During the 2022 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week using odds as of Tuesday morning. Here are his thoughts on this week’s FedEx St. Jude Championship.
Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
About the tournament
The first FedEx Cup Playoffs event takes place this week in Memphis with the FedEx St. Jude Championship. Players in the top 125 of the FedEx Cup standings are eligible to play this week at TPC Southwind. After this week, the top 70 players in the standings will move on to the BMW Championship, and then the top 30 players will play in the TOUR Championship the following week with plenty of money on the line.
Top of the board
The field for this event is one of the strongest of the year because it’s based off results over the last 11 months of the entire season, although many of the top players haven’t played competitively in nearly a month since The Open Championship. Rory McIlroy (10/1) tops the oddsboard this week, and he is followed in the pricing by current FedEx Cup points leader Scottie Scheffler (14/1).
Justin Thomas (18/1) is the player I’m going to consider in this range. I like the number on Thomas, who has only contended once (third at the RBC Canadian Open) since he won the PGA Championship back in May. Thomas made the weekends, but was a non-factor at both the U.S. Open and The Open Championship. Because of his recent lackluster results, I believe there is a price discount on Thomas. Now he plays at a course he won at two years ago despite losing strokes putting that week. I’ll closely monitor Thomas’ odds and hope he drifts to 20/1 or better.
Will Zalatoris (25/1) played the last two weeks unlike many of his top-rated counterparts. He was priced as one of the favorites at the Rocket Mortgage Challenge and the Wyndham Championship, but I wasn’t interested in Zalatoris at shorter prices in weaker fields. I bet on him Monday because he’s played his best in strong-field events. Zalatoris has the iron game to have success at this course even if he struggles putting. One potential concern is he is going through a caddie switch, but that could end up being a positive. I bet on Zalatoris in the last three majors and will try again to back him for his first PGA TOUR victory.
Shane Lowry (33/1) was a player I considered last week at the Wyndham Championship at 16/1 but didn’t feel comfortable betting him at that number. He also faced some adversity during the week when his golf clubs and suitcase went missing and arrived the day before the first round. He left Greensboro on Friday thinking he was going to miss the cut and then had to fly back to the course early Saturday after making it. Hopefully Lowry has a smoother week of preparation and he can make his move up the FedEx Cup standings as he enters this week in 28th place. Lowry finished tied for 83rd at the Wyndham, but had good approach numbers over the four days.
Russell Henley (50/1) is my favorite player in this range after I bet on him at half the price last week. Henley played how I predicted he would at the Wyndham Championship, as he ranked first in strokes gained approach and played bogey-free golf for his first 47 holes. But an average week with his putter was only good enough to finish tied for fifth, and he missed multiple short birdie putts all weekend. I’ll bet on Henley to continue his strong iron play for the third-straight week and hope he can hole some of the makeable putts.
I am hesitant to bet multiple longshots this week — even though there are several intriguing players at big numbers — because usually in a field this strong, an elite player rises to the top. But keep an eye on Davis Riley (80/1) and Brendan Steele (150/1), two players I have recently bet on that are good ball strikers. I would even add Anirban Lahiri (150/1) to the shortlist after the week he had off the tee and with approach at the Wyndham Championship.
Ultimately, the player I already bet on is Keith Mitchell (125/1). His form was very strong before the July events in Scotland and then he disappointingly missed the cut at The Open Championship. Last week, he finished 54th at the Wyndham and led the field in strokes gained off the tee. Mitchell has putted very well this year, but that was not the case this past week. At this number, I took a chance on positive putting regression and will also bet on him to finish in the top five at 20/1.