This week, the tour is heading east to New Jersey for the 2021 edition of the Northern Trust. The Liberty National Golf Club is the venue but who is teeing up and in contention? Read on for our preview with betting picks and predictions.
The Northern Trust now acts as the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The top 125 golfers across the season have qualified up to this point so we can always guarantee a strong field.
At the head of the pack this week is Spain’s Jon Rahm who starts things off at industry best odds of 10/1. He has taken a break since finishing third in the Open Championship and is nicely rested and in good touch. Behind the leader, a trio of golfers can be found at 16/1 in places. Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Collin Morikawa can all be claimed at that figure.
Johnson is a three-time winner of the Northern Trust and he is also the defending champion but his form has been missing since the start of the year. Spieth was a runner up here in 2017, having lost out in a playoff to Johnson and is also in better touch this time. Open Champion Morikawa is, however, in the best form of them all and has good relevant stats as he leads the Tour in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and Strokes Gained: Approach the Green.
Behind the leaders, a gap appears to Xander Schauffele and Rory McIlroy who are both listed at a general 20/1. Schauffele has rested since winning Olympic Gold and he leads the Tour in Par 5 Scoring. Rory has a win on Tour but he is rarely fancied these days and has a best in this Tournament of a Tie for 6th in 2019.
Next up is Brooks Koepka at a best of 25/1, followed by his intense rival Bryson DeChambeau at 28/1. A dip in form sees both men drift to higher odds and the same applies to Justin Thomas who is also available at 28/1. The quality is there but the touch has deserted these three for the time being.
On the fringes of the chasing pack are Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Daniel Berger who can all be found at 30/1 in places. The one to watch here could be Berger whose consistent form sees him in third position in this week’s Power Rankings.
The quality in depth means that there could well be some value in an outside bunch which is led by Viktor Hovland, Abraham Ancer and Webb Simpson who are all quoted at an industry best of 35/1. Ancer is a recent winner on Tour and he also finished in a solo second at the Northern Trust in 2019.
Ancer lost out to Patrick Reed, who is further back at 45/1. Reed is a two-time winner of this tournament and has a tendency to raise his game when the FedEx Cup playoffs arrive.
Others to consider in the outside pack include Hideki Matsuyama, Cameron Smith, Paul Casey and Harris English who are all quoted at 40/1. Further back, Tony Finau and Sam Burns are listed at 60/1, Matthew Fitzpatrick is at 66/1 and Sunday’s winner Kevin Kisner is at 70/1.
There are lots of players with a genuine chance but what will it take to get over the line in the 2021 Northern Trust?
Our Northern Trust Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
This tournament began life as the Westchester Classic in 1967 and it took place across the Hudson River in Rye, New York. From modest beginnings, it has become an important competition and is now the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
The event rotates between Boston and New Jersey and, in 2021, it is the turn of the Liberty National Golf Club in NJ to assume hosting duties. It is a par 71 course but there is significant length at some 7353 yards.
Water hazards can be the biggest threat while relatively tiny putting surfaces means that Greens in Regulation will usually be a key stat. Patrick Reed was the winner when this tournament was last played here in 2019 and he ranked fifth in Greens in Regulation and eighth in Fairways Hit. As a back-up, Reed also finished second in Scrambling.
It is tough to back Rory McIlroy right now but those are the statistics that he can deliver if he is on top of his game. Rory seems to do a lot of talking these days but a small change in form suggests that this course will be suited for him.
So, for our Northern Trust predictions, McIlroy is the main pick to win, while three additional top 10 betting tips are suggested, with a view to compensating if his touch continues to desert him. These are the picks:
- Rory McIlroy to win @ +2200 (22/1) with Intertops, BetOnline, MyBookie or GTbets. It is +2000 (20/1) with Bovada.
- Top 10 Finishes (best odds in brackets): McIlroy (+225 BetOnline), Paul Casey (+300 Bovada), Sam Burns (+500 Bovada, BetOnline) and Harris English (+400 BetOnline).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.