PGA Championship 2015 Odds: Locating Top Vegas Bets in Thursday's Field

Steve Silverman@@profootballboyFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2015

Dustin Johnson watches his shot on the third hole during a practice round for the PGA Championship golf tournament Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, at Whistling Straits in Haven, Wis. (AP Photo/Jae Hong)
Jae Hong/Associated Press

Golf is often one of the most difficult sports to handicap. When bettors are trying to find a winner, the top players in a big tournament such as the PGA Championship may seem obvious.

But it never is quite as clear cut as it seems. If it were, favorite Jordan Spieth would have much lower odds than plus-550, according to Odds Shark.

For the uninitiated, a better who wagers $100 on Spieth would get back $650 ($550 plus the original $100 bet) if the 22-year-old comes through with yet another winning performance. While that may seem like a great return for bettors who might be used odds like 7-5, 9-5 or 3-1 at the race track, Spieth's odds are quite short compared to other golfers in the field.

There's nothing wrong with that kind of return for backing Spieth, but there are several live golfers in the field who will give their backers major payoffs if they come through with a win and the Wanamaker Trophy.

Here's our look at the top options for a huge payoff if the following players can find a way to upset the favorite.

PGA Championship: Top Vegas Bets in the Whistling Straits Field
Dustin Johnson+1,200It's finally his turn—or so he hopes
Adam Scott+2,200Could come away with the title if his putter is working
Louis Oosthuizen+3,300Back-to-back seconds in U.S. and British Opens
Brooks Koepka+4,000All-around game to surprise
Jim Furyk+4,000Usually close: Will this be his moment?
Hideki Matsuyama+4,000Sharp player with excellent skills
Matt Kuchar+5,000Strong bunker player who has chance here
Keegan Bradley+8,000Unlikely, but simply a ridiculous payoff
Source : Odds Shark
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Dustin Johnson (+1,200)

Dustin Johnson has had more than his share of heartbreak throughout his career, and it doesn't seem as though he can get away from being asked to remember his painful finish at this year's U.S. Open. If failing to clinch the championship there or even landing in a playoff weren't bad enough, this year's PGA Championship is being held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

Five years ago, Johnson appeared to be on his way to a playoff for the championship with eventual champion Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, but he took a two-stroke penalty on the 72nd hole for grounding his club in a bunker that was about the size of a fat postage stamp.

Nevertheless, Johnson has to be considered a major factor here. He is the longest hitter on the PGA Tour (319.0 yards per drive), and when his putter is working, he can string birdies together and put his signature on a tournament. He should be plenty motivated to overcome his past failures. A $1,200 profit for his backers would make the PGA Championship almost as memorable for them as it would be for Johnson.

SHEBOYGAN, WI - AUGUST 11:  Adam Scott of Australia and coach and brother in law Brad Malone walk on a fairway during a practice round prior to the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits on August 11, 2015 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Kevin C.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Adam Scott (+2,200)

Few golfers have the all-around game that Adam Scott possesses. He hits the ball for distance, is deadly accurate with his irons and knows how to come through with his short game. The only issue for Scott is his putting, as it's often a hit-or-miss proposition for the Australian star. He ranks 178th on the tour in that category and loses .564 strokes with his putter.

If this is one of those weeks when Scott is on with his putter, he has a chance to come away with the championship. Scott tied for fourth at the U.S. Open and tied for 10th in the British Open. He knows how to play well on the biggest stages, and he has a legitimate chance to contend here.

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

Louis Oosthuizen (+3,300)

This appears to be a fantastic opportunity for a bettor come through in a huge way at the PGA Championship.

Louis Oosthuizen has been quite special in the majors this year. He started out with a better-than-average 19th in the Masters Tournament, but that was just ordinary compared with performances at the U.S. Open and the British Open. He tied for second in the U.S. Open, and he fought his way into a playoff at the British Open before losing to Zach Johnson.

Oosthuizen may be a relatively small man at 5'10" and 180 pounds, but he can pound the ball a great distance. He averages 298.6 yards per drive, which ranks 32nd on the tour. He averages 70.180 per round, and he is also an exceptional bunker player.

That should serve him well on a course with more than 1,000 bunkers.


Brooks Koepka (+4,000)

Brooks Koepka may not be at the top of everybody's list when it comes to having a chance in the PGA Championship. However, he has had an excellent 2015 golf season, and he is climbing the golf ladder.

Koepka ranks 19th in FedEx Cup points and is the 20th-rated golfer in the world going into the PGA Championship. He is averaging 69.649 per round, and he has earned more than $2.8 million this year.

The 25-year-old has the weapons to remain in contention for 72 holes. He is averaging 309.5 yards off the tee on a course that favors big hitters, but he is also an excellent putter, picking up .638 strokes with the flat stick.

Koepka has a win, a third-place finish and six top-10 finishes under his belt this year, and he has proved he belongs with the best players in the world. A victory at Whistling Straits would give his backers a huge payday.

All odds courtesy of Odds Shark.