PGA Championship 2020: Our 8 favorite value bets at Harding Park
Unless betting big favorites for small profits is what you’re into, every experienced gambler is looking for value. There’s no better place to find it than in golf, especially at a major, where the betting possibilities are absolutely endless.
Our goal in this post is to help you find some of those deeper numbers that will give you the most bang for your buck this week at the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park. You won’t find many outright picks or “dark horses” below (though you can find all that good stuff here too). The wagers we’ve chosen vary from top 20 to top 20 after the first round to best 18-hole score of the tournament to first-round leader. They’re all longshots, but all it takes is one longshot to have yourself a winning week.
Here are our 8 favorite value bets for the first major championship of 2020 (all odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook).
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest Assistant editor: Adam Scott, Top-20 finish (+300) — Back in March, Adam Scott would have been even money, possibly even minus odds to finish inside the top 20 in a PGA Tour event. Same would have gone for the Masters, as he would have been just a few months removed from a win at Riviera. His long layoff has caused a major overcorrection in his odds, and it might scare some bettors away from betting him entirely. I’d rather hop on the No. 9 ranked player in the world just to crack the top 20 at some juicy odds this week. Scott has finished inside the top 20 in seven of his last nine PGA Championship appearances, and he has 24 top 20s in majors over the last decade. His game is built to contend in the biggest events, and I like him to do so again this week, long layoff or not.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Tony Finau, Top-20 after Round 1 (+350) — Tony Finau has been a top-10 machine in majors, and he’s known to get especially hot early in the week. These odds are really attractive – you’d figure a 68 or better should lock up a top 20. Finau’s power off the tee should put him in position, and though he’s had trouble closing the deal, you don’t have to sweat that part!
CP: Harris English, Leader after Round 1 (80-1) — Just three players on the PGA Tour average 68.6 or lower on Thursdays this season. Three of them are named Rory, Bryson and Patrick (Cantlay). The fourth is Harris English, who is double the odds of all three of them to lead the PGA after Round 1. The Georgia Bulldog doesn’t have great history in the majors, but he doesn’t need to for this bet. Five times this season he’s opened with a 66 or lower.
Christian Petersen/PGA of America
SH: Charl Schwartzel, Top-20 finish (+750) — You’re forgiven if you weren’t analyzing the strokes-gained data from the 3M Open, but don’t worry … we were. Quietly Schwartzel contended at TPC Twin Cities on the strength of a fire tee-to-green game (gaining 6.3 strokes on the field), which should translate at TPC Harding Park.
CP: Jordan Spieth, Best 18-hole round score of the tournament (66-1) — If you clicked on this link and saw the picture, you may have expected a Spieth outright pick. Under no circumstances should you bet on him to win right now, especially a PGA where he will be penalized severely for missing the fairway. That said, he absolutely has one great round in him every week, provided he makes every putt he sees. A moving day 64 from the back of the pack is not out of the question for the three-time major champ.
SH: Brendon Todd (90-1), Michael Thompson (100-1), First-round leader — These are some of the most fun bets you can make. Your guy can completely fall apart, you just need one hot round on Thursday! And Michael Thompson and Brendon Todd have been hot, fairway-hitting machines in the past month, so that’ll give them a chance for a decent start.
CP: Cameron Champ, Outright Winner (175-1) — I know we said no outrights, but this is too good to pass up. Champ, who is second only to Bryson DeChambeau in strokes-gained: off-the-tee and driving distance this year, has quietly collected three top 25s since the restart. His problem is capitalizing on his big drives with solid approach play and putting. Maybe he can rise to the occasion this week in the state he was born in.
SH: Make the Cut Parlay: Patrick Cantlay (-435), Gary Woodland (-275), Tyrrell Hatton (-275), Adam Scott (-225), Max Homa (-155), Marc Leishman (-150), Brendon Todd (-143) (All yes to make the cut: 15-1) — These are all consistent players who excel tee-to-green, which is what you want at TPC Harding Park. 15-to-1 odds … extreme value and a crazy fun bet to sweat before the weekend. You’re welcome!