The Tour Championship Betting Tips
Robert Cobley is a maths graduate with years of experience in the sports betting industry. He has now teamed up with Bet UK to bring his golf betting tips to our readers.
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East Lake Golf Club - Atlanta, Georgia - Par 70, 7,350 Yards
This week sees a real first on the PGA Tour as the players head to East Lake for the traditional end of season finale at East Lake. Traditionally, this has been like any other event where both the tournament winner and the Fedex Champion have been declared independently of one another. This week, however the PGA Tour have decided to try and simplify things and bring the season to a more dramatic climax by introducing a handicap system based on players’ Fedex Cup points tally.
Justin Thomas leads the Fedex Cup after last week’s comprehensive win at Medinah, and accordingly enters this week with a predetermined two shot lead over closest challenger, and last week’s runner up Patrick Cantlay. A further shot back on 7 under sits Brooks Koepka, followed by Northern Trust winner Patrick Reed, and then Rory Mcilroy. The full table of scores can be seen below:
|E||Charles Howell III|
East Lake, set in parkland 10 minutes drive from East Atlanta, is one of the most familiar and iconic venues on Tour having played host to this event since 1998. A long, tree lined parkland course where good driving is by far the most important facet of a player’s game. Fairways are flat and slow, and bombers hold a significant advantage. Good iron play is helpful to avoid the significant run off areas around the greens, but on a long medium scoring course, errors are punished and those that hit fairways and greens will be rewarded. The previous winners list is a who’s who of top ball striking talent.
Last Five Winners:
2018: Tiger Woods - -14
2017: Xander Schauffele - -11
2016: Rory Mcilroy - -16
2015: Jordan Spieth - -12
2014: Billy Horschel - -16
The Market Leaders
This week I'm going to focus primarily on the market that includes handicaps; what is essentially the Fedex Cup winner market. The scores above show the advantage held by the likes of Thomas (5/2) and Cantlay (5/1), but scoring ranges at Firestone can be substantial, and I'm happy to pick out a few further down to contend both in the main and support markets this week.
Justin Thomas’ advantage of between 2 and 10 strokes is substantial, but a top starting price of 5/2 doesn’t really appeal over a 4 day event where almost anything can happen. Although there is a reduced field with less competition, there are still the likes of Rory, Koepka, and Reed within 5 shots, and none will be lost for motivation with a 10 million dollar cheque on the line. Thomas’ form here does support his claims with finishes of 6th, 2nd and 7th last year to his name, but for me he isn’t the play this week. Patrick Cantlay is playing some great golf, but at 5/1 he similarly seems under priced in this field despite his scoring advantage. With the likes of John Rahm and 2017 winner Xander Schauffelle needing to make up less than a stroke a day, I can't justify a price of 5/1 for Cantlay who would also need to get past Thomas.
Behind the leading two Brooks Koepka (5/1) and Rory McIlroy (15/2) pose the biggest threat. Brooks form has waivered so far in this Fedex Cup series, but he will not be lacking in motivation to take the big prize for the first time to sit alongside his phenomenal Major Championship record. Rory meanwhile has a win and a 2nd here in his last 4 starts and could be the danger as he tries to cap an otherwise disappointing season by taking the Fedex Cup.
Rob’s Golf Betting Tips
All tips are in the market “Tour Championship 2019 - Winner With FedEx Cup Starting Strokes”.
Headline Betting Tip
Top Rest of The World: Abraham Ancer - 5/1 To Win
With the outright market being so challenging to get around this week with the short priced favourites leading the way (and the scoring), I have looked for value in some of the lesser markets. Mexican Abraham Ancer has played some of the best golf in the field during the playoffs with his 2nd place at The Barclays followed up with a 28th place last week that could have been far better but for a few unforced errors on the Saturday. Ancer is certainly one to watch next season, but I feel can also finish this season on a high, and he goes into this week as the leading international player on 4 under ahead of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama on three under.
This is Ancer’s first visit to East Lake as you’d expect given that his rise to the top echelons of the game, and final 30 on Tour has only come around this week. He is a solid player and i’d expect him to be moving up through the field and pushing the top 5. Matsuyama has played here before and does have notable finishes of 4th and 5th mixed amongst some finishes further down the field, and on the back of a 3rd place last week will be hopeful to push Ancer. His game is very dependent on the type of putting week that he has. Scott, who has been widely critical of PGA Tour venues this week has similar finishes and is another solid ball striker that needs a good week. Leishman, Oosthuizen, Im and Connors make up the market but will have a lot of work to do to catch Ancer, who I will be backing with 4 points win at 5/1.
Top 10 Finish: Gary Woodland - 3/1 To Win
US Open Champion Gary Woodland comes into this week with a slight handicap, beginning the tournament on 3 under par which certainly puts him behind the curve for winning the tournament, but really shouldn’t do too much harm to his top 10 prospects with only 5 players two shots or more better off, and a grouping of players in the middle of the field that he could quite easily pull away from. Driving, as I’ve said, is the key criteria to getting on top of East Lake, and Woodland is renowned for his huge drives and high approach shots which will stop up quickly on the big, soft greens here in Atlanta, and he could have some low scores in him this week.
In his past 4 visits, Woodland has achieved a top 10 on 3 occasions, and seems to have been overly penalised by the bookmakers this week due to a points system that more impairs his chances of placing rather than of winning. In a week where there are very few big prices available, I am happy to throw my weight behind the new Major champion and have 5 points win at 3/1.
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*All odds from Bet UK’s online betting markets correct at the time of writing.
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