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Welcome to the most important week of the PGA Tour season.

No, it’s not next week’s Tour Championship. Nope, it’s not next month’s Ryder Cup. It’s not even the Masters or the Open Championship.

It’s this week’s BMW Championship being held at Olympia Fields Country Club in Olympia Fields, IL, that will see the top 50 players in the FedEx Cup playoff standings try to get into the top 30 for the season finale next week.

The reason this is the most important event is because it will set up the winner (if he has enough FedEx Cup points after getting 2,000 for the victory) up with a huge advantage at next week’s Tour Championship, the end of the 2022-23 wraparound season.

Next week’s Tour Championship has the unusual format of seeing the FedEx Cup leader starting the tournament at 10-under-par. The player second in the points standings will start at -8 while the golfer in third will be at -7.

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The strokes-under-par will continue to dwindle down even-par where the final four players, Nos. 26-30, will start.

Two shots may not seem like a big advantage over a four-day tournament, but look way down the list at those at even-par and they tee off a full 10 shots off the lead.

Want to ensure you’ve got a great starting spot for next week’s Tour Championship?

That’s easy. Pick up a victory this week and pocket the 2,000 FedEx Cup points and get ready for a better starting spot at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, GA.

Oh, and the $3.6 million first-place payday this week will also help with the confidence.

Here are our PGA Tour odds and predictions.

Read more: FedEx Cup playoffs odds and predictions

Odds to Win BMW Championship

Rory McIlroy+750
Scottie Scheffler+800
Jon Rahm+1000
Patrick Cantlay+1000
Viktor Hovland+1600
Xander Schauffele+1800
Collin Morikawa+2200
Jordan Spieth+2200
Max Homa+2200
Tommy Fleetwood+2200
Tyrrell Hatton+2500
Russell Henley+2800
Hideki Matsuyama+3000
Lucas Glover+3300
Rickie Fowler+3300
Sungjae Im+3300
Tom Kim+3300
Cameron Young+4000
Corey Conners+4000

We list odds from BetMGM, but shop around at other top-rated sportsbooks to find the best prices on your plays.  

Can the Favorites Make Their Mark?

In any sport, it’s tough to simply flip a switch and step up your performance when it counts the most.

This is that time and golf’s ‘Big Three’ this year — Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler, and Rory McIlroy — have shown signs of brilliance but just haven’t sealed the deal in recent events (although McIlroy did finish T-3 last week in the first playoff event).

Will one of that trio step up this week and get back in the winner’s circle?

We’re going to stay away from backing them for the simple fact that all three already have their tickets punched to next week’s Tour Championship in East Lake.

It may just be time for them to fine-tune their game for the season finale when the monster paychecks are up for grabs including an impressive $18 million to the Tour Championship winner.

Not a bad payday for playing 72 holes of golf.

Patrick Cantlay has won three of the last six FedEx Cup playoff events.
Patrick Cantlay has won three of the last six FedEx Cup playoff events. (AP Photo/George Walker IV)

Patrick Cantlay Looks Like a No-Brainer

Looking back at the PGA Tour playoffs over the last couple of years, the pick of Patrick Cantlay at +1000 to win this week seems like an easy choice.

First, Cantlay has won three of the last six FedEx Cup playoff events.

That’s not even the most impressive part of the feat.

The fact that he’s the two-time defending champion in the BMW event has got us on his bandwagon this week.

He beat Bryson DeChambeau in a playoff two years ago and then beat Scott Stallings by a stroke last year.

Oh, there’s more.

If you want to take his recent playoff success one step further, look back to last week and check out the fact he lost to Lucas Glover in a playoff in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the opening playoff event.

A tee shot in the water cost him a shot at the title despite the fact he just missed a par-saving 20-foot putt that could have kept the playoff alive.

So while we have anointed Brooks Koepka as ‘Mr. Majors’ for his play over the last five years, maybe it’s time to crown Cantlay as ‘Playoff Patrick.’

After all, he’s got eight PGA Tour victories in his career, and three of those have come in recent FedEx Cup playoff events.

If he wins last week, that’s yet another playoff victory.

Want to bet against him winning this tournament three years in a row?

We didn’t think so.

Time to Look at Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth, at a hefty +2200 this week, is certainly worth a look.

He’s coming off a T-6 last week at the FedEx Cup St. Jude Championship despite not playing his best golf.

He sprayed the ball everywhere and then did his best Houdini impression (holing out from everywhere and making more than his share of long putts for pars and a few birdies).

He’s coming into this event 27th in the FedEx Cup standings, so he’s in next week’s Tour Championship field… for now.

He knows he’s got to play well to stay in the top 30 to move on and a victory does just that.

If last year’s playoff performance is any indication, he’s on the move in the right direction. 

Last year, he missed the cut at the FedEx St. Jude’s event before finishing T-19 at the BMW and T-13 at the Tour Championship.

With the T-6 last week, he’s already shown massive playoff performance.

We’re looking for more this week.

Around the Props Scene

We’re going to check out FanDuel for this week’s prop bets.

First, we’re going to take a chance with Nick Taylor at +450 to be the top Canadian finisher. The other three in the group are Corey Conners, Adam Hadwin, and Adam Svensson. 

Taylor wound up T-24 last week despite a slow start. He had a one-over-par 71 in the first round followed by steady rounds of 68, 68, and a closing four-under-par 66.

We’re also going to go out on a limb and look at Max Homa at +360 in the group of Xander Schauffele, Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa, and Tyrrell Hatton.

Homa just keeps plugging along and is almost always on the first page of the leaderboard.

He’s coming off a solid first playoff event where he was T-6. A final-round even-par 70 saw him drop out of a top-five finish.

In his last four events, he’s gone T-21, T-12, T-10, and last week’s T-6, so he’s certainly finishing the year on a strong run.

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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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