2020 PGA FedEx St. Jude Invitational: Predictions & Best Bets

The SI Gambling Team breaks down their top wagers for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Plus, our SI Gambling insider Frankie Taddeo shares the sharp action from Vegas & England.
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With seven events in the books since the COVID-19 shutdown, the PGA will now head to Memphis, Tennessee for the FedEx St. Jude Invitational with an absolutely loaded field.

Brooks Koepka (35/1), who won last year's event will try and get his game back on track. He’s among a strong contingent of players ranked in the 2020 FedEx Cup standings teeing off.

Koepka set the 72-hole course record (264) in last year’s event, but has struggled since the PGA’s restart, missing the cut in two of his last three tournaments. If he is able to return to his form from last year, winning by three strokes over Webb Simpson, he could be an interesting play at healthy odds.

All eight of the top players in the World Golf Rankings will be in action: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau will headline this week’s FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Rahm returns to action for this first time since garnering World No. 1 status after his win in the Memorial.

Daniel Berger could be worth a strong look at odds of (+3200) as he won the FedEx St. Jude Classic back in 2016 and 2017 and has been in peak form, winning the first event of the PGA’s return in the Charles Schwab Challenge last month.

Dustin Johnson (+2650), who burned many bettors and DFS players when he suddenly withdrew from the 3M Open due to an apparent back injury, will return to TPC Southwind where he has earned two career Tour wins.

The FedEx St. Jude Invitational Details

Dates: July July 30 - August 2, 2020

Course: TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee

TV: GOLF Channel; CBS

Purse: $10,250,000

DeChambeau (+1170) sits atop the Circa Sportsbook odds board as the favorite to win the event this week. Following the No. 7 ranked player in the world are: Jon Rahm (+1190), Justin Thomas (+1241), Rory McIIroy (+1241), and Patrick Cantlay (+2150).

Our team of gambling experts, which have been red-hot, have compiled their approach to the FedEx St. Jude Invitational 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!

Odds via Circa Sports

Odds via Circa Sports

FedEx St. Jude Invitational Predictions and Best Bets

Frankie Taddeo, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Vegas Insider (@Frankie_Fantasy)

The Memorial Tournament Sharp Action Breakdown

Metric Gaming’s Golf Desk located in London, England continue to remain red-hot with sharp picks since the PGA’s return. 

At the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial, they just missed out on a top spot score as Colin Morikawa (40/1) lost in a heart-breaker to Daniel Berger in a sudden-death playoff. They followed it up with a superb value play of Tyrell Hatton (56/1) who finished T3 in the RBC Heritage, coupled with a roll-back on Hatton (18/1) who turned in a solid T4 finish in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. The sharps in the UK continued their outstanding run as Victor Hovland (30/1) turned in a solid third-place finish in the Workday Charity Open shooting 15-under par.

According to Daniel Banham, Director of Trading, the Metric Gaming team is looking forward to the FedEx St. Jude Invitational this week, thanks to a vast amount of elite talent that has created superb betting opportunities.

There are four players the UK sharps have their sights set on this week in Tennessee. 

“World No. 1 Jon Rahm is the favorite here, and it’s justified. He is simply full of confidence and at this point in time there is no visible weakness in his game. Notwithstanding, at +1190 he is shortly priced and offers no real betting value according to our model,” said Banham.

“Our model finds great value in Xander Schauffele at +2370. Total Driving will be important this week, and that’s an area of strength in his game.”

“Further down Viktor Hovland stands out at odds of +3300, and perhaps even more so Jason Day at odds of +4490. That’s a really big price for the quality golfer the Australian is, and if it weren’t for an injury (back) cloud hanging over him, his price would easily be much lower.”

“Finally, we like Paul Casey at +9400, a perfect fit for the course and conditions,” Banham expressed.

In addition, Banham highlighted two 72-hole matchup plays that are worthy of garnering attention from sports bettors: Jason Day over Patrick Reed (+120) and Justin Thomas over Rory McIlroy (-105).

“Rory really seems to struggle to get any mojo going without the crowds. It seems to hurt him more than anyone else,” Banham concluded.

Metric Gaming’s Value Plays

Xander Schauffele (+2370)

Schauffele is in great form of late finishing inside the Top-20 in his last three tournaments, including four of the past five since the PGA restart overall. The sharps from across the pond are anticipating the World No. 11, with four career PGA Tour wins, to possibly break through for the first time in 2020.

Viktor Hovland (+3300)

Hovland, who ranks No. 31 in the world, has five Top-23 finishes to his credit since the PGA restart. The UK sharps find value with the second-year pro who they envision offers tremendous value. Having made the cut in all six of the PGA events he has taken part in since the restart, Hovland is a model of consistency and appears to be one of the safest picks on the board.

Jason Day (+4490)

Day, who has 12 career PGA Tour victories, comes in at healthy odds of +4490. He has three top-10 finishes this season and is coming off two of those top efforts in each of his last two tournaments: Workday Charity Open (T7) and the Memorial (T4). The Metric Gaming predictive model is calling for the Australian stand out to build off of his recent top form and potentially offer a healthy return on investment.

Paul Casey (+9400)

The No. 27 ranked player in the world finds himself far down the betting board after missing the cut in each of his last two tournaments (The Memorial and the 3M Open). Casey has yet to earn himself a top-10 finish this season but this week in Tennessee the Metric Gaming model believes at odds of 94/1 he offers enough value to be worthy of longshot betting consideration.

vegaswhispers

According to Patrick Eichner, Director of Communications at PointsBet Sportsbook the action on this week is as follows:

“Our most bet golfers to win the FedEx St. Jude Invitational this weekend are Gary Woodland, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele,” said Eichner.

“Our top liabilities for the event include, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Wallace and Patrick Cantlay. Some of our sharper clients like to focus on Top 20/30/40 markets rather than outright winner. We have seen a decent amount of sharp action come in on Xander Schauffele (Top 5), Ian Poulter (Top 10), Max Homa (Top 20), Chez Reavie (Top 20), Kevin Streelman (Top 30) and Bubba Watson (Top 43).”

Ben Heisler, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Editor (@bennyheis)

BEST BET TO WIN

Rory McIlroy (+1241)

The longtime number one ranked player in the world gave up his top spot two weeks ago to Jon Rahm at the Memorial. After skipping the 3M Open last week, McIlroy should be rested up for an important stretch of the PGA calendar as he looks to take back his top spot.

McIlroy has made every cut so far this year, and is second in SG (strokes-gained): off-the-tee and seventh in SG: total over his last 24 rounds. His issues have come with mediocre putting and near the green which can turn around in a heartbeat.

Salute to PGA DFS and betting icon Rick Gehman for coming across this terrific stat:

“McIlroy has finished inside the top five in four consecutive WGC (World Golf Championship) events and has only one finish worse than 11th in his past 13 WGC starts.”

BEST VALUE PLAYS

Sergio Garcia (+6900)

Sergio has a couple of things going for him ahead of this week’s tournament. He’s finished T32 in his last two tournaments to go along with a T5 at the RBC Heritage. And his SG: off-the-tee and SG:around-the-green are top-five and top-six respectively on Tour over his last 24 rounds.

Both of those metrics should play a major factor over at TPC Southwind. Additionally, Garcia’s other tee-to-green numbers also play out well. He’s ninth in SG: tee-to-green, 13th in driving distance, 11th in “good drives” (either hits the fairway or hits the green in regulation) and ninth in “sand saves.”

Paul Casey (+9400)

Casey was one of my favorite cash game plays for DFS last week and a decent value at a weak field in the 3M Open. It didn't go according to plan as he missed the cut for the second consecutive week.

This week with nobody on him and all the pressure gone, I think he's in a prime spot to respond. He wasn't bad at the 3M Open, shooting +2 for the first two days. He was excellent in ball striking and off the tee but his putter failed him yet again. I like his chances as well as his value.

BEST LONGSHOT

Mackenzie Hughes (+14300)

Hughes may become a more popular name as the week goes by, but he’s insanely cheap with a real good opportunity to legitimately contend this week. He doesn’t fall into the category of most of the players I’m selecting this week because he’s not much of a bomber off the tee (56th in SG: off-the-tee). He is an elite level putter, however, ranking first in SG: putting and 4th in SG: around-the-green.

Hughes’ price tag just doesn’t add up to his recent success and if the putter stays hot, he’ll remain in contention no matter how much he lays up when teeing up

Chez Reavie (+14400)

I wrote up Reavie two weeks ago for the Memorial and he delivered with a T22 finish at very valuable odds.

I’m surprised to see him this low on the board considering he’s made four straight cuts including a top 20 finish at the Workday Charity Open, and then the T22 at Muirfield Village a week later.

He’ll need to be better off the tee to have a fighting chance at TPC Southwind (currently ranks 59th in SG: off-the-tee in his last 24 events), but his overall numbers have been excellent and I like him to continue playing well this week at TPC Southwind.

Shawn Childs, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst (@Shawn__Childs)

BEST BETS TO WIN 

Rory McIlroy (+1241)

There hasn’t been any excitement in McIlory’s game over his last four events (32nd, 41st, 11st, and 32nd) while struggling to find his rhythm last week at the Memorial (70, 72, 72, and 78). Before his layoff due to the Covid-19 virus, McIlroy had seven straight top five finishes with a pair of wins. Over his last three trips to WGC - FedEx St. Jude Invitational over two courses (Firestone South and TPC Southwind), he finished 5th, 6th, and 4th. McIlroy is too good of a player to be overlooked this week. I’m pushing all in here in the daily games.

Patrick Cantlay (+2150)

Despite struggling last week on Sunday (79), Cantlay extended his cut streak to 17 tournaments. Over this span, he has a win, two seconds, and three other top tens. Cantlay played well at this event in 2018 (6th) and 2019 (12th). Over his last 36 rounds, he is a top ten player in Par 5s, tee-to-green, birdies, and approach shots. The key to him making a push higher up the standings is regain the form of his putter.

BEST VALUE PLAY

Jordan Spieth (+6500)

I can’t get away from Spieth’s odds despite pushing his winless streak to three years after a 13th place finish at the Memorial. His last top five finish came in May of 2019 at the PGA Championship. Spieth doesn’t have one area of strength since his return to golf in June. Overall, his play has been improved over his last five events. His first step in his climb up the mountain is hitting more balls in the fairway (52.0 percent).

BEST LONGSHOT

Sungjae Im (+7700)

After playing great in his two events (win at the Honda Classic and 3rd at the Arnold Palmer) before the shutdown of golf, Im has failed to be a factor over his past five tournaments (58th, 53th, and 63rd with two missed cuts). Over his two full seasons on the PGA Tour, Im has one win and 13 top ten finishes over 55 events. A young player on the rise while having a favorable price point this week.

Alex White, SI Fantasy & Gambling Contributor / Full Time Fantasy (@coachwhiteDFS)

BEST BETS TO WIN

Justin Thomas (+1241)

He’s due right? His last win came in January at the Tournament of Champions. After watching Rahm take over the World number 1 spot he has to have a chip on his shoulder. This is where he starts his run to number 1 in the world. I could see back to back wins for JT. Hop on now at fair odds before he becomes 8/1 next week at the PGA Championship.

Webb Simpson (+2400)

DOH! Last time out Webb lost over five strokes through approach. This was due to the high winds at Memorial not because he lost something in his game.

When will people start to realize Webb is elite? In his last 15 events on Tour he has 2 wins, 3 second place finishes, a 3rd, a 7th and 8th place finish. That means every other tournament you’re getting a golfer that will give you at least a top 8 finish. Webb is now considered a “Big Fish”. The odds do not match the talent of Simpson. Fire him up!

BEST VALUE PLAY: Daniel Berger (+3200)

CheeseBerger Eddy is passing out value menu items this week. Highlighting the Best Value section is none other than the back to back St. Jude Champion. When the tournament wasn’t played as a WGC event in 16’/17’ Berger went back to back to win at TPC Southwind. The form is right, the odds are right, the course is right, now we just need to swipe right.

BEST LONGSHOT: Chez Reavie (+14400)

Leave it to Reavie. Coming into this event with his form trending in the right direction. In back to back event’s he has positive strokes gained metrics in all six major categories. Making him an ideal target at 144/1. 

Roy Larking, SI Gambling & Fantasy Contributor (@SIGambling)

BEST BET TO WIN

Justin Thomas (+1241)

After skipping the 3M Open last week, Justin Thomas is playing in his sixth tournament since the PGA restart. Apart from a missed cut, at the Travelers Championship, Thomas played well during his other four starts. That includes top-10 finishes at the Charles Schwab Challenge (10), the RBC Heritage (8) and a playoff loss to Collin Morikawa at the Workday Charity Open. Thomas sits first in the FedExCup standings and third in the World Golf Rankings.

BEST VALUE PLAY

Tony Finau (+3420)

A consistent contender, Tony Finau has 30 top-10 finishes since his last PGA victory at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. Three strokes behind winner Michael Thompson, and one behind Adam Long who finished second, Finau was in a group of nine players who tied for third at -16 during the 3M Open. In a highly competitive field, Finau finished eighth during the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago. Finau is my FedEx St. Jude value play with a generous +3420 moneyline price.

TOP 10 FINISH

Tyrrell Hatton (+250)

Climbing to No. 14 in the World Golf Rankings, after finishing 32nd last season, Tyrrell Hatton is playing in his third tournament since the PGA restart. Hatton has finished sixth or better during five of his last six tournaments. Hatton hasn’t played since finishing in a fourth place tie during the Rocket Mortgage Classic four weeks ago. Prior to that, Hatton finished in a third place tie with Daniel Berger at the RBC Heritage. I am betting on a top-10 finish for Hatton here.

FAVORITE MATCHUP PLAY

Webb Simpson (+110) over Bryson DeChambeau (-137)

After they both missed the cut at the Memorial Tournament two weeks ago Webb Simpson and Bryson DeChambeau skipped the 3M Open last week. Prior to that, Simpson finished eighth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic and won the RBC Heritage. Playing equally sharp, DeChambeau won the Rocket Mortgage Classic and finished sixth during the Travelers Championship. This is the second time TPC Southwind has hosted this event and Simpson finished second last year.