Tour Championship expert picks: How a pro gambler would bet $1,000

One of the smartest plays we’ve made at GOLF.com was to go all in on Erick Lindgren as our expert prognosticator. Lindgren is a star of the professional poker circuit, with more than $10 million in career earnings. But he has proven to be a shark at golf wagering, too, having chosen five outright winners already this year in our weekly picks, among other spot-on bets.

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That sparkling track record inspired us to strike a deal with Lindgren: Every week through the end of the 2021 season, we’re giving him a $1,000 gambling budget (just play money!). In return, he’s giving us — well, you — his five best bets for that week’s event. Here’s Lindgren’s play list for the season-ending Tour Championship, which starts Thursday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

(Looking to place any of these bets yourself? We teamed with BetMGM, and the online sportsbook is offering a “Bet $20 to Win $100” promotion, regardless of your wager’s outcome, as well as a “Risk-Free First Bet” up to $1,000.)

1. Bryson DeChambeau to win, $300, 5.5-1

On the face of it, East Lake, which will play as a par-70, isn’t the most natural fit for DeChambeau, whose prodigious length gives him a big edge on par 5s. But eagles aren’t everything. And Lindgren loves all aspects of Bryson’s game right now.

2. Bryson DeChambeau and Jon Rahm to finish 1-2, in either order. $200, 14-1

The bookmakers at MGM have rolled out all kinds of creative lines for the season’s grand finale. Of those propositions, Lindgren is most drawn to a bet that borrows from the horse track. He’s taking a quinella on two of the hottest players in the world.

Quite a 1-2 punch.

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3. Harris English Top 5, $200, 3.5-1

It’s been a stand-out season for the long-hitting English, whose ball-striking has impressed Lindgren throughout 2021. You know what else he likes? English’s position in the Tour Championship’s staggered start. English will step to the first tee on Thursday already at four under, in a tie for 6th. In other words, he only needs to move up a single spot for Lindgren to cash a win.

4. Xander Schauffele to beat the field straight up, $200 at 12-1

This straight-up wager takes the staggered start out of play. Lindgren is simply betting that Schauffele will shoot the lowest score over four rounds. Given the way he’s dismantled East Lake in the past, Lindgren likes X-man’s chances. Especially at 12 to 1.

5. Jason Kokrak to beat the field straight up, $100 at 40-1

Kokrak played a near-flawless weekend at last week’s BMW, and Lindgren is looking for that momentum to continue. As with the Schauffele bet, he’s not wagering that Kokrak will win the staggered start event. He’s betting that Kokrak will shoot the lowest four rounds in the field. At 40-1, this bet would yield a handsome $4,000.

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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.