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2020 Memorial Tournament: Odds to Win and Expert Picks

After a grueling three days at Muirfield Village, Jon Rahm has pulled away from the field with a four-stroke lead heading into the final day of the Memorial Tournament and thus has the shortest betting odds at -500 to win.

Online sportsbook Bovada has listed Rahm as the favorite followed by Tony Finau at +600, Ryan Palmer at +1400, Danny Willett at +2500 and Jason Day at +2800 to round out the top five players on the oddsboard.

Tiger Woods limped into the weekend by barely making the cut at +3 and was dealing with a sore back on Friday. He came back stronger on moving day with a one-under 71, matching his score from Thursday and leaves him +2 heading into Sunday, well off a shot at winning.

Here’s a look at the live odds heading into the weekend of the Memorial Tournament:

2020 Memorial Tournament Odds
Jon Rahm-500
Tony Finau+600
Ryan Palmer+1400
Danny Willett+2500
Jason Day+2800
Henrik Norlander+10000
Patrick Cantlay+10000
Matt Wallace+12500
Chez Reavie+15000
Gary Woodland+15000
Jordan Spieth+20000
Luke List+20000
Rory McIlroy+20000
Jim Furyk+25000
Mackenzie Hughes+25000
Patrick Rodgers+25000
Kevin Na+30000
Scottie Scheffler+40000
Brendan Steele+50000
Matthew Fitzpatrick+50000
Brendon Todd+75000
Dylan Frittelli+75000
Justin Thomas+75000
Lucas Glover+75000
Matthew Wolff+75000

Odds as of July 19 at Bovada

For the first time since 1957, the PGA Tour will host a tournament on the same course for the second straight week. Last week’s Workday Charity Open, which was won by young gun Collin Morikawa, took place at Muirfield Village Golf Club as a late replacement tournament for the cancelled John Deere Classic.

Muirfield Village’s usual annual tournament, the Memorial, is set to tee off this Thursday, just four days after Morikawa sank the winning putt against Justin Thomas on the third hole of a playoff.

The big headline heading into this week’s event is that Tiger Woods will be making his first start since mid-February at the Genesis Open where he finished 68th. He’s listed at +2000 at Bovada to get the win. Odds are also available on whether or not he'll make the cut, with the Yes coming in at -330 and the No set at +200.

With a lot of the top golfers taking last weekend off, we’ll see a stacked field at Muirfield Village this time around. Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas sit as co-favorites at +1000 with 2019 winner Patrick Cantlay and Rory McIlroy right behind them at +1200. Check out our list of the best golf betting sites to place your bets.

Below, I’m going to give you a breakdown of Muirfield Village and some key stats to look out for, and then I’ll list my top three golfers I’ll be backing this week. If you’re new to betting on the sport, check out our How to Bet on Golf guide for everything you need to know.

2020 The Memorial Tournament Odds
Justin Thomas+1000
Bryson DeChambeau+1000
Patrick Cantlay+1200
Rory McIlroy+1200
Dustin Johnson+1600
Xander Schauffele+1800
Brooks Koepka+2000
Collin Morikawa+2000
Tiger Woods+2000
Viktor Hovland+2200
Webb Simpson+2200
Hideki Matsuyama+2500
Xander Schauffele+2500
Rickie Fowler+3300
Daniel Berger+4000
Gary Woodland+4000
Abraham Ancer+5000
Justin Rose+5000
Patrick Reed+5000
Jordan Spieth+6600
Jason Day+6600

Odds as of July 13 at Bovada

Previous Memorial Tournament Winners

When handicapping a golf tournament, you should always look back at who has had success on this course in the past. Tiger Woods is going for a record sixth win at Muirfield Village and his odds are set at +2000.

Here are the past five winners of the event and their odds to win this week:

Memorial Tournament Champions
YearGolfer2020 odds
2019Patrick Cantlay+1200
2018Bryson DeChambeau+1000
2017Jason Dufner+25000
2016William McGirt+75000
2015David Lingmerth+50000

Muirfield Village Golf Club Breakdown

As I mentioned at the start of the article, players will be competing at Muirfield Village Golf Club for the second straight week. While the course layout will be the same, the PGA Tour has said that it plans on making the track more difficult for this week’s event. The rough will be longer, the greens will be faster, the pin placements will be more difficult, and there will be some changes in tee boxes to make a few holes longer.

It’s a par-72 course, expecting to play over 7,300 yards. It has 71 bunkers total and water is in play on 11 of the 18 holes. If you watched the Workday Charity Open, you know that the biggest challenge the golfers will face will be the rough, especially around the greens. It’s thick and can be extremely unpredictable to hit out of.

Usually I’d say distance off the tee isn’t important, but the way Bryson DeChambeau has been smashing his drives since returning to action after the pandemic break, he can make any course his playground.

Iain's Key Handicapping Stats for the Memorial Tournament
Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee
Jack Nicklaus, the tournament host and course designer of Muirfield Village, famously describes this course as a “second shot golf course” so that is where our focus should be when handicapping this event. In saying that, I don’t want to completely disregard tee shots. Let’s look at Strokes Gained: Off-the-tee just to make sure we don’t end up betting on someone who couldn’t hit the ocean from a boat with their tee shot.
Greens in Regulation %
As I just mentioned, we need to focus on the approach shots more than anything else this week so we’re including two stats that will help us with that. Greens in regulation will be key to keep golfers away from that treacherous rough around the greens. It wasn’t uncommon last week to see golfers completely flub a chip around the green due to the unpredictability of the thick rough. Let’s bet on golfers who will avoid that more often than not.
Strokes Gained: Approaching The green
Greens in regulation are all well and good, but they won’t help a golfer get birdies if he’s leaving himself a 30-foot putt on every hole. Strokes Gained: Approaching-the-green will help us determine not just how often the golfer will hit a green, but also how close they can get it to the hole.
Par-5 Scoring
Par-5 scoring is the one stat that really stuck out to me during the Workday Charity Open. The par 5s at Muirfield Village are definitely not near automatic birdies like they are at a lot of other tracks. Of the top 10 golfers in par-5 scoring last week, six of them finished in the top 10, including both participants in the playoff, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa. Seven of the 10 finished in the top 20, and all 10 made the cut. Numbers don’t lie. Being able to score on these par 5s is KEY.
Scrambling %
There’s not a golfer out there on tour who is going to hit every green in a tournament. Let’s look at scrambling percentage to make sure we bet on a guy who is at the very least competent at saving par after missing the green on his approach shot.
Strokes Gained Putting
The greens are going to play faster this week compared to last. For you golf nerds out there, the greens were playing between 11.5-12 in the Stimpmeter last week. That number will be upped to 13 or 14 for the Memorial. So greens that were already tricky are about to get even more slippery. Let’s look at Strokes Gained: Putting.

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How to Bet on Golf

The Memorial Tournament Odds - My Three Best Bets:

Collin Morikawa

  • To win: +2000
  • Top 5: +400
  • Top 10: +200
  • Top 20: -110

Is there a bet in golf that’s more square than betting on the guy who won the previous event? Probably not, but I have good reason for making it. As I keep mentioning, this is the first time since the ‘50s that back-to-back events will be held at the same course. I don’t know for sure what this will mean from a betting perspective, but all three of my picks will be guys who played well last week. I will NOT be betting on anyone who did not compete at the Workday Charity Open. I’m banking on the recent experience at the course being key to having another successful week, and why wouldn’t it? They know the greens, they know where they need to hit their shots, there won’t be any mysteries on any holes, they’ll be completely comfortable.

How can you not bet on Morikawa after last week’s performance? Take away his third round where he “only” shot even par, and he dominated this tournament. He shot 65 to lead after Round 1, followed it up by shooting a 66 in Round 2, and then went into the final round down three strokes to one of the best golfers in the world to shoot another 66 and beat him in a playoff. He gained 2.3 strokes on the field with his approach shots, which is the key to this course. I was very surprised to not see him in the top five on the odds list this week. Give me Morikawa to put on a repeat performance.

Jason Day

  • To win: +6600
  • Top 5: +1000
  • Top 10: +500
  • Top 20: +250

Jason Day quietly had a very good tournament this past weekend, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a resurgence from him in these next few weeks. One of the main reasons why I like Day this weekend is that he’s a member at Muirfield Village. He lives near the course so he knows the track like the back of his hand. His biggest weakness in his game right now is his approach play, which does go against my general strategy for this course but his familiarity and the strength of the rest of his game can make up for it.

The Australian finished T7 at the Workday Charity Open while only gaining 0.14 strokes on the field with his approach shots. The sky is the limit for him if he can dial in those irons and we’ve seen him do it in the past so why not this weekend? +6600 is fantastic value on the former No. 1 golfer in the world.

Troy Merritt

  • To win: +20000
  • Top 5: +3300
  • Top 10: +1400
  • Top 20: +600

My dark horse off-the-board pick of the week is going to be Troy Merritt. There are several reasons why I think he has value at his current price. First off, I’ve mentioned a couple of times how approach shots are the key to the puzzle that is Muirfield Village. Well, Merritt was fifth in the entire field last week in Strokes Gained: Approaching-the-green, gaining 1.75 strokes on the field in that category. He was 13th heading into the final round before shooting an even-par 72 and finishing T22.

What gives me confidence is that he played that well despite not having a great putting performance, which is usually his strength. He only gained 0.18 strokes on the field in putting last week, but he’s 25th in Strokes Gained: Putting for the season overall. So the last two weeks he has finished T8 and T22 and that’s without a strong flat stick? Imagine how well he can shoot if he putts as well as he normally does. I’ll take a shot on this guy at 200/1 all damn day.

Here’s a helpful outline of some of the different betting options for the Memorial Tournament to help you decide which wager(s) would be best for you.

Pre-Tournament Bets

This is by far the most common type of bet and the one you’re probably familiar with. It’s simple, you’re just betting on who will win the tournament. Since the event starts on Thursday morning, it’s important to make sure you get your pre-tournament bet locked in before going to sleep Wednesday night.

Given that the field in a PGA Tour event has over 100 participants, it can be difficult to pick a winner. Don’t forget that most sportsbooks also offer live odds, so if your pre-tournament pick misses the cut, you can place another bet before the weekend.

If you bet on either of the co-favorites at +1000, a $100 bet would profit $1,000 if it ends up being a winning ticket.

If you’re looking for a bigger payout, you can take a shot at one of the big underdogs of the week. A $100 bet on Troy Merritt, for example, would make a profit of $20,000 if he’s able to get the win.

Three-Ball Bets

A three-ball bet is a bet on a golfer to win the threesome that he’s playing in that day. If Tiger Woods, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are teeing off together, a three-ball bet would be on which of the three will finish the round with the best score.

Three-ball bets are for that specific round only, so you don’t have to wait for the entire tournament to be completed to find out if you win.

In most cases, golfers will be put in pairings for the Saturday and Sunday rounds. If they are sent out in pairs, this type of bet is called a two-ball bet instead. Things like weather delays or a large number of golfers making the cut will sometimes result in the entire tournament being played in groups of three.

Head-to-Head Bets

Head-to-head matchup bets are simple. You’re betting one golfer to have a better score than the other golfer. These can be tournament long bets, or they can be just for a single round.

For example, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy are both -115 at Bovada in a head-to-head matchup bet. That means the sportsbook is giving each man an equal shot of winning. If you bet on Thomas, you’ll need him to finish with a better score than McIlroy to cash your bet.

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

Odds Shark’s Golf Pages
  • Betting News: All the golf betting news you’ll need to see before placing your bets.
  • Odds/Futures: A comprehensive list of each golfer’s odds for upcoming tournaments including majors.
  • Best Golf Sites: A list of the best places to wager on golf online. It’s important to shop around to make sure you’re getting the best odds possible.