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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland reacts to his shot on the fifth hole during the final round of the BMW Championship. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images via AFP.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is back on top of the season-long FedEx Cup standings and will thus begin the Tour Championship atop the leaderboard at 10-under par. In search of betting value, we make our Tour Championship picks for the low 72-hole score.

Scheffler returned to the top of the FedEx Cup standings with a T-3 finish at last week's BMW Championship. He had been temporarily displaced in the season-long race after Will Zalatoris' breakthrough victory at the FedEx St. Jude Championship to kick off the playoffs. A four-time winner in 2022, Scheffler will begin the Tour Championship at -10, two shots ahead of reigning FedEx Cup champion and BMW Championship winner Patrick Cantlay.

While the PGA Tour's 2021-22 playoff finale sees the top 25 golfers in the 29-man field begin the week at -1 or better, our Tour Championship picks will focus on the more entertaining low 72-hole market.

Tour Championship Starting Strokes

Starting StrokesPlayer
10 underScottie Scheffler
8 underPatrick Cantlay
7 underWill Zalatoris - WD
6 underXander Schauffele
5 underSam Burns
4 underCameron Smith, Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, Sepp Straka, Sungjae Im
3 underJon Rahm, Scott Stallings, Justin Thomas, Cameron Young, Matt Fitzpatrick
2 underMax Homa, Hideki Matsuyama, Jordan Spieth, Joaquin Niemann, Viktor Hovland
1 underCollin Morikawa, Billy Horschel, Tom Hoge, Corey Conners, Brian Harman
Even parK.H. Lee, J.T. Poston, Sahith Theegala, Adam Scott, Aaron Wise

Tour Championship Odds (Without Starting Strokes)

Patrick Cantlay+800+1000+1000
Xander Schauffele+800+1200+1200
Rory McIlroy+800+750+800
Jon Rahm+900+800+1000
Scottie Scheffler+1000+1200+1000
Justin Thomas+1400+1200+1400
Tony Finau+1600+1600+1600
Matt Fitzpatrick+2000+1600+1800
Cameron Smith+2000+1200+1600

Tour Championship Odds Analysis

As the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup standings and with a 2-stroke lead to start the tournament, Scheffler's odds to win the Tour Championship range from a low of +220 via FanDuel Sportsbook to a high of +260 via DraftKings Sportsbook in this week's main betting market. The next-closest golfer, Cantlay, is as much as 200 points higher at FanDuel. Xander Schauffele joins those two in being priced below +1000 to win the Tour Championship at DraftKings. Thus, we clearly see the value in betting the low 72-hole score under standard scoring conditions.

In our preferred "without starting strokes" market, Scheffler shares the fourth- or fifth-best odds at DraftKings and FanDuel. Some combination of Cantlay, Schauffele, Rory McIlroy, and Jon Rahm have a higher implied win probability than the top-ranked golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) when the tournament handicap is removed.

In the betting markets removing the starting strokes, we also see the odds board condensed. Sepp Straka and Tom Hoge are the only two golfers with odds higher than +8000 at FanDuel and Caesars Sportsbook. K.H. Lee joins them at +10000 or higher at DraftKings.

East Lake Golf Club Course Profile

Par: 70
Length: 7,346 yards
Greens: Bermuda
Architect: Tom Bendelow, Donald Ross, Rees Jones

Originally designed by Tom Bendelow, famed golf architects Donald Ross and Rees Jones have contributed to the current layout seen just a few miles east of downtown Atlanta, GA. The Tour Championship has been played at East Lake Golf Club each year since 2004 and has crowned the FedEx Cup champion every year since 2007.

East Lake GC demands accuracy off the tee. Bunkers, trees, and water pose hazards throughout the course. Still, roughly half the holes play below par on average, including six par 4s.

The easiest hole on the course is the 525-yard, par-5 sixth with a scoring average of 4.35. The most difficult hole is the 455-yard, par-4 eighth at a stroke average of 4.217. Three of the four par 3s exceed 200 yards. Six par 4s top 450 yards, with four ranging from 400-450 yards, and two others shorter than 400 yards. Scoring needs to be done on the reachable par 5s.

Tour Championship Key Stats

Strokes gained: off-the-tee
SG: around-the-green
Proximity: 125-150 yards
Birdie or better percentage
Par-4 performance

Accuracy is more important than distance when looking at strokes gained: off-the-tee as our most important stat this week. We'll also want to consider putting on Bermuda greens and play around the putting surfaces. Rather than SG: approach, we'll focus on the key proximity distance of 125-150 yards with the relatively short par 5s and varying par 4s.

With the par 4s playing to varying distances, we'll target par 4 efficiency as a whole.

We also have extensive course history on which to rely this week. Schauffele leads this field with an average of 3.48 true total strokes gained on the field per round across 20 career rounds at East Lake. McIlroy and Justin Thomas come in right behind, while Scheffler has averaged 1.99 strokes gained per round across just eight rounds played at East Lake.

Joaquin Niemann is the only golfer in this week's field to have lost strokes at East Lake over his career. Ten golfers in this field are making their course debut this year.

Tour Championship Picks

  Check out the latest comprehensive and most trusted Sportsbook Reviews by SBR.  

Who Will Win the Tour Championship?

McIlroy (+800)

I'm tempted by the +1100 odds at DraftKings on Rory McIlroy to win the Tour Championship outright with the starting strokes this week. However, the 6-shot deficit to begin the tournament just might be too much to overcome. The two-time FedEx Cup champ won at East Lake in 2016 and 2019; the former came in a playoff and the latter was a four-stroke victory.

McIlroy finished in a tie for eighth last week at the BMW Championship but he led the field with 1.48 SG: off-the-tee and 2.62 SG: tee-to-green per round. It was only his 1.12 strokes lost per round with the putter that kept him out of the winner's circle.

For the 2021-22 season, McIlroy is third on Tour in SG: off-the-tee, 40th in SG: around-the-green, second in proximity from 125-150 yards, and fifth in birdie or better percentage. He leads the Tour in SG: tee-to-green and ranks third in SG: off-the-tee across the last two months.

McIlroy has risen from No. 9 to No. 4 in the OWGR since the end of 2021. Without a major victory, he'll remain highly motivated for his run at a third FedEx Cup.

Thomas (+1400)

We're sticking with the course history and backing Justin Thomas' average of 2.70 true total strokes gained on the field across his 24 career rounds at this venue. The 2017 FedEx Cup winner was the runner-up to Schauffele at East Lake that year, and he has three straight finishes of fourth or better, when including starting strokes, in this event coming into the 2022 finale.

Thomas struggled to a +1 finish last week, but his putter takes the bulk of the blame. Across the last two months, Thomas has lost 0.69 strokes per round with the putter but is gaining 1.05 strokes per round from tee to green. A return to putting surfaces where he has had success could be just what he needs.

Fitzpatrick (+2000)

The 2022 U.S. Open winner, Matt Fitzpatrick is surprisingly making his first professional appearance at East Lake GC this week. He does so while still at a career-best No. 10 in the OWGR following his T-48 finish last week. He tied for fifth at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, on Bermuda greens, the week before.

Fitzpatrick is eighth on Tour this season in SG: off-the-tee and fourth in SG: around-the-green. He has gained 0.79 strokes per round off the tee, with 0.81 SG: putting and 0.42 SG: around-the-green per round in that time, too.

Be sure to bet Fitzpatrick at DraftKings, since he's as low as +1600 via FanDuel.

Where to Bet on the PGA Tour

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

FanDuel Sportsbook
Caesars Sportsbook
DraftKings Sportsbook

Check out the latest comprehensive and most trusted Sportsbook Reviews by SBR.

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Tour Championship picks made on 8/22/2022 at 6:15 p.m. ET.