This week’s PGA golf tournament, the Northern Trust, is one of the oldest on Tour and has always tended to attract the best golfers. The first edition in 1967 was won by the great Jack Nicklaus and under the current sponsor, our reigning champion is current World Number one Dustin Johnson.
We took a profit with Brandt Snedeker on Sunday in the top 10 finishers betting market and while the return would have been so much better if we’d opted for the outright win, it was a decent result so let’s see if we can do it again over in New Jersey with our Northern Trust preview’s predictions and picks.
In the modern day, the Northern Trust kicks off the FedEx Cup play offs so a strong field is guaranteed. Dustin Johnson is back again to defend that title and is favorite at +900 in the Northern Trust 2018 outright winner betting to do so. DJ is, in fact, a two time winner of the Northern Trust and has been in good touch since returning back to North America after missing the cut at the Open Championship.
This year’s Canadian Open Champion is the top seed heading into the play off series and he heads the Power Rankings going into Thursday.
Double Major winner Brooks Koepka (+1400) is in the form of his life this season and having claimed both the US Open and the PGA Championship in 2018, he has the clear ability to get over the line in the biggest tournaments. The question that many punters are asking is why Brooks can’t seem to turn it on in the smaller events.
Locked on the same price as Koepka with many of the USA legal sportsbooks are Justin Thomas and Jason Day. Aussie Day is a former champion of this event, having claimed the Northern Trust in 2015, while a year earlier, he finished as runner-up when the tournament was last played on this Ridgewood Course.
Also well fancied in the Northern Trust betting odds are Tiger Woods (+1400), Jon Rahm (+2000), Jordan Spieth (+2000), Justin Rose (+1600) and Francesco Molinari (+2500). Woods is almost back to his best as his finish at the US PGA confirmed while Molinari is the new Open Champion. The others have all disappointed on Tour to certain degrees this season.
As we look towards the longshots, Tommy Fleetwood (+3300) heads this Northern Trust preview’s tempting outside bets and has been threatening at times, most notably at the US Open. He has been too inconsistent to back with any confidence. However, the Englishman has good stats this week including a third on Tour for Total Driving and fifth for Par 5 Scoring.
Moving through the field, Webb Simpson (+3300) started as favorite for the Wyndham Championship last week and eventually returned a single digit finish while Rafa Cabrera Bello (+6600) finished just outside of the top 10 and is getting support due to his tee to green stats.
Of course, we can’t ignore Brandt Snedeker (+4000) after a phenomenal opening round of 59 at the Wyndham last week. Sneds was holding on at the finish but was buoyant ahead of the play offs and if he maintains that form, he could be a contender in a much stronger field.
Also worth mentioning among the long range prices are Hideki Matsuyama (+4000), a former FedEX points leader who hasn’t enjoyed such a good season, plus Masters Champion Patrick Reed, the big hitting Tony Finau and the consistent overseas pair of Paul Casey (that trio all at +5000) and Marc Leishman (+6600). It’s a tough call this week so what are the key stats needed to get over the line?
Our Preview’s Northern Trust Picks & Predictions Verdict with Course Trends
This year’s tournament returns to the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey for the first time since 2014 when Hunter Mahan won by two shots from a chasing pack that included Jason Day. Matt Kuchar is also a former winner here and all three of those names will be hoping for a happy return.
This is a par 71 at just over 7,300 yards with a set of genuine Par 5s so the distance hitters will have some advantage. When Mahan won here in 2014, he ranked first in greens hit and featured highly in strokes gained – putting – while all previous winners have returned middling statistics in terms of accuracy.
It is another tough one this week and there is some definite value in the top 10 finish betting but in terms of a winner, we like the relevant stats for Brooks Koepka. He does need to lift his game when there is less at stake but the double major winner looks best equipped to take out this testing course. So here are our preview’s Northern Trust predictions at a glance: