This week sees the first Major of the golfing year, the PGA Championship 2020, played as the world’s best players descending on TPC Harding Park in San Francisco, California.
There are 156 golfers in contention for what will be the only Major of the 2019/20 season. It is a strong declaration and, after a period where the World Number One ranking has changed hands three times, it’s predictably bunched at the top of the PGA betting markets.
Read on for USAbetting’s PGA Championship predictions and preview to get the lowdown and the betting picks for the week ahead.
The last two winners of the PGA Championship are locked at the top of the outright betting with most of our American-facing, top-rated United States’ sportsbooks. Brooks Koepka is the defending champion and going for three titles in a row while Justin Thomas claimed the trophy in 2017. Both can be supported at +1000 (10/1) with leading US bookmaker Bovada.
Both men are in good touch, with Thomas claiming the world number one slot after his three-shot win at the St Jude Invitational. Koepka finished in a tie for second place and we know about the tendency to raise his game whenever a Major is in town. They are worthy joint-favorites but there are many likely challengers as we move through the field.
Behind the market leaders there is a gap to a clutch of three joint second favorites. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Bryson DeChambeau are all listed at +1400 in places and any of the three could deliver.
When golf returned to the calendar, McIlroy was World Number One while Rahm briefly claimed top spot before Thomas took over on Sunday. DeChambeau, with his booming drives, has been a standout in recent weeks in a strong run of form that culminated in victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Of the three, McIlroy is way down the rankings but he is a two-time PGA Champion and the last man to win a Tour-sanctioned event on this course.
Xander Schauffele is attracting attention this week at 18/1. He has been close to landing a Major before and has four top 20 finishes from his last four starts. Dustin Johnson (22/1) and Webb Simpson (28/1) finished just outside the top ten last week with DJ allaying fears over his injured back.
Tiger Woods (30/1 with Bovada) will inevitably get support while others to consider include Patrick Cantlay (25/1), Collin Morikawa (28/1), Hideki Matsuyama and 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day. The latter two are at 40/1 with the bookies and any of the four would be worthy of inclusion in our PGA predictions against the oddsmakers.
This is a Major so there will be many big-name players listed at prices of around +5000 and higher. Recently, the favorites have done well in the three events hosted in the US but it is always worth considering those longer odds.
Recent Major winners Patrick Reed and Gary Woodland start things off at prices in that region and both men will have a following. The 2019 US Open winner Woodland tied for second at Harding Park when the course hosted the 2015 Match Play. Rickie Fowler is also at the head of the outside bunch along with Tommy Fleetwood, Viktor Hovland, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose.
Former major winners in the shape of Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Phil Mickelson and reigning Open Champion Shane Lowry are down among the longer prices. It could well be a tough call but what will it take to get over the line in the 2020 PGA Championship?
Our Preview’s PGA Championship Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course & Betting Trends
TPC Harding Park is a mere par 70 but there is some reasonable length at a shade above 7,200 yards. Power hitters will get advantage in places and there are players in the field capable of driving the par four first. To counter that to an extent, there are just two par 5s in play where the big hitters will be eyeing up eagle chances.
Water comes into play from the 14th onwards and there is some punishing rough in places. Recent wins on this course suggest that the winner will score highly in key stats including Scrambling, Fairways Hit and Bogey Avoidance.
It is quite easy to make a case for Brooks Koepka even if trends are not on his side. There have been plenty of multiple wins since this tournament changed to a stroke play event in 1958 while Tiger Woods, along with Koepka, has completed consecutive victories this century. Nobody has ever returned three straight wins but form, and that ability to lift his game, suggests that Brooks could be the first.
Justin Thomas is also a tempting pick as the only man to have won three times this season. It is tough to call but we will side with a man who has been in stunning form since golf’s return. Bryson DeChambeau’s new game is centered around that power off the tee and that will be an element but there is more to his play than a booming drive. He has not been as threatening in his recent starts but USAbetting is backing The Scientist to find the right formula for success at TPC Harding Park. So these are our PGA Championship predictions and betting picks:
- We tip Bryson DeChambeau to win @ best odds of +1700 with Bookmaker. He is next best at 16/1 with Bovada and Intertops.
- Top 10 finish picks are: DeChambeau (best at +175 with Bovada, Intertops, 5Dimes, BetOnline), Tiger Woods (best +310 Bovada), Collin Morikawa (+340 Bovada) and Dustin Johnson (+210 Bovada).
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.