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BMW Championship picks, sleepers, betting advice

Sporting News — (Bennett Bedford)

The FedEx Cup Playoffs are hitting crunch time with the top-70 players in the standings making the trip to historic Medinah Country Club for the BMW Championship. We are in for a real treat this week with Medinah, which in my opinion is one of the best tournament venues in all of world golf. We also have a strong field that makes for plenty of betting options.

Medinah is a long 7,600-yard, par-72 layout which is likely to be a real test for the best players in the world. The course has hosted three U.S. Opens (1949, 1975, 1990), two PGA Championships (1999, 2006), and a Ryder Cup (2012). The length of the course is eye popping enough, but add in that the fairways are tree lined, and you have one of the most demanding driving courses in the world. 

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The par 3s at Medinah are also all excellent and will likely play well over-par for the week. Tiger Woods ripped up this layout twice en route to his PGA Championship victories in 1999 (-11) and 2006 (-18). The four par 5s will all be reachable and present the best scoring opportunities on the course. The bombers certainly have the edge on this course with its extreme length and scorable par 5s. That isn’t it to say that you should totally discount some shorter hitters, like Brandt Snedeker and Webb Simpson, but those types of players will have to gain strokes on the field with their long irons and short game. If we look back at some past events held at Medinah, we can see that long iron play from over 175 yards is crucial. 

This is going to be a fun week, but with this being the best field that we see all year with only 70 players, I’ll only be betting on three golfers this week. Players like Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy have been on fire over the last few weeks, and I would have no problems if you just wanted to load up on those two players up top and call it a week.  

Before we get into this week's picks, here's a reminder to check me out on Twitter (@DFSBenj) for even more NFL, NBA, MLB and PGA daily fantasy content and gambling advice.

Key Stats for Medinah No. 3
Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee 
Approach > 175 Yards 
Par 5 Scoring 
Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green

BMW Championship betting advice

Outright Bets to Consider

*odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Jon Rahm 12/1 
Rahm has been the most consistent player in the world over the last two months, and his game is right where it needs to be for him to grab a victory against a top-tier field like we have this week. 

While Rahm couldn’t hold onto the lead on the back nine last week at Liberty National, that shouldn’t deter you from jumping back on him this week at Medinah, which will be a real test tee-to-green. In his last six events, Rahm has finishes of T3, T7, T11, Win, 2nd, and T3 - simply scorching hot form. Players are going to have to drive the ball well this week given Medinah’s long, tree-lined layout, and not many players have driven the ball better than Rahm, who ranks 2nd in SG: OTT and 18th in driving distance on the PGA Tour this season. 

Xander Schauffele 45/1 
It’s tough to find value in a week with a field this strong, but Schauffele is really standing out at 45/1. Much of this price on his odds is likely due to his missed cut last week at Liberty National, but I’m not overly concerned about that. 

Schauffele has been excellent at bouncing back from missed cuts this season with finishes of T2 at The Masters following a missed cut at The Players, and a T14 at The Memorial after missing the cut in his previous event. This is a player that tends to save his best stuff for the big events, and this week certainly has to qualify as a big one, with it being played at one of the best courses in North America. 

Tiger Woods 50/1 
Golf fans everywhere had to be nervous after Woods was forced to withdraw from last week’s event at Liberty National because of a tight oblique. Thankfully, the injury doesn't seem to be serious, and Woods is listed as in the field for this week’s BMW Championship. I’ll be honest: Tiger’s form since winning the Masters has been atrocious. He is playing an extremely light schedule and hasn’t sniffed a cut since finishing T21 at the U.S. Open. 

Tiger has to be getting good vibes from Medinah if he is willing to tee it up this week, and there is no way he would risk his health for a FedEx Cup Playoff event at this stage in his career. Two of Tiger’s PGA Championship victories came at Medina, and even though he is far from the driver of the ball that he was back in 1999 and 2006, he still knows how to get around this track better than anyone. I wouldn’t be interested in Woods at any number lower than 45/1, but the 50/1 offers some value in this stacked field. 

If Woods end up withdrawing then I will pivot this bet to Brandt Snedeker at 70/1. Snedeker played well last week at Liberty National, and his game profiles well for Medinah as long as he is able to keep it in the fairway off the tee.