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McIlroy’s Success At Crooked Stick Makes Him Favorite for BMW Championship

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The real Rory McIlroy showed up for the closing two rounds of the Deutsche Bank Championship, and the four-time major winner is listed at +500 to double-dip this weekend on the odds to win the 2016 BMW Championship at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With the 7,516-yard par-72 layout at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., the next-to-last event of the FedEx Cup playoffs is a haven for longer drivers. McIlroy went 66-65 on Sunday and Monday to capture the BMW Championship and get his first tournament win of 2016 on U.S. Soil.

In 2012, McIlroy won in back-to-back weeks at the Deutsche Bank and BMW championships. At the latter, he went under par on 25 of the 72 holes.

World No. 1 Jason Day, who is playing Crooked Stick for the first time, is listed at +700. Day is in the PGA Tour’s top 20 in driving distance, and has been in the top 15 in four consecutive events. Dustin Johnson, at +800, leads the Tour in driving distance, but his iffy putting of late should give bettors pause.

Jordan Spieth (+1400 on the golf betting lines) has contended in only one of his last seven events. However, Adam Scott (+1600) is among the driving distance leaders and is coming in hot with successive fourth-place finishes. Being sixth in FedEx Cup points creates some urgency for Scott, since anyone who is in the top five after this weekend can win the playoffs and a $10-million bonus by winning The Tour Championship.

Patrick Reed (+2200), who is first in the FedEx Cup standings, has been consistent all season. Rain is forecast for later this weekend in Carmel, and moist fairways might limit the advantage heavy hitters have over someone such as Reed, who averages fewer than 300 yards off the tee.

Olympic gold medalist Justin Rose, who falls in the former category (15th in driving distance), is looking for a bounce-back after a brutal back nine in the final round of the Deutsche Bank. Rose is also at +2200 on the BMW Championship betting lines.

Gary Woodland (+5000) is another long hitter who could get into contention if his short game remains stable throughout the weekend. Russell Knox (+6000), who is seventh in FedEx Cup points, should be out to make a statement after being left off Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

The event is open to the top 70 in FedEx Cup points, but Henrik Stenson has withdrawn due to an ailing knee. The top 30 after this weekend advance to The Tour Championship.

Americans favored against Europe as they look to reclaim Ryder Cup

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The tried-and-true narrative with the Ryder Cup is that Europe somehow manages to outfox the United States, which once again is the betting favorite for the biennial competition.

Europe has won eight of the past 10 competitions, including six of the last seven. With the Ryder Cup slated to begin Friday at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chasta, Minnesota, captain Davis Love III’s American squad is a -185 favorite at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Captain Darren Clarke’s Europe team is a +145 underdog to win.

Along with home soil, the Americans have the 7-5 edge in world Top 20 players and a 10-7 edge in players with experience in the tournament. The Americans have not won more than 7½ of a possible 12 points from the Sunday singles matches since their memorable comeback in 1999, but having the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed could make a difference on the final day.

Johnson headlines the top U.S. player board at +350. Spieth is listed at +450 and Reed is at +600. Jimmy Walker, the PGA championship winner and one of the better American putters, is listed at +1600.

Rory McIlroy, fresh off capturing the FedEx Cup, is a +450 favorite to be Europe’s top player. It is worth nothing that McIlroy is playing for a fellow Northern Ireland native, Clarke. Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson, who respectively won the Olympic gold medal and British Open this summer, are listed at +550.

Rickie Fowler, who has never won a Ryder Cup match, is a +225 favorite to be the top U.S. wild card (also known as a captain’s pick). Matt Kuchar has a +240 payout, with J.B. Holmes and Ryan Moore each listed at +300.

Martin Kaymer, at +150, and Lee Westwood, at +160, are neck-on-neck in the top Europe wild card prop. Ryder Cup rookie Thomas Pieters (+225) is a big hitter whose burgeoning rapport with Stenson could carry over to the course.

For top U.S. rookie, Brooks Koepka is -120 and Moore is -110 on those golf betting lines.

Danny Willett is +300 to be the top performer among the half-dozen rookies on the Europe team. Pieters, Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Matthew Fitzpatrick are each listed at +400.

The competition begins with fourballs and foursomes matches on Friday and Saturday, before the all-important 12 singles matches on Sunday. Each of the 28 matches is worth one point (with a half-point for a tie), and the first team to accumulate 14½ points wins.

Europe is 10-7-1 since the current Ryder Cup format was introduced in 1979.

Dustin Johnson Johnson brings good history into final FedExCup event as betting favorite

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The combination of course history and coming in hot makes Dustin Johnson the betting favorite for the Tour Championship, the finale of the FedExCup playoff.

Johnson, one of the five players who will capture the FedExCup if he wins this weekend, is listed at +450 to win the tournament at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Not only is Johnson fresh off capturing the BMW Championship, but he has been in the top 10 three times in a row at the Tour Championship.

The layout and length of par-70 East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta places an emphasis on accuracy, but also requires being long off the tee. East Lake’s nines have been flipped, so the 18th hole is now a 600-yard par-5.

Rory McIlroy, who is sixth in the playoff standings, is the second favorite at +600 on the golf betting lines. McIlroy is  a past runner-up (in 2014) at the Tour Championship.

Jason Day (+800), Adam Scott (+1000), Paul Casey (+1400) and Patrick Reed (+1600) are the other four who would automatically win the FedExCup if they win the tournament, although the PGA Tour’s point system gives all 30 players a mathematical chance of winning.

Day should be clear of the back pain that caused him to withdraw from the BMW Championship midway through the final round. The Australian has three top 10 finishes in his last five starts at East Lake. Jordan Spieth, who is also listed at +800, is the defending champion, but his showings of late have been consistency decent, rather than spectacular.

Scott leads the PGA in shots gained from tee to green, and has been fourth in the last three FedExCup events. The Australian is the epitome of consistency.

Casey is 2-for-2 at placing in the top five of this event, and was second at the BMW and Deutsche Bank tournaments. The Englishman is ineligible for the Ryder Cup, so this is a chance to finish his season on a high note.

Reed has finished 19th and 27th in two career Tour championships. A player of his caliber will likely figure out the course eventually, but presently that makes him a longshot.

A sidebar to the tournament, of course, is that U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III will make his final pick on Sunday. Whether that provides motivation or a stifling pressure for the likes of Bubba Watson (+3300) or Ryan Moore (+4000) will be interesting.