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

Prop bets are plentiful at NJ online sportsbooks ahead of the Charles Schwab Challenge. DraftKings and FanDuel are ripe with specials for PGA’s 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.

Don’t Discount The Longshots When The PGA Tour Swings Back Into Action Next Week

PGA Tour returns next week with the Charles Schwab Challenge. Rory McIlroy is the favorite, but some longshots are worth a look at DraftKings and FanDuel.

Golf bettors eagerly shake off the rust.

It’s been three months since handicapping skills involved the PGA Tour. The layoff ends via the Charles Schwab Challenge next week on June 11-14 in Dallas.

Seeing the sportsbook board may carry the emotional lift of a 300-yard drive, dead straight, to the NJ sports betting community.

In other words, golf is back!

For next week’s tournament, the leaderboard looks something like this:

Rory McIlroy, the world’s top-ranked player, opened +750 at DraftKings Sportsbook early this week. He was followed by:

  • Jon Rahm at +900
  • Justin Thomas at +1400
  • Webb Simpson at +1800.

Some notable contrasts, good for wagering, occurred at other books.

FanDuel Sportsbook lists Rahm at +1200, a substantial difference versus DraftKings for one of his backers. That’s a $300 difference for a $100 wager.

Simpson is +2200 at FanDuel, a $400 swing.

Dustin Johnson has bigger odds at DraftKings (+2800) than at FanDuel (+2500).

Countdown week presents time to dig deeper.

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Longshots may have an edge in Charles Schwab Challenge

The tour layoff favors a longshot emerging.

If you find one, it’s a good idea to bet early, especially if it’s great odds on a big name, before the numbers change.

Some excellent prices abound. Patrick Reed is the fourth leading money winner of 2020, with $3.2 million. Yet he’s well down on the odds board, at 28-1 at DraftKings.

Reed has finished in the top 10 in four of the last seven starts on the PGA Tour, which includes his eighth career PGA Tour victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February.

He’s also in the top 10 for scoring average (69.6) and birdie average (4.50), hardly the numbers of a 28-1 tournament pick.

Reed is a longshot worthy of respect. So is Marc Leishman.

He’s fifth on the money list. And 40-1 at DraftKings (31-1 at FanDuel). Leishman finished second in the last PGA event, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, in early March.

Do plus numbers on favorites seem unusual?

They happen because the winner must prevail in a field of 140 participants across four rounds.

As this tournament draws closer, watch to see if some attractive prop bets like a Top 5 or Top 10 finish is posted. They will add a betting dimension.

McIlroy is consistent

McIlroy, as the gallery would say if they could assemble, is “Da Man.”

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.

Keys to his success include a 320-yard driving average, second on tour, and a perfect 14-for-14 scrambling ability around the fringe.

He has been stellar either at saving par or stealing birdie when he hasn’t reached the green in regulation.

McIlroy presents another relevant variable. His $3.8 million in 2020 has been earned in just six events. McIlroy has averaged $633,000 per event, best on the tour.

And he plans to be active.

McIlroy will play this tournament, the upcoming RBC Heritage in South Carolina and the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, hitting three tournaments in a four-week span.

He should be cranking by the end of June.

Golf betting tips: players to keep an eye on

There are others who have made the most of their 2020 opportunities.

Thomas leads the circuit with $4.2 million in just eight events. That’s more than $500,000 per appearance.

Simpson earned $2.75 million in five attempts, also well more than half-a-million per tournament.

Reed has a respectable $3.2 million in eight events, a $400,000 average,

SungJae Im has been a grinder, annexing $3.8 million in 14 tournaments. He also has a victory this year.

These are players used to finding the leaderboard, regardless of whether they win.

The tour has a statistic regarding the percentage of available money earned for events entered. Among the best performers:

  • Simpson is 40.64%
  • McIlroy is at 38.26%
  • Thomas stands at 35.2%
  • Reed is 25.72%
  • Bryson DeChambeu is 22.98%
  • Leishman is 21.98%

This is interesting because it indicates that players may skip several tournaments but remain among the money leaders.

Another betting angle concerns players who have enjoyed success at this event.

The last five winners of the tournament all take part in this one and would pay substantially if they rediscovered the magic.

That list includes Kevin Na (55-1), Justin Rose (45-1), Kevin Kiser (80-1), Jordan Spieth (55-1), and Chris Kirk (200-1) at DraftKings.

Handicapping a golf shutdown

Who is ready? This is hard to tell.

When golf departed the scene in March, there was no projected return. There is no way to quantify who practiced more or remained in top form while the tour was in limbo.

It will be interesting to watch players evolve week by week. But for the first couple of tournaments, regardless of computer models suggesting who plays best on specific courses, golf’s shutdown is a great equalizer.

There are no bad hunches with this tournament.

On that basis alone, it’s not a bad idea to pick some mid-range longshots along with your top picks.

For relative guidance, one can incorporate recent performances from NASCAR and UFC during their May return. They show that small and mid-sized underdogs can triumph, favorites will do well even without winning, and athletes reach professional levels, even without fans.

As in NASCAR, PGA stars take turns winning. Very little separates them. The difference is usually the Blazing Blade. The player with the hottest putter in a given week usually wins.

And anyone can get hot. There are 231 tour players with putting averages ranging from 1.68-1.88. That means the entire tour averages less than two putts per hole. If one hit the green in regulation, a two-putt would produce a par. The putting average shows how solid players are on the green.

Predicting who will emerge from the pack won’t be easy.

But it will be profitable… if you are correct.