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BMW Championship betting preview: Rahm to cement POY case in Chicago

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New to golf betting? Check out theScore's PGA TOUR wagering guide here. All odds listed are courtesy of theScore Bet and are subject to change.

We hit a +9000 winner in our last betting preview thanks to Lucas Glover's victory at the Wyndham Championship, and now we're back after a week off (you have to celebrate your wins, right?) for the BMW Championship at Olympia Fields.

The second leg of the FedEx Cup Playoffs is reduced to 50 golfers with no 36-hole cut. That changes things considerably from a betting perspective, especially in terms of head-to-head matchups. Small fields with no cuts mean you can't truly count any player out of cashing a top-10 or top-20 wager until the final putt is holed on Sunday.

The course

  • Olympia Fields North Course, Olympia Fields, Illinois
  • 7,366 yards; par 70
  • Bentgrass greens
  • Thick rough; narrow fairways
  • Seven par 4s over 450 yards

Olympia Fields presented one of the toughest tests on the PGA TOUR when it hosted the 2020 BMW Championship. Jon Rahm won with a 4-under score over Dustin Johnson in a playoff and only five golfers finished under par for the week. It was the toughest non-major venue of the year, and you should expect it to play similarly this week.

Past champions

2022: Patrick Cantlay (-14) by one over Scott Stallings
2021: Patrick Cantlay (-27) in a playoff over Bryson DeChambeau
2020: Jon Rahm (-4) in a playoff over Dustin Johnson
2019: Justin Thomas (-25) by three over Patrick Cantlay
2018: Keegan Bradley (-20) in a playoff over Justin Rose
2017: Marc Leishman (-23) by five over Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler

The favorites

Player Odds to win
Rory McIlroy +650
Scottie Scheffler +750
Jon Rahm +1000
Patrick Cantlay +1000
Viktor Hovland +1600
Xander Schauffele +1800

Rory McIlroy enters as a slight favorite over Scottie Scheffler as the only two players listed below +1000. Nothing negative can be said about either golfer with them both in world-class form, but these prices are a tad short, even though it is a 50-man field.

Meanwhile, Rahm at +1000 is definitely worth consideration. He won the last BMW Championship held at Olympia Fields and finished second at The Open two starts ago. Consider last week's result in Memphis, where Rahm finished T37, an anomaly. The Spaniard will be ready to go at this U.S. Open-type setup.

Patrick Cantlay is a two-time defending champion of this event but neither of those wins were in Chicago. He did finish T12 at the 2020 version at Olympia Fields and his runner-up result from last week shows he's in good form. However, +1000 for Cantlay feels short considering the options priced nearly double.

The next tier

Player Odds
Jordan Spieth +2200
Max Homa +2200
Tommy Fleetwood +2200
Collin Morikawa +2500
Tyrrell Hatton +3000
Cameron Young +3300
Hideki Matsuyama +3300
Lucas Glover +3300
Rickie Fowler +3500
Russell Henley +3500
Sungjae Im +3500
Tom Kim +3500
Brian Harman +4000
Corey Conners +4000
Jason Day +4000
Tony Finau +4000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +4500
Wyndham Clark +4500

This congested range features a couple of betting options, starting with Tommy Fleetwood.

The Englishman finished inside the top 10 in five of his last six starts, including a T3 last week. Fleetwood usually has an advantage over the field on tougher setups, where there's an extreme emphasis on total driving and iron play. At some point, he'll stumble into a PGA TOUR victory, and a 50-man field on a difficult course could be the perfect opportunity.

Tyrrell Hatton is garnering some attention around the betting industry this week due to showing consistency this year without finding the winner's circle. The main concern about Hatton is that if Olympia Fields does play like a major-championship venue, he may lack the patience required to handle the bad breaks or big numbers he'll likely face through four rounds.

Long shots

The list for potential long shots this week is small, since we've covered nearly half the field in the first two tiers. And given the no-cut nature of the event at a difficult course, the cream should rise to the top.

A top-20 wager on Adam Svensson at +150 is a solid choice if you're picking from the bottom of the betting board. The Canadian has gained over four strokes tee to green in four straight events. He's made five straight cuts, including a T7 showing at the Wyndham Championship.

Si Woo Kim is another player with long odds who could exceed expectations. Over the past 24 rounds, he ranks fourth in the field in strokes gained: ball-striking (off the tee plus approach). He's gained 14.6 strokes tee to green in his past two starts.

Best bets

Jon Rahm to win (+1000)

It feels as though it's time for an elite golfer to win one of the year's marquee events, and Rahm has a great chance to do it at +1000.

No disrespect to Lucas Glover, Brian Harman, or Wyndham Clark, but the PGA TOUR needs one of its biggest stars to perform on the biggest of stages. Rahm fits this bill perfectly, as he'll likely be named Player Of The Year with his four victories, including a green jacket.

He's proven he can win at Olympia Fields and gave it a good run in tracking down Harman at The Open. If it weren't for a terrible opening round at the FedEx St. Jude Championship where he lost 4.4 strokes, he would have been right in the mix and likely the favorite to win this week.

Collin Morikawa to win (+2500)

Ben Jared / PGA TOUR / Getty

If Rahm doesn't get the job done in Chicago, expect Morikawa to be in contention for his first victory of the year.

Morikawa has been playing some great golf, but a few squirrely rounds have ruined his chances of winning. Still, he gained 4.3 strokes tee to green last week in Memphis and is two starts removed from gaining 12.1 strokes tee to green at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

Olympia Fields will tend to favor the longest hitters due to its thick rough and narrow fairways. That said, Morikawa is one of the most accurate drivers on TOUR and should be playing from the fairway much more often than his competitors, even if he's giving up a few yards off the tee.

Cameron Young w/o Scheffler, McIlroy, Rahm (+2500)

Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty

You could also look to bet Young outright, but taking him at +2500 without including Scheffler, McIlroy, and Rahm feels a lot more valuable than backing him to win outright at +3300. Removing those three from the field - theoretically - takes away about 34% of the implied win probability, and yet Young's odds only shorten a few points.

Young is one of the longest hitters on TOUR and has shown his ability to play well at its toughest tests. He has four top 10s in his last eight majors, including a T8 at this year's Open Championship.

Cameron Young top-10 finish (+280)

There's also great value in betting on Young for a top-10 result. The FedEx Cup Playoffs already offer plenty to play for, but Young has the added motivation - and pressure - of performing with a Ryder Cup spot on the line. He's unlikely to qualify on points and this is his last week to impress captain Zach Johnson.

Byeong Hun An top-20 finish (+110)

Sam Greenwood / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Asking Byeong Hun An to beat 30 players in the field this week isn't a tall order. He's been playing some great golf over the past two months with five straight made cuts, including a T3 at the Scottish Open and a runner-up result at the Wyndham Championship.

An finished T12 at the 2020 BMW Championship and is one of the longest off the tee in the field. Since switching to the broomstick putter - the same style Glover rode to two back-to-back wins - An has turned a corner and appeared far more regularly on leaderboards.

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