GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the RBC Canadian Open

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 the RBC Canadian Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The PGA Tour finally returns to Canada this week, and with the U.S. Open on deck, we get a rather uneven field to parse. The course is largely unknown as well, as St. George's last hosted a tournament in 2010. This week is a good one to dig your heels in and commit rather than hedge off with top 10s or top 20s.

With so much talent clustered at the top -- 5 of the top 10 in the world -- we'll plant our flag with the best ball striker and, with one exception, look for golfers further down the card who can do their best impression of our flagship selection.

For more info on St. George's Golf and Country Club along with this week's key stats and Brandon Gdula's win simulations, check out his article.

At the Top

Justin Thomas (+950) - With eight golfers priced 20/1 or shorter and just seven between that number and 50/1, we want to build our card around a big play, and Thomas is our preferred choice. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler (+850) and the last winner of this event Rory McIlroy (+950) are compelling options, but ultimately those golfers are more reliant on the driver than is likely necessary this week.

Hitting it a mile always helps, but Thomas is plenty capable off the tee and the most reliable in scrambling around these tiny greens. He missed the cut after winning the PGA Championship, and he was so devastated that he took to social media to show us all which beer he was enjoying. He's otherwise been rolling, week in and week out, with 8 finishes of T8 or better in his 13 events this season.

Value Spots

Tyrrell Hatton (+2700) - Hatton is the last man standing in this dead zone, a consequence of a fairly shocking number next to countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick (+1600). Fitz has played well but is still winless on the PGA Tour and has never reached Hatton's highs on this side of the Atlantic, and aside from the Masters, he's been quite steady all year.

Augusta was Hatton's only finish outside the top 30 in 2022, and most recently he was T13 at the PGA Championship and gained in all four strokes gained categories. At this best in 2020, he did it with the irons and short game.

Harold Varner (+3300) - An ugly 78 on Sunday at Colonial spoiled an otherwise solid effort. According to stats from Fantasy National Golf Club, Varner lost strokes in all four categories in his final round, capped off by a negative 3.1 strokes off the tee, tied for the worst single round with the driver in at least the past year. We can expect a bounce back from Varner, who despite some inconsistencies has made six straight cuts and has two top 10s in that stretch.

A step down in overall field quality give Varner an edge, and while the number may cause some sticker shock, he's one of the few who is justified in the midrange this week.

Long Shots

Cameron Champ (+8000) - In the event we are off the mark and the recent trend of bombers thrashing the Canadian Open continues, we'll hitch our wagon to Champ. No one is longer, and despite a strong showing at Augusta this year he's far more trustworthy in a weaker field. If the big boys are looking ahead to Brookline, Champ can sneak in and steal the show on raw power alone.

He's been slightly off (for him) with just 0.6 and 0.7 strokes gained off the tee in his last two starts, and if the overcorrection comes Champ can pick up the fourth win of his young career.

Stephan Jaeger (+11000) - Jaeger was hot both on approach and around the greens in May, gaining 2.4 strokes or more in both stats for three straight events en route to finishes of 15th, 6th, and 38th. He subsequently missed the cut at the Charles Schwab so it's possible to magic is gone, but as we dip down into triple digits there are fewer and fewer names that have strung together good bits of form lately.

He was the top player on the Korn Ferry Tour last year and earned his card back, but he's yet to truly break out and contend at a PGA event. A field loaded with current and former KFT competition points to a solid week for Jaeger.