2020 PGA Northern Trust - Predictions and Best Bets
Frankie Taddeo and Ben Heisler
The excitement and level of competition will go up a notch this week as the FedEx Cup playoffs officially begin. The PGA now heads to TPC Boston for The Northern Trust, with only the top 125 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings eligible to play in this week’s event. Consequently, the sport’s best talent opens up the betting board to immense opportunities.
Last week, when Jim Herman took down the Wyndham Championship at odds of 1,027/1, he enabled sportsbooks to crush PGA bettors. Since Herman was so far down the betting board the books found themselves with ‘limited if any’ pre-tournament liability. With the amount of talent in this field, bettors will not see this week’s winner even come close to those ‘moon-shot’ odds.
So who will emerge and take down the Northern Trust this week? Our team of experts, as well as sharp plays from across the pond and in Vegas, will once again help you find a way to make this week’s stop on the PGA Tour a profitable endeavor.
Let’s dive right in.
Former No. 1 player in the world Tiger Woods will be back on the links this weekend in Boston and arrives at attractive odds of +3500. Bryson DeChambeau who is in peak form with five top 10’s and one victory since the PGA restart earns the top perch atop the Circa Sportsbook odds board at +1225. The No. 8 ranked player in the world also has a proven track record at the course, earning a win at TPC Boston back in 2018.
Rounding out the top five according to the oddsmakers are Justin Thomas (+1325), Jon Rahm (+1325), Rory McIIroy (+1475) and Xander Schauffele (+1785). Just outside the top five is a player sure to offer value; Collin Morikawa at +2145. The current No. 5 player in the world has won two of the last four events (Workday Charity Event and PGA Championship) he has played.
Patrick Reed, who won the event in 2019 and 2016 checks in at odds of +4100. Additionally, Dustin Johnson (+1800) won this event in 2017 and Jason Day (+3045) took it home in 2015. Both golfers spotlight an elite field of previous winners.
The Northern Trust Details
Dates: August 20-23, 2020
Course: TPC Boston in Massachusetts
TV: GOLF; CBS
Our team of red-hot gambling experts, have compiled their approach to The Northern Trust from a betting perspective.
In addition, located below is sharp wagering information from both Vegas and London, England.
Let’s take a look at the odds as well as the team’s best bets and more!
Northern Trust Predictions and Best Bets
Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)
The Northern Trust Sharp Action Breakdown
Metric Gaming’s Golf Desk located in London, England has been on fire with sharp picks since the PGA’s return. Their model stayed scorching hot last week at the Wyndham Championship as Billy Horschel (+3590) came up just short with a runner-up finish. Horschel, who failed to convert birdie attempts on the final two holes, still cashed nicely at solid plus-odds for the UK Sharps in top 5, top 10, top 15, and top 20 wagering. In addition, longshot play of Bud Cauley at odds of +10300 cashed in top 15 and top 20, securing another solid payday.
According to Daniel Banham, Director of Trading, the Metric Gaming team is enthusiastically looking forward to the beginning of the FedEx Cup playoffs this week.
There are six players the UK sharps have their sights set on this week in Boston.
“Another phenomenal field, at a spectacular venue —and it looks like perfect golf weather all four days,” said Banham.
“The recurring theme of favorites prices being too short, is yet again the case this week. To be honest; in our opinion, there isn’t much difference in value between Bryson DeChambeau (+1225) and Daniel Berger (+3500) this week. Accordingly, all value is to be found above +2500, and there's a lot of it. We have an unusual six strong plays from our model.”
Metric Gaming’s model points to Jason Day at odds of +3045.
“His game is in such tremendous shape. Day has four Top 7s in his last four starts, and with confidence back with the putter, the model points to superb value.”
Secondly, the UK-based team is fond of Daniel Berger at odds of +3500.
“Berger is starting to look like a bona fide winner on the PGA tour. After recovering from injury, his game has certainly gone up a notch, and the market hasn’t really picked it up yet.”
Third, Gary Woodland is a guy who has played very good golf in stretches since the restart, but has been unable to put it together for four rounds. This week the model is drawn to his odds of +6850.
“Losing a lot of weight always requires some readjustment—notwithstanding, we’re starting to see some encouraging signs of him getting back to his best.”
Finally, Metric’s longshot plays this week are as follows:
Corey Conners (+15200)
“For as good a ball striker this 28 year-old is, this is simply too big of a price. If his putter can get hot, watch out.”
Jason Kokrak (+23000)
“Kokrak is one of those players always flying under the radar. He’s great off the tee (long and relatively straight). He’s posted three top-25s at this course over the last five years, and offers tremendous value for top 15 and top 20 wagers.”
Cameron Davis (+28000)
“The young Australian has plenty of potential, and this“birdie” course should suit his game perfectly. Driving accuracy is always a concern, but he has enough length to overpower TPC Boston.”
Vegas Whispers & Beyond
According to Patrick Eichner, Director of Communications at PointsBet Sportsbook, the action on the Northern Trust this week is as follows:
“Our most bet golfers to win the Northern Trust this weekend are Tiger Woods, Jason Day, Tony Finau, Daniel Berger and Colin Morikawa,” said Eichner.
“Our top liabilities for the event include, Tiger Woods, Bryson DeChambeau, Doc Redman, Kevin Na and Brendan Steele.”
In terms of sharp wagers,”some of our sharper clients like to focus on top 20/30/40 markets rather than our outright winner offering. We have seen a decent amount of sharp action come in on Dylan Frittelli (top 30; +400), Mark Hubbard (top 30; +500), Sam Burns (top 30; +500) and Henrik Norlander (top 30; +500). On 72-hole tournament matchups, the sharps have targeted Tony Finau (-110) over Hideki Matsuyama and Ryan Palmer (-125) over Chez Reavie.”
Ben Heisler, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Editor (@bennyheis)
Best Bets to Win
Jason Day (+3045)
It’s taken me a long time to come around on Jason Day, but at some point, the numbers have to speak for themselves.
He has four consecutive top 10 finishes, with his two best finishes coming in the most difficult conditions at the PGA Championship at Harding Park as well as the Memorial at Jack’s place.
Day’s fourth in strokes gained: total over his last 24 rounds. He also makes for a terrific DFS play; pricing $2,000 less than that of Justin Thomas while simultaneously delivering even better results. He’s locked in with excellent odds for how good his recent form has been.
Patrick Reed (+4100)
If you would have told me he’d be near the top of both my cash game lineups and betting card this week, I would have laughed and said, “Who, me?” But the reality is Reed has two top 13 finishes in the last 16 rounds he’s played in, two of them being in the top 10. He’s top 20 in SG: total, SG: off-the-tee, and SG: approach over his past 24 rounds and won this event last year!
Here’s the rub, this actually wasn’t played at TPC Boston, but at Liberty National instead. Regardless, Reed has gone 7 for 7 in made cuts at TPC Boston and has three top-six finishes to boot.
Best Value Plays
Sungjae Im (+5900)
We finally got an old school Sungjae performance last week at the Wyndham Championship!
Granted, when I say “old school” I’m referring to Im’s red-hot tournament scores before the pandemic. Last week was by far and away his best round since the restart, finishing top seven in SG: off-the-tee en route to a T9.
Im is as streaky as they come, so now’s the ideal time to hop on and ride the wave at TPC Boston.
Tyrell Hatton (+6000)
Simply by looking at Hatton’s last two rounds doesn’t paint the full picture of where things have gone wrong. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship, and finished T69 at the FedEx St. Jude, but it was in large part to some inconsistencies with his putter. Before that, Hatton had three top-four finishes, including a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Via Pat Mayo, Hatton’s ball striking at the PGA was some of the best it’s been all season, and if he can keep that part of his game going while regaining his putting stroke, he’s one of my favorite bets on the board.
Russell Henley (+14700)
Henley remains the guy that the metrics keep spitting out, but nobody wants to buy with a packed field. He has the number one ranked SG: approach over his last 24 rounds, he’s 12th in SG: total, and finished with a T9 last week.
The usual knock on Henley is he can’t putt, and based on the numbers, the knock would be correct. He ranks 111th in SG: putting over his past 24 but according to Jason Sobel of the Action Network, Henley finished +1.73 in strokes gained putting over his final three days of the Wyndham. Perhaps he’s caught fire at the right time?
Denny McCarthy (+38000)
This is a "Run Rick Good" inspired moonshot pick to be completely transparent. In his research, he found that McCarthy, the number one putter on tour put together his best strokes gained: approach of his career last week en route to a top 10 finish last week.
If it’s a mirage, McCarthy will at best hang around and likely make the cut. If it’s real, then we may see another phenomenal outing where he’ll more than pay off his DFS salary, and potentially hover around the top of the leaderboard. 380/1 as a legitimate play this week? Golf is nuts!
Shawn Childs, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst (@Shawn__Childs)
Best Bets to Win
Rory McIlroy (+1475)
There hasn’t been a McIlroy sighting on the top ten leaderboard on Sunday since early March. He continues to lack the fire needed to be one of the best players in his era. McIlroy can bash the ball with the best of them, but his putter shows his inner lack of confidence. Over his last six events, he finished 32nd, 41st, 11th, 32th, 47th, and 33rd, which came after a string of seven straight top-five finishes with a pair of wins. The bottom line here is McIlroy needs to eliminate the mistakes/bad holes and seize his birdie chances. He is too good of a player to continue to post mediocre results. I expect him to be in contention this week while also winning this event in 2016 (different course – Bethpage Black).
Xander Schauffele (+1785)
Over the last two trips to the Northern Trust, Schauffele turned in two unimpressive finishes (53rd and 49th). He leads this field in greens in regulation over his last 50 rounds while also ranking highly in strokes gained from tee to green (6th) and ball striking (7th). Heading into this golf season, Schauffele had four wins over the previous three years with 76 tournaments. He played well in his last two events (6th and 10th) while extending his cut streak to 11. Schauffele posted six rounds under 70 over the past two weeks. In nine of his 14 chances on Sunday since October 31st in 2019, he shot under 70 with success in his last three showings (69, 66, and 67).
Best Value Play
Patrick Reed (+4100)
Over his last eight rounds, Reed shot under 70 seven times highlighted by his 64 last Sunday at the Wyndham Championship. Based on finishes, his game is trending forward over his last three tournaments (47th, 13th, and 9th). Reed played well in this event from 2015 to 2017 (4th, 5th, and 6th). He has seven top-tens and a win over his last 17 tournaments. Reed shines with his putter in many weeks while also ranking high in birdies. For him to win, he must do a better job of hitting fairways. The lack of length on some holes should work in his favor for accuracy.
Victor Hovland (+5325)
This event will favor golfers with accuracy on their approaches and ball striking. These are two areas that Hovland graded well (top-ten player) over his last 50 rounds. His most significant shortfall early in his career has been his putter while also needing to improve his ability to hit fairways. Over the previous year, Hovland has a win (second-tier event – Puerto Rico Open) with two other top tens over 17 tournaments. His game has been up and down over the last three difficult events (48th, 59th, and 33rd). Hovland is on the rise, and he has made the cut in his previous nine outings.
Alex White, SI Fantasy & Gambling Contributor / Full Time Fantasy (@coachwhiteDFS)
Best Bets to Win
Bryson DeChambeau (+1225)
The upside is clear as day. Bryson ranks first in scoring, first off the tee, first in putting, and first in birdie or better percentage in his last 18 measured rounds on Tour. The results tell a story themselves, now with eight out of his last ten tournaments resulting in a top 10 or better with only one missed cut. Oh yeah, not to mention he won here last year and wasn’t nearly as good as he is now. I’ll continue to roster Bryson as long as he is healthy. At some point that swing could cause some functional issues but that isn’t going to be this season. Ride the hot hand.
Collin Morikawa (+2145)
The odds shot up from +3300 to +2145 in a span of one tournament. Now that his odds are where he should be, he has a chance of being overlooked. The kid has a swagger right now that can’t be matched. Like a Tiger, or a Spieth when they were in contention every week. Morikawa is soon to be in the mix every week. I honestly think he can win the FedEx Cup this season. It will all start this week when he comes out and fires a 67 on Thursday, picking up right where he left off at the PGA Championship.
Best Value Play
Jason Day (+3045)
Now with four straight top 10's it’s safe to say Jason has finally found some resemblance of his old game. The elite game on and around the greens makes him ideal for winning tournaments. Driving and iron play obviously put you in contention but putting and scrambling win tournaments. Day has the upside to make it happen at very fair odds. A win is around the corner and I would bet he gets one in the playoffs. Why not this week?
Doc Redman (+16500)
In his last event he gained strokes in all six major stat categories. He finished 3rd place and has been having the best season of his young career. It’s the playoffs…anything can happen. Redman is well worth a look at those odds.
Roy Larking, SI Gambling & Fantasy Contributor (@SIGambling)
Best Bet to Win
Justin Thomas (+1325)
Sitting second overall in the World Golf Rankings, 17.68 points behind Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas skipped the Wyndham Championship. Thomas is looking to rebound from a rough outing as he finished T37 at the PGA Championship. Prior to that, Thomas shot a four round 267 (-13) and won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational by three strokes over Phil Mickelson and Tom Lewis. Thomas won the Dell Technologies Championship when it was played at TPC Boston in 2017.
Best Value Play
Daniel Berger (+3500)
Apart from a missed cut at the Memorial Tournament - Daniel Berger has been amongst the leaders on a weekly basis. Berger had three straight top ten finishes prior to the shutdown. Since the tour restart, Berger has won the Charles Schwab Challenge and posted top five finishes at the RBC Heritage (T3) and the FedEx St. Jude Invitational (T2). Prior to taking last week off, Berger finished T13 during the PGA Championship. I like the value in his moneyline price.
Top 10 Finish
Dustin Johnson +230
Following a win at the Travelers Championship, Dustin Johnson missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament and withdrew from the 3M Open due to a back injury. Playing well the last two weeks, Johnson finished T12 at the St. Jude Invitational and T2 during the PGA Championship. Including four top 10 finishes, Johnson has made the cut in nine straight tournaments at TPC Boston. He won this event when it was played at Glen Oaks Golf Club in New York in 2017.
Favorite Matchup Play
Bryson DeChambeau (-130) over Rory McIlroy (+105)
Over his last ten tournaments, DeChambeau has eight top right finishes and has placed in the top five six times. Prior to skipping the Wyndham Championship last week, DeChambeau posted T4 at the PGA Championship. Something isn’t right with Rory McIlroy as he has finished 32nd or worse during five of his last six events. McIlroy sat out last week after a T33 at the PGA Championship. Both players have enjoyed success at TPC Boston – bet on the hotter golfer.