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And just like that, the PGA Tour is back in action.

After a couple of weeks on break after the three-week FedEx Cup playoffs run, Tour players will be back chasing titles in a seven-week run to end the calendar year.

But before the field tees it up Thursday at the 2023 Fortinet Championship being played at Silverado Resort and Spa’s North Course in Napa, CA, we’ve got a couple of things we’ve got to point out to bettors.

The three things we need to showcase are the past, present, and future of the PGA Tour’s seven fall events.

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First, we’ll hit the past. All FedEx Cup points players earn over the next seven events will be added to their point totals for the wraparound season that, in theory, just ended with the Tour Championship. In past seasons, these seven upcoming events would be the first tournaments of the wraparound season.

But now, these tournament points will help players cement their spots in the top 125 to help save their PGA Tour card… or they may earn enough points to move into the top 125 and find themselves with a job for next season.

Looking at the present, the tournament winners of these events will earn the million-plus first-place checks to go along with their points so there’s plenty of incentive to tee it up.

And as for the future, well, each of the tournament winners will earn a coveted spot in the 2024 season-opening Sentry Tournament of Champions tournament in Maui, which will be held the first week of January.

OK, let’s get this seven-event shootout started with a look at who just might get to make reservations for the new year in Maui.

Here are our Fortinet Championship odds and predictions.

Odds to Win Fortinet Championship


Big Names in the Field Missing

While most of the big guns who cashed in for the big bucks in the FedEx Cup playoffs spend a couple more weeks counting their cash, there are a couple of big names that stand out in the field this week.

And two of them will be on everybody’s radar.

One of those players is Justin Thomas, who wound up 71st in the FedEx Cup points race and is still trying to get his game on track after missing out on the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career.

The second one is Max Homa, ranked No. 7 in the world.

Homa is the wild card this week for one simple reason: He doesn’t need to be here except for the fact he’s the two-time defending champion and he’s going to honor his commitment to return.

There are times when tournament winners find a reason — or reasons — to not come back for the fans, but yet, here he is.

And one can be certain that he knows what’s at stake as he looks to become the first player to win three straight PGA Tour tournaments since Steve Stricker accomplished the feat. Sticker won the John Deere Classic in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Max Homa, the favorite at +750 this week, is seeking his third straight Fortinet crown.
Max Homa, the favorite at +750 this week, is seeking his third straight Fortinet Championship crown. (AP Photo/Alex Slitz)

We’re Taking This Bet to the Max

We were going to try to build a little suspense but there’s no doubt we’re loving the chance Homa, the favorite at +750 this week, wins his third straight Fortinet crown.

We loved him last year at +1000 to go back-to-back and we haven’t seen anything this season to make us question his chances.

This won’t be Homa’s last event of 2023 as he is on the Ryder Cup team (along with Thomas) so this will be a great chance to fine-tune his game before he steps onto the world’s biggest stage as Team USA heads across the Pond.

But before he takes to the air, he’ll try to match Stricker’s run at the John Deere.

And while it won’t be an easy task, if you look at the demeanor of these two guys, there are a lot of similarities.

Both go about their business in workman-like ways and show little-to-no emotion whether they hit good shots or bad shots.

And the biggest factor is both have an impressive killer instinct when it comes to making statement shots.

Look no further than last year’s victory here.

Homa chipped in from off the green on the final hole and then watched as Danny Willett three-putted from short distance, giving Homa the win.

We like the fact he never gave up hope and battled down to the final shot.

Longshot: Maybe It’s Time for the Captain to Win Again

Granted, Zach Johnson hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since the 2015 Open Championship where he beat Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen in a playoff.

And he’s been a little busy over the last year-plus trying to put together a winning team as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain rather than working on his golf game.

But now with the selection process over, he just might be able to concentrate on his golf for a week.

At +17500 this week, he’s one of those longshots we probably have no business looking at but we love the fact he’s still trying to get back in the winner’s circle as he searches for his 13th PGA Tour title.

Around the Props Scene

We’re going to head to FanDuel for one prop bet this week.

We’re going to check out a group matchup and look at Taylor Montgomery at +360 to win against Matt Kuchar, Akshay Bhatia, Mark Hubbard, and Nick Hardy.

Montgomery is coming off a tough stretch as the wraparound season came to a close where he missed five-of-six cuts in his final events.

But, at the start of his rookie season, he came out red-hot where he had five straight top-15 finishes to open his play including a solo third here last year.

We’re betting his time off to work on whatever was ailing him will let him do a reset and he comes in ready to get back in action at a place where he had great success a year ago.

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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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