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Future Betting the 2014 FedEx Cup

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Another golf tournament in the bag and another memorable one, even though I will remember it as the tournament in which nobody ever made a putt. Regardless, it was exciting and this year is off to a great start. So today I sifted through all the odds to win the PGA’s year end points championship and have found quite a few with great value, that should be jumped on immediately.

FedEx Cup Championship

Stay Away From

Tiger Woods +450

Tiger should compete once again for the championship, but he has been anti-Tiger the past few years when the pressure is on. If he can come out and win the Masters or the US Open, I think he will get his confidence back and then +450 might be a great bet. If not you may feel silly for taking him at +450, especially after he missed the cut at one of his favorite courses, Torrey Pines.

Rory McIlroy 12-1

While he finished 2nd two years ago in the final FedEx Cup standings, he really sucked at golf last year. 12-1 is not good enough value to get in on when you are hoping a golfer can shake out the cobwebs after a year in which they disappointed that much.

Henrik Stenson 20-1

Does anyone want to venture a guess as to the highest FedEx Cup finish for Stenson prior to him winning the year end championship last year? If you had 117th then you nailed it. This guy was on an absolute tear at the end of last season. He was without a doubt playing the best golf of his life, but there is no way you can put money on a 37 year old guy that came out of nowhere to win this thing last year. He might compete but nobody has repeated in this championship yet, and there is no reason to think he will this year.

Brandt Snedeker 25-1

When Sneds won this thing back in 2012, he was one of, if not the best putter on tour. Since he has struggled with the short stick and has seemingly struggled a bit with the rest of his game as well. He is still certainly one of the best on tour but with all the talent on tour in 2014, it is going to be tough for him to win that $10M prize two out of three years and 25-1 just isn’t enough value.

Webb Simpson 40-1

I just don’t trust this guy when the pressure is on. Yes he is a major champion, but if you remember correctly, he won that US Open by sitting in the clubhouse and having everyone else fall apart down the stretch. After that he recorded a DNP in the 2012 British Open, then was cut in both the 2012 PGA Championship and the 2013 Masters. In the three majors since his best finish was t-25 in last years PGA Championship. He seems to have the talent to hang around at times, but has not shown the ability to really go out and win a big tournament. The FedEx Cup Playoffs is a string of big tournaments with an elimination process. Even if he manages to maneuver his way into the Tour Championship, I just don’t see a scenario in which he goes out and wins that thing.

Luke Donald 60-1

Unfortunately, his day may have passed on by. At one point he was #1 in the world and despite not being able to smash the long ball, he was so stellar with his short game that he was able to compete in all tournaments all over the world. He has been cut in three out of the last eight major championships. He just isn’t as consistent at 36 years old as he once was. I don’t think his game is good enough to right that ship for four straight events including a final one that almost requires a win.

Best Bets

Matt Kuchar 15-1

This guy is just too good at too many different courses to not compete. He plays a lot and competes for wins in a lot of events. Those last four tournaments suit him well enough to think that he is a legitimate factor in this thing. Maybe 15-1 is a bit short for someone that has never been able to win the big one, but his game is good enough to get the job done. He doesn’t seem to get shaky under pressure, he just hasn’t had enough to get over the hump. It’s just a matter of time before he wins some major event and this year’s FedEx Cup Championship might be the one.

Zach Johnson 15-1

He is playing a far too consistent brand of golf to not get in on these odds.

Phil Mickelson 20-1

Why wouldn’t you bet Phil at 20-1?

Hunter Mahan 30-1

Mahan has finished inside the top 10 in the final FedEx Cup standings two out of the last three years. He has won five times on tour but like so many other greats out there he has yet to get over the hump and win a big one. But he is just too good and too well rounded a golfer to not get the job done eventually. Mahan has shown the ability to get a tee time at the Tour Championship with some regularity and he has shown the ability to win at a course like East Lake, 30-1 is a bargain.

Jason Dufner 30-1

Keegan Bradley 40-1

Great odds for these two buddies. I’ll give the value edge to Keegan for his longer odds and since it’s been longer since he’s tasted a major victory. While Dufner is as capable as any of these guys to take down the year end championship, Bradley hasn’t tasted a victory like this in a much longer time. He is the kind of guy that will let that fuel him. He wants to be the best and winning a FedEx Cup would be a step in that direction.

Bubba Watson 60-1

With a full year under his belt after the high of winning the Masters, Bubba could be in for a stellar year. He choked in this past weekends WM Phoenix Open but I will say that 60-1 is rather sexy at this point though.

Lee Westwood 80-1

While my reasoning for putting Westwood on this list is a stereotypical reason for a “value bet”, there is too much value there to not make him a “best bet”. Since 2008 Lee has posted 8 top 5’s, 11 top 10’s and 14 top 15’s in the 24 major tournaments. Yes, it’s true he has never come out on top of any of those, but the sheer fact that he is constantly competitive in them, means he has what it takes to win the FedEx Cup Championship.

Now a couple quick questions, would you rather…

Take him or Louis Oosthuizen at the same odds?

What about him or Charl Schwartzel at 60-1?

How about him or 21 year old Japanese Tour product Hideki Matsuyama at 60-1?

What about him or Sergio Garcia at 60-1?

Is my point clear yet?

Best Value Bets

Jordan Spieth 20-1

I wanted to put him in as a “Best Bet” but I just couldn’t bring myself to put this 20 year old on that list at 20-1. He has about as bright a future as anyone with a set of golf clubs, but it usually takes some adversity before a golfer really flourishes. Last year everything bounced his way, this year might be the year in which he struggles to get over the hump before really blowing up next year. Maybe by the time the FedEx Cup Playoffs roll around he will be battle tested, but at 20-1 it is not worth the risk right now. If you want to jump on him now, I can’t blame you but I would suggest waiting and seeing if his odds rise a bit.

Rickie Fowler 60-1

After finally getting his first win on Tour back in 2012, by defeating Rory McIlroy and DA Points in a playoff, he struggled a bit last year. But he was able to post a top 10 finish in the US Open and a top 20 in the PGA Championship, while only being cut in the British Open, of majors last year. He hasn’t been able to get back on track since then, but last year was that honeymoon time after a young golfer finally gets their first win. It happens to most of them. This kid is still young and seems to be rock solid mentally. He knows his game and he knows his limits. This year I expect Rickie to get back on track and to win at least one or more events, and to really compete in the Tour Championship this year, making 60-1 one hell of a value bet.

Bill Haas 60-1

This guy is just a FedEx Cup darling. No he has never finished inside the top 10 of any major championship but he has won five times on tour and won this event back in 2011. Every year he seems to find his way to the Tour Championship and obviously knows what it takes to get the job done and earn that $10M prize. 60-1 for a guy that can blast the ball as far as this guy can is a gift. If his putter gets hot once the playoffs commence, he might find himself cashing another big check.

Ian Poulter 80-1

Last year this guy seemed dead to rights once the playoffs began. Every week he needed to overcome so much just to advance to the next tournament. He barely made the cut to get in and somehow managed to battle before barely missing the cut just before the Tour Championship. Poulter is a great golfer and has grit. When looking to bet someone to win this thing you need to look for guys with grit and drive and he has both. Not to mention he has four top 10’s in the past eight major championships and is sitting at 80-1 right now.

Ryo Ishikawa 250-1

My favorite value play of the year, at least to date. This kid is just 22 years old and managed to make the cut in 13 of 23 events last year. Of course it’s going to take some serious luck to hit on at 250-1 shot, but as far as 250-1 shots go, this is the cream of the crop. He hasn’t yet been able to put four good rounds together in a major but he has sniffed the top of the leaderboard a couple of times even if it was just early on.

My Pick

Dustin Johnson 25-1

He is off to a pretty hot start already this year, with a win and two top 10’s in his two starts. Last year he suffered a couple of injuries but was still able to play his best golf at the end of the year. He has seemed to carry that on over to this season and might finally be able to shake off his demons from that Sunday explosion at Pebble Beach in the US Open and that runner up finish in the British Open. I still feel as though he got screwed in the grounding his club incident, since he clearly was not in a bunker and should have been allowed to ground his club, but I digress. DJ was able to shake off a bad season to grab a top 10 finish at last year’s PGA Championship and even make a little run in the FedEx Cup Playoffs despite really starting behind the eight ball. He is one of the longest players on tour and has the ability to really gain momentum around the golf course. He can be streaky but when he is on he is on. I really like him at 25-1 and will likely be betting him to win a major this year as well. At least one of them should turn into a nice pay day.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

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