Golf: US PGA Preview, Predictions, Odds & Betting Picks

Justin ThomasThis week’s tournament, starting Thursday, is the much-awaited final Major of 2018, the US PGA. Top of many people’s PGA predictions will be Justin Thomas. He warmed up in the best way possible ahead of his defence of the title with a dominant win in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.

His recent form has been mixed but the 2017 PGA Champion has enjoyed another productive season and has good potential for another title. He looks to be peaking perfectly following the subdued run of form. Thomas (+1400 with the legal United States’ sportsbooks) is tipped in places for back-to-back wins but there is a familiar face at the head of the outright betting for Bellerive this week.

For the fourth week in succession, Dustin Johnson (+800) heads the odds market on Tour and it has largely been a productive few weeks for the current World Number One. Following a missed cut at the Open Championship, DJ claimed the Canadian Open by some distance and although he rarely threatened to take out WGC Bridgestone last week, Johnson finished in a respectable tie for third place, some five shots behind Justin Thomas.

DJ has yet to win this event but on form alone he makes a good case and is an obvious favorite.

Rory McIlroy (+1200) is our most recent multiple winner of the US PGA Championship. Rory won in 2012 and 2014 and finished tied for sixth at the weekend but has developed an inability to get over the line when nicely placed on the final day.

Others towards the head of the betting include US Open Champion Brooks Koepka (+2000), 2015 PGA Champion Jason Day (+2000) plus Justin Rose (+2200), Rickie Fowler (+2200) and Jordan Spieth (+2000). All are big name golfers with the capability to take the trophy but with the possible exception of Koepka, form is absent going into Thursday.

England’s Ian Poulter (+10000) raced into an early lead at Firestone last week and is getting some support in the USPGA betting as a long-priced outsider. The 42 year old eventually finished in a tie for 10th and could be a value bet for a top 10 finish this week.

Also worth a look in that top 10 betting market are Poulter’s fellow countrymen Paul Casey (+5500) and Tommy Fleetwood (+2800). Casey is a consistent pick for us and while he has a poor record at the PGA with just one top 10 finish in the PGA Championship, he is strong on Tour overall.

Fleetwood has better form and a tie for second at the US Open suggests he is ready to claim a Major before too long.

Coming back to home golfers, Tiger Woods (+2800) is at quite long odds and after a relatively subdued appearance at Firestone, he doesn’t feature inside the Top 20 Power Rankings for Bellerive.

Zach Johnson (+10000) is getting some support in the markets as is current US Masters Champion Patrick Reed (+4000). Tony Finau (+4000), Bubba Watson (+5000) and Xander Schauffele (+6000) are all in contention. Europe’s challenge continues through Thorbjorn Olesen (+7500) and our most recent Major winner, Open Champion Francesco Molinari (+3300).

Our Preview’s US PGA Predictions & Picks Verdict with Course Trends

The 2018 edition of the US PGA Championship heads to the Bellerive Country Club in Missouri. The course has previously played host to the US Open and the PGA Championship took place here in 1992 so it is therefore a world class location and it features a lengthy par 70 at just over 7,300 yards.

Unlike many venues on Tour, there are genuine par 5s, while there are par 4s in excess of 500 yards so distance is a key stat but narrow fairways mean that accuracy is equally vital. There are big, bentgrass greens on most holes so GIR may not be such an issue but form with the putter will be an obvious bonus.

Many of those statistics point to our defending champion Justin Thomas and it is easy to make a case for him at Bellerive. His driving was in the high 300 yards at times and accuracy combined to give Thomas a dominant final day at Firestone.

While Brooks Koepka gave us a precedent this year with a successful defence of the US Open, we do know that back-to-back wins on Tour are tough and JT was clearly very emotional on Sunday. This USPGA preview’s main concern is if it has taken too much out of him mentally. That said, based on his form and the key stats required, Justin Thomas has to win again if he can maintain his touch. He heads our USPGA predictions, and this is a round-up of all the picks for this preview:

  • Justin Thomas to win the US PGA @ best odds of +1400 with Bovada or Intertops.
  • Our picks for Top 10 finishes at best odds: Tommy Fleetwood +260 (Bovada), Bubba Watson +550 (Intertops) & Zach Johnson +700 (Intertops).
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