GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational

Coming off the Olympics, the PGA Tour returns to action in Memphis with the final World Golf Championships event of the season. With the best golfers in the world teeing it up, we look for golfers with a proven track record and all around game to fill out

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Coming off the Olympics Golf competition, the PGA Tour resumes regular action with another strong, short field as the group takes on TPC Southwind. A nice payday and valuable FedEx Cup points are at stake this week, with a few names at the top of the board potentially jet-lagged from the return flight from Tokyo.

We have seen a variety of golfers succeed at this course, which until 2019 hosted a full field event that did not typically boast the strongest field. Since switching to a World Golf Championships event, both winners have been world class in Brooks Koepka (+1100) and Justin Thomas (+1600). Both golfers are all around studs, and that type of game is necessary to succeed here and take down what is now steep competition.

We'll be looking for golfers who can do it all, and as is the case with most WGC events we want golfers with a proven track record. Both Koepka and Thomas were winners on Tour earlier in their winning seasons in Memphis, and a win on the 2020-21 resume is a must this week to get our consideration.

For more info on the TPC Southwind along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Jordan Spieth (+1600) - We'll kick it off with the only golfer inside the top 10 in this field in both strokes gained: approach and strokes gained: around the green, ranking sixth and fifth respectively according to stats on Fantasy National Golf Club. Spieth has nine top 10s this season, including a runner-up finish at The Open Championship last time out. He was 12th and 30th in two WGC trips, and while those seem fine but not spectacular, it's important to note that Spieth's game was in shambles for most of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Back in form and arguably unlucky to have only won once this year, Spieth is a great value at 16/1.

He finished two strokes behind Morikawa at Royal St. George's and was two shots clear of third place. Had Collin not scorched the earth in the second round, Spieth would be coming off a major championship and would very likely be the favorite. He played well enough to win and didn't, and the result is the books offering us probably double what his number would have been had he gotten luckier in England. Instead, he settled for his seventh top-five of the season and leads our card this week.

Dustin Johnson (+2000) - The favorite at the 3M Open fell flat and missed the cut, a disaster that calls to mind last season when he withdrew in Minnesota after an opening 78. He went on a tear after that week, finishing no worse than 12th and picking up 3 wins over his next 11 events. DJ is now up to 20/1 at a course where he has a prior win (by six strokes!), and at this number, he's basically an auto-bet. We've extolled Johnson and made his case many times this season, but at the back end of the favorites, he is another great value at the top of the market.

Value Spots

Patrick Reed (+3400) - Getting into the Olympics as a late add put tremendous pressure on Reed, who at the time still had to play the weekend at TPC Twin Cities. He fired a 65 in the final round and should take heart in his finish. There is some concern about the flight from Minnesota to Japan and back to Memphis within a short span, but Reed has the right mentality and will surprise no one if he pops off here. He was 12th in the first edition of this new-branded WGC, and what he lacks in high-end consistency he more than makes up for with a more consistent record -- winning. Reed already won at the Farmers Insurance Open this season, and both Thomas and Koepka had wins earlier in the season the year they won this event.

Jason Kokrak (+4200) - We'd love to see a bigger number next to Kokrak's name, but he has frankly just been too good to ignore even at 42/1. He's a two-time winner already this season, with victories at the Charles Schwab Challenge and the CJ CUP @ Shadow Creek back in the fall. We cannot connect him to Thomas and Koepka in that regard, who won the CJ CUP in their corresponding winning years but at the original host course Nine Bridges in South Korea.

Kokrak, long a good driver of the ball but little else, has had his most complete season and posted some truly outstanding weeks on the greens. It's not something we want to rely on week to week, but Kokrak's season-long numbers show an immense confidence with the putter. He'll need to be able to close out to beat some of the best golfers in the world here, but he's shown himself more than up to the task. Three wins in a season would be remarkable, and if he falls short, we can cover ourselves with a bet on a Top Ten Finish (+410).

Long Shots

Billy Horschel (+8000) - Horschel is among the most fearless players on Tour outside the elite golfers, and he certainly won't be intimidated in a strong field at a course where he's finished T25 and T9 since it converted to a WGC event. He was also 4th here in 2017, 8th in 2015, 6th in 2014, and 10th in 2013 when it was the FedEx St. Jude Classic. He has crushed it in the two WGC events so far this season, winning the Match Play and finishing in second at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession.

Kevin Na (+12000) - If the focus is on the short game this week, Na is about as good as it gets. He can walk putts in all day when he's feeling it, and he leads the Tour in strokes gained: around the green this season. We also know he can catch fire with his irons, and that combination comes along with a surprisingly high win equity. Na has four wins since 2018, including at the start of 2021 at the Sony Open. He was runner up last time out at the John Deere Classic, gaining in all strokes gained areas but especially in the short game, where he gained 3.2 around the green and 6.6 putting. He's more likely to win in a weaker field, but there is a chance and more likely he comes out firing and goes low on Thursday, making him a nice option for Leader After Round 1 (+6500).