PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs: Tour Championship best bets


Jon Rahm won in stunning fashion last week, holing a 66-foot putt in a playoff with Dustin Johnson, who drained a 45-footer to force extra holes. Fantasy analyst Anita Marks hit on her Rahm pick at 9-1 odds.

The FedExCup playoffs now shift to Atlanta, where 30 golfers will tee it up at East Lake in the Tour Championship.

Where does the smart money lie? What bets and props are worth a look?

Betting expert Chris "The Bear" Fallica, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and Marks offer their best bets.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill unless otherwise noted.

Bets to win

Justin Thomas +550 (8-1 to win without starting strokes at DraftKings)

Fallica: Thomas begins at 7 under. DJ has a massive edge at 10 under, but he didn't play well last year here. In order to beat him, you need someone capable of going super low. JT fits that bill. He's only three shots back and has never been worse than seventh at East Lake. And he beat DJ by 16 shots last year -- definitely an outlier -- but beat him by nine in 2017. He likes the course and is as good a guess as anyone as to who can run down an in-form DJ.
Thomas +550

Bearman: Strokes gained tee to green is a valuable metric this week. Well, JT is leading the tour in it. In four appearances at East Lake, Thomas has gone T6, second, T7 and T3 last year. He doesn't have the pressure of entering with the lead like he did last year. If Dustin falters, JT is only three shots back and fully capable of pulling this off.
Webb Simpson 9-1; Simpson (+130) over Thomas (-162 at DK)

Marks: I loved Simpson's strategy last week, taking the BMW Championship off to rest and coming into this week only down by four shots (6 under) to the leader of the pack, Dustin Johnson. Olympia Fields was grueling both mentally and physically for every golfer that teed it up in Chicago, so I see it as a huge advantage for Simpson to come into Atlanta fresh and recharged. Simpson has three top-five finishes at East Lake in his seven starts, and his metrics are key: 17th in driving accuracy, sixth in strokes gained on approach, T6 in par-3 performance and seventh in scrambling this season.
Simpson 9-1

Bearman: I'll start by admitting that I do not like this format as a bettor. The whole "start a few shots back" makes the field so uneven, it's hard to bet it. It also combines what used to be two markets to bet on into one. But alas, you are here for picks, so we go back to our favorite well. Simpson, who cost himself only one shot in this format by sitting out last week, is rested and going to one of his favorite courses. In the last eight years, he has qualified for East Lake six times and finished in the top five in three of those appearances, including a T4 in 2018. The Donald Ross course favors putting the ball in play and hitting greens, so shots gained tee to green and greens in regulation will be of importance. Simpson is 12th in tee to green, sixth in GIR and third in total shots gained. He's four shots back of the hottest golfer on the planet, but Simpson has gone toe-to-toe with him this year. I've been on this train all year and will be again this week in Atlanta.

Xander Schauffele 25-1 (11-1 to win without starting strokes at DK)

Fallica: Schauffele, who begins at 3 under, has won here before and been double digits under par in two of the three years he's played here (win, T7, second). He hasn't won yet this year, but his best finishes and near misses have seemingly come in smaller fields -- like the season opener in Kapalua. He'll need some help from DJ, but at 25-1, given his track record here, you could do worse than Xander.
Tony Finau 55-1 (19-1 to win without starting strokes at DK)

Fallica: Here's your lottery ticket. He made it into the field with a great week at the BMW and will start at 1 under. Finau was able to work his way up the leaderboard here last year with no real pressure on him, and he just might be able to do the same this year. He played great on Sunday at Harding Park and great last week at the BMW. He just got flat-out beat by Collin Morikawa and DJ. It's highly unlikely he can make up nine shots on DJ, but stranger things have happened.
Kevin Kisner 150-1

Bearman: Everyone loves a long shot. Kisner is way back, nine shots off the pace, but starting with the Rocket Mortgage in July, he has three top-five finishes. He finished T9 last year at East Lake and T3 in his previous appearance in 2017. His putting has improved this season, as he sits 17th in strokes gained putting, and he'll need it to pull this off.

Prop bets

Collin Morikawa top-3 finish (+550 at DK)

Marks: Morikawa begins his round five back to DJ, but I like him to finish in the top three. This will be his first time teeing it up at East Lake, but it is a course that plays to his game. In order to win there, you need to rank in the top 10 in strokes gained on approach, and Morikawa ranks second this season. Another metric that plays to his favor is driving accuracy, where he ranks in the top five of the 30 teeing it up.

Daniel Berger top-5 finish (+250 at DK); Berger (-110) over Bryson DeChambeau (-110 at DK)

Marks: Berger begins his round six shots back, a margin that will be difficult to make up. I like Berger finishing in the top five, considering he is ranked in the top 10 in strokes gained tee to green and is in the top five of the 30 this week in driving accuracy. He's the overall best when it comes to scrambling, and he excels at putting on Bermuda greens.

Harris English top-5 finish (+550 at DK)

Marks: English begins his round six shots back. But he's another golfer I see finishing in the top five due to his par-3 scoring and scrambling ability. Harris ranks T2 in par-3 performance, ninth in par-3 birdies or better and third in scrambling this season. He may not hit every fairway or green at East Lake, but he certainly has the tools to remain in the mix.

Brendon Todd top-10 finish (+350 at DK); Todd (-148) over Sebastian Munoz (+115 at DK)

Marks: A little home cooking for Todd this week will do him well, playing on a course he is familiar with and on Bermuda greens on which he shines. He might not be the longest off the tee, but he is one of the most accurate, ranking fourth this season. He is T6 in par-3 performance and ranks second on tour in scrambling.

Viktor Hovland (-137) over Kevin Na (+110 at DK)

Fallica: Na has finished 25th or worse in three of his six trips to East Lake and never better than 16th. He's at a big disadvantage here because of his lack of length off the tee. Despite having just one top-20 in his last five events, Hovland's overall tee-to-green game should give him an edge here, despite starting one shot behind Na.
Anyone vs. Rory McIlroy in head-to-heads

Fallica: I feel kind of dirty for suggesting this, and I don't even know if books will post matchups involving Rory. But his wife is expected to give birth in the very near future, and he's made it clear he will leave the event at a second's notice to be present for that -- as he absolutely should. But if our goal is to make money and rules state both golfers must tee off for action and then Rory starts the event, then withdraws, well, that's a win for the bettor.