What’s poppin, we’re proppin, it’s about that time again to fire off some props at the first event of the 2021 FedEx Cup Playoffs, THE NORTHERN TRUST! It’s a light prop card for me this week because I got a little too carried away with my outrights, but in any case, we’ve still got a nice bankroll rolled over courtesy of our good pal and friend of the website for life, Mr. Kevin Kisner. That means I’m taking some chances this week, reaching back and swinging freely at the odds board. Let’s get into it!
First Round Leader
Matthew Wolff +11000 (DK Sportsbook)
I’m never one to endorse a First Round Leader bet with any real confidence or conviction because golf in one round increments is incredibly volatile and much more difficult to predict than over a four day sample size. I do play Sebastian Munoz every single week, but that’s become more of a tradition than anything strategically informed week to week. But I’m riding the Kevin Kisner momentum from last week, and have experienced another sign that makes me believe this is meant to be.
Last night I went out to dinner down the road in Jersey City, and sure enough, Matthew Wolff sat down with his team at the table right next to us. I didn’t say a word to him, I thought about it, but I always find it strange to disrupt a person’s dining experience when I don’t actually know them personally. Is that weird? Regardless, the vibes were good, he was throwing back Coors Lights, chowing down on a basket of french fries, sharing a laugh, and pantomiming his takeaway throughout dinner. I’m encouraged by what I saw. Immediately before walking into this restaurant, I responded to a tweet saying that Matthew Wolff has the best upside this week of any longshot, then he pulls up a seat at the table next to me! Fate. Meant to be. We’re all in on this FRL now. He’s shot opening rounds in the 60s in 4 consecutive tournaments now, which gives me reason to believe I’ll watch this FRL cash in person when I’m on the other side of the ropes this Thursday.
Best Matchup Value (At + Odds)
Brooks Koepka (+110) > Bryson DeChambeau (DK Sportsbook)
I don’t understand the plus odds in this matchup whatsoever. I cycle between 6 different sportsbooks and every single one of them has Brooks Koepka at shorter odds to win THE NORTHERN TRUST than Bryson DeChambeau, as they should. Over their last 11 rounds, Brooks has 6 finishes of T6 or better, while Bryson has 0. While Liberty National is not a pure links course, it does draw comps to the two most recently played Open Championship tracks in Royal St Georges and Royal Portrush. Brooks has delivered finishes of T6 and T4 in his last two Open Championships, compared to Bryson’s T33 this year and MC at Portrush. I like Bryson on tree lined courses where he can lean on his high ball flight and superior carry distance off the tee to cut off angles with aggressive lines. I hate Bryson on courses like Liberty National where misses with the driver land you in water hazards and OB fescue. We then have the issue with the crowds. If Bryson struggled with Brooksie jeers in Memphis, he is going to have a hard time tuning out the raucous fans on there way in from New York and New Jersey this time around. I won’t be feeding into all that while I’m there, but in any case, my money will be on the other side with Brooks.
Safest Prop (-120 or Better)
Jordan Spieth T20 (-120) (Caesar’s Sportsbook)
I might be doing too much free promo for Caesars this week. They gave out an auto-bet odds boost for Brooks Koepka outright at 28/1 (which still holds if you have access), and now they offer the best T20 line for Jordan Spieth across the legal US sportsbook market. At a certain point I will stop freely touting the great lines at Caesar’s in the hopes we can figure out a partnership together, but until then, I can’t resist going back for this play.
Jordan Spieth is my “conviction” play of the week this week. I think he’s going to win, I think his game is a picture perfect fit for what this course demands, the profile of his game stacks up perfectly with how Patrick Reed was able to win here back in 2019, and he’s #1 SG: TOT L36 & L50 rounds. I put “conviction” in air quotes because this is not the mortal lock that Kevin Kisner was last week, but a Top 20 versus this limited field seems all but inevitable. There is nobody I trust more on Bent grass greens in the world than Jordan Spieth, his irons have been great over the last 36 rounds (7th SG: APP), and he’s continued to be a magician with his wedges (15th SG: ARG). I’m not looking as closely at SG: OTT when handicapping this event because I think players will be funneled into the same layup positions in the fairway on many holes, but even if I wanted to dig into that, he’s gained strokes OTT in 9 of his last 10 starts. As far as I see it, there are no weaknesses in Jordan Spieth’s game right now, so I expect this prop to cash comfortably.