2021 BMW Championship Betting Preview
The FedEx Cup Playoffs have been cut to the top 70 after last week’s Northern Trust. Hurricane Henri forced a Monday finish where Tony Finau finally got over the hump to beat Cameron Smith in a playoff for his first win in over five years.
70 players are fighting for thirty spots in the Tour Championship next week where the FedEx Cup Champion will be crowned. Players near the bottom of the top 70 will likely need at least a top 15 finish and some luck to move into the top 30.
Getting into the Tour Championship carries big benefits though and players are extremely motivated to find a way in so targeting those close to the cut off line is something worth looking at.
Patrick Reed is the only golfer who is expected to miss this week as he battles pneumonia. With a field as loaded as this, I think it will look a lot like it has in the past and last week with elite players filling the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Caves Valley Golf Club is hosting the BMW this year and it is a new course for the Tour. The Champions Tour and the LPGA Tour have both played an event here in the past but this is largely a new test for the players.
Caves Valley is a par 72, playing around 7,540 yards. It is a long course that the fairways have allegedly been brought in a lot to try and provide some defense to the best players in the world. The early sentiment is that the course will yield a lot of birdies and the longer hitters will feast.
There aren’t strong defenses for missing the fairway like last week with water and long grass. It will largely just be rough and bunker placement that causes issues at Caves Valley. There are a number of drivable par fours depending on tee placements this week.
Bent grass greens this week so sorting players by their bent grass putting ability is something I will consider. The around the green ability that was important last week will likely be less of a factor as Caves Valley’s greens are significantly larger in size and more players will be hitting greens this week.
SG: Approach will be the key factor as always, particularly if birdies are out there. The best approach for players with a little extra length off of the tee is the type of player I will be targeting this week.
There are a lot of players with big motivations this week, whether it’s to get into the top 30 or position themself for a realistic shot to win next week. It should be a fun week to watch the best players in the world gun it out.
BMW Championship Outrights
These playoff events are typically won by the very top of the elite players. When you get this many top guys in a field, usually at least one of them brings the A game and takes home the victory.
This week will be no different with so many elite players here. Rahm has been on fire and is the prohibitive favorite this week followed by Xander Schauffele and Jordan Spieth. There are some nice numbers out there on the rest of the elite tier of players because Rahm’s number is so low.
Justin Thomas +1800
I just can’t quit JT at this number. He is rounding into form with a top-five last week including some impressive play off the tee. His around the green numbers killed him last week which is really unusual for one of the best chippers in the world.
His approach play is back and his putter finally showed back up last week. His putter is really the barometer for him. When he putts well, he wins or contends at the very least. Bent is his best putting surface and he has multiple wins on bent.
He is coming off his best start in a while and should be supremely motivated to jump up to the top of the FedEx Cup standings headed to East Lake.
Bryson Dechambeau +2500
This is a popular play this week, so much so that this line opened at 35-1 and is down to at least 25-1. If bombers are the play, no one is more equipped to manhandle a bombers course than Bryson.
He played nicely last week but he made a lot of bogeys to go with all his birdies. The lack of penalty for missing fairways will be a big help to him and he should be able to take advantage of his distance scoring ability with all the longer par fours this course has.
Longshots I like: Harris English +4000 & Sungjae Im +5000
Scottie Scheffler +270
Leaning into the long hitting iron players, I liek Scheffler a lot this week. Scheffler putted poorly last week on his way to a 43rd place finish but his tee to green numbers were still okay. He has been red hot recently with four top 20’s in the five starts before last week. He is one of the best drivers of the ball on tour and this course should be perfect for him
Scheffler has had a great season and is looking to cap it off with a strong run in the playoffs. He currently sits 24th in the standings and could use a strong week to boost him into realistic contention going into next week.
Longshot top 10: Keegan Bradley +600
Sam Burns +175
Burns falls right in line with Scheffler as another player who hits it far. Burns’ issues come into play when he has a big blow-up round or there is lots of trouble in play. This course should reward his length without penalizing the misses as much given the lack of trouble off the fairway.
He has back-to-back top 25’s and is looking poised for a strong finish to the season.He has the potential to gain strokes in every category and his irons and putter give him a solid floor most weeks. Burns is 12th in the FedEx Cup standings with a real shot to get into the top five going into East Lake.
Keegan Bradley +175
Bradley played his best golf in a while last week with an 11th place outing. He is consistently one of the better iron players on tour, but his putter limits his upside week to week. He has put together a really nice run of approach play recently and bent is his best putting surface.
Bradley is from the New England area and should be familiar with the agronomy and feel of this course. He is a wizard from tee to green and has a lot to play for sitting just outside the top 30 in 32nd place this week.
Longshot top 20: Kieth Mitchell +490
Kevin Na over Jason Kokrak -112
Na has simply been a way better golfer over the last couple of months. Kokrak certainly has the ability to take down a course like this but his game has just not been there the last few starts. He is coming off of back-to-back missed cuts and has lost strokes on approach in four of his last five.
Na has three top 10’s in his last four starts and is putting really well. Na doesn’t succeed in the traditional way each week but he has been finding a way and is a proven winner on tour. His form is just so much better than Kokrak’s.
If Na continues to putt really well, there is no reason to think he won’t manage another good finish. Kokrak seems a bit lost and just doesn’t have his game in a good place going into a week where I think you will need to make a bunch of birdies.
Mitchell has all the makings of a Cinderella run to the Tour Championship. He made it into the top 125 for last week and then had an unbelievable finish to his final round to make the top 70 and be in the field for this week’s BMW.
Mitchell birdied each of his last three holes to get in by the skin of his teeth and now gives himself the opportunity to make another big jump into the top 30. He sits in 63rd going into the week so he will likely need a top 10 to secure his spot.
Mitchell gets a course that suits his game well though. He is long and has serious putting upside like he showed last week. When he can gain a bunch off the tee and pair it with a hot putter, he can compete in this field. He is +1100 for a top 10 finish.