Palmetto Championship picks: Who a gambler and experts are betting on this week

Dustin Johnson

Dustin Johnson hits a tee shot on the 18th hole on the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island during the PGA Championship.

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At this week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree, who does the journalist, betting analyst or data guru like? Or the caddie? Or the old-school gambler? Gimme the facts, storylines and trends. Gimme that inside-the-ropes look. Gimme your gut feeling. 

You bet, bettor. 

Welcome to’s new gambling advice column, where we’ve assembled a panel of those aforementioned experts to make three “best bets.” A real-life professional bettor here will then heed that advice, add his acumen and wager his own cash. It’s not unlike what you do through texts and Google searches — except now it’s all in one place. 

Our hope is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league, (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook or through free-to-play Chirp Golf, an app from our parent company that is available in the App Store and at Google Play

Now, on to some facts, the expert picks, the bettor’s best bets and info on how to bet for free.

The facts 

This week’s tournament: Palmetto Challenge at Congaree, Ridgeland, S.C. 

TV (ET): Thursday, 3-6 p.m., Golf Channel; Friday, 3-6 p.m., Golf Channel; Saturday, 1-3 p.m., Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m., CBS; Sunday, 1-3 p.m., Golf Channel, 3-6 p.m., CBS. 

Weather ( Thursday, PM thunderstorms, 90 degrees, 7 mph SW wind; Friday, partly cloudy, 93 degrees, 9 mph WSW wind; Saturday, scattered thunderstorms, 90 degrees, 9 mph W wind; scattered thunderstorms, 90 degrees, 9 mph W wind 

Defending champion: Inaugural event

Top 10 in odds (via DraftKings): Dustin Johnson, +775; Brooks Koepka, +925; Tyrrell Hatton, +1,200; Matthew Fitzpatrick, +1,300; Sungjae Im, +1,700; Tommy Fleetwood, +2,650; Alexander Noren, +2,800; Ian Poulter, +2,800; Harris English, +2,900; Lucas Glover, +2,900. 

Expert picks 

The sportsbook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
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Nick Piastowski,, @nickpia

Bet 1: Lucas Glover, top 10, +275. Glover is one of Congaree’s ambassadors, and the familiarity will pay off. 

Bet 2: Bryson Nimmer, top 40, +300. Going with Bryson … Nimmer. He grew up near Congaree, and the course knowledge will get him past Friday. 

Bet 3: Wilco Nienaber, top 40, +500. The young South African bomber is making his PGA Tour debut, and here’s thinking he’ll play on the weekend.  

Jessica Marksbury,, @Jess_Marksbury

Bet 1: Dustin Johnson, to-win, +775. I’m over $1K in the hole thus far and need to hit something big, so I’m going heavy on DJ this week. He’s back on his home turf in S.C., prepping for the U.S. Open against a *relatively* weak field. Expectations are sky-high!

Bet 2: Matthew Fitzpatrick, top 10, +150. Fitzpatrick has been T23 or better in the last two events in South Carolina. I have faith he’ll put in a good performance this week.

Bet 3: Kevin Kisner, top 20, +188. Like DJ, a South Carolina native. Since this course is a relative unknown, I’m once again banking on some good home-turf vibes.  

Brady Kannon, host, Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN), @lasvegasgolfer

Bet 1: Patton Kizzire, top 20, +188. Kizzire leads this week’s field in SG: Approach and around the greens. I feel he is much more of a threat in his native South and flourishes on Bermuda grass greens. He’s been in very good form, and I think all of that will translate here this week.

Bet 2: Richy Werenski, top 20, +225. Werenski has really emerged this season with some great finishes on big stages against top fields. Against a lesser field this week, I think he ought to fare well. His best events have been on courses with wide fairways for the most part, and that is what we have here. He also finished 37th on another Fazio design, Quail Hollow, a very difficult course, against a stronger field. 

Bet 3: James Hahn, top 20, +350. Hahn won at Quail Hollow, so maybe the Fazio design will suit his eye. He also finished sixth this season at Corales Puntacana, another Fazio design. He withdrew earlier this year at the Honda Classic and has missed six straight cuts since, all against stronger fields. Hopefully he is healthy and can flourish against a weaker field on a course design that seems to be in his wheelhouse.

Wes Reynolds, host, Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN), @WesReynolds1

Bet 1: Luke List, to-win, +6,000. He is obviously shaky with the flat stick (148th SG: Putting past 24 rounds), but he has been hitting the ball as well as anyone in this field as of late (2nd, SG: T2G; 3rd, SG: Ball Striking; 4th, SG: Off-The-Tee).

Bet 2: Richy Werenski, top 20, +450. While he is only 98th in SG: Putting for the past 24 rounds, he loves fast, Bermuda greens, and this week provides his best putting surface. 

Bet 3: Vincent Whaley, top 10, +1,000. Whaley has made nine straight cuts dating back to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and ranks seventh in SG: Total over the past 24 rounds. He does not have a top 10 this season, but, with a lesser field, this is the perfect spot to get one. He currently sits just inside the FedEx Cup 125, at 124. A high finish will surge him up the points list. 

Ryan Palmer hits out of the sand during last year's Charles Schwab Challenge.
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Martin de Knijff, Metric Gaming, @mdkentrepreneur 

Bet 1: Tommy Fleetwood, to-win, +3,000. Believe both DJ and Brooks are tremendously overrated this week and can’t believe how short their prices are — particularly considering it being a major next week. To find a bona fide links player like Fleetwood at 30-1, on a course where imagination will be at a premium, I can’t pass on that.

Bet 2: Luke List, to-win, +5,000. Held the course record here until recently. Form perhaps is a question mark. LL has enough power, and the fast conditions should be an advantage.

Bet 3: Lucas Glover, top 10, +340. Greens will be lightning fast this week (maybe fastest all year), and in a bizarre way, that helps Glover (who’s a borderline yips putter). He’s involved in the “Palmetto Project,” and I’m confident he’ll play solidly this week. 

John Rathouz, PGA Tour caddie and Caddie Network contributor, @rathouz

Bet 1: Seamus Power, top 10, +900. Had a chance to win going into the back nine last time he teed it. The Irishman has tons of links experience and great results on Bermuda. Length will help, and there’s lots of room off the tee.   

Bet 2: Vincent Whaley, top 20, +250. The rookie has made 10 cuts in a row, with an average finishing position of 27th. I like the Georgia Tech kid to shine in a weaker field and notch his second consecutive top-20 finish. 

Bet 3: Kristopffer Ventura, top 40, +300. Such a talent. He has a new caddie on the bag this week, and that can oftentimes be a big jump-start. 

The “old-school” gambler, an “old-school” gambler, @notthefakeW 

Bet 1: Rafa Cabrera Bello, top 5, +1,200. Has been rounding into form of late. At these odds, I’ll gladly take him to be in the mix.

Bet 2: Patton Kizzire, to-win, +4,650. A quieter lower body has led to lower scores of late for the big man. 

Bet 3: Lucas Glover, to-win, +2,900. Being the Congaree course ambassador means he knows the course well, right?

The pro bettor’s best bets 

Erick Lindgren. Lindgren, the 2008 World Series of Poker Player of the Year,  has won more than $10.5 million in poker tournament earnings and is an avid sports bettor. @EdogPoker

Bet 1: Keith Mitchell, to-win, +4,500. He’s had a quietly strong season. Time for Mitchell to make a bang. 

Bet 2: Robbie Shelton, top 10, +1,400 Shelton has been a trendy pick among golf punters of late. I guess that makes me fashionable. 

Bet 3: Harris English, top 5, +550. 

How to bet on the Palmetto Championship at Congaree — for free! 

Chirp presented by Cooper Tires is a new golf-gaming platform that allows users to place live bets using fake money to win amazing, real-life prizes. The app, which is owned by’s parent company, 8AM Golf, is designed to inject the adrenaline of live gambling into a fun, risk-free contest. For more on Chirp presented by Cooper Tires, click here.

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