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PGA Tour Expert Picks: Charles Schwab Challenge Props

With outright selections made, the next order of business is to look at the top finishing markets for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The PGA Tour returns to the state of Texas for the fifth time in this 2020-21 season. Colonial Country Club should be a welcome sight for those players who were able to survive the challenge of the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island. As for those who missed out on the PGA Championship, the Charles Schwab Challenge could serve as a potential catalyst as the tour makes its way into the long summer months. Players may face a more difficult test of golf than their typical stop on the tour, especially when looking at the expected forecast.

Players will need to contend with strong winds as the forecast predicts gusts up to nearly 30 miles per hour at some points during the tournament. As such, strong ball strikers are the type of players that I will be targeting for my best bets at the Charles Schwab Challenge. While I may not like these guys to raise the trophy and don the plaid jacket by week’s end, I still believe they will play well enough to finish on the first or second page of the leaderboard.

Our selections will focus on the top-20 market as I believe this area provides enough leeway in case some of our players get caught in the most extreme windy conditions. At Bovada, tournament favorites Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas are -250 to finish inside the top 20, implying a 71.43 percent probability for each to do so. Defending champion Daniel Berger is nearly EVEN money to accomplish the same at -110 and boasts a 52.38 percent chance to finish near the top.

We will forgo the favorites and go a little bit further down the oddsboard in search of some value. Based on the latest odds, these are my favorite top-20 selections for the Charles Schwab Challenge.

Odds courtesy of Bovada

Charles Schwab Challenge Expert Props:

Patton Kizzire (+300 to finish inside the top 20)

I don’t often find myself buying into certain narratives, especially geographic ones, but I’ll be making an exception for Kizzire at the Charles Schwab Challenge. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that he has three straight quality finishes in the Lone Star State. Dating back to the 2020 Houston Open, where Kizzire finished in a share for 11th, the Auburn product has two additional top-10 finishes in Texas. Those came a bit more recently as Kizzire finished T-9 at the Valero Texas Open and T-3 at the AT&T Byron Nelson in his last start.

The reason for his good play is twofold: streaky iron play and solid putting. Kizzire has gained north of four strokes on approach in three of his last seven starts. Those performances were good for 4.1 Strokes Gained: Approach at the Players Championship, 8.1 SG: Approach at the Valero Texas Open and 6.5 SG: Approach at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Kizzire can also get scorching hot with the flatstick as evidenced by gaining 13.3 strokes on the greens over his last three starts. If he is able to marry the two, I like his chances to contend come Sunday.

When looking at comparable courses, Waialae Country Club, host course for the Sony Open, comes to mind. Kevin Na has won both here at Colonial and at Waialae. Justin Thomas, Daniel Berger, Collin Morikawa and many others have had success at both as well. Kizzire won the Sony Open not too long ago (2018) and should surely have a good sense of Hogan’s Alley.

Vincent Whaley (+400 to finish inside the top 20)

Whaley may be relatively unknown to the casual golf fan, but he boasts one of the longest streaks of made cuts on the PGA Tour. With Louis Oosthuizen withdrawing earlier in the week after another near miss at a major championship, Whaley gained entry into the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge. He will put his streak to the test as he makes his first start at Colonial Country Club.

Riding eight consecutive made cuts, Whaley has earned a paycheck from every start since mid-February. When trying to identify potential value in this range, someone who has grown accustomed to making it to the weekend will immediately make his way to the top of the list. The one negative from Whaley’s consistent play is that he has only cracked the top 20 once, with a T-15 finish at the Puerto Rico Open.

He’s been close and his tee-to-green game seems to be peaking at the right time for us. He gained 6.7 strokes tee-to-green at the AT&T Byron Nelson en route to a T-26 finish. The week before at the Wells Fargo Championship, in one of the stronger fields of the year, Whaley finished T-26 as well. He putted poorly at TPC Craig Ranch, so just a slight improvement in that department and I like his chances to crack the top 20 in his Charles Schwab Challenge debut.

Jason Dufner (+700 to finish inside the top 20)

If Dufner putts somewhat decently, he will contend. It’s about as simple as that for the man who has done just about everything but win the Charles Schwab Challenge. Colonial Country Club hasn’t been as kind lately to the five-time PGA Tour winner. After a stretch of golf from 2012 to 2016 that included two runner-up finishes and another T-6 finish, Hogan’s Alley has gotten the better of Dufner.

In his four most recent starts in Fort Worth, he has a pair of missed cuts to go along with a T-40 and a solo 67th in last year’s edition of the tournament. I’m bullish on his chances to flip the script this year due to his recent iron play. At the Wells Fargo Championship, Dufner gained seven strokes on approach, but unfortunately gave most of it back on the greens as he lost nearly five strokes with his putter.

With his ball-striking and chipping returning to their form of the early 2010s, Dufner will just need to be average on the greens. Outside of a few outliers, that’s exactly what he’s been so far this season. He clearly has a good understanding of Colonial Country Club, so if there was a week for him to do so, it’s this week in Texas. As an added bonus, Dufner is a golf nerd to the bone, studying Ben Hogan’s swing like he’s a student cramming for an exam, so you know he wants nothing more than to play well this week.

Live Betting

Live Betting is arguably one of the most exciting and sometimes even profitable ways to bet on golf. If a player that you placed a pre-tournament bet on is out of the running at any point during the 2021 Charles Schwab Challenge, don't be afraid to hitch your wagon to a different horse to have some more stake in the tournament.

By utilizing Strokes Gained metrics, we are able to make informed, analytical decisions that can help predict outcomes of tournaments. By combing through live odds, we are able to select those players who we deem undervalued while the tournament is well under way.

These helpful pages will assist you in handicapping your golf wagers:

  • Betting News: All the golf betting news necessary to give you an edge when placing your bets on the PGA Tour.
  • Odds/Futures: A comprehensive list of every golfer and their odds for upcoming tournaments.
  • Best Golf Sites: A breakdown of the top sportsbooks on the internet to wager on golf. Find the shop that’s right for you!