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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the trophy as we look at our best PGA Championship first-round leader picks
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland celebrates with the trophy after winning the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club. Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images via AFP.

Each of the 156-member field will feel they can upset tournament favorite Scottie Scheffler and win the second major of the year when the first round of the 2024 PGA Championship tees off Thursday morning, so we're providing our expert PGA Championship first-round leader picks based on the odds from our best golf betting sites.

The PGA Championship odds has Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy, and Brooks Koepka as heavy favorites to win the season's second major. Each frontrunner, due to their relatively low odds in one of the best fields in golf, includes plenty of risk as an outright bet. Yet, a pick for anyone else might come feel slightly unreasonable from the tournament's outset.

So, we turn our attention to the PGA Championship first-round leader odds and our best picks. Just like Week 1 of the NFL season or Opening Day in MLB, the field is wide open, a case can be made for almost anyone, and the odds for the tournament favorites are likely at the highest they'll be throughout the event.

The 2024 PGA Championship tee times will start at 7:15 a.m. ET, with Michael Block hitting the ceremonial first shot.

Accompanying our PGA Championship expert picks, here are our best first-round leader picks based on the odds from our best sports betting sites.

PGA Championship first-round leader odds

Note: The first-round leader market is decided once everyone in the field has completed their first 18 holes. This may be Friday morning in the event of a weather or darkness delay.

Scottie Scheffler+1400+1400+1200 ❄️+1400+1400
Rory McIlroy+2000+2000+1600 ❄️+1800+1800
Brooks Koepka+2500+2500+2500+2500+2500
Jon Rahm+2800+2800+2800+2800+3000 🔥
Xander Schauffele+3000+3000+2800+3000+2500 ❄️
Ludvig Aberg+3500 🔥+3300+2800 ❄️+3000+3000
Bryson DeChambeau+3500+3500+3300 ❄️+3500+3500
Joaquin Niemann+4000+4000+4000+4000+4000
Collin Morikawa+4000+4000+3300 ❄️+4000+3500
Max Homa+4000+4000+4000+4000+3500 ❄️

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How to bet on the first-round leader market

Betting on the first-round leader market in golf adds excitement to tournaments by allowing you to wager on which player will have the lowest score after the opening round. To get started, research players known for strong starts and consider their recent form, course history, and potential weather conditions. Understanding the market involves exploring individual player odds or broader groupings based on factors like world rankings or tee times.

As with any bet, it's crucial to manage risks and rewards responsibly. While the potential payouts can be tempting, remember that golf is unpredictable, and anything can happen in a single round. By carefully assessing player performances and course conditions, you can make more informed decisions when betting on the first-round leader market and enhance your overall golf betting experience.

Odds in this market will generally be higher for the tournament favorites than they are for the outright win while being shorter for players with longer odds in the outright betting market.

First-round leader picks

Rory McIlroy

Those who missed the boat on McIlroy's odds to win the PGA Championship (they were still offered as high as +1500 a week ago) should now be turning their attention to this market. And perhaps sprinkling on the wire-to-wire winner market.

McIlroy's odds to win his first major since 2014 - and his second straight at Valhalla Golf Club - are down to a consensus of +750. We're getting better than double that value in the 18-hole market with a winning $10 bet at the +2000 odds returning a profit of $200 vs. the potential $75 return for a tournament win.

Not only is McIlroy riding the high of his five-stroke victory in last week's Wells Fargo Championship, but he'll be teeing off in the preferred 8:15 a.m. ET time slot on Thursday. He'll have the advantage over the rest of the field when the course is at its softest following a couple of days of rain, thanks to his ranks in strokes gained: off-the-tee and driving distance.

The greens will also play their easiest for the week on Thursday morning before things dry out and speed up later in the day through the rest of the weekend.

Best odds: +2000 via FanDuel

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Bryson DeChambeau

This is cherry-picking a little bit after DeChambeau held the 18-hole lead in the Masters at 7-under par, one stroke better than Scheffler. But Valhalla Golf Club sets up better for one of the game's longest hitters, and like Rory, he'll benefit from an early-morning tee time. Dechambeau goes to the 10th tee at 8:59 a.m. ET.

No one in this - or any - field in golf can use their distance like DeChambeau when he's at his best. The softer greens will also help his approach and putting metrics early in the day.

DeChambeau's odds to win the tournament are as low as +2000, so we're getting a much better price in this market, where a winning $10 bet will return a profit of $350.

Best odds: +3500 via bet365

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Byeong Hun An

An started the Masters at 2-under par and in a tie for eighth through 18 holes. He's 13th on the PGA Tour this season in Round 1 scoring average, and he's coming off a third-place finish in the Wells Fargo Championship that vaulted him to a career-best 23rd in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).

An is an underrated long driver. He's coming off one of the best putting weeks of his career, with 2.01 strokes gained per round with his flat stick at Quail Hollow.

He'll tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET with partners Alexander Bjork and Eric Cole.

Best odds: +6000 via BetMGM

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PGA Championship betting pages

PGA Championship weather

After rain plagued Tuesday and Wednesday's practice rounds at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., the weather throughout the 2024 PGA Championship should be clear.

Thursday calls for a mix of sun and cloud but only a 20% possibility of precipitation. Friday comes with a higher chance of rain, but less than 0.5 inches in expected in total through the day.

Saturday and Sunday will be the best days of the week. Temperatures will feel like they're in the mid-80s on Saturday and peak at 93 degrees on Sunday. There's a 20% chance of rain or less both days over the weekend.

Winds will hover around 10 miles per hour all four days with gusts at their highest on Sunday (19 mph).

How to bet on golf

Betting on the PGA Championship can be exciting, especially with a bit of know-how. Let's break it down:

  • Understanding the odds: Start by familiarizing yourself with American odds. For example, if a golfer has odds of +1200, it means a $100 bet could win you $1,200 if they win the tournament. Conversely, if a golfer has odds of -200, you'd need to bet $200 to win $100.
  • Researching the players: Take time to research the players competing in the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. Look into their recent performances, course history, and how they fare on similar courses. For instance, if a golfer has a history of performing well on challenging courses like Valhalla, they might be worth considering.
  • Course conditions and strategy: Valhalla Golf Club is known for its challenging layout and demanding conditions. Consider how golfers with strong driving accuracy and precise iron play might excel here. Keep an eye on how the course conditions evolve throughout the tournament, as this can impact player performance and betting odds.
  • Betting markets: In addition to outright winner bets, explore other betting markets like top-5 or top-10 finishes, head-to-head matchups between specific golfers, and prop bets on individual player performances. These markets offer different ways to bet on the tournament and can provide additional opportunities for value.

By understanding the odds, researching the players and course conditions, and exploring different betting markets, you can make more informed decisions when betting on the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. Good luck!

Here are our best golf betting sites:

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