal course, and Horschel played well from literally everywhere; he had almost no weaknesses. His ball-striking was amazing, and he was very accurate off-the-tee, which will be important this week.
I’ll definitely take nearly 2/1 on him getting a third straight top-20.
Viktor Hovland Top-20 Finish (+120)
After taking a road trip that spanned almost two months and over 60 hours of driving time, Viktor Hovland finally got a little rest by skipping the 3M Open.
Sure, it’ll still take him seven hours to drive from Stillwater to TPC Southwind, but Hovland should be fresh for this event.
Hovland ranks inside the top-20 in ball-striking this season and he’s been even more impressive with his approach, ranking eighth among TOUR players.
Billy Horschel (+110) over Tony Finau
Fresh off yet another heartbreaker, Finau is obviously playing well right now, but at some point, another close call is going to take a mental toll on him.
Throw in the fact that he made an 11th hour caddie selection this week and (unlike most others in the field) didn’t get any time off before this daunting two-week stretch and Finau is a fade for me — especially against Horschel, whom I think is a very nice play.
A guy who so often feeds off momentum, he’s coming off finishes of T-13 and T-7 in his last two starts, so he’s trending in the right direction.
Patrick Reed (-110) over Hideki Matsuyama
Odds via the Westgate SuperBook
If I think Reed can win this week, I’ll definitely take a chance with him against Hideki.
Reed can provide trouble in the head-to-head markets because his game is so volatile, but Hideki really struggled with his ball-striking last time out and his well-known issues with the putter tend to get amplified on Bermuda. He’s had gained strokes with the putter on the surface since the Tour Championship last year.
Paul Casey (-118) over Jordan Spieth
I really like Casey this week. On the season, he is first in the world in Total Driving, which combines distance off the tee and accuracy. That will be important at this course, which isn’t super short and has water in play often.
His recent form is admittedly quite strange: Last week at the 3M Open, for example, he was great and long off the tee. He nailed a ton of greens. The ball-striking was supreme. The putting, though … boy was it awful.
Hopefully he’ll figure that out, because if he does he can definitely find himself in contention. Given course fit and those encouraging signs, I’ll buy him over Spieth this week.
Rickie Fowler (+100) over Jason Day
This is a bullish play on Fowler more than a bear play on his opponent in this matchup.
Give Jason Day credit for finishing top 10 at the Workday Charity Open and Memorial Tournament, both in his backyard at Muirfield Village. But if you draw a line through those tournaments, Day has not looked great recently.
Fowler is known for his ability to play well in the wind and, despite a missed cut at Memorial, showed some good signs at The Rocket Mortgage Classic and The Workday Charity Open.