Tiger Woods is back this week, but that doesn’t mean he’s landed in any of our staff picks to win. Will Woods prove us wrong? We’ll find out on Sunday.
One popular pick among our panel for this week’s Northern Trust, the first of three events in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, is Tony Finau. Finau has six top 10s this season, but he’s still looking for his second career PGA Tour victory. His only other win was at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.
Northern Trust picks
A quick refresher on our game. Thirteen 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.
Jessica Marksbury ($9,551)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +1300. JT won at TPC Boston back in 2017, and is in the mist of a ridiculously good season. I’m feeling bullish on the chance that he’ll contend this week, and ultimately prevail.
Top 10: Webb Simpson, +335. Webb, I just can’t quit you! But really, why should I? His stats speak for themselves: 7 top 10s in 12 events this season, and he won at TPC Boston back in 2011. My money’s on him again this week.
Prop: Collin Morikawa Top 20, +138. Morikawa has been T25 or better in 11 of his 18 events this season, so this feels like easy money.
Nick Piastowski ($7,368)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3,000. Finau played well here two years ago, and he’s coming off a solid PGA Championship.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, +163. I don’t usually like to pick the odds-on favorite, but he’s going to finish in the top 10 and I like making money.
Prop: Top 20, Matthew Wolff, +300. He was trending in the right direction at the PGA, and I believe the course will be a good fit for him.
Josh Sens ($4,788)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3000. There is due, and then there’s DUE, and Finau is very much that. So many strong showings, so many close calls. This week, he gets it done and (of far greater importance), vaults me up our in-house gambling leaderboard.
Top 10: Jason Day, +300. Day’s no longer a sleeper, now that he has awakened and reminded us all of the No. 1 player he once was. So the odds aren’t long on this one, but they aren’t awful either.
Prop: Decided by a playoff, yes, +400. We haven’t seen extra holes in a while. I say it’s about time. Not a very scientific explanation, but, unless you have a supercomputer at home cranking algorithms, this gambling stuff is mostly about the gut anyway.
Tim Reilly ($4,700)
To-win: Patrick Reed, +2800. Reed is fresh of a T9 finish as he continues to put together a strong season. The only thing he’s missing is a win, and that comes this week.
Top 10: Cameron Champ, +900. With how Champ is playing, these odds are too good to pass up.
Prop: Three-stroke victory, +550. We’ve had a lot of close calls of late. We’re due for someone to run away with a tournament. Why not this week?
James Colgan ($4,663)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3000. To date, Tony’s got 38 career top 10 finishes, six career second-place finishes and only one win. He’s got to break through soon, and TPC Boston (at +3000) feels like the perfect venue and value to take a chance.
Top 10: Patrick Reed, +335. Okay, his game isn’t where it was a year ago, but Reed returns to The Northern Trust looking to defend his title, making him the perfect risk-reward pick.
Prop: Xander Schauffele, Top 5 American player, +350. A sneaky top 10 at the PGA Championship marked only the latest in a slew of strong recent performances from Xander. Let’s run it back this week.
Jonathan Wall ($4,603)
To-win: Dustin Johnson, +2200. I expect DJ to be hungry after missing out at the PGA. Three consecutive top-20 finishes at TPC Boston doesn’t guarantee success, but it’s enough to think past history and recent form converge for a big week.
Top 10: Patrick Reed, +335. Reed’s posted a top-10 in three of his past four starts at TPC Boston. Not overthinking this one.
Prop: Albatross in the tournament, yes, +1600. This event has produced some albatrosses in the past, most recently John Sender at the 2017 edition. With some gettable holes on the course, this is a good week to take a shot.
Sean Zak ($3,997)
To-win: Dustin Johnson, +2200. It’s not a major, but it’s a big field. That’s where DJ thrives.
Top 10: Daniel Berger, +335. Sneaky been a top-five player since the restart.
Prop: Rickie Fowler, Top 5 American finish, +1000. Rickie has fared well here before.
Josh Berhow ($3,438)
To-win: Webb Simpson, +3000. He’s been one of hottest and most consistent players this season and had a nice finish last week at the Wyndham. Webb gets it done at TPC Boston.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, +163. Dominated here two years ago. He’s even better now.
Prop: Winning margin, two strokes, +350. I have no scientific strategy here, but I’m going with it.
Andrew Tursky ($3,400)
To-win: Tony Finau, +3000. He’s been knocking on the door recently and it seems inevitable he’s going to get a win here at some point. Hopefully it’s this week.
Top 10: Daniel Berger, +600. Feed the hot hand. Berger has finished in the top five in three of his last five events. So as long as a top-five counts as a top 10, then I’m satisfied with this bet.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve gotten extra golf, so it feels like we’re due. I like the value here, too.
Zephyr Melton ($3,120)
To-win: Rory McIlroy, +1500. Rory has been quiet since the return to golf, but he’s got too much talent to be bottled up for long. I like him to bust out of his “slump” this week.
Top 10: Brendon Todd, +900. The year of Brendon Todd continues. It seems like he’s always lurking near the first page of the leaderboard these days.
Prop: Top former Georgia player, Kevin Kisner, +500. Kisner played well last week in North Carolina, and I like him to keep that momentum rolling this week as he comes out as the top former Bulldog player on the board.
Alan Bastable ($2,150)
To-win: Adam Scott, +5,500. Was bullish on Scotty at the PGA (where, after a long layoff, he T-22’ed) and still feel all kinds of good about him, especially at TPC Boston, where he has a half-dozen top 10s.
Top 10: Adam Scott, +500. His odds shouldn’t be this tasty, given his track record on this course, but Scott’s lack of reps have the bookies skittish. Not me. All in on the Aussie this week.
Prop: Playoff, yes, +400. Only prop I’ve hit all season. Time to go back to the well.
Dylan Dethier ($1,950)
To-win: Tiger Woods, +4500. C’mon. I know he’s been a bit all-or-nothing of late, and his odds are always inflated, etc. etc. That price is still way too high.
Top 10: Tiger Woods, +450. I’ve picked one of these correctly in a row, so time to make it a streak.
Prop: Rory Sabbatini, Low Continental European, +1400. We’re due for Sabo to take it relatively deep, and if that means he just has to beat Viktor Hovland, Jon Rahm and a handful of others, I’m in!
Luke Kerr-Dineen ($1,550)
To-win: Jason Day, +2600. Jason Day’s health is inconsistent at best, which has left him in a bit of a rut recently, but a coaching change and a good performance at the PGA Championship suggest he may be starting to turn things around. He’s still a world-class putter, and when he’s firing on all cylinders he remains one of the best talents in golf.
Top 10: Doc Redman, +1100. Redman has been steadily improving every week since the restart and was T-3 last week. I think he’ll be in contention again this week.
Prop: Decided by a playoff, +400. I said it last week, and came close, so I’m re-upping it once again. We’re due for one!