BMW Championship expert picks: Who our staff thinks will win
Seventy golfers are playing in this week’s BMW Championship. The FedEx Cup playoffs shrink the fields. They shrink the number of players who can win.
They grow your chances of winning.
Last week, 125 players qualified for the Northern Trust. Earlier this month, 156 players qualified for the PGA Championship. If you were to have picked names out of a hat, you had one-in-125 and one-in-156 chances to win. Mathematically speaking.
The betting is now a little easier.
You know what to do. Gambling speaking.
The BMW is being played at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, Ill. Last week, our Jonathan Wall and Sean Zak both picked Dustin Johnson to win. We’ll give the floor to Wall. Who does he like this week?
Daniel Berger, at +1,800.
“Berger is being priced alongside the game’s elite — and rightfully so,” Wall wrote. ”Throw out the missed cut at the Memorial, and he’s finished no worse than T13 in five starts since the restart. That includes a win and three top-3 finishes. He’s on a heater.”
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.
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($9,786)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,500. We know he’s comfortable on the course by virtue of his U.S. Amateaur victory back in 2015, and that’s more than we can say for most of the other players in the field. Plus, his putting is currently in great shape — a huge necessity on Olympia Fields’ greens.
Top 10: Kevin Kisner, +450. Kiz has been playing awesome, with three top 4 finishes since July. He’s also one of the best putters on Tour, so this seems like a solid bet this week.
Prop: Top 20, Matthew Wolff, +188. At No. 33 in the standings, Wolff is on the bubble to get into next week’s Tour Championship, so I’m counting on some gritty good play to ensure himself a spot in the field at East Lake.
Nick Piastowski ($7,068)
To-win: Matthew Wolff, +4,500. You need some pop to play Olympia Fields, and Wolff has that.
Top 10: Cameron Champ, +750. Another bomber pick.
Prop: Leader after Round 1, Matthew Wolff, +4,000. I usually like to spread the money around, but I’ll give this a shot this week.
Sean Zak ($6,732.30)
To-win: Justin Thomas, +1,200. I feel like JT rises to the occasion whenever any other top player plays like DJ did. Bounce back for JT.
Top 10: Scottie Scheffler, +225. Kid is playing solid!!
Prop: Top 4 American, Tony Finau, +650. Isn’t that KINDA his thing?
Jonathan Wall ($6,703)
To-win: Daniel Berger, +1,800. Berger is being priced alongside the game’s elite — and rightfully so. Throw out the missed cut at the Memorial, and he’s finished no worse than T13 in five starts since the restart. That includes a win and three top-3 finishes. He’s on a heater.
Top 10: Viktor Hovland +350: Trending upward after a T59 in Memphis. He’ll contend at Olympia Fields coming off a T18 last week.
Prop: To be decided by a three-man playoff, yes, +1,600. Total dart throw. Believe we’re due for some extra holes on Sunday.
Tim Reilly ($5,150)
To-win: Tony Finau, +4,500. These odds are too good for me to pass up with as well as Finau’s played this year.
Top 10: Joel Dahmen, +1,000. After missing the Northern Trust cut, Dahmen went out and found a local money game over the weekend. He put it out there on Twitter for the golf world to see. I view that match as motivation for Dahmen to get back on track with the big boys this week.
Prop: Top American player, Tony Finau, +3,300. I’m doubling-down on Finau this week.
James Colgan ($4,363)
To-win: Daniel Berger, +1,800. Nothing like a good, old-fashioned vengeance pick to win. Also, Berger is literally allergic to finishing outside the top 25.
Top 10: Jon Rahm, +125. These odds reflect a near-lock, and that’s exactly what Rahm is to top-10 at the BMW. He’s a good player who’s playing good golf — don’t make things more complicated than they have to be.
Prop: Top past champion, Justin Thomas, +275. Based on recent performance, Dustin Johnson is the only threat to JT among the group, and I’m banking on a regression to the mean for DJ at the BMW.
Josh Sens ($4,488)
To-win: Dustin Johnson, +850. Why overthink it? DJ is the hottest golfer on the planet. He wins.
Top 10: Xander Schauffele, +200. Part of me thinks, why would anyone not take Dustin Johnson, given the demolition act we just witnessed? Answer: The odds are terrible. So I’ll go a little further down the list for a Steady Eddy player who so often finds himself in the conversation at the big events.
Prop: Top American player, Dustin Johnson, +650. I picked him to win. By definition, that means I think he’ll be the top American as well.
Andrew Tursky ($3,900)
To-win: Daniel Berger, +1,800. Berger has been playing absolutely lights out recently. I mean, he lost to DJ by only 12 shots last week in his solo third finish! But seriously, Berger will probably win this week.
Top 10: Viktor Hovland, +350. Hovland has been a bit quiet the past few weeks with mediocre finishes, but that’s not going to last much longer. I like a backdoor top-10 finish from Hovland this week.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. I took this last week, too. Obviously, it didn’t hit. I’m probably going to keep taking this one until it hits because I like the value here.
Zephyr Melton ($3,420)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,500. Beefy Bryson at the course where he won the U.S. Amateur in 2015? Sign me up. He might be 40-plus pounds heavier than he was back in the day, but the good vibes should still be flowing.
Top 10: Kevin Kisner, +800. The man is ~trending~. He’s 40-under over his past 10 rounds, and the putter is getting hot. Plus, he’s coming off a T4 last week. This is easy money.
Prop: Winner to play in final first tee grouping in Round 4, no, +210. I’m just throwing darts at the board on this one. There’s no rationale. I just have a feeling.
Josh Berhow ($3,138)
To-win: Daniel Berger, +1,800. He’s one of the hottest players in golf, and he’s even more motivated knowing he can’t even get into the November Masters. Here’s another chance to prove he belongs and add to his resume before Augusta (although, alas, it still won’t get him in).
Top 10: Kevin Kisner, +450. Two top-5 finishes in back-to-back weeks. I like his chances for a third.
Prop: Top past champion, Dustin Johnson, +225. Would you bet against this guy after what you saw last week?
Alan Bastable ($1,850)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +4,500. Hasn’t missed a cut since early March and seems to be getting better by the week. Also has strong college reps on this track.
Top 10: Jason Day, +300. Missed cut in Boston, but four straight top-10s before that. He’ll continue to get tasty odds until he wins again.
Prop: Winner to play in final first tee grouping in Round 4, no, +210. I like this bet. Unless, of course, DJ wins by 11 again.
Dylan Dethier ($1,550)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +1,500. Hopefully he got some extra rest after that MC and he’ll be back ready to overpower the Midwest.
Top 10: Rory McIlroy, +200. It’s time.
Prop: Top 4 American, Cameron Champ, +1,400. If I’m going to go broke playing this game, I’m gonna do it in style. Champ should have a strong week.
Luke Kerr-Dineen ($950)
To-win: Scottie Scheffler, +3,000. The guy shot 59 last week and has been one of the best players in golf over the past month. This guy has a win coming, and soon.
Top 10: Kevin Kisner, +450. Top 5s in each of his past two PGA Tour starts and a Top 20 at the PGA Championship. I was tempted to pick him to win at 50-1, but a top 10 is the safer bet.
Prop: Top European player, Tyrrell Hatton, +600. His form hasn’t quite hit the heights as before the PGA Tour’s break. But nevertheless, he finished in the Top 25 last week, and his ball-striking remains steadfastly consistent. Solid odds for a good player who, ultimately, has to beat only six other players.