Tour Championship betting guide: 3 picks we love at East Lake

Xander Schauffele of the United States plays his shot from the seventh tee during the first round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 15, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.

With the Tour Championship on tap this week in Atlanta, here are three can't-miss wagers for the season-ending event.

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Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, where we share our favorite bets for the upcoming action. This time around, it’s the season-ending Tour Championship, which gets underway Thursday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. Along with our recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

Scottie Scheffler is starting with a two-stroke lead, but they’re still going to play the tournament.

It’s Tour Championship week at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the epic season-ender with a whopping purse and a weird format. With $75 million up for grabs and $18 million earmarked for the winner alone, the event gets underway with a staggered leaderboard based on the current FedEx Cup standings. As the top man in the points race, Scheffler will begin the tournament at 10 under, two shots ahead of Viktor Hovland, three clear of Rory McIlroy, four in front of Jon Rahm, and so on down the line.

The pre-tournament cushion makes Scheffler the rightful favorite, but at odds so low that he’s not a tempting choice. He’s +150, meaning that a $100 wager would pay $150 — so we’re looking elsewhere on the betting board.

Our 3 favorite plays for the week

Rory McIlroy (+350)

A three-time winner of the FedEx Cup, McIlroy has a history of feasting at East Lake and has been the most consistent force in the game of late. He has a win and three top 4s in his last six events and hasn’t finished worst than T9 since May. He’ll need to shift it into overdrive to catch Scheffler, but two shots is more than manageable for a player with Rory’s horsepower, on a course where he has sped away from the field before.

Xander Schauffele over Matt Fitzpatrick (-145) 

Schauffele’s starting position at three under, seven shots back, makes him an unappealing play to win. But head-to-heads are another story. In six appearances at East Lake, Schauffele has never finished worse than seventh place, a sparkling record that includes a win in 2017. Fitzpatrick has been in fine form of late as well, but with searing temperatures in the forecast for Atlanta, we’re looking at a course — and climate — better suited to the SoCal kid.

Rickie Fowler over Russell Henley  (-120)

In this stunning turnaround of a season, Rickie Fowler didn’t just get himself back into the winner’s circle. He also placed himself in the center of the conversation as a potential Ryder Cup captain’s pick. We’re betting that he’ll seize on this last opportunity to make his case.

Who Chirp users are betting on this week

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Josh Sens Contributor

A golf, food and travel writer, Josh Sens has been a GOLF Magazine contributor since 2004 and now contributes across all of GOLF’s platforms. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Sportswriting. He is also the co-author, with Sammy Hagar, of Are We Having Any Fun Yet: the Cooking and Partying Handbook.