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Major championships might still be the measure of the legacy of the greatest golfers in history, but no major championship comes even close to offering the $15 million prize on the line at the 2021 FedEx Cup Playoffs. The PGA Tour's postseason and the chase for that massive payday begins on Thursday at the 2021 Northern Trust at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City. Bubba Watson is currently No. 71 in the 2021 FedEx Cup standings and the two-time Masters champion will be looking to improve by at least one spot to make it to the BMW Championship next week.

Watson is a 125-1 long shot in the 2021 Northern Trust odds from Caesars Sportsbook. Meanwhile, Collin Morikawa is No. 1 in the standings and the two-time major champion is listed at 16-1, along with Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson, while world No. 1 Jon Rahm is the 10-1 favorite. Before making any 2021 Northern Trust picks, be sure to see the golf predictions and projected leaderboard from the proven computer model at SportsLine.

SportsLine's proprietary model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has been red-hot since the PGA Tour resumed last June. In fact, it's up almost $10,500 on its best bets since the restart, nailing tournament after tournament.

At the 2021 Open Championship, McClure's best bets included Collin Morikawa winning outright even though he was listed as a massive 40-1 long shot. He was also all over Daniel Berger (+220) and Emiliano Grillo (+700) finishing inside the top-20. McClure's best bets netted over $2,200 at the 2021 Open Championship.

In addition, McClure's model was all over Jon Rahm's (10-1) first career major championship victory at the 2021 U.S. Open. Rahm was two strokes off the lead heading into the weekend, but the model still projected him as the winner. And at the 2021 Masters, McClure nailed Rahm's (+250) top-five finish in his best bets, as well as Corey Conners' (+550) top-10 showing.  

This same model has also nailed a whopping seven majors entering the weekend. Anyone who has followed it has seen massive returns.

Now that the 2021 Northern Trust field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. Head to SportsLine now to see the projected 2021 Northern Trust leaderboard.

The model's top 2021 Northern Trust predictions 

One major surprise the model is calling for at the Northern Trust 2021: Johnson, the defending champion and one of the top favorites, stumbles and doesn't even crack the top five. Johnson dominated the field at the Northern Trust last season, which was played at TPC Boston, finishing with a score of 30-under par and winning by an 11-stroke margin. 

The 24-time PGA Tour champion continues to crush the ball off the tee, averaging 313.2 yards per drive this season, which ranks eighth on tour. Johnson's length off the tee also has him ranked in the top 20 in birdie average, scoring average and strokes gained: tee-to-green.

However, Johnson is hitting just 58.22 percent of fairways off the tee this season, which ranks 135th on tour. His inability to find the fairway off the tee has resulted in Johnson finishing T-19 or worse in three of his last five starts. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in the Northern Trust 2021 field.

Another surprise: Viktor Hovland, a 30-1 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. Hovland is currently 11th in the 2021 FedEx Cup standings and 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking and the 23-year-old finished T-18th in his first appearance at the Northern Trust a season ago.

Hovland has two wins and nine top-10s worldwide during the 2020-21 season. His tee-to-green game should make him a serious factor in the shadow of New York City this weekend at Liberty National. Hovland ranks sixth on the PGA Tour in strokes gained off-the-tee (0.692) and 20th in strokes gained on approach (0.571). 

How to make 2021 Northern Trust picks

The model is targeting four other golfers with 2021 Northern Trust odds of 25-1 or higher to make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big. You can only see them here.

So who will win the Northern Trust 2021? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and then visit SportsLine to see the projected 2021 Northern Trust leaderboard, all from the model that's nailed seven golf majors and is up almost $10,500 since the restart.

2021 Northern Trust odds

Jon Rahm 10-1
Jordan Spieth 16-1
Dustin Johnson 16-1
Collin Morikawa 18-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Brooks Koepka 20-1
Rory McIlroy 22-1
Justin Thomas 25-1
Bryson DeChambeau 25-1
Daniel Berger 28-1
Abraham Ancer 28-1
Scottie Scheffler 30-1
Viktor Hovland 30-1
Hideki Matsuyama 33-1
Patrick Cantlay 33-1
Webb Simpson 35-1
Paul Casey 35-1
Cameron Smith 35-1
Adam Scott 40-1
Harris English 40-1
Patrick Reed 40-1
Tony Finau 50-1
Sam Burns 50-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 50-1
Corey Conners 55-1
Tyrrell Hatton 55-1
Kevin Kisner 60-1
Joaquin Niemann 60-1
Jason Kokrak 66-1
Sungjae Im 66-1
Shane Lowry 66-1
Brian Harman 66-1
Ian Poulter 66-1
Russell Henley 66-1
Si-Woo Kim 80-1
Sergio Garcia 80-1
Branden Grace 80-1
Billy Horschel 90-1
Marc Leishman 100-1
Phil Mickelson 100-1
Jason Day 100-1
Kevin Streelman 100-1
Seamus Power 100-1
Cameron Champ 100-1
Maverick McNealy 125-1
Keegan Bradley 125-1
Alex Noren 125-1
Lee Westwood 125-1
Gary Woodland 125-1
MacKenzie Hughes 125-1
Matthew Wolff 125-1
Charley Hoffman 125-1
Brendon Todd 125-1
Stewart Cink 125-1
Garrick Higgo 125-1
Cameron Davis 125-1
Bubba Watson 125-1
Sebastian Munoz 125-1
Emiliano Grillo 125-1
Ryan Palmer 125-1
Roger Sloan 150-1
Matt Wallace 150-1
Brandt Snedeker 150-1
C.T. Pan 150-1
Max Homa 150-1
Aaron Wise 150-1
Carlos Ortiz 150-1
Chris Kirk 150-1
Charl Schwartzel 150-1
Jhonattan Vegas 150-1
Harold Varner 150-1
Erik Van Rooyen 150-1
Talor Gooch 175-1
Pat Perez 200-1
Troy Merritt 200-1
Patton Kizzire 200-1
Lucas Glover 200-1
Joel Dahmen 200-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 200-1
Zach Johnson 200-1
Doug Ghim 200-1
Brian Stuard 200-1
Chez Reavie 200-1
Hank Lebioda 200-1
Adam Hadwin 200-1
J.T. Poston 200-1
Scott Piercy 250-1
Brice Garnett 250-1
Matt Kuchar 250-1
Kyle Stanley 250-1
Sepp Straka 250-1
Keith Mitchell 250-1
Brandon Hagy 250-1
Luke List 250-1
Russell Knox 250-1
Andrew Putnam 250-1
Scott Stallings 250-1
Adam Schenk 250-1
Matt Jones 250-1
Brendan Steele 250-1
Dylan Frittelli 250-1
James Hahn 300-1
Henrik Norlander 300-1
Martin Laird 300-1
Matthew NeSmith 300-1
Lanto Griffin 300-1
Adam Long 300-1
Kramer Hickok 300-1
Sam Ryder 300-1
Chesson Hadley 300-1
Doc Redman 300-1
Denny McCarthy 300-1
Tyler McCumber 350-1
Harry Higgs 350-1
Richy Werenski 350-1
Robert Streb 400-1
Peter Malnati 400-1
Anirban Lahiri 400-1
Wyndham Clark 400-1
Hudson Swafford 500-1
Tom Hoge 500-1
Brian Gay 750-1