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TOUR Championship Predictions, Free Picks and Odds Aug 24-27

Scottie Scheffler prepares for Charles Schwab Challenge

TOUR Championship Betting Preview

WagerTalk golf handicapper Nick Borrman offers his thoughts on the TOUR Championship teeing off from East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, GA. Nick discusses the guys at the top of the odds board, golfers to fade and other expert picks surrounding the TOUR Championship starting August 24!

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TOUR ChampionshipPGA Tour Betting Notes
When:August 24-27
Where:East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, GA
Defending Champ:Rory McIlroy
Current Favorite:Scottie Scheffler (+140 at DraftKings)
TV:Golf Channel & CBS

TOUR Championship Odds Board

Top-10 Total Strokes Gained over the last six months (betting odds via FanDuelDraftKings and others)

Screen Shot 2023 08 22 at 12.16.13 AM

The Course & Field – East Lake Golf Club (Atlanta, Georgia)

From Nick Borrman:

The PGA TOUR season wraps up this week at East Lake as the FedexCup Playoffs come to an end with the TOUR Championship.

As has been the case the last four seasons, starting strokes are in play once again this season which sees Scottie Scheffler (-10) sitting two strokes above everyone else to start the tournament.

I’m not going to reference the full list and their starting strokes. You can find that just about anywhere on the interweb.

East Lake has hosted the TOUR Championship every year since 2005. It plays to a par-70 just like each of the first two playoff events, with a total yardage of over 7,300 yards.

Rough is long like we saw last week at the BMW Championship and the greens are very undulating and generally require experience to master.

The two par-5s at East Lake measured as the 2nd easiest set on TOUR last season averaging 4.31 so birdies on those two holes are a must and length will always help that.

Speaking of length, seven of the last eight winners finished in the Top-6 for SG Off the Tee for the week. Of course, you need to roll the rock as well which five of the last six winners have finished in the Top-5 for SG Putting as well.

Since the inception of starting strokes, here are the betting trends to pay attention to this week:

  • The #1 seed has won twice, and the other two were each won by Rory McIlroy who started at -4 and -5 in each win.
  • The #1 seed has finished no worse than a T3.
  • At least one player starting at -2 has finished inside the Top-5.
  • No player starting at -1 or E has finished in the Top-5.
  • The Top-3 has included at least one player who started between -2 an -4 each year.

What does that mean? It means if you are betting who will win the FedexCup, history tells us it will either be Scottie or Rory. But that’s not the only way to bet this week.

Most books will offer that lowest 72-hole score without starting strokes and that is more like the traditional Outright market, though your bet could settle on the Dead Heat Rule.

Still, with guys in the -2 to -4 range having proven to finish up near the top, that is where I would suggest looking for this market.

Remember, they must play aggressive and go low to try and claw their way back vs the top seeds who only need to protect the lead and pars, especially near the end of the tournament, may be all that is needed to win.

If for example Scottie gets to -21 for the tournament, a common score of the winner of this event, he shoots -11 in this market. But if someone starting a -3 gets up in the Top-5, he is likely shooting -13 or -14 to get into the -16 or -17 range and there is no reason for Scottie to push the issue to beat those numbers.

Lastly as always, weather. It looks to be a non-factor this week with very good conditions expected all four days.

Even if there was some bad weather in the forecast, with only 30 players in the field and tee times so tight, everyone is essentially playing in the same elements.

Outright Winner – ‘Win the Fedex Cup’ or ‘Outright Including Starting Strokes’

Scottie Scheffler +140 (Bet365)

Think of it like this. Scottie Scheffler is having the 2nd best SG Tee to Green season of all-time since it started being tracked back in 2004. Only one season from Tiger Woods tops his numbers.

We all know his weakness is putting, but give him a two, three and four shot lead over the guys most likely to challenge him and he will be tough to catch.

He is not going to go backwards and we are basically spotting him what he loses with his putter. So, he is all but guaranteed to be there on Sunday.

What I like the most is the chip on his shoulder this week, which is twofold. Scottie looked like he was going to win basically all of Sunday until Hovland shot his ridiculous 28 on the back nine to chase his down. But think about that, it took a 28 to beat him.

Then, remember Scottie took a five-shot lead into Sunday last year only to see Rory storm back and win by one.

Scottie has a point to prove this week and although he only has two wins this season, this would be most deserving for the best tee to green player this season.

Outright Winner – ‘Without Starting Strokes’ or ’72-Hole Aggregate Score’

Tommy Fleetwood +2200 (BetMGM)

We have backed Tommy a couple times recently all well knowing he was never actually going to win. He has proven that he can’t do that as he now has the most Top-5 finishes in PGA TOUR history without a win. But take away the pressure of actually having to win the tournament on Sunday, and Tommy may very well shot the lowest 72-hole score.

Fleetwood had a ‘down’ week last week finishing T25 but had finished inside the Top-10 in five of his six previous starts including three Top-5s.

Tommy’s ball-striking numbers are nowhere near as good as Scottie Scheffler (in all fairness, nobody’s are), however he can roll the rock and has been known to throw in a round of 62 or 63 on any given tournament day.

Doing that here could vault him into contention and if he finishes just a couple shots back of the winner, he will have likely fired the lowest 72-hole score.

Fleetwood starts at 3-under par, seven shots back of Scottie. That means he can shoot five shots better before even flinching under pressure and I’ll gladly accept this a Tommy’s ‘first’ TOUR win!

Leaderboard Market

Xander Schauffele Top-5 +300 | Top-10 -110 (DraftKings, FanDuel or PointsBet)

Unlikely to win from this far back, Xander has proven he loves this event. He is a past winner at East Lake, though that was before it also guaranteed he won the Fedex Cup, which he did not that season. He also was the lowest 72-hole aggregate score back in 2020 when Starting Strokes were being used.

Schauffele absolutely loves this venue as he has never finished worse than 7th in six starts at East Lake.

Xander has gained strokes Tee to Green in 13 of his last 14 tournaments and has gained strokes Putting in every tournament he has finished this calendar year (he WD from the Sentry Tournament of Champions) but has gained in all 19 starts since.

Xander is a guy to look at any way you can this week and don’t be afraid for him to make history and make the biggest comeback in Starting Strokes history!

As odd as it is to say, see you next season!…(which is only three weeks away at the Fortinet Championship)

2023 Tour Championship Picks, Predictions and Odds | PGA Tour Free Plays | Aug 24-27, 2023

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