The first two FedEx Cup Playoff events are behind us and there is just one tournament left on the 2019 PGA Tour schedule as East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta is set to host the Tour Championship beginning August 22, 2019.
Golf betting hits a new level in the playoffs, similar to when one of the four major championships are played throughout the season. These tournaments see far more television viewers and gambling action than the traditional week-to-week events as the season comes to a dramatic close.
When looking to bet on the biggest PGA events, many bettors head right to one of the many reliable online betting sites in New Jersey and beyond. In-person wagering is a thing of the past while doing your sports betting online is a far more convenient and enjoyable experience.
Before you go signing up for any apps, we'll be providing some golf betting tips and making some 2019 Tour Championship picks using odds from FanDuel Sportsbook.
How Do FedEx Cup Playoffs Work On The PGA Tour?
The FedEx Cup is a season-long tournament that takes place on the PGA Tour that awards players points based on their performances each week and adds them up over the entire season. The top 125 in the standings qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs and the field is cut down each week, with the winner and the final results being determined over the course of several postseason events.
Below are the three tournaments that comprise the playoffs in 2019:
- The Northern Trust - Liberty National Golf Club (Jersey City, NJ) - August 8-11
- BMW Championship - Medinah Country Club (Chicago, Illinois) - August 15-18
- TOUR Championship - East Lake Golf Club (Atlanta, GA) - August 22-25
While the tournaments will remain constant moving forward, the venues for the first two events will change each year. Justin Rose won the championship last while Tiger Woods is the only golfer to have won the playoffs on multiple occasions (2007, 2009). Recent winners include Justin Thomas (2017), Rory McIlroy (2016) and Jordan Spieth (2015).
2019 PGA Tour Championship Starting Strokes
In the past, the final event of the season was similar to the first two playoff events, with points being added up to determine the FedEx Cup winner. This allowed for the tournament winner and season-long points champion to be two different golfers.
Due to rule changes taking effect in 2019, the FedEx Cup champion and the winner of the Tour Championship will be the same person as opposed to the two things being separate entities. The year now concludes with the handing out of a combined $15 million purse to the winner of both the TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the final weekend of the season.
The new format includes points being added up through the second event at the BMW Championship, and then players being appointed a score based on their position in what's referred to as a staggered scoring system. For example, the first-place golfer following the first two events enters the final event of the season at -10 and atop the leaderboard, while second place begins at -8, third at -7, so and so forth down the list.
The field of 125 entering The Northern Trust was cut to 70 for the BMW Championship at Medinah and is now down to 30 TOUR Championship at East Lake, where all remaining golfers start with a score of even par. Based on the FedEx Cup Playoffs points standings after the first two events, here are the starting positions for the top 10 players heading into the TOUR Championship:
- Justin Thomas - 3,475 points (begins -10)
- Patrick Cantlay - 3,157 points (begins -8)
- Brooks Koepka - 3,119 (begins -7)
- Patrick Reed - 2,946 (begins -6)
- Rory McIlroy - 2,670 points (begins -5)
- Jon Rahm - 2,517 points (begins -4)
- Matt Kuchar - 2,339 points (begins -4)
- Xander Schauffele - 2,330 points (begins -4)
- Webb Simpson - 1,946 points (begins -4)
- Abraham Ancer - 1,940 points (begins -4)
After Justin Thomas and Patrick Cantlay finished first and second with 25-under and 22-under par scores at the BMW Championship, they became the top two golfers in the FedEx standings. This means Thomas begins two-strokes ahead of Cantlay and the field, while Cantlay is one stoke up on No. 3 Brooks Koepka, who held the FedEx Cup lead for the first two playoff events but now is forced to make up some ground.
Northern Trust winner Patrick Reed vaulted himself into an eventual fourth-place finish while Rory McIlroy's incredible overall season has him round out the top five and start five strokes. Notable past FedEx Cup winners to miss the cut are 2019 Masters champion Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth, who finished outside the top 30 in standings following the BMW Championship.
Golf Betting Tips For FedEx Cup Playoffs At East Lake
Golf is unlike other sports in the way that the playing field is always changing. Each course presents its own unique challenges and requires different skills in order to get around with success. Some courses are built for big hitters while others put an emphasis on accuracy and putting, while most require a bit of all of the above. The most versatile players are the ones who are generally still around at this point of the season going for the big prize at the 2019 Tour Championship. While betting on the late stages of the season, it's important to keep the following golf betting tips in mind to separate some players from others.
Tips For Online Golf Betting On TOUR Championship
- Get To Know East Lake
East Lake has served as the permanent venue of the PGA Tour Championship since 2004 and has hosted the finale of the FedEx Cup Playoffs since its inception in 2007. This means most of the veteran players on tour have an extensive past at this course. Previous experience in the FedEx Cup Playoffs and Tour Championship means experience at East Lake, which could come into handy when making wagers. All things equal, it's never a bad idea to side with experience.
This course isn't overly long at par 70 and 7,350 yards, but thin fairways and fast greens present major challenges at East Lake. The strong ball-strikers that are able to hit fairways will have the best chances for scoring, as reaching the green in two shots is the goal on most holes (just two par-5s). When it comes to PGA Tour stats to keep an eye on this week, consider Approach From 150-175 Yards, Par 4 Scoring and Scrambling.
- Starting Position For Tour Championship
Regardless of wager type, be aware of where your golfer finished in the FedEx Cup Playoff standings and which score he beings the Tour Championship with. Players in the final 10 spots are beginning at least nine strokes behind Justin Thomas and are unlikely to make that kind of leap. Because all golfers except the leader are beginning behind strokes, there's plenty of value on high-profile players with only a couple of shots to make up.
The top 15 golfers are all within seven strokes, and that's probably where we draw the line for picking outright winners at East Lake. In our view, the winner comes from the Top 10 or closer.
- Find Value For Finishing Positions
This may be the last of our golf betting tips, but it certainly isn't the least important. Picking the winner of a tournament is never easy, which is why we always look for value in other markets. The Tour Championship changes things, however, because of the scores attached to golfers before play even begins.
Not all players begin on the same level, and that creates value down the line. The golfer in 20th place is only two shots behind the person in 10th place, for example, and extra value can be found on that player reaching the top 5 or 10. These are worthwhile bets if some of your favorite golf betting picks this may be too far back to have a real chance at coming in first place because they begin back by too many strokes. There are definitely finishing position lines to profit from, and only 30 athletes in field means there's a finite amount of players to jump over.
Want to learn more about How To Bet On Golf? Please visit our guide for more tips and information about wagering on the PGA Tour.
Online Golf Betting Odds And TOUR Championship Predictions
Plenty of the top sports betting sites in NJ offer an array of gambling options along with profitable odds, but few provide the combination of the two that DraftKings Sportsbook does. When it comes to the Tour Championship, DraftKings supplies a variety of markets to make golf betting picks, including:
- Outright Winner With Starting Strokes
- Winner Without Starting Strokes (Tour Championship Rounds Only)
- Finishing Position (Top 5, 10, 20)
- Lead After Round 1
- Straight Forecast (Top 2 finishers in order)
In general, online golf betting allows you to wager on much more than just outright winners, which is one of the tougher bets there is to win. Alternative categories like finishing positions and props allow for some research deeper into the field and plenty of opportunities to grab line value, although the options are less once getting down to 30 golfers at the Tour Championship.
2019 TOUR Championship Picks For Golf Betting Online
- Justin Thomas Outright Winner (+250 on DraftKings Sportsbook)
Thomas is hot at the right time, posting an amazing 11-under 61 at Medinah, easily smashing the club record on Saturday. He went -25 to win the tournament and ride high into the Tour Championship. He is top five in Par 4 Scoring Average, top 10 in approach from our 150-175 range and begins with a two-stroke lead over the field. While +250 isn't the best number for a golfer, Thomas still makes it to our list of 2019 Tour Championship picks.
- Brooks Koepka Outright Winner (+510 on DraftKings)
The 2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year was well on his way to arriving at East Lake with a two-stroke lead after piling up three wins including another major, along with tons of FedEx Cup points this season. With two somewhat quiet performances in the playoffs, however, Koepka dropped to third and now has increased value on his line. Koepka is as good of a ball-striker as they come, he's the best big-game golfer in the world currently and also the guy tied for the best Par 4 Scoring Average on tour this season. With it all on the line in Atlanta, Koepka at +510 is an excellent value bet since he began +225 to win the FedEx Cup before the Northern Trust.
- Rory McIlroy Top 5 (+120 on DraftKings)
McIlroy didn't win a major but had a remarkable season to this point, collecting two wins (The Players and RBC Canadian) along with an amazing 13 top-10 finishes in 19 events. We'd be remiss not including him in our Tour Championship predictions to close out perhaps his best overall season in a strong way, so we are taking the plus-money for a top-five finish. He's the best tee-to-green player on tour and is top five in Par 4 Scoring Average among plenty of other statistical achievements. He begins this week in fifth place, five strokes back of the leader at -5 and one stroke ahead of four different golfers at -4, so McIlroy really needs to just stay put where he starts in order to win this wager.
- Jon Rahm Top 10 (-125 on DraftKings)
Rahm has finished T-7th and T-11th in two trips to East Lake, and we like him to crack that top 10 this week. Out of the last eight events in which Rahm has made the cut, he's finished in the top 10 including three in a row to reach this point. He trails only McIlroy after posting 12 such finishes this season and it's hard to imagine him not closing the season with another. Beginning at 4-under in the sixth position, Rahm is another player that needs to hold his starting spot to win this wager and we think he does just that behind strong play on the par 4 holes.
- Hideki Matsuyama Top 10 (+130 on DraftKings)
Matsuyama falls into the category of a great ball-striker who is hot at the right time. He set a course record at Medinah that was shattered one day later by Justin Thomas but still finished third at 20-under and found the form many expect to see from one of the top players in the world. Currently riding a hot putter, Matsuyama is also excellent at scrambling and is top five in Strokes Gained: Tee To Green this season along with scoring well enough on the par 4 holes to make him a strong plus-money play this week. He starts in 15th place (-3) but has a pair of top-five finishes at East Lake in the past three seasons to give us some extra confidence.
- Sungjae Im Top 20 (-150 on DraftKings)
The potential PGA Tour Rookie of the Year looked like he may have run out of gas after playing the most rounds of any other player this season, but that was premature. Im rebounded with an impressive weekend to remain in the top 30 and reach East Lake in his first season on tour, and now he's one of our Tour Championship predictions after being on our betting card (and winning) at the Northern Trust and BMW Championship. As one of the best scramblers on tour and does well enough off the tee to warrant one more bet from us.
Additional Tour Championship Picks
- Leader After Round 1 - Justin Thomas (-110)
- Xander Schauffele Top 5 Finish (+350)
- Brooks Koepka Finishes No. 1/Justin Thomas No. 2 (+1800)
- Justin Thomas Finishes No. 1/Rory McIlroy No. 2 (+2800)