BMW Championship betting: Scoreboard watching with an eye on East Lake
It's been an outstanding season betting on the PGA TOUR in this space with Cam Smith at The Players, Justin Thomas at the PGA Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick at the U.S. Open, and Will Zalatoris' wild ride to his first victory last week in the FedEx Cup Playoffs' opening tournament. Just a few outright winners can cover the big swings and misses in a long season during our slow accumulation of valuable top-20, matchup, and missed-cut bets.
The FedEx St. Jude Championship was the final full-field event of the 2021-22 season - just 68 golfers will start at the BMW Championship, which is also Wilmington Country Club's first professional event. With no cut, all matchup bets need four rounds to be decided, and that matters because most players are aiming for the top 30 to qualify for the TOUR Championship at East Lake.
Collin Morikawa (+2200)
Morikawa missed the cut at both the Scottish and British Opens. After a month off, it looks as if the two-time major winner has found his game after posting 60s in all four rounds at TPC Southwind last week.
Wilmington Country Club's closest comparables, according to data golf, include Olympia Fields and Torrey Pines' South Course, where Morikawa has succeeded in the past with a top-20 and a fourth-place finish at the 2021 U.S. Open, respectively. A shorter field means shorter odds for a top 20 but, at -120, Morikawa is still worth a bet at a near-pick'em price after gaining almost three strokes tee to green on the field last week.
Aaron Wise (+5000)
Sepp Straka appeared to come out of nowhere to almost win last week, and if there's a candidate to do the same this week, it's Wise. He was second in strokes gained: tee to green at TPC Southwind but couldn't make a putt to save his life, giving minus-1.2 strokes back to the field on the greens.
He hasn't contended since a second-place finish at the Memorial, but he's played well enough in his last three tournaments to cash a top-20 result and barely miss out on two of them. At +160 with a short field and all the motivation in the world sitting 31st in FedEx Cup points, Wise will be locked in at every single hole this week - and that's more than you can say for those at the absolute top and bottom of the standings.
Brian Harman (+7000)
In 10 events that Harman has played during the summer season, the diminutive lefty has finished in the top 20 in half of them. Like Wise, he's +160 to chalk up another.
Harman's 69.375 final-round scoring average in the eight tournaments he's played on Sunday would be ninth-best on the TOUR overall this season. He's 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings, which means he won't be forced to take chances in an effort to move up but will need to pay attention for four rounds so he doesn't fall out of the top 30.
Zalatoris should struggle in the first round, not unlike last week, and won't have the same opportunity to come back from off the pace. Even in victory, he struggled to find the fairway - his driving isn't so great that he can't have a bad week. Zalatoris is first in the standings, so he's in a great spot for East Lake already, and we'll look to fade him in matchups.
Scheffler missed the cut last week, and it cost him all of one spot in the FedEx Cup standings. Cameron Smith has withdrawn, which widens the gap even further between Scheffler and whoever ends up third going into the TOUR Championship. This could create a situation where Scheffler only needs to beat Zalatoris this week to regain the -10 starting score for East Lake. So let's fade Scheffler in a matchup with Xander Schauffele, who will have more to play for come Sunday.
We thought Hatton had it last week, but he was unable to move closer to the top 30 at the FedEx St. Jude. At 50th in the standings, we'll fade him this week; he's got no reason not to go for every shot and that could get him in trouble. Look for Corey Conners to beat Hatton head-to-head, as Conners has the luxury of playing to the middle of the greens to hold his 29th-place standing in the FedEx Cup.
Matt Russell is a betting writer for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.