GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Barracuda Championship

While the world's elite tee it up in Memphis, an alternate field with modified Stableford scoring gets a crack at some real-life fantasy golf. Here's who we like for the Barracuda Championship.

While the best golfers in the world take on TPC Southwind at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, an alternate field tees it up at the Barracuda Championship at Old Greenwood at Tahoe Mountain Club in Truckee, California. Modified Stableford scoring is in play, which means golfers accrue points for eagles and birdies and lose points for bogeys and doubles. The goal is to score the most points rather than finish with the fewest strokes, making the Barracuda closer to thing to real-life daily fantasy golf.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the Barracuda Championship based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Birdie or better percentage is the name of the game this week, with par 5 scoring also important as most of those opportunities will come on the holes where eagle is most often in play. Eagles ae worth five points and birdies two, while bogeys are just a loss of one. We'll gladly sacrifice the occasional square number if the card is littered with circles.

At the Top

Maverick McNealy (+1800) - McNealy is 34th in birdie or better percentage this season, though almost everyone above him is in the WGC field this week. He's been on a good run lately, finishing 16th, 18th, 21st, 30th, and 20th in his last five events. He's a California kid, and, while not a typical name near the top of a market, is the most compelling play this week among the golfers offered at 25/1 or shorter.

Emiliano Grillo (+2000) - Grillo has an elite skill not just in a weaker field but on the PGA Tour writ large -- iron play. That means he finds himself in position to make a birdie as often as anyone, and he ranks 28th in birdie or better percentage on Tour this season. He's 20th on the Tour in opportunities gained over his last 50 rounds, according to stats on Fantasy National Golf Club. FNGC defines opportunities as a birdie opportunity from the fringe or green within 15 feet. With seven finishes this season of 14th or better we know he at least has an ability to stay in a tournament against better competition than what he'll face this week.

Value Spots

Harold Varner (+3700) - Always a good stats golfer who can't quite seem to convert into winning on Tour, Varner is an interesting case in this format given his popular in the DFS industry. He can't quite keep up with the best in the world, but Varner played well enough to finish 11th at the John Deere Classic before missing the cut at Royal St. George's. Just being included in The Open field is a plus among the Barracuda participants, and we'd love to be on Varner's side when he finally breaks through for that long sought-after win.

Long Shots

Joel Dahmen (+5000) - Always a good candidate to show out when taking on a field without elite talent, Dahmen proved the point with a win in Puntacana earlier this year and stands a great shot this week at a long number considering his track record. Very few golfers here have PGA Tour hardware or a top 10 at a major, but Dahmen is among that group. We like him even more as the Leader After Round 1 (+6000).

Davis Thompson (+12000) - Thompson fired a scoring 63 to lead the Rocket Mortgage Classic after the first round, an impressive arrival in just his third start since turning pro. As an amateur he held the lead at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot for a stretch on Thursday, and his college record gives him some immediate credibility. He was first-team All-American at the University of Georgia in 2020 and 2021 and was the SEC's Player of the Year in the latter.