With our outright wagers placed, we now turn to the prop market for our expert selections for the Fortinet Championship. It’s always important to search for value in the top finishing markets, so remember to shop around for the best lines for your Fortinet Championship prop bets as they typically differ from sportsbook to sportsbook.
This article was more than kind to us last season as we were able to consistently get at least one wager across the finish line each week. We’ll hope for similar success in the 2021-22 PGA Tour season as we begin our Fortinet Championship prop bets. As you have seen in the past, we typically venture a bit further down the oddsboard for these selections.
At Bovada, heavy tournament favorite Jon Rahm is -450 to finish inside the top 20. Those odds imply an 81.82 percent probability of him being able to do so. Needing to put down $450 to profit $100 on such a wager, I have never found it profitable to target favorites in this market. While we lived for the top-10 finishes last season, we will ease ourselves into the new season as we look to attack from a top-20 perspective. Let’s start a new streak with players heading to Silverado Resort and Spa as we outline our Fortinet Championship prop bets.
Fortinet Championship Prop Bets: What To Look For
The North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa has the privilege of hosting the first event of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season. While mainstays such as Jon Rahm and Webb Simpson are playing this week, it is a fantastic time to get yourself more accustomed to some of the new players on the PGA Tour.
Earning their PGA Tour cards through the Korn Ferry Tour regular season and playoffs, a number of graduates are eager to begin their career in the show. Stephen Jaeger is a player to look out for as he led the regular-season points list ahead of Greyson Sigg.
With too many names to list, a casual golf fan will be treated to new players to root for in Napa this week. Known for going low on the Korn Ferry Tour, perhaps one can break through right out of the gates and put his claim in for Rookie of the Year at such an early stage.
Newly crowned Rookie of the Year Will Zalatoris is still looking for his first PGA Tour victory, but the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon did just about everything but step into the winner’s circle last season. Now a full-fledged PGA Tour member, he won’t have to worry about sponsors’ invitations and other mediums through which to play this season.
Fortinet Championship Prop Bets & Best Bets: Our Recommendations
Taylor Pendrith (+300 to finish inside the top 20)
Courtesy of finishing inside the top 10 in the regular-season Korn Ferry Tour standings, Pendrith will be making his way onto the PGA Tour this season. Being the case, this won’t be the first time that we have seen the Canadian as he has put together strong showings in the past.
The most recent was at the Barbasol Championship this past season, where at the 36-hole mark he appeared primed for a victory. While it was not meant to be in Kentucky as he eventually finished just outside the top 10 in a tie for 11th, Pendrith is an attractive top-20 option given his skill set.
Extremely well-suited off the tee, to the point where sometimes he may rely overly on such a skill, Pendrith has the makeup to dismantle the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa. Look no further than his last two starts on the PGA Tour when he gained +7.8 and +3.4 SG: Off-the-Tee. While most can be attributed to his length, he has started to find the short grass with more regularity.
However, when looking at players such as Cameron Champ and to a certain extent Phil Mickelson, who have both had success in Napa, you can envision the path for Pendrith. Really strong on the par 4s and par 5s, if he can just hold his own on the difficult par 3s, then finishing inside the top 20 is extremely viable for a player of his talent.
Alex Smalley (+375 to finish inside the top 20)
In what will be only Smalley’s seventh start on the PGA Tour, the former Duke Blue Devil has shown more than enough when he’s teed it up on the big stage. Off a strong showing in last season’s finale at the Wyndham Championship, I fancy his chances to keep the momentum from Greensboro rolling into Napa.
Some may be wary of a player who has played most of his golf on the East Coast. Typically doing his best work on either Bermuda grass or even Paspalum, I believe Smalley still deserves top-20 consideration. When he has teed it up on the PGA Tour over the last year, he is a perfect 4-for-4 on connecting to the weekend.
Clearly liking Corales Punta Cana, Smalley registered finishes of T-14 and T-22 in his two outings. A resort course, similar to the North Course at Silverado Resort and Spa, the skills that were critical in Punta Cana will also be in Napa. He’s since connected on a top-50 finish at last year’s John Deere Classic and a top-30 at the Wyndham Championship.
With a potential high floor developing underneath his feet, Smalley has utilized his off-the-tee prowess in those outings. Posting +2.9 and +1.4 Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee in his last two tournaments, that part of the bag will be critical at the Fortinet Championship. While he isn’t the longest with the big stick, he is slowly becoming one of the straightest and makes for a Fortinet Championship best bet.
John Augenstein (+900 to finish inside the top 20)
The start of the former All-American’s professional career was not as glamorous as his collegiate and amateur days. A standout at Vanderbilt University, Augenstein has been a well-known name in the golf universe for the past three years or so. Courtesy of a runner-up finish to Andy Ogletree at the 2019 U.S. Amateur, casual golf fans were introduced to the Commodore in two of golf’s biggest stages.
While he did miss the cut at the 2020 U.S. Open, he found some success at Augusta National as he saw his name on the first couple pages of the leaderboard, before drifting outside the top 50. After his Masters debut, he struggled, missing six consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour, including two of the invitational events, the Genesis and the Arnold Palmer.
However, it appears the growing pains may be over as Augenstein captured a top-20 finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge in May before nabbing a top-40 finish at the Wyndham Championship.
Capable on the par 5s and with the par 3s suiting his game on paper, par-4 scoring will tell the tale of his week. With distance never being a problem, if he can find just a slight uptick in accuracy off the tee, then he could compete and thus makes for one of my favorite Fortinet Championship prop bets.
Nick Watney (+900 to finish inside the top 20)
Last year’s fall swing saw players such as Stewart Cink, Martin Laird, Brian Gay and Robert Streb all claim victory, all with pre-tournament odds greater than +20000. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sprinkle some on Watney at +40000 this week at the Fortinet Championship. A former top-10 player in the world, the 40-year-old arrives in Napa this week off a strong finish to his 2020-21 campaign.
While it didn’t go exactly as planned, I reckon the five-time winner on the PGA Tour can hang his hat on such a valiant effort. Making four of five cuts to end his season, Watney’s iron game appeared to have returned to its prime at moments. Posting +0.9, +1.3, +6.0 and +0.7 SG: Approach, Watney gained with said club in four consecutive stroke-play events to end 2021.
Making his eighth appearance in Napa, Watney has found some success in his neck of the woods. Born and raised less than 75 miles away in Sacramento, he holds a scoring average of 69.81 at the North Course at the Silverado Resort and Spa.
Connecting on six of seven cuts in this tournament, the California native has been able to make his way inside the top 20 in two of those starts, including in 2019 when he finished inside the top 10. If he can be just a hair straighter off the tee, it’s possible he can do it again, and rounds out our Fortinet Championship prop bets.
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