Top Of The Props: Look Beyond The Straight Bet During Thursday’s PGA Tour Return

Attention New Jersey golf bettors: props are calling.

An interesting wagering landscape involves top names and potential sleepers when the Charles Schwab Challenge restarts the PGA Tour on Thursday in Fort Worth, Texas.

It may be fun to bet top-rated Cory McIlroy to win the tournament at +750 at DraftKings Sportsbook and +800 at FanDuel. Odds go even higher for the rest of the field and may indeed suggest a wager.

But it’s also savvy to throw a larger prop-bet net over your money and accept a smaller return by placing great players to finish in the Top 10, Top 20 or Top 30 spots.

These positions denote value for bettors who want to make one large wager and believe their favorite golfers will be in the hunt.

Two equalizers make this field even less predictable than most others.  Golfers have not competed in three months and four consecutive days of temperatures near 100 degrees will affect some players.

Here are some of the most significant prop bets at FanDuel and DraftKings.

PGA Tour betting: Top 10, Top 20, Top 30 prop bets

This is a good betting area for someone who wants to make a big wager on a prime name.

McIlroy, the world’s number one player, presents a promising payoff of -105 at FanDuel and -112 at DraftKings to finish in the Top 10.

He has appeared in six events this season, with top 10 finishes in all of them.

McIlroy also notched a win at the WGC-HSBC Champions. He’s finished no worse than fifth, and is averaging a tour best 68.6 strokes per round.

One assessment would consider McIlroy a no-brainer in the Top 10. Contrarian bettors, however, think he is due for a down tournament and that he may be overbet at these odds.

If you think McIlroy can hit the Top 10 again, he’s a good price. He averages a tour-best $633,000 per event.

A wager that’s close to even money on a star performer will lure a big bettor to slam it.

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Longshots in the Top 20 are worth a bet

A similar scenario involves Jon Rahm, the second leading tournament favorite. He is +155 at FanDuel and +125 to hit the Top 10 at DraftKings.

Justin Thomas is + 195 at FanDuel and +188 at DraftKings to finish in the Top 10.

Why does Thomas deserve a long look? Well, he’s only the leading money winner on the tour, at $4.2 million. He’s won two tournaments this year. Top 10 may not be too much to ask.

At the Top 20 mark, golfers like McIlroy get expensive. But there’s a value play in Sungjae Im, one of the most consistent players on tour.

Im has been a grinder, annexing $3.8 million in 14 tournaments. He also has a victory this year and averages more than a quarter-million dollars in every tournament he enters.

Im is +160 for the top 20 at FanDuel and +175 at DraftKings. Pretty nice return for a golfer who is the FedEx points leader this year. Im plays in more tournaments than most players.

The odds board reflects the sentiment that he wouldn’t beat all the top players assembled here.

But hitting the Top 20 or 30 is not unreasonable to ask. Im has reached the top 10 in five of his tournaments this year. He’s also even money for the Top 30 at FanDuel and +110 at DraftKings.

This is a strong consideration for the player who wants to make a big bet where he/she sees an edge. Betting in New Jersey just got more interesting.

Top USA Golfer prop bet odds at FanDuel

And speaking of interesting, there’s a prop for the top USA Golfer at FanDuel.

Let Ireland’s McIlroy run crazy and win the tournament by eight strokes. Let Rahm, from Spain, shoot the lights out over four rounds.

Thomas is the leading money winner on tour and he is +1000 to be the top American golfer. Webb Simpson is +1800. Brooks Koepka is +1500. Patrick Reed is + 1900.

This wager has great value. A Thomas bettor essentially receives 10-1 to beat a handful of top contenders. Based on recent efforts, he may have to worry about five or six strong opponents in this group, but the payback is 10-1

FanDuel Bonus Play and how it works

FanDuel Sportsbook lists an Under-Par bonus with an opt-in requirement.

The premise is pretty basic but worth a look for NJ bettors if only for the possible bonus cash.

Place a $50+ pre-match outright wager on a golfer to win the 2020 Charles Schwab Challenge and get $3 for every stroke they finish under par.

  • Minimum $50 pre-match outright winner wager
  • Earn a $3 bonus in site credit for every stroke your selected player finishes the tournament under par (ex: select Mcllroy to win and if he finishes 5 strokes below par, you will receive a $15 bonus in site credit)
  • One eligible wager per person; in the event of multiple wagers, the first wager placed will be deemed eligible
  • Odds boosts ineligible; cash out & live bets ineligible

DraftKings and its Golf Stroke Special

And for the DraftKings fan watching the action on Thursday, you can opt-in and place a $25+ pre-tournament bet on any player to win.

Users will get a $2 free bet for every stroke their chosen player finishes under par for the entire tournament.

For example, if a player finishes -10 the user gets a $20 free bet.

This odds boost expires at 7:50 a.m. ET on Thursday, just before the tournament swings into action. And there’s no max on the total winnings.

There are other specials at NJ online sportsbooks to watch for as the golf event progresses. So keep your eyes peeled.

A note about PGA Tour leaderboard prop bets

Some props list leaders after a particular round.

The dead-heat rule affects two or more players tied for the top spot. If two players are tied, for instance, a 10-1 prop will pay 5-1.

Leaders after the first round always create speculation. That’s because it’s right around the corner. There is no rhyme nor reason to who will have the lead but value plays receiving a lot of talk include Jordan Spieth at 50-1.

Defending champion Kevin Na and fifth-leading money winner Marc Leishman are also 50-1.

About the Author

Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and IGaming Player, among others.