By: Field Level Media
PGA Championship Odds: Who Will Take Down the First Major of the Year
Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka are the co-favorites entering the first major of 2020, the PGA Championship, which starts Thursday at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.
Thomas is coming off his third victory of the 2019-20 season and has regained the No. 1 ranking he previously held for a month in 2018.
Koepka showed few signs of life with his game until he came close to successfully defending his WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational title before tying for second behind Thomas last weekend.
He is seeking to become just the third player in the past 100 years to three-peat at a major.
They’re co-favorites at sportsbooks including BetAmerica (+900), William Hill (+1000) and PointsBet (+1100), so researching the most bang for your buck is a valuable exercise.
Bryson DeChambeau — the author of massive drives and plenty of social media backlash for his treatment of rules officials — is the third betting favorite at William Hill at +1100.
Former No. 1s Worth Taking a Look at with the PGA Championship Odds
Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy have each lost the No. 1 ranking over the past month. PointsBet is offering McIlroy as the third betting favorite at +1200 followed by Rahm at +1300 and DeChambeau at +1600, while BetAmerica is offering McIlroy and Rahm at +1200 ahead of DeChambeau at +1400.
It’s interesting to note that Rahm will be paired for the first two rounds with Spanish countryman Sergio Garcia and fellow Arizona State alum Phil Mickelson. The comfortable grouping could bode well for Rahm, whose emotions can run hot.
Beyond Thomas, Koepka, DeChambeau and Rahm, it comes down to evaluating recent form and past history at both the PGA Championship and at Harding Park.
McIlroy won the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play event at Harding Park, where he beat Gary Woodland in the finals. It’s worth noting that Woodland, who is being offered at +4500 by BetAmerica and +5000 by PointsBet, also won last year’s U.S. Open a few hours south on the California coast at Pebble Beach.
Woodland is coming off a tie for 57th and a tie for 22nd in his past two events, but he had seven top-10 finishes in his 13 starts leading up to that. Woodland also tied for eighth at last year’s PGA Championship.
Dustin Johnson won the Travelers Championship to close out June, then began his July swing with a missed cut and a withdrawal. He rebounded to tie for 12th last week — a result that would have been higher if not for a triple bogey in the opening round.
Johnson (+1800 at BetAmerica, +2000 at PointsBet) finished second to Koepka at the PGA Championship last year.
Tiger Woods Odds at the PGA Championship and Tiger Woods Prop Bets
Then there is the curious case of Tiger Woods.
The 15-time major champion isn’t expected by most analysts to be a significant factor, having played in only one tournament since February, when he tied for 40th at the Memorial three weeks ago.
Woods is the last player to win at least one major in four consecutive years, a feat Koepka is trying to equal this week. He also is trying to break a tie with Sam Snead for a record-breaking 83rd career PGA Tour victory.
Woods is among the top-10 favorites at both BetAmerica (+2800) and PointsBet (+2500), and he did win a WGC event at Harding Park 15 years ago.
However, it’s the prop market that might provide the most entertainment.
PointsBet is offering numerous Tiger-related props, from head-to-head matchups with Xander Schauffele (+130) and Patrick Cantlay (+110) to leading the event wire-to-wire (+20000).
BetAmerica is offering Woods at -200 to make the cut, +150 to miss the weekend and +450 as the winner of a group including Johnson (+275), Schauffele (+280), Cantlay (+400) and Webb Simpson (+400).
Major tournaments also spark the conversation of the best players to have yet to win a major.
Lee Westwood won’t have an opportunity to shed that label after opting not to travel to the United States from Europe.
It’s difficult to put DeChambeau into that conversation at only 26 years old, but he’s the highest-ranked player in the field outside of Rahm yet to add a major to his trophy case.
Not far behind is Patrick Cantlay. Still only 28 years old, Cantlay has dropped from sixth to 10th in the world rankings while posting one top-10 in his past seven starts.
He did follow up a win at the Memorial in 2019 with a pair of runner-ups later in the year, and he kick-started this year with a fourth-place finish at the Tournament of Champions. Cantlay also tied for third at last year’s PGA Championship to go with a tie for ninth at the Masters and a tie for 21st at the U.S. Open.
Cantlay doesn’t have a major flaw in his game, which is why he tends to linger around the front page of major leaderboards and is +2500 at BetAmerica and PointsBet.
Can Somebody in the Field Grab Their First PGA Major?
Another player who tends to get plenty of Sunday air time at majors is Tommy Fleetwood.
The 13th-ranked Englishman arrived in the United States last month to fine-tune his game ahead of the year’s biggest event. He’s coming off two missed cuts and a tie for 35th, but don’t forget that Fleetwood (+4000 at BetAmerica, +3300 at PointsBet) was one of the world’s hottest pre-pandemic players with a win, two runner-ups and a third-place over a six-event stretch from November to January.
One of the biggest detractions with Fleetwood is that he has yet to win on U.S. soil, including getting out-shot by five shots on the final day in finishing third at The Honda Classic in March behind winner Sungjae Im and runner-up Mackenzie Hughes.
Few players enter as many tournaments as Im. The reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year has made a lone cut in his majors career — a tie for 42nd at the 2018 PGA.
Im (+6600 at both books) is coming off a tie for 35th last week. He is among a host of rising stars to keep an eye on that includes Viktor Hovland (+4500 at BetAmerica, +5000 at PointsBet), Abraham Ancer (+5500, +7000) and Matthew Wolff (+10000 at both).
–Field Level Media