PGA Championship 2021: Latest Odds and Betting Tips for Golf's Top Contenders

Martin FennFeatured Columnist IMay 19, 2021

PGA Championship 2021: Latest Odds and Betting Tips for Golf's Top Contenders

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    The second major championship is nearly at hand.

    Golf's top players have made the trip to Kiawah Island, South Carolina, for this week's PGA Championship at the Ocean Course. The last time Kiawah hosted the PGA was in 2012 when Rory McIlroy captured his second major.

    Last year saw one of the sport's fresher faces, Collin Morikawa, win the Wanamaker Trophy at TPC Harding Park, California. Will we see another youngster attain glory, or will the likes of McIlroy and other tour veterans hold the advantage at the longest course in major championship history?

    Let's take a closer look at the latest odds and break down some tips and tricks for betting before the first round gets started on Thursday.

Latest Betting Odds

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    Matt York/Associated Press

    Rory McIlroy +1150 (bet $100 to win $1,150)

    Jon Rahm +1450

    Justin Thomas +1450

    Jordan Spieth +1500

    Bryson DeChambeau +1650

    Xander Schauffele +1700

    Dustin Johnson +1800

    Viktor Hovland +2000

    Daniel Berger +2800

    Collin Morikawa +3000   

    All odds obtained via DraftKings

Give Special Consideration to Long Hitters

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Golf is hardly just about distance. But having the firepower to take on the monster that is the Ocean Course will certainly be beneficial.

    The course is going to play close to 7,900 yards. Course officials have also added grown-up rough to the mix, seemingly in an effort to make things that much more difficult.

    "Bomb and Gouge" players figure to have an advantage if they can keep the ball in decent spots and give themselves birdie looks. Bryson DeChambeau barely hit a fairway at last year's U.S. Open at Winged Foot, but his exceptional distance off the tee and ability to power through thick rough basically negated the lack of accuracy.

    Speaking of DeChambeau, he figures to be in contention this week. The Ocean Course is probably a better setup for the longest hitter on tour than Augusta National, where the "Big Golfer" struggled to realize his status as a tournament favorite.

    Rory McIlroy is in the conversation with his distance, not to mention the fact he won at the Wells Fargo earlier this month. Dustin Johnson's length and strong iron play gives him a chance when he has it going well. Xander Schaffuele is inside the top 30 in both driving distance and total putting.

    Then there are the sleeper big hitters. Joaquin Niemann ranks eighth in driving distance and ninth in total strokes gained. Sam Burns, like Schauffele, is another inside the top 30 in driving distance and total putting. Masters runner-up Will Zalatoris is inside the top 25 in driving distance and ranks third in strokes gained from approach.

    Any number of big hitters provide plenty of intrigue at Kiawah. Bettors would probably do well to lean a bit towards strong drivers of the ball.

Bet Top 20s and Props

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    Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press

    Do not place all bets on winners. We repeat: do not place all bets on winners.

    Sure, it can be tempting to choose multiple golfers to win because of the potential payouts. But bettors can find other ways to win cash, notably in the form of top 20s and prop bets.

    For example, DeChambeau and Schauffele are +100 to finish in the top 20. Patrick Reed has not finished lower than a tie for 32nd in a major dating back to the 2019 U.S. Open, but he is +138 for a top-20 finish this week.

    Bettors do not have to rely solely on finishes, either. They can choose to wager on head-to-head matchups or prop bets, like whether a player makes an eagle in Round 1 as well as the winning margin. There are also "Nationality" props, whereby bettors can pick the top finishers from different countries.

    Not only are some of these props enjoyable, but they can also inform a better knowledge of the golfers and make for a more engaging and interactive experience. Plus, bettors give themselves more ways to win when they do not rely solely on picking the winner of the tournament.


    All stats obtained via All odds obtained via DraftKings.


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