2019 FedEx Cup Playoffs: Tour Championship picks, odds, predictions from dialed-in model that nailed six majors
SportsLine simulated the 2019 Tour Championship 10,000 times and came up with some surprises
Even though the scoreboard might look off at first, there is nothing hidden about what's at stake at the season-ending FedEx Cup event, the 2019 Tour Championship. Historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta is the venue for a record-setting PGA tournament featuring the top 30 point-earners this season. How much money is at stake starting Thursday at 11:45 a.m. ET? There's $15 million to the winner, $5 million to the runner-up, all the way down to $395,000 for last place. An innovative format change attempts to eliminate confusion over who can win the FedEx Cup. Players will now start the final tournament of the FedEx Cup Playoffs 2019 with a stroke bonus. Justin Thomas, the overall betting favorite at 9-4 in the latest 2019 Tour Championship odds, begins play on Thursday at 10-under par. Patrick Cantlay (9-2) starts at 8-under, world No. 1 Brooks Koepka (9-2) begins at 7-under, Patrick Reed (16-1) begins at 6-under, and Rory McIlroy (8-1) starts at 5-under. Who will cash a huge check and become the 2019 FedEx Cup champion at East Lake? Don't lock down your 2019 Tour Championship picks or PGA DFS lineups on sites like FanDuel and DraftKings before seeing the projected leaderboard from the proven golf model at SportsLine.
SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed two of the last three majors entering the weekend. It predicted Gary Woodland's first career major championship at the U.S. Open even though he wasn't the favorite entering the weekend. The result: Woodland held off a late charge from Koepka and won by three strokes. The model also called Koepka's historic victory at the 2019 PGA Championship, predicting he'd hold his lead in the home stretch. In all, their advanced computer model has nailed a whopping six majors entering the weekend, and anyone who has followed it is way up.
Now that the 2019 Tour Championship field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Koepka, a four-time major winner and one of the top Vegas favorites to win it all this week, makes a strong push but falls short of winning the title.
The No. 1 player in the world fell out of the No. 1 slot in the FedEx Cup standings following the BMW Championship, where he finished 24th. The seven-time PGA Tour winner had a record season, registering the most wins on Tour while also earning eight top-10 finishes, which included landing in the top five in all four majors.
Despite his dominant season, Koepka will begin the TOUR Championship 2019 three FedEx strokes behind leader Justin Thomas. That doesn't bode well for a player who's never finished on top of the leaderboard at a FedEx Cup Playoff event. Plus, Koepka has had trouble finding the fairway off the tee this season. He enters the final tournament of the season ranked 96th in driving accuracy percentage (62.50), which could cause major trouble at East Lake. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in a loaded 2019 Tour Championship field.
Another surprise: Jon Rahm, a 16-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He has a much better chance to win it all than his odds imply, so he's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
Rahm has plenty of firepower to make up a six-stroke starting deficit, ranking fifth on Tour with 4.42 birdies per round and sixth in scoring average at 69.596. The 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans champion has been hovering around the FedEx Cup lead for most of the season and is second on the PGA Tour in top-10 finishes with 12 in 19 events, a 63 percent success rate. Rahm is also second in strokes gained off the tee at 0.798 and seventh in total strokes gained at 1.626.
Rahm has also been trending upward recently, logging a seventh place finish at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, a tie for third at The Northern Trust and a tie for fifth at last week's BMW Championship. The Spaniard is seemingly never out of a tournament and has all the tools needed to climb the 2019 Tour Championship leaderboard quickly. Rahm will head to hole No. 1 at 1:45 p.m. ET on Thursday alongside Rory McIlroy, one of the latest 2019 Tour Championship tee times.
Also, the model says four other golfers with 2019 Tour Championship odds of 20-1 or longer will make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the final tournament of the FedEx Cup Playoffs 2019? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full projected 2019 Tour Championship leaderboard from the model that's nailed six golf majors heading into the weekend, and find out.
Justin Thomas 9-4
Brooks Koepka 5-1
Patrick Cantlay 5-1
Rory McIlroy 9-1
Jon Rahm 16-1
Patrick Reed 16-1
Webb Simpson 20-1
Dustin Johnson 25-1
Xander Schauffele 28-1
Hideki Matsuyama 33-1
Justin Rose 40-1
Adam Scott 40-1
Tony Finau 45-1
Matt Kuchar 45-1
Rickie Fowler 50-1
Paul Casey 66-1
Abraham Ancer 80-1
Tommy Fleetwood 80-1
Gary Woodland 80-1
Kevin Kisner 125-1
Brandt Snedeker 125-1
Marc Leishman 200-1
Louis Oosthuizen 200-1
Sungjae Im 200-1
Corey Conner 250-1
Bryson DeChambeau 250-1
Charles Howell III 250-1
Jason Kokrak 250-1
Chez Reavie 250-1
Lucas Glover 350-1
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