2021 PGA Championship Expert Picks & Side Bets

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It’s easy to see when the PGA Tour’s major tournaments are on tap. Just look at the variety of betting lines at online sportsbooks.

No, we’re not talking about the overall tournament itself (although we try to pick a winner with every tournament the Tour puts on the calendar and we really like Rory McIlroy this week after he snapped his 18-month victory drought.)

What we’re talking about is the number of side bets the sportsbooks put up on the boards when the majors pop up. Whether it’s head-to-head matchups, or top 10 (or top-five or top-20, etc.) or any of the other bets on hand, the majors see the sportsbook expand their variety of betting options to attract the casual bettor/fan.

The reasoning? A lot of sports fans aren’t golf fans…or golf bettors…unless there’s a major they can follow. Put up the Houston Open or Waste Management Open and the interest level tends to dwindle.

But if it’s one of the four majors–the Masters, the PGA Championship, the US Open or the Open Championship–the interest grows and the bettors add on a wager or two along with other sports they may follow with more interest.

Well, it’s that time again with the PGA Championship being held at the Ocean Course at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina.

With that in mind, let’s dig deep and see if we can’t come up with a couple of winners looking over bets that don’t usually get a lot of following.

A Few Options For The PGA Championship

We’ll go with BetMGM this week and look at a few options bettors can check out to see what may pique their interest.

Granted, the bets we come up with aren’t going to be huge money makers, but they will give fans a rooting interest–and a couple of bucks in their pocket if their golfer holds up his end of the bet.

It’s not always a money-making proposition but it’s a four-day bet in some instances which makes the funds last a little longer.

Here’s A Bet That Should Be Very Appealing

This one looks too simple but we love it nonetheless.

There’s no doubt that Patrick Cantlay is playing solid golf with four top-10 finishes and a world ranking of No. 9.

But, is he playing well enough to win this prestigious event? If you think he is, at +4000 he’s a tremendous value.

But here’s where the prop bets come into play. We can give ourselves a little breathing room and bet him at +170 just to finish in the top 20.

How About A Little Longer Shot

Stewart Cink is also having one of those years to remember. A win here would be impressive as he would put major No. 2 on his resume after a win many, many years ago in the Open Championship (sorry, Tom Watson).

While we think that is an outside shot at +15000, picking him to finish in the top 20 at +400 lets us have wiggle room come Sunday when the collar can get a little tighter and the hands get a little sweatier…especially if you don’t have that first major.

Now For That Player Who May Be Due

It’s easy to look down the list and see a number of players who have the ability to win week in and week out.

It’s a tougher proposition when that tournament is a major.

Well, we’re figuring it’s about time Viktor Hovland at +2000 makes his presence felt. We didn’t pick him in our weekly picks, but at this number he’s more than worth a couple of bucks.

Now, if you want to hedge that bet a little, maybe look at him as a top-10 choice at +200. Granted, it’s not the greatest return on your money, but it’s one of those picks that can be a win-win situation. It will give Hovand confidence he can compete in the majors and give you confidence you knew it was time for him to finally strut his stuff.

How About A Three-Man Bet?

This is an intriguing bet. You get three players–McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth–against the field. If you like those three, your payout is +333. Take the field and you’re giving up big money at -450.

Frankly, we like this week’s Big 3 even though we think the odds should be better. Sure, it’s those three against the rest of the field, but that’s a pretty good threesome to lean on, especially in a major.

Two of the three are in the top 10 in the rankings (Thomas is No. 2 and McIlroy is No. 7) and Spieth is on the rise (up to No. 26 after being right around No. 100 recently) so all three should be more than ready for that next major.

A Bet That Appeals To Horse Racing Fans

Now comes one of the most interesting bets–the Dual Forecast. Like horse racing, this one lets players pick a pair of golfers to finish 1-2 (doesn’t matter the finish…just that these two are first and second). There are some big numbers floating here.

Take the McIlroy-Bryson DeChambeau combo. If you think this is their week, the payout is huge at +12500. There are plenty of other options but unlike an eight or nine horse field, this field sports 156 players.

It’s tough enough to pick a winner. Picking the first and second-place finishers? Good luck.

About the Author
Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 45 years of experience in the sports-writing industry. He's spent the past 20-plus years covering the golf scene, including 10 years as a writer and editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. Bowman also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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