The milk bottle pyramid. All you have to do is knock it over with a softball throw. The basketball shot. All you have to do is make a basket. The ring toss. All you have to do is toss a ring onto a soda bottle. That’s all you have to do.
That’s all you likely haven’t done. Easier said than thrown, shot or tossed. Carnival games favor the house in some shape or form. It’s possible to win. But it’s closer to impossible.
Our Dylan Dethier tried to win the giant stuffed bear last week.
The 1-2 finish of a golf tournament. The exact 1-2 finish. That’s all you have to do.
At 285-1 odds.
He almost did.
Dethier had not won a bet over the first four weeks of our game. He put his money down and was ready to play the milk bottle pyramid, basketball shot and ring toss.
“That’s 285-1, folks,” he wrote last week. “And yeah, that’s an exact 1-2 finish. I’m already on the bottom of this column — let’s just burn the whole thing to the ground.”
Hovland and Thomas were in Sunday’s final grouping. Hovland birdied the 3rd hole to take the lead. Thomas was tied for second. Stop the tournament.
Better luck next time.
This week, the PGA Tour is playing the Memorial, the second of two straight tournaments at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. We’ll give Dethier the floor as the smallest of consolation prizes. Who does he like?
Tiger Woods, who is playing his first tournament since the Genesis Invitational in early February, at +2,600.
“Once he plays well this week, you’ll never get odds this good again,” Dethier wrote. “Time to pounce!”
A quick refresher on our game. Fourteen members of our staff will make three $100 bets — to win, top 10 and a prop bet of choice — for each tournament from the Charles Schwab Challenge through the Masters in November. Each member starts with $4,000, and the odds will come from the DraftKings website. The first-place finisher will play a round of golf when it’s all said and done, and the last-place finisher is on the bag for the winner.
Our primary goal, of course, is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook.
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($6,451)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,050. The 2018 Memorial champ took last week off, but he’s clearly comfortable at Muirfield Village, and I think he’ll relish the opportunity to showcase his new power game by dominating this week’s star-studded field.
Top 10: Patrick Cantlay, +200. I’m sticking with Cantlay. He top-10’d for me last week and won the Memorial last year. He feels like a rock-solid pick.
Prop: Tiger Woods, Top 20, +150. The Big Cat is rested and returning on a tough course where he’s had a ton of success in the past. I don’t think he’ll contend for the trophy in his first competitive tournament back, but I do think he’ll play well enough for a T20.
Tim Reilly ($5,200)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,050. Until he shows signs of cooling off, I’m riding with Bryson. Something tells me that Twitter knock from Koepka didn’t sit well with him, and he’ll be coming out with a chip on his broad shoulders.
Top 10: Tony Finau, +500. This pick is based entirely off watching Finau post a 59 on Instagram with his swing coach over the weekend. Stay hot for me, Tony.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. The golf gods owe us a televised playoff after last week’s fiasco.
Josh Berhow ($4,938)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +950. He’s the most motivated guy on Tour right now. Seven days after he should have won at Muirfield for the Workday, he’ll close out an even better field to claim his first Memorial title.
Top 10: Rory Sabbatini, +1,100. He fizzled on Sunday, otherwise he would have been an easy top 10 last week. He now has seven top 25s in 13 starts on this course. Not a tough ask for him to squeeze into the top 10 for just the second time.
Prop: Tiger Woods to birdie his starting hole in Round 1, no, -910. Without a competitive round under his belt since February, I’m betting against Tiger coming out this hot.
Sean Zak ($4,147.30)
To-win: Jason Day, +5,500. Give me the Columbus man who played well last week. Simple as that.
Top 10: Kevin Streelman, +600. Man is feeling himself, and this peak won’t last forever. Gotta strike now!
Prop: Gary Woodland to miss cut, no, +200. Guy has been struggling a bit off the tee this year. MC!
Jonathan Wall ($3,725)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +2,500. Has finished no worse than T23 since the Tour returned. He’s due after a T3 last week.
Top 10: Patrick Cantlay, +200. Final-round 65 has him on the right track. I expect the defending champ to once again be in contention.
Prop: Best finishing position, Daniel Berger over Patrick Reed, -120. Desperately in need of a win. Gimme the hot hand.
Alan Bastable ($3,650)
To-win: Rory McIlroy, +1,300. Rory surely has tired of all the blabbering over Bryson. Golf’s alpha dog regains his bite this week on a course where he’s had four top-10s.
Top 10: Kevin Streelman, +$600. Easyyyy money here, folks. Runner-up in Hartford, T-7 last week at Muirfield, on a course where he finished 4th a year ago. Tempted to pick him to win, but field’s just too deep.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +$400. This is the only prop that’s been good to me thus far. Back to the well we go …
Zephyr Melton ($3,643)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,050. I’m all aboard the Bryson hype train. Big boy is going to fully neuter Muirfield Village with his bombs. Let’s get it.
Top 10: Patrick Cantlay, +200. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Cantlay loves him some Muirfield Village.
Prop: Albatross in the tournament, no, -5,000. We’re back, baby. Time to pad the stats with easy prop bets.
Josh Sens ($3,588)
To-win: Tiger Woods, +2,600. Rusty? Sure. Trusty? That, too. Clearly, this is a bet made with the heart more than with the head, but 26-1? He wins this event more than one in 26 tries, so I also have some plain old, objective facts on my side.
Top 10: Brooks Koepka, +550. The big man let me down last week with a missed cut. But I’m banking on him entering this week with some chip-on-the-shoulder attitude, along with his usual knack for playing better the bigger the event.
Prop: Best finishing position, Xander Schauffele over Viktor Hovland, -120. Hovland has been hot, no doubt. But Schauffele is almost always in the mix. He might very well win the tournament. And I’m betting on him to beat just one guy.
Andrew Tursky ($3,350)
To-win: Billy Horschel, +8,000. After a slow start on Thursday last week (4-over through his first five holes), Horschel played spectacular golf and finished T7. He’s probably itching to start fresh on a course where he has great momentum going.
Top 10: Sepp Straka, +1,100. Seems like everyone is sleeping on Sepp except me. He finished T8 at the Rocket Mortgage and T14 last week. That’s the form I’m looking for from a top-10 bet, especially at +1,100 odds. What a gift.
Prop: Winning margin, two strokes, +350. For those who knew about the live stream last weekend, we were treated to fireworks at the finish. I’m guessing this one will be a bit more of a snoozer at the end.
Nick Piastowski ($2,993)
To-win: Collin Morikawa, +2,200. I’ll go with the guy who won here just the other day.
Top 10: Patrick Cantlay, +200. The defending champ will play well again.
Prop: Hole in one in Round 2, +275. There were a few last week. There will be a few this week.
James Colgan ($2,888)
To-win: Patrick Cantlay, +1,650. Winning the same event in consecutive years is tough, but Cantlay gave me one in the W column last week. This play is half-gratitude, half-logic, and fully worth the risk, in my opinion.
Top 10: Jon Rahm, +250: A final-round 64 to sneak into the top 25 at the Workday? Don’t mind if I do on longer-than-normal odds for a top-10 finish.
Prop: Group E winner, Tony Finau, +300: If you weren’t salivating at the video of Tony touching 200 mph ball speed and 380 carry with the driver, start right now, then take him to win group E.
Luke Kerr-Dineen ($2,750)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +950. JT is not just one of the best players in golf, but also one of the most consistent, and now we get to put him on a course where we’ve just seen him play well. Hopefully he’ll have a chip on his shoulder after coming close last week and go a step further this time.
Top 10: Collin Morikawa, +275. I’m not going to overthink this one. He just won on the same course he’s going to be playing this week. Back-to-back seems unlikely, but a top 10 surely isn’t too much of a stretch.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. The odds are pretty juicy for something that’s pretty likely to happen ordinarily, let alone on the same course where we literally just saw it happen.
Ashley Mayo ($2,550)
To-win: Rickie Fowler, +3,500. Rick is due for a big win, and I have a feeling his fourth-round blunder at the Workday will fuel a laser focus that will be tough for others to beat.
Top 10: Collin Morikawa, +275. I really don’t see any slowdown from this Californian. His consistent play has been remarkable.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +240. As much as I want to see another insane down-to-the-wire finish, I have a feeling it’ll be far tamer than anything we saw during the final 20 minutes of play at the Workday.
Dylan Dethier ($2,500)
To-win: Tiger Woods, +2,600. Once he plays well this week, you’ll never get odds this good again. Time to pounce!
Top 10: Rory McIlroy, +188. It’s time to get a win and this is a stone-cold, guaranteed, 100% mortal lock of the century (of the week). Look, I wanted to keep firing longshots in your direction but it’s come to this and it’s time to get on the board. Rory will finish in the top 10.
Prop: Top 40, Joel Dahmen, +225. I just discovered the “top 40” section, and hey, that seems easier than the other stuff, right? Let’s go 3 for 3 this week. Dahmen’s poor play last week felt like an aberration more than anything — it’s go time.