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2020 Northern Trust Open: PGA Odds and Expert Picks

Northern Trust Open Odds

The PGA Tour FedExCup playoffs get underway this week at the Northern Trust Open. The top 125 players in the FedExCup standings will compete at TPC Boston and the top 70 after this weekend will move on to the next round at the BMW Championship next week. 

Online sportsbook Bovada has Bryson DeChambeau set as the +1200 favorite to win the Northern Trust. He won the last PGA Tour event at TPC Boston, the Dell Technologies Championship in 2018. Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and Justin Thomas are next on the odds list, all at +1400.

Tiger Woods is set to make his third start since the PGA Tour returned to action in June. He finished T40 at the Memorial and then T37 at the PGA Championship two weeks ago. Bovada has his odds set at +4000 to capture his record-setting 83rd win on the PGA Tour this weekend.

It was announced on August 19th that Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the event due to an injury. Since he currently sits at 97th in the FedEx Cup standings, Koepka will not qualify for the BMW Championship next week or the Tour Championship the week after which will serve as the FedEx Cup finale.

If you’re new to betting on the sport, check out our How to Bet on Golf guide for everything you need to know.

Below, I’m going to give you my course breakdown for TPC Boston, my key stats to look out for when deciding which PGA favorites to bet on, and my top picks for this weekend’s event.

2020 Northern Trust Odds
GolferOdds
Bryson DeChambeau+1200
Jon Rahm+1400
Justin Thomas+1400
Rory McIlroy+1400
Xander Schauffele+2000
Jason Day+2000
Collin Morikawa+2200
Dustin Johnson+2200
Patrick Reed+2500
Patrick Cantlay+2800
Webb Simpson+2800
Tony Finay+2800
Hideki Matsuyama+4000
Adam Scott+4000
Daniel Berger+4000
Tiger Woods+4000
Tommy Fleetwood+5000
Viktor Hovland+5000
Paul Casey+5000
Rickie Fowler+5000
Scottie Scheffler+5000

Odds as of August 19 at Bovada

Previous Winners at TPC Boston

TPC Boston was home to the Dell Technologies Championship (previously known as the Deutsche Bank Championship) for a number of years before the PGA Tour decided to shorten the playoffs in order to finish them before the start of football season. When that decision was made, the Dell Technologies Championship was scrapped and TPC Boston is now one of the rotating hosts for the Northern Trust.

Here are the past five winners at TPC Boston, all five for the Dell Technologies Championship:

Past Five Winners at tPC Boston
YearGolfer2020 odds
2018Bryson DeChambeau+1200
2017Justin Thomas+1400
2016Rory McIlroy+1400
2015Rickie Fowler+5000
2014Chris KirkN/A

TPC Boston Breakdown

This is one of the tougher courses on the PGA Tour to break down and identify key stats that are important to winning because it offers so many different options on how to approach it. We’ve seen long hitters, short but accurate golfers, good putters, bad putters and everything else win. One thing that can be said for certain is that approach play seems to be slightly more important than the short game. Golfers have seemed to win in the past without being extremely hot with the putter, but strong ball striking and approach play has been key for every winner.

It’s a par-71 course measuring at slightly over 7,200 yards. Continuing with the theme of unpredictability, there isn’t really any consistency in how long the holes play. There are par 4s that are reachable off the tee, but also a few lengthy par 4s. Two of the par 5s are reachable in two, but then one is an almost guaranteed layup. There was one thing that stuck out to me when looking at the course, and it’s that three of the four par 3s measure over 200 yards (more on that in a bit).

For any golf nerds out there who look at the type of grass used on the greens, it’s bentgrass at TPC Boston so I’d stay away from golfers who are famously known for their putting ability on poa annua like Dustin Johnson and Jason Day.


Iain's Key Handicapping Stats for the Northern Trust
Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Like I mentioned above, off-the-tee and approach play is a lot more important than the short game this week. This stat gives us an overall look at exactly that. How do golfers do from the tee box to the green. A lot of the stats I cite this week are from the tee box to the green. SG: Tee-To-Green will give us an overall general view of exactly that.
Ball Striking
This has been one of my favorite stats to look at the past few weeks. It’s similar to SG: Tee-to-Green, but it’s slightly more specific and takes greens in regulation into account. The PGA Tour stats page defines it as “computed by totaling a player’s rank in both Total Driving and Greens in Regulation.”
Proximity to the hole
This stat tells us just how close the golfer can get the ball to the hole on their approach shot. Greens in regulation are all well and good, but if the golfer has a 40-foot putt every time he gets on the green, it’s going to be hard to score birdies. The greens at TPC Boston are slightly larger than the average green on tour, so finding guys who can stick it close is going to be important.
Birdie-to-bogey ratio
This course has played relatively easy in its history, so we need to bet on golfers who are able to score but also not give back too many strokes with bogeys. The last five winners were -16, -17, -15, -15, -15. Scoring a lot of pars might mean a lot of made cuts, but that’s not going to help you place in a tournament that will see the top of the leaderboard all sitting in the teens.
Par 3 efficiency 200-225 yards
As I mentioned above, the par 3s at this course are quite long. Two of the four are within the yardage of 200-225 yards with a third at slightly above that (231 yards). Not giving up strokes on these holes will be key, and getting a birdie or two on them throughout the weekend could be the difference-maker.
Strokes Gained Putting
While not KEY for this event, let’s always look at putting when making our picks. We’d be ignoring half the game if we didn’t.

Looking for more PGA betting tips and tricks?

Click the link below for information on bet types and the best places for betting on golf.

How to Bet on Golf

The Northern Trust Odds - My Three Best Bets:

Jon Rahm

  • To win: +1400
  • Top 5: +275
  • Top 10: +125
  • Top 20: -170

The Spaniard, who reclaimed the world No. 1 ranking after losing it to Justin Thomas for a week, is primed to make a run at the FedExCup. When talking about pure ball strikers, there are very few who are as solid and consistent as Jon Rahm. He ranks in the top 10 in SG: Tee-to-Green, ball striking and birdie-to-bogey ratio, which will all be key this week. He’s also 31st in strokes gained: putting.

So, his putter has the ability to get hot at any time. If he has one weak point heading into this week, it’s his proximity to the hole stat, ranking a lowly 186th. That hasn’t hurt him much in the past and his aforementioned putting ability should make up for his shortcomings in that category.

He also finished T4 at TPC Boston for the 2017 Dell Technologies Championship, so history shows he knows how to play this course. I’m going to take him to finish in the top five and top 10 this week.

Hideki Matsuyama

  • To win: +4000
  • Top 5: +700
  • Top 10: +300
  • Top 20: +140

A course where ball striking and the long game is extremely important but short game and putting is not? That’s basically the bat signal for Hideki Matsuyama. He ranks 197th in strokes gained: putting, but all he needs is an average weekend with the flat stick to put up low numbers. Second on the tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, 27th in ball striking, and 16th in the birdie-to-bogey ratio are the biggest strengths for the Japanese golfer heading into this weekend.

He’s been within striking distance of winning at TPC Boston several times over the past few years. His results in his last four times competing at this track are: T4, T23, T15, T25. That’s four straight top-25 finishes. I’m going to take him to finish in the top five and top 20 this week.

Viktor Hovland

  • To win: +5000
  • Top 5: +1000
  • Top 10: +425
  • Top 20: +185

With all the talk recently on Collin Morikawa (and some on Matthew Wolff), Viktor Hovland has started to fly under the radar in recent weeks among the tour’s young guns. I think now is the time to jump on the Norwegian golfer. His style fits this course to perfection: 19th in SG: Tee-to-Green, T30th in ball striking, T25th in proximity to the hole, 36th in birdie-to-bogey ratio, and T63rd in par-3 200-225 yards performance. His one weakness is putting, where he ranks 134th, but as I’ve mentioned a few times, golfers can get away with an average putter this weekend.

I’m going to bet on Hovland to finish in the top 20, but I wouldn’t blame anyone who decided to get more aggressive with him.


Here’s a helpful outline of some of the different betting options for the 2020 Northern Trust to help you decide which wager(s) would be best for you.

Pre-Tournament Bets

This is definitely the most common type of bet and the one you’re probably most familiar with. It’s easy, 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. Most sportsbooks also offer live odds once the tournament begins.

Given that the field in a PGA Tour event has over 100 participants, it can be difficult to pick a winner, but if you are able to predict who wins, the payout will be a big one.

If you bet on the favorite Bryson DeChambeau this week, and he wins, a $100 bet would net a profit of $1,200 at +1200 odds.

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 Viktor Hovland, for example, would have a payout of $6,700.

Three-Ball Bets

A three-ball bet is a bet on a golfer to win the group that he’s playing with that day. If Brooks Koepka, Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau are teeing off together, a three-ball bet would be on which of the three will finish with the best round score.

Three-ball bets are for that specific round only, so you don't have to wait for the tournament to completely finish to cash your bet.

In most tournaments, golfers will be sent out in pairings on Saturday's and Sunday's. In those cases, these bets are called two-ball bets. Some factors like weather delays or a large group that made the cut can cause the PGA Tour to go with threesomes for the weekend rounds as well.

Head-to-Head Bets

Head-to-head matchup bets are simple. You’re betting on one golfer to have a better score than another golfer. These bets can be for a single round only, or for the whole tournament.

For example, Justin Thomas and Jon Rahm 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 Rahm 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.