The final leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs has arrived with just 30 of the best performing golfers left in contention. The format of the Tour Championship 2021 gives the FedEx leader a headstart over the chasing pack so the odds will be shorter for the favorites and there will be less scope for an upset.
Last time out at the BMW Championship, one of our preview’s top five picks lifted the trophy. Patrick Cantlay delivered a return and this has happened several times this season with our top ten and top five selections.
East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta Georgia is the destination this time so let’s see if we can pick out some more profits as the season comes to a close with our Tour Championship predictions. Since 2019, the leader of the FedEx Cup receives an advantage over his fellow players who have to overtake their handicap to win this Tournament and the FedEx series itself. Patrick Cantlay is the man leading the way and he begins as favorite this week at a general 7/2 with the online bookies for Americans.
Cantlay starts at ten under par which gives him a two-shot advantage over his closest challenger. However, he has a poor record at East Lake and there are expectations that he will fall short.
The new FedEx Cup leader took over from Tony Finau at the head of the standings after closing out Bryson DeChambeau in a tense playoff on Sunday. DeChambeau is third favorite this week at 9/2 but he needs to regain his composure as he was seriously rattled by the crowd and his playoff opponent.
DeChambeau is three shots back from Cantlay at seven under while Jon Rahm is at six under. Spain’s Rahm is, however, second favourite to win this week at a general 4/1. A scoring average of 68.75 on this course puts him at the top of the Power Rankings and, if there is any value in this shortened field, Rahm could be the man to provide it.
A gap follows to Tony Finau at 15/2 and the man who was leading the standings until Sunday has drifted out to eight under. He is the closest challenger to Cantlay under this competition’s unique handicapping system and a final round 63 on Sunday means that he retains some decent form.
Next up are Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson at 18/1. Johnson won this tournament 12 months ago while Thomas was one of two runners up along with Xander Schauffele. DJ is at three under while Thomas is four under.
Moving through the chasing pack, Rory McIlroy and Cameron Smith are both on offer at best odds of 25/1. We are getting to the point where there needs to be a big turnaround for anyone to come through at these prices. Either of those two would need to shoot a seriously low score and hope that everyone above them hits a slump.
Smith could be the man to deliver after his low score of 60 two weeks ago. The Australian is five strokes behind Cantlay on five under and would need a similar low-60 score at East Lake.
The format means that there is unlikely to be any potential for outside value. Stewart Cink and Erik van Rooyen carry the longest odds of 400/1 but it would take a miracle for either man to deliver.
Further up the list of outsiders in this section, it may just be worth looking at either Jordan Spieth at 28/1 or Xander Schauffele at 33/1. Spieth won this event in 2015 when it was played as a conventional tournament and he is at four under – six shots adrift.
Our Preview’s Tour Championship Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
Remember that there is no cut this week so all players will stay involved for four rounds, barring injury. East Lake Golf Club is the regular host on a par 70 surface which comes in with considerable length at 7,346 yards. There are just two par 5s on the course and there can be some advantage for the power hitters in places.
Rough can be punishing at times while Greens in Regulation can be a key stat. Putting averages have traditionally been low on surfaces that measure around 13 on the Stimpmeter.
There are 30 names in the frame but the format rules out at least two thirds of them. One key point to note is, that in the last ten years of regular tournament play, the highest winning margin in this event was four strokes. It suggests that, even if someone like Spieth or Schauffele goes low, the players at the top also have to hit well over par.
Of those most likely to deliver, Jon Rahm is a consistent threat and one who is close enough to the leaders. In such a short field, there is unlikely to be too much in the way of prop betting so this preview will stay with Rahm for our prediction for the win and look ahead to the new season. This is the advised wager:
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.