Best Bets For The Memorial Tournament ⛳



Mar 6, 2018
[h=1]Best bets for the Memorial Tournament[/h]

The PGA Tour heads to Dublin, Ohio this week for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide. Despite a final-round 75, Jon Rahm won last year's even at Muirfield Village by three shots.

Which players are the favorites this time around, who offers good odds and what props are worthwhile?

Betting analyst Chris "The Bear" Fallica, sports betting deputy editor David Bearman and fantasy analyst Anita Marks offer their best bets.

Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill unless otherwise noted.
[h=2]Bets to win[/h] [h=3]Collin Morikawa 16-1, top-10 finish (+150)[/h]

Bearman: Last year, Muirfield Village hosted the Workday Charity Open and the Memorial Tournament in back-to-back weeks. The course was set up different each week with a scoring average difference of more than 2.5 strokes. So how about a third different setup? That's right, Jack Nicklaus got his crews to work, redoing 14 greens, moving tee boxes and reshaping sand traps. So we don't know what to expect, as no one has played the redesigned course.

What we do know is one of the best shot-makers in the game, Morikawa, went out and won the first version last year with a 19-under par week. While I am not putting as much stock into course history this week as I usually do due to the changes of the course, what I do like is that Morikawa's four PGA Tour wins have all come on courses he has played for the first time. The Memorial this week could be a blend of "never seen" for the changes and "I remember that" for the few things that have not changed. Morikawa gets high grades in both. We are also getting a player who leads the tour in shots gained tee to green and on approach, as well as greens in regulation. With a lot of question marks out there with the "new" course, I want someone I can trust. Morikawa's metrics, ability to score on unfamiliar courses and good recent form (no worse than T-18 in his last four stroke-play events, which includes two majors), makes him a play for me this week.

[h=3]Morikawa 16-1; Morikawa or Patrick Cantlay (9-1)[/h]

Marks: Morikawa plays extremely well on Jack Nicklaus tracks; he has won here as well as at Congressional. He had a bump in the road last week in his third round at the Charles Schwab (72), but he finished strong on Sunday (68) and finished second in strokes gained on approach.

Morikawa ranks 13th in driving accuracy and first in greens in regulation this season, and he putts well on firm and fast bentgrass. Being a left to right ball-striker will benefit him as well.

[h=3]Xander Schauffele 22-1; Top-10 finish (+150)[/h]

Fallica: Schauffele missed the cut at the PGA after a horrible second round, so there might be fewer people backing a typically popular player. He finished T-13 and T-14 his last two trips here, and maybe the weekend off to recharge will do his mind good. It wasn't as if he was playing poorly entering the PGA, as he was third at the Masters and 14th at Quail Hollow.

[h=3]Louis Oosthuizen 40-1; top-10 finish (+200)[/h]

Bearman: As noted above, it's hard to judge past results at Jack's course because of all the changes. But one thing has stayed constant at Muirfield Village: the greens are tough and probably tougher now that 14 of the 18 have been redone. They are small, at just over 5,000 yards, with undulations throughout. The course has always necessitated good putting, with possibly even more emphasis now with added undulations. Stokes gained putting and putting inside 10 feet are some stats that I am looking at this week, and Oosthuizen leads the tour in both. He's also third in total putting. Simply put, Louis is the best with the flat stick on tour, which showed in his runner-up finish to Phil Mickelson two weeks ago at the PGA Championship. The bridesmaid finish two weeks ago was just the latest in a recent hot streak for Oosthuizen, who was eighth at Valspar and T-2 the week before with fellow South African Charl Schwarztel at the team event in New Orleans.

His struggles have been off the tee, but Muirfield is more forgiving in that respect, and with tee boxes moved and added as part of the renovation, all golfers might be in the same boat. At a surprising 40-1 price, I am looking for Louis to grab that first elusive win on U.S. soil.

[h=3]Billy Horschel 50-1; Top-10 finish (+300)[/h]

Fallica: Horschel has three top-15 finishes in his last five Memorials. The new course setup could skew the course history for some, but I'll take a long shot flier on Horschel, whose putting and off-the-tee metrics indicate he should be in a position to adapt to whatever changes there are.



Mar 6, 2018
[h=2]Props[/h] [h=3]Jordan Spieth top-5 finish (+400); top-10 finish (+163); Spieth (+120) over Rahm[/h]

Bearman: I pegged Spieth perfectly last week, predicting him to contend due to his past success at Colonial, but playing him top 5 and top 10 and not to win because of his inconsistency off the tee. For three days, he was on fire, holding that top spot, but his inability to hit fairways and greens on Sunday ruined his chances vs. Jason Kokrak.

Muirfield's fairways are a little more forgiving, so Spieth has as good of a chance as anyone to win this week, but the 14-1 price is too short for someone 125th in strokes gained off the tee, 178th in driving accuracy and 91st in hitting greens. Until those numbers move up, I will continue to play him for 4-to-1 prices for top-5 finishes and plus money for top 10s. He has finished in the top 10 in five of his last six events, with three of those cashing top 5s.

[h=3]Cantlay top-5 finish (+425); Cantlay (-120 at DraftKings) over Bryson DeChambeau[/h]

Marks: Cantlay loves this track. He won here in 2019 and has never missed the cut. He is third in scrambling and 25th in par-5 scoring birdies or better this season, and he is one of the best putting on bentgrass. [h=3]Spieth top-10 finish (+163)[/h]

Fallica: In the past, this course has been forgiving to those who missed the fairway. And as we all saw again on Sunday, Jordan loves to miss the fairway. In Spieth's last 11 events, he has posted a win, a runner-up, a pair of third-place finishes, a pair of fourth-place finishes and two more top 10s. Now he returns to a place where he he has a pair of top 10s and two other top 15s. [h=3]Tony Finau top-10 finish (+188)[/h]

Fallica: Top-10 Tony keeps rolling along with seven this year, including in both majors. He was eighth here last year and has four top-13 finishes in six trips. All aboard for another trip on the top 10 express.

[h=3]Corey Conners top-10 finish (+225); top-20 finish (+100)[/h]

Bearman: Why stop now? We keep taking Conners each week and he keeps cashing tickets for us. Last week, Conners held on for a T-20 at Colonial, his 11th top-20 finish in the last 15 stroke-play events (and one miss was a T-21). That includes seven top 10s on the season as well. He continues to be on leaderboard each week, and the metrics show why; he is seventh in strokes gained tee to green, 14th in total strokes gained, fourth on approach, eighth off the tee and seventh in hitting greens and in scoring. What has prevented Conners from podium finishes is his putting, where he is 92nd on tour. That's why I am not picking him to win as I have in previous weeks, but I will continue cashing his top 10/20 tickets.

[h=3]Conners top-10 finish (+225); Top Canadian (-180)[/h]

Marks: Conners finished T-22 here last year, and this season he has 13 top-20 finishes. He has picked up five strokes on approach in his last three tournaments, and I might have picked him to win if he was putting better. He is 12th in driving accuracy and seventh in greens in regulation this season.

[h=3]Charley Hoffman top-10 finish (+350); top 20 finish (+163)[/h]

Bearman: Second, T-18, T-11, T-18, T-17, T-3. No, that's not Spieth or Dustin Johnson's last six events, it's Hoffman, who has quietly climbed to 24th in the FedExCup standings and 60th in the Official World Golf Ranking. Going back further, Hoffman has recorded a top 20 in nine of his last 11 events. His 65 on Sunday at Colonial got him a T-3, his fifth top-10 of the season. I was tempted to take him to win at 50-1, but he hasn't done very well at this event. But, with all the changes being made to Jack's course, I am leaning more on his recent on fire form and metrics, which include ranking eighth total strokes gained, fifth in strokes gained on approach, 14th in tee to green and 20th in scoring average. Hoffman has turned into a cash machine lately and it's time to get in line for some.

[h=3]Viktor Hovland top-20 finish (-120)[/h]

Marks: There are lots of sand traps in the new and improved Muirfield track, so it's good thing Hovland is ranked in the top 20 in sand save percentage. He is one of the best ball-strikers on tour and ranks eighth in par-5 scoring birdies or better and 27th in greens in regulation this season.

[h=3]Rickie Fowler top-20 finish (+175)[/h]

Fallica: It has been a lost couple of years for Fowler, but there have been some positive signs lately, including an eighth-place finish at the PGA. He's going to have to qualify for the U.S. Open after this event, so I see this as a way to continue sharpening his game for those 36 holes to try and make it to Torrey Pines. He was T-2, T-8, T-14 in the three years here prior to last year.