Rory McIlroy’s first start off a recent win and Jordan Spieth’s quest for a fourth major highlight the NJ golf betting angles for Garden State online sports gamblers with the PGA Championship.
The circuit’s second major unfolds Thursday-Sunday from the Kiawah Island Resort Ocean Course in South Carolina.
How to Watch:
Thursday and Friday: 1-7 p.m., ESPN
Saturday and Sunday:10 a.m.-1p.m., ESPN, 1-7 p.m. (CBS)
McIlroy, Spieth well-represented at major NJ online sportsbooks
Heading into Thursday first-round action, DraftKings Sportsbook has McIlroy as the favorite at +1150
Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas, both at+1450, are next.
Spieth, +1500, and Bryson DeChambeau, +1650, round out the top five.
McIlroy also tops the William Hill NJ board at +1100.
Rahm is second at +1400 followed by Spieth and Thomas, both at +1600
Dustin Johnson and DeChambeau sit at +1800.
PGA Championship prop betting
NJ golf bettors can find good value in the Top 5 and Top 10 spots at William Hill.
McIlroy pays +250 for Top 5 and +130 for Top 10.
Spieth returns +300 and +163, respectively, for the same two categories.
FanDuel Sportsbook has McIlroy the favorite at +1100 and provides a little more value for Spieth at +1800.
It also fashions an excellent prop-wagering menu.
There are matchups for two, three, and four individual players.
Can players obtain a bogey-free first round on this difficult golf course? Spieth is +1400 to do that, and he’s the favorite.
Spieth is also +470 to obtain a bogey-free round in the tournament.
This prop offers strong betting value for any player you choose.
BetMGM offers a prop for Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, and Tony Finau all to make the cut at+140.
And here is a little wagering nugget: Several attractive props involve Dustin Johnson. But beware that he withdrew from last week’s Byron Nelson with a sore knee and could be nursing it here.
There is a wealth of betting opportunities before and throughout the tournament. The PGA has become one of the highest revenue-producing sports for the books because of its ability to generate both props and daily wagering.
Betting options before the tournament include:
- Win, Top 5, Top 10 finishes
- Golfers to make or miss the cut
- Nationality props
- First-round leader
- Individual matchups
Also, bets can be made throughout the weekend. They include:
- New individual head-to-head matchups
- Odds to win adjusted on a daily basis.
- Scores on an upcoming hole
Golfers in PGA Championship spotlight
McIlroy tries to parlay his Wells Fargo tour victory two weeks ago into a PGA Championship.
He snapped an 18-month winless drought by turning in an excellent performance and landed atop the leaderboards of major sportsbooks this week.
Spieth, meanwhile, seeks a personal grand slam.
He tries to become only the sixth player to win all four PGA majors, The Masters, PGA Championship, U.S. Open, and Open Championship, in his career.
He would join Ben Hogan, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Gary Player.
Ocean Course is a PGA Tour beast
There are some PGA Tour courses players dominate and win tournaments with scores greater than 20 under par.
This is the opposite. Players are on the defense here and victory may be determined by pars saved rather than birdies made.
McIlroy won the PGA Championship when it was last held at this course in 2012. He notched a final total of -13, but most of the field barely broke par.
Nineteen players finished between -5 and -1. The majority of the field was even or over par.
Credit that to the course, which fashions imposing length and a myriad of wind changes.
It is spectacular and scenic, and the longest on the tour at 7,876 yards. On several occasions, Golf Digest has ranked it the toughest course in America.
“When the wind is blowing, par on many of the holes is an excellent score,” one Golf Digest panelist wrote. “If your idea of a good time is a fistfight, this is the place for you.”
Finding value beneath the big names
Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told NJ Gambling Sites that victory could be a matter of survival.
“The winds come one way one moment and they are different the next moment,” he said. “This week is not about the long hitter. It’s about the guy who can control the swing, stay on the fairway, and hit good, accurate shots.
“The winner might be 3 or 4 under. It’s a whole different type of strategy this week.”
Avello believes some exceptional value lies just beneath the big names. He cited Patrick Cantlay at +4500 and Matsuyama at +3500. Matsuyama won The Masters, the PGA’s first major, in April.
Although McIlroy is a popular player, golf still lacks a personality with the charisma of Woods. Tiger Mania rippled across the gallery, television screens, and, in the earliest legalized sports wagering era, the books.
“People flocked to Tiger because he was on the leaderboard every week,” Avello said. “There’s just been nobody like him. These days you might have a guy who puts some great holes together and you see people cheering, but he’s not there the next week.”
Momentum bettors will like the recent performance of McIlroy’s tour victory and Spieth’s solid ninth-place finish last week at the Byron Nelson.
“We lose pretty good with Rory, so I lowered him again on Monday,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US. “People just think he’s back in stroke. Right now, we lose with him, Spieth, and Justin Thomas among the top guys. Once we get more money in the pot, which will pick up fast this week, I still don’t think we’ll get out with Spieth—we’ll lose with Spieth regardless.”
Set your PGA betting calendars
The PGA Majors schedule links April-July for sports bettors. They also act as a hub for tour players, impacting the size of fields directly before and after they unfold.
The next major is the U.S. Open, June 17-20 from Torrey Pines in California.
Then comes The Open July 15-18 from Royal St. George’s in England.
AP Photo/Matt York