During the 2023 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week. 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.
About the Tournament
It’s playoff time on the PGA TOUR at the FedEx St. Jude Championship in Memphis. TPC Southwind plays host to the top-70 players in the FedEx Cup standings. There is no cut this week and the top 50 after this event will move on to next week’s BMW Championship.
Top of the Board
Scottie Scheffler (+650), Jon Rahm (9/1) and Rory McIlroy (9/1) have consistently been on their own tier for much of 2023. Scheffler and Rahm peaked earlier in the year while McIlroy has put together a strong summer. They occupy the top spots in the FedEx Cup standings and I would be surprised if one of them didn’t win the TOUR Championship in two weeks.
Scheffler is the most appealing name of the aforementioned bunch, but I’m not interested in betting him at this event as the tournament favorite. Instead, I’ll go down a tier and target Xander Schauffele (18/1) to start my card. Schauffele has a strong history in small-field events like we have this week.
The first big victory of his career was the 30-man TOUR Championship in 2017. He also has wins in his career at the Tournament of Champions, and he also has an Olympic gold medal from 2021 on his resume. Schauffele is winless this year but has had several close calls and his all-around game rates well at any course.
Cameron Young (40/1) was the first player I bet on this week. Young was projected to be a breakout player in 2023, but his first half of the year didn’t go as planned. Then he put together two strong starts with top-eight finishes at the John Deere Classic and The Open. His showing at The Open in England made him one of the favorites to win Minnesota’s 3M Open, but Young missed the cut after taking a long flight back to American soil, so I’ll give him a pass after playing until late Sunday on the other side of the pond.
Taking last week off should allow Young to refocus on what’s ahead of him. He is 48th in the FedEx Cup standings, so he has some work to do to secure a spot at the BMW Championship. He also has a chance to be on the United States’ Ryder Cup team next month if he can string together impressive showings in August.
Last year, Young finished tied for 31st at this event but ranked second in strokes gained tee to green. Only Will Zalatoris was ahead of Young in that category — and he ended up winning for the first time in his career. I’m hoping Young can follow in the footsteps of Zalatoris and obtain his first career victory this weekend.
Last week, Hideki Matsuyama (40/1) was one of the co-favorites to win the Wyndham Championship. As for this week, I believe he’s underpriced at a course where he lost in a three-man playoff in 2021. I like the spot for Matsuyama coming off the missed cut in North Carolina.
He currently sits at 57th in the FedEx Cup standings and will be looking to extend his season one more week. Missing the weekend at the Wyndham is a positive in my eyes as it allowed Matsuyama to rest after a lot of travel. His approach numbers have been strong this year, it’s just been his bad putting that has consistently kept him out of contention. It’s worth taking a shot on Matsuyama in hopes for positive putting regression.
Harris English (90/1) sticks out this week. He has a strong record at TPC Southwind, where he won 10 years ago. While I don’t put too much weight into that showing a decade ago, he was also fourth at this course in 2021 after a forgettable finish on Sunday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. English also just ranked third in strokes gained approach at the Wyndham Championship. I will look to bet on him to win this week and to finish in the top five.