The regular-season PGA Tour schedule has come to a close as the first event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs arrives, and we're getting you ready with some 2020 Northern Trust predictions!
Following a hugely successful 12-week restart, we have reached the first week of the playoffs, which will be held at TPC Boston from August 20th to August 23rd.
Golf has been extremely popular among bettors at online sports betting sites in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and other states where wagering is legal. And since the schedule from this point is littered with playoff events and major championships, the action is only going to heat up as summer turns to fall.
That said, let's get to this week's preview and our 2020 Northern Trust betting picks.
2020 Northern Trust Betting Tips - Golf Betting Strategy
To start us off, let's not that this is the first of three FedEx Cup Playoff events. And in case you were wondering how that works, we've got you covered. First off, here is the FedEx Cup Playoffs Schedule
- The Northern Trust (August 20-23, TPC Boston)
- BMW Championship (August 27-30, Olympia Fields CC)
- TOUR Championship (September 4-7, East Lake GC)
So, how do FedEx Cup Playoffs work on the PGA Tour? Throughout the season, golfers earn points based on their results and this determines standing on the FedEx Cup Playoff standings.
There are over 200 eligible players on the PGA Tour but only the top 125 in the point standings qualify for The Northern Trust. From there, the top 70 qualify for the BMW event. Then, the field is whittled down to the top 30 for the TOUR Championship at East Lake.
TPC Boston was originally designed by Arnold Palmer and used as a regular PGA Tour stop from 2003 until 2018 until the elimination of the Dell Technologies Championship. The good news is that the track is in a rotation with other courses to host this first playoff event starting this year.
Here are some TPC Boston key stats to consider when making 2020 Northern Trust Picks:
- Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green
- SG: Approach The Green
- Greens In Regulation
- Birdie or Better Percentage
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Northern Trust 2020 Predictions - Golf Betting Picks
For the 2018 Dell-Technologies Championship, this course played at Par 71 and measured just over 7,300 yards. The kind of yardage we're going to see at TPC Boston makes distance a nice thing to have but not a necessity.
The fairways are pretty wide but the greens are small and fast. Approach play will be of vital importance as it oftentimes is, and so will greens in regulation. If the greens are missed, scrambling will also be key. The scores will certainly get low (Bryson DeChambeau won at -16 in 2018), so converting birdies is the way up the leaderboard.
We are looking for golfers that fit the course and also the moment since the postseason isn't built for everyone and some golfers need to perform better than others to keep their seasons alive. Once you're ready to bet, consider the following 2020 Northern Trust predictions:
- Jason Day To Win (+2500)
This week, Day offers a great mix of course history and recent form. He took the week off before the playoffs but is coming off four straight top-10 finishes (two top 5s) including a T-4th at the PGA Championship.
Day has been around a while so he's one of the players with plenty of history at this course, and it's overwhelmingly positive. In 11 events at TPC Boston, Day has three top-10 finishes and eight top-25 finishes. Before missing the cut in 2018, Day had gone straight years inside the top 25.
- Tony Finau To Win (+3300), Top 20 (+150)
How amazing would it be if that elusive full-field win that Tony Finau has been looking for comes during the playoffs? It may feel unlikely, but there are plenty of reasons to like Finau as one of your Northern Trust picks.
For starters, his form is great. Three of his six top-10 finishes have come since the restart including a T-4th at the PGA Championship. He currently ranks No. 22 on the points list but will be looking to cement the top 30 spots and secure a trip to East Lake.
His metrics and history at TPC Boston speak volumes as well. At the last event played here, Finau finished T-4th while gaining strokes both tee-to-green and on approach. This season, he ranks 10th on tour in the former and 18th in the latter.
2020 Northern Trust Picks - Finishing Position Golf Betting
There are 125 players in the field for this event as opposed to the 150+ we normally see and since it's the postseason, we are seeing all of the world's best players compete. And while predicting outrights will always be popular, but picking a finishing position can be an even better bet, and just as fun.
The margin for error on the leaderboard is worth the decrease in odds in many cases, as the bet becomes more winnable and it provides a rooting interest for longer than an outright wager normally would.
One way to find that value is with finishing position wagers. The lines pay much less than outright winners, but your chances of actually finishing the weekend with some profits are drastically increased. These bets can provide a rooting interest that lasts four days, which outrights oftentimes don't do.
Think about some of the following golfers if betting on 2020 Wyndham Championship odds for finishing position:
- Justin Thomas Top 10 (+163)
The No. 2 ranked golfer in the world and the guy sitting atop the FedEx Cup standings is definitely someone to watch coming into the first playoff event. According to PGA Tour stats, Thomas ranks first in Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green and SG: Approach, which is incredible.
He's won three times this season and we should expect him to compete once again. Do not underrate just how badly Thomas wants to join Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods as the only two-time winners of the FedEx Cup (Thomas won in 2017).
That means performing well at The Northern Trust and not letting anyone take that top spot before the TOUR Championship in a few weeks.
- Patrick Reed Top 20 (+150)
Regardless of personal feelings toward him, is there any argument that Patrick Reed is a prime-time player? The 2018 Masters champion won The Northern Trust last year at Liberty National and is six-for-six with three top-six finishes at TPC Boston over the years.
Reed is hitting his stride at the right time with three top-10 finishes in his last four regular-season tournaments and brings a hot putter with him to TPC Boston, where he'll need to go top 20 once again as he looks to reach the top five of the FedEx Cup standings.
- Gary Woodland Top 30 (+150)
When we are talking about horses for courses, it's Woodland and TPC Boston. He's never won here but in seven trips he's made every cut and had five top-25 finishes in the process. This week, we are taking plus-money and going for a top 30 finish in the first playoff event.
Woodland's statistics are a great fit for what we're expecting to see this week. He's stellar on approach and very good with the putter, and is also underrated in the scrambling statistic, which we promise will come into play this week. The past month has been somewhat rough for Woodland but knowing he needs to move up a few spots in the FedEx Cup rankings, I think we see Gary return to the form we've seen from him at TPC Bostin in the past.
- Harold Varner III Top 40 (+125)
Varner began the final regular-season event at No. 89 in the standings and put together a top-10 performance to bump that projection to No. 73. That means Varner still needs a strong showing at The Northern Trust to ensure his spot inside the top 70 to qualify for the following week.
As mentioned, his current form is good after a decent showing at the PGA Championship. He's also a prime playoff performer, earning a T-3rd at Liberty National at last year's event, and a strong tee-to-green and approach player. Consider HVIII for your Northern Trust predictions.
FedEx Cup Playoff Picks: 2020 Northern Trust Best Bets
- Jason Day To Win (+2500 at BetMGM)
- Tony Finau To Win (+3300 at BetMGM), Top 20 (+150 at DraftKings)
- Justin Thomas Top 10 (+163 at DraftKings)
- Patrick Reed Top 20 (+150 at DraftKings)
- Gary Woodland Top 30 (+100 at DraftKings)
- Harold Varner III Top 40 (+125 at DraftKings)
We will continue to add and update selections until players tee off on Thursday, so check back throughout the week once all of the 2020 Northern Trust betting odds are posted!