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.

Jordan Spieth Has Top Odds, Tiger Woods Making Charge on Masters Betting Lines

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Jordan Spieth has top odds and Tiger Woods is charging up the futures board, but recent history at Augusta National dictates fading those who have already won the green jacket.

Spieth is the +900 favorite on the 2018 Masters betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com, with the golf season’s first major due to commence on Thursday. All told, nine men in the field have odds of lower than +2000 (or 20/1), including Rory McIlroy (+1000), Justin Thomas (+1100), Dustin Johnson (+1100), Woods (+1400), Justin Rose (+1400), Bubba Watson (+1600), Jason Day (+1800) and Phil Mickelson (+1800).

However, only two recent champions – Mickelson in 2010 and Spieth in 2015 – have gone off at lower than +2000 odds. Woods is drawing a lot of action at many sportsbooks and it’s all well and good to indulge the thought of an all-time great writing a comeback story, but it will be his first major since 2015. Also, no one over age 40 has won the Masters since 1998.

Eight of the last nine major winners have been first-timers, with Spieth (2017 British Open) being the only exception in that span. Those trends don’t mean automatically having to rule out a favorite. Rose, who was the runner-up at the 2017 Masters, has had five top-10 finishes in the event and is also playing well so far this season, with three top-5 placings.

With a 7,435-yard course that is free of flat hole layouts, Augusta rewards golfers who are efficient with their approach. While there hasn’t been a repeat winner since Woods in 2001-02, defending champion Sergio Garcia (+2800) leads the PGA Tour in strokes gained: approach, while Thomas and Mickelson are also among the leaders.

Two-time winner Bubba Watson missed the cut in in three of the 2017 majors, including the Masters, but his recent win the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is a reason to consider investing in him.

If one is bent on backing someone who is on the Yet To Win A Major Shortlist, there’s Paul Casey (+2200), who has finished sixth or better in his last three majors. A wrist ailment has affected Hideki Matsuyama (+3300) at times this season, but the Japanese star has finished 11th or higher in his last three starts at the Masters. Matsuyama’s odds are right in the range of several recent Masters champions.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Tony Romo set to make PGA Tour debut at Punta Cana

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While much of the attention in golf this week will be focused on the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Tony Romo may send a few eyeballs toward the Caribbean.

The former quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst will make his PGA Tour debut this week, playing on a sponsor invite at the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship in the Dominican Republic. The exemption was announced last month when Romo played as an amateur at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he’s apparently been hard at work ever since.

“I’ll be treating it very serious,” Romo told reporters Tuesday. “My wife will tell you she hasn’t seen me much over the last month. But if you know me at all, I think you know if I care about something I’m going to commit to it 100 percent. So like I said. you’ll get the best I’ve got this week.”

Romo retired from the NFL last year and plays to a plus-0.3 handicap. In addition to his participation in the Pebble Beach event, he has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open multiple times and last month played a North Texas PGA mini-tour event as an amateur.

According to Romo, one of the key differences between pro football and golf is the fact that his former position is entirely about reactive decisions, while in golf “you’re trying to commit wholeheartedly before you ever pull the club out of your bag.”

“I’m not worried about getting hit before I hit the ball,” Romo said. “It’s at my own tempo, my own speed, in this sport. Sometimes that’s difficult, and sometimes that’s easier depending on the situation.”

Romo admitted that he would have preferred to have a couple extra weeks to prepare, but recently has made great strides in his wedge game which “was not up to any Tour standard.” The first-tee jitters can’t be avoided, but Romo hopes to settle in after battling nerves for the first three or four holes Thursday.

Romo hopes to derive an added comfort factor from his golf in the Dallas area, where he frequently plays with a group of Tour pros. While Steph Curry traded texts with a few pros before his tournament debut last summer on the Web.com Tour, Romo expects his phone to remain silent until he puts a score on the board.

“I think they’re waiting to either tell me ‘Congrats’ or ‘I knew it, terrible,'” Romo said. “Something along those lines. They’re probably going to wait to see which way the wind’s blowing before they send them.”

Romo will tee off at 8:10 a.m. ET Thursday alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.