Memorial Tournament betting preview: Is X going to give it to us?
If you're not sure whose place the PGA TOUR is at this week when another designated event descends on Muirfield Village in Ohio, just turn on the broadcast and wait a few moments. If there was a market available for the number of times the words "Jack's place" will be said, we'd be hitting the over hard. Mr. Nicklaus takes center stage, as the "Golden Bear" will be prowling green-side on the 18th hole on Sunday to crown a winner at the Memorial Tournament.
Scottie Scheffler (+700) is a nose ahead of Jon Rahm (+775) atop the oddsboard, though it was Rahm that had back-to-back Memorials all but wrapped up in 2021 before having to withdraw due to a positive COVID-19 test, following that up with a T-10 last year. Notably, Patrick Cantlay jumps Rory McIlroy for third favorite, thanks to five top-10s and two wins (2019, 2021) in the last six events held at Jack's place.
Three draws (odds to win/top 20)
Golfers more valuable than their odds suggest this week
Xander Schauffele (+1400 / -160)
While the golf world breathlessly awaits Schauffele's first major win for at least a few more weeks, he'd probably take a win of any kind. Schauffele is probably overdue for victory after going back-to-back last summer in Connecticut and Scotland.
Maybe this is the week, maybe it's not, but with the consistency that Schauffele has shown, a -160 price for a top-20 isn't as daunting as it may seem. He hasn't finished outside the top 20 since the Arnold Palmer Invitational back in March, despite playing all the high-end tournaments. He also hasn't been outside the top 20 at the Memorial Tournament in the last five years and has averaged plus-2.05 strokes gained in those events.
His T-18 last year was about as low as he could have finished given that he was fourth in strokes gained: approach. A final round 67 at the PGA Championship could help propel him to a big week, but paying -160 (61.5 implied win probability) for something that happens seemingly every week is fine.
Matt Kuchar (+12500 / +225)
With Schauffele battling the big guns for the trophy, we'll go searching for value down the leaderboard. Kuchar's had a sneaky good season and offers better than 2-to-1 on a top-20 - which is kind of his thing, as he's made a career of finishing well despite never contending all week.
Kuchar had a streak of four straight results of T-23 or better snapped at the Byron Nelson despite the fact that he shot in the 60s in all four rounds. We'll give him a pass for a missed cut at lengthy Oak Hill because his career 2.42 average strokes gained at Muirfield Village means this is a place he's comfortable. He has seven top-10s and a win in 2013 at the venue. With his game trending back up relative to recent years, +225 is a good deal for a top-20.
Adam Schenk (+20000 / +450)
It would normally be pretty lazy to grab a player like Schenk after he finished second in a playoff last week at Colonial, but even without good form coming into Ohio, he's played well here in the past. Last year, he finished T-26 but was fifth for the tournament in strokes gained: tee-to-green. If the rest of his game is as solid as it was last weekend, he can make it 4/4 on cuts made at Muirfield Village for his career, at which point +450 for a top-20 will be a very live long shot.
The scary fade
A golfer with high expectations who's worth betting to miss the cut at a big price
Billy Horschel (+160 to miss the cut)
Fading the defending champion can be scary, but Horschel's only made cuts at a 50-50 rate this year and only two in seven big-money events. That's unlike Horschel's form this time last year, when he was regularly playing the weekend. Horschel finished T-40 last week, but that might have been worse were it not for awesome putting days in the first and third rounds, while the rest of his scoring metrics were average or below.
The favorite club in the bag
We've picked two golfers to bet to win each week: Max Homa and Tom Kim. Assuming they play 20-to-25 events, we're expecting our second-tier oddsboard duo will win more than once and be profitable. It took one week for that approach to pay dividends: Homa won at Torrey Pines at 20-1 and almost added a second win at Riviera.
Are Max and Tom playing this week?
Homa is using his one designated event opt-out to attend his sister's wedding.
Kim doesn't have a sister, so he's good to go and is up to 66-1 to win his first big event. Though with mediocre results recently, winning the Memorial on his first try seems unlikely.
Matt Russell is the Lead Betting Analyst for theScore. If there's a bad beat to be had, Matt will find it. Find him on Twitter @mrussauthentic.
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