It’s Wednesday morning and I continue to see no value in betting Aggregate Stroke Outrights in this 30 man event, and although there is some appetizing value in the Non-Adjusted markets, something about betting on an outright who isn’t necessarily going to win that event just feels awkward and unexciting. Luckily for us however, when we get a weird golf tournament format, we get even weirder, more random props! I’m shying away from betting Matchups and placements this week, but the below props have definitely caught my attention instead. Let get into it!
Both Patrick Cantlay & Jon Rahm Finish T5 +148 (Points Bet)
We kick off the prop sheet with what I believe to be an absolute inevitability at plus odds, with Cantlay and Rahm to both finish inside the Top 5 under the staggered scoring format. Before anyone tees off this week, Patrick Cantlay will begin in 1st place at -10 and Jon Rahm will begin in 4th place at -6. The FedEx Cup Playoff format is designed specifically to reward the players at the very top of the board and keep them there to compensate their body of work both in the regular season and FedEx Cup playoffs. They are able to achieve that by giving a head start stroke advantage to the top players in the world and putting them on a difficult course where it is hard to make birdies in bunches for significant moves up the leaderboard. At the 2020 TOUR Championship, -14 was good enough for a T5 finish from Scottie Scheffler. All things being equal, I’m confident we’ll see at least a -4 showing from Cantlay and -8 from Rahm given their current form.
Neither Bryson DeChambeau nor Dustin Johnson T10 +850 (Points Bet)
There’s a lot of great props this week on Points Bet, so going right back to them, these are two players who enter in more erratic form and have a clearer path to fall down the leaderboard at the hands of the other chasers looking for a $1M+ paycheck. In the model I ran this week, Bryson and DJ rated out 20th and 23rd respectively, behind the likes of Sungjae Im, Corey Conners, and an anemic Patrick Reed. East Lake is a stark contrast to the bomber’s paradise we last saw at Caves Valley, and should put an emphasis on SG: APP and Good Drives Gained, which both players have been lacking in down the closing stretch of the season, rating out below average in the field in each. While they should benefit from the stroke advantage head start, I am actively betting against any success from these two at East Lake given the current form in the areas this track demands.
1st/2nd, Any Order: Patrick Cantlay / Jon Rahm +900 (Bet MGM)
I am absolutely betting this prop. My expectation going into this week is that Jon Rahm wins. Any result other than that would surprise me given the form he’s in, the course fit in difficult scoring conditions, and the stroke advantage he enters with over 90% of the field. So with that in mind, I’m banking on a Jon Rahm finish in one of the top 2 spots. With Patrick Cantlay, it’s fair to have some doubts about his game even despite just winning last week, as he only gained 1.2 strokes T2G and won the BMW Championship entirely with his putter thanks to a historical 14.6 strokes gained putting. That most certainly won’t happen again this week, especially considering we’re going from Bent grass to Bermuda, and Cantlay hasn’t gained strokes putting in a Bermuda event since the Sentry TOC in the beginning of the year. Despite that, Cantlay in still in great form with his ball striking overall, and doesn’t need to be perfect to win or finish T2 given the 10 stroke head start. I think conservatively, four 68s from Cantlay will achieve that this week and there’s nothing I can point to from him right now that suggests he isn’t capable of that floor.