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PGA FedEX Cup Round One - Northern Trust

PGA FedEX Cup Round One - Northern Trust 1 month 1 week ago #510202

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Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for from various handicappers and websites for Wednesday 8/7/19
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PGA FedEX Cup Round One - Northern Trust 1 month 1 week ago #510203

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PGA Tour Betting Preview
The Northern Trust
Liberty National Golf Course – Par 71 - 7,353 yards

No matter what sport it is, whenever you get to talk about “playoffs” the excitement always takes on another level. The PGA Tour may do their playoffs a bit differently, but for the players who finished in the top 125 of the Fed-Ex Cup points race, the mantra of playoff golf is the same as athletes in any other sport: survive and advance. Considering there is a $10 million check as the top prize, you'd better believe the intensity on their side of things kicks up as well.

This week we get the first of three playoff events on the PGA Tour, as the Northern Trust heads to Liberty National for the first time since the 2013 Barclays event. It's a long track at nearly 7,400 yards that can play even longer if the wind becomes a nuisance, and wind be damned, you'd better be able to consistently find the fairway here, because the alternative is thick, luscious, long rough to deal with. Small, and extremely fast greens wait at the end of the 18 tee boxes, so guys better be able to produce with the flatstick when needed, and scrambling around to avoid too many big numbers is important here as well. The winning score for the 2013 Barclays was -11 (Adam Scott), and in 2009 it was -9, so don't expect to see a birdie fest like we have for the majority of these non-Major, non-WGC events we've had for a month or so. Playoffs are supposed to be tough, and that's what Liberty National sets up to be.

Guys who succeed here need to be on in every aspect of their game, as longer guys will have an advantage no question, but they've got to use that length to put the ball in the right spots along the course. Strokes Gained: Total, as generic as that stat may sound, is a good place to start, as is approach and scrambling numbers given that there isn't a need to go super low here to be among the leaders. Make your birdies when you can, drill your par putts when necessary, and avoid doubles or the dreaded 'other' on the scorecard and you should be alright.

Finally, we can't forget about those in the field that managed to play here more recently then the 2013 Barclays. The most recent President's Cup (2017) was held here with the US side winning that event 19-11. This week's field as 10 of the 12 team members from both the US and International side involved, and even that more recent battle with Liberty National is valuable experience for those 20 guys to fall back on this week. Two of them make this week's list of golfers to watch, while the third name has played a lot of great golf of late without getting to the winner's circle. Let's get to this week's names:

Golfers to Watch:

Dustin Johnson (16/1) – It's been 12 weeks since DJ finished inside the Top 20 at an event this year, and that's likely a big part of why many are willing to overlook him a bit this week given how deep and talented this field is. Recent form can be a big stat for many out there, and while it is important, it never should be the main reason that puts you on, or keeps you off a talented golfer that has many other things lining up for him.

In DJ's case, he ranks tops in the field (3rd overall) in Strokes Gained: Total among those 20 names from the 2017 President's Cup competition, an event that he finished as the top point-getter for either side (4.5 points on a 4-0-1 record). His length will always play well here as long as he's accurate, something he wasn't in the 2013 Barclays with a MC, but a 15th place finish in 2009 that was well before the height of his powers among the game's best suggests he shouldn't have too much trouble navigating his way around this track.

This year DJ is ranks 2nd in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, and his 37th ranking in Strokes Gained: Putting is the worst he sits in any of those SG categories. The driving accuracy has taken a hit and it's why both his recent form and market avoidance of him this week has taken up conversation, but for as nasty as the rough can be at Liberty National, it's not like the fairways are the width of a ruler, as they've got plenty of width to them to work with.

It's DJ's “average” recent form that has forced oddsmakers to push his number down to the 16-1 range, and that's a few points higher then it probably should be in my opinion. For a guy who is still the third favorite in the field who's not been at his best of late tells you that should everything click for Johnson this week, oddsmakers still think very highly of him. He's won this tournament before (albeit at a different course in 2011), has 3 career wins in Fed-Ex Cup playoff events, and would love to fire that first shot in the chase for $10 million. Bettors should expect at least a Top 10 from DJ this week.

Tommy Fleetwood (25/1) – When a course has very penal penalties for guys who consistently find themselves in the rough, how can you not consider a guy who's nickname in some circles is “Fairway Jesus.”

Fleetwood is the one guy in this week's piece that didn't play here in the 2017 President's Cup (he can't as an Englishman), but he is someone that recent form bettors will take more of a liking too. His last four starts include finishes of 4th, 2nd, 23rd, and 13th (the runner-up was at the British Open) as he's basically done everything but win over the past six weeks. He's 7th on Tour in the Strokes Gained: Total stat this season, and his ability to hit fairway after fairway should keep his name among the leaders this weekend.

The knock on backing Fleetwood this week is two-fold in that his price is a little too steep at +2500, considering he's never played Liberty National in competition before. However, a longer course that demands accuracy/length off the tee and typically needs wind as it's best defense is not something any English golfer is a stranger too, and for someone like Fleetwood who's been so close to multiple Majors in recent years, maybe it will take a win in the playoffs to kick start his push over that hump.

You'd like to see +2500 be a bit higher given the depth of the field, but with the 2019 British Open still so fresh in the memories of most, that was never going to be the case. Either way, a win at those odds is still a solid payday for those looking to spend this Sunday praying for 'Fairway Jesus.'

Louis Oosthuizen (60/1) – Dustin Johnson may have been the guy who earned the most points overall in the 2017 President's Cup, but on the International side of things, that honor ended up going to Oosthuizen. Louis' strength has always been in tougher events on Tour where the winning score doesn't need to be around -20, and if he can get his approach game in check for the four days (128th in SG: Approach), there are plenty of reasons to support him this week.

For one, he's 5th in SG: Around the Green on Tour this year and with scrambling for those crucial pars being a key part of whomever finds success at Liberty National this weekend, Oosthuizen won't leave his name out of that conversation.

Secondly, he's also quite accurate off the tee with a 67.27% driving accuracy number this year (39th ranking on Tour) and can hopefully translate that into plenty of GIR's and go from there. His birdie average (78th) leaves a bit to be desired, but as I mentioned before, that's not as important this week at Liberty National. “Survive and advance” is something Oosthuizen has always excelled at in tough events, and should the wind pick up over the duration of the tournament, he's not going to be one to shy away from being just as good by flighting his ball down and go from there.
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PGA FedEX Cup Round One - Northern Trust 1 month 1 week ago #510204

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Northern Trust - Matchup Bets
August 7, 2019
By Joe Williams

The PGA TOUR kicks off the 2019 FedExCup playoffs at The Northern Trust this week at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City, N.J.

PRIME MATCHUPS

Each week we'll take a look at the best round matchups to try and build up a nice bankroll.

Jon Rahm (-135) vs. Justin Rose: Rahm, ranked 10th in the FedExCup playoff standings, has finished 11th or better in each of his past three events, including a pair of majors. He is streaking into the postseason, and has a good chance of not only beating Rose in this head-to-head battle, but everyone else in the field as well. He is a solid 54th in Greens In Regulation and 36th in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, while ranking 45th in Putts Per Round. He doesn't dominate in any one area, but he also doesn't have any deficiencies, either.go

Hideki Matsuyama (-105) vs. Collin Morikawa: Matsuyama checks off plenty of boxes for success at Liberty National GC this week. He ranks 21st in Greens In Regulation, 33rd in SG: Around the Green and fourth in SG: Approach the Green, while checking in sixth in SG: Tee-to-Green and eighth in SG: Total. While Morikawa has a win at the Barracuda Championship two weeks ago, and three top-5 finishes in the past four outings, those showings weren't in a high-stakes event like The Northern Trust with star-studded fields. Morikawa won't wilt under the pressure, but he also won't roll like he has with less than stellar fields.

Marc Leishman (-130) vs. Rory Sabbatini: Leishman posted a third-place finish at the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina last week, so he rolls in with a lot of confidence. He checks in 12th in the FedExCup playoff standings, thanks in large part to his solid Scoring Average (70.269), while doing good work in his approach to the green and work with the putter. While bettors should have a little pause due to his 71st-place showing in 2013 at Liberty National while missing the cut in 2009, he is playing much better this season and has a lot more momentum than the erratic Sabbatini.

Last event (Wyndham): 2-3 (-120)
This season: 38-37-2 (-380)

OTHER BETS

Top 20 Finish - Xander Schauffele (-105): Schauffele checks into this week's event inside the Top 5 of the FedExCup playoff standings. He is efficient in the GIR and Scoring Average categories, as well as his work in the SG: Around the Green and Putts Per Round departments.

Top 20 Finish - Gary Woodland (+230): Woodland is a tremendous value at this price level, as he ranks 26th in GIR and second on Tour in Birdie Average (4.49). He isn't a terribly strong scrambler or putter, and that's the only area of concern and why his odds are surprisingly long.

Top 20 Finish - Corey Conners (+750): The Canadian golfer is worth a roll of the dice at a great price thanks in large part to his No. 1 Tour ranking in GIR, and his solid numbers in SG: Approach the Green.
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