2012 Tour Championship Betting Preview And PredictionsThe Fedex Cup concludes this week as the 30 most elite golfers in the PGA tee off in Atlanta for a $8 M check. It’s the biggest prize in golf, and sports bettors realize the importance of it just as much as the golfers engaging in the event.
The course is a Tom Bendelow product that was later redesigned by Donald Ross. at the East Lake Golf Club and it has been used since 2004, so the precedence for its toughness has been set already. The course is known as Bobby Jones’ home course and the par-three 18th hole is a doozy, as it can play 235 yards from the back.
Those who play well off the tee are going to have a leg up in this event. Since they changed the grass from Bentgrass to Bermuda, it became one of the toughest par-70s on the PGA tour and the four round score hasn’t been lower than nine-under since 2008.
Let’s take a look at four popular picks, only three of which I would advocate betting on.
Betting odds are courtesy of Bovada.
Tiger Woods (5/1)
Tiger is the chic pick every week, and his odds never offer that much value. That said, I’m not going to say he’s a bad pick either. This is his last chance at closing in on Jack Nicklaus’ record and a lot of people think he still can pull it off. He has won three times this year and was tied for third at the British Open, tied for eighth at Firestone…
Will this be the week he comes out as the alpha dog? He’s going to be well suited for the back nine on this course and his endurance will play well on a course like the one with so much emphasis on the tee. Moreover, if conditions get tough, as they may, Tiger is strong in such circumstances. In my past previews, I haven’t advocated many Tiger bets, but this time I’m going to say he’s the best value, even as the favorite.
Rory McIlroy (9/2)
The Northern Ireland 23 year old bad boy hasn’t done much of note recently, but he won the Honda Classic earlier in the year and finished 40th in the Masters. He missed the cut in the US Open, and finished 60th in the Open Championship last month. 9/2 is very poor value and is hinged at being a sucker’s bet, due to his outstanding victory in the 2011 US Open.
I’m hardly saying McIlroy is one to count out in this event; I’m merely saying the odds are not at all favorable given his lackluster performances recently, and I’d much prefer the odds on Woods if you’re going to bet on a favorite, especially on this course with the emphasis being on Tiger’s ability to drive the ball down the very long fairways.
Dustin Johnson (16/1)
Johnson is a monster off the tees, and I already said that will be crucial in this event. His two wins at Pebble Beach and his outstanding (yet incomplete) performance in the PGA Playoff in 2010 leave many to think this may be his big shot at winning the Fedex cup.
Of course, in 2010, he suffered the two stroke penalty for grounding his club in a bunker, so that near miss is difficult for Johnson to live with. He finished tied for 19th at Firestone, and the 16/1 odds set by Bovada offer some good value.
Nick Watney (40/1)
Watney’s form hasn’t been on peak in most of 2012, but his performance last month at the Barclays got the Fedex run off to a good start for him. He won at Bethpage and he knows that a victory here could win him the cup. He’s also been very good on this course and he tied for fourth two years ago when he pulled a third round of 63. His season has been pretty mediocre, but he had an eighth place fish at Quail Hollow and he also won on the Aronimink course, which is another Donald Ross course.
That previous success on Ross courses makes him a good value pick, and 40/1 is a pretty good value for a guy that wouldn’t shock the world by winning this event. Watney is still an up and comer and at age 31 he’s now made the cut in 17 of the 19 events this season. This is the kind of event that players come to with the purpose of breaking out, and many handicappers have been expecting a breakout from Watney for quite some time. Could this be the week he does it?