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Tom Jacobs makes four picks at 40-1 and bigger for the 2024 PGA Championship.
ANALYSIS

2024 PGA Championship Sleepers and Value Picks: Bet on Cantlay, Conners at Valhalla

It is time for the second major championship of the season, and with Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy both in red-hot form, this is one of the most anticipated PGA Championships in a long time.

Add in defending champion, Brooks Koepka who won on his last LIV Tour start, and you have the recipe for an all-time week at Valhalla.

We won't be focusing on that trio though, as we are going to instead look at players who are 40-1 and bigger, who can win the second major of 2024.

Scottie Scheffler won the first major of the year as the favorite, and many will believe it is between him and Rory this time around, but it is up to us to find the value further down the board. Thanks to the form of these two golfers, we are seeing some incredible players at 40-1 and bigger, and we are hoping to find the best of them this week.

Before we get into the Sleepers and Value Picks for the PGA Championship, check out the new FanDuel Sportsbook promotion, where new users can claim an epic bonus betting on golf this week. With the FanDuel promo code, you will bet $5, win $150 if your first bet wins. Bet on one of these picks below, and get an additional $150 if your wager wins. This promo comes in particularly useful if you are betting on anyone sub 30-1 this week, particularly Scottie Scheffler or Rory McIlroy!

What Skill Set is Required to Win The PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club is a long golf course, featuring small greens, which means players will need to hit it long off the tee, but also be accurate enough to hit set up shorter shots into the small targets.

Driving Distance - Driving Distance will not only be helpful here, it is almost essential. Players will be able to compete here as a shorter hitter, the 2014 leaderboard suggests as much, but if you are looking for a winner, especially one at bigger odds, they should be a good driver of the ball.

Par 4 Scoring - Rory was -9 on the Par 4s in 2014, better than anybody else, and the two behind him, Steve Stricker and Hunter Mahan, who both shot -8 on the 4s, both finished T7 on the leaderboard that week. Bernd Wiesberger was in the final group and was -7 on the Par 4s as well, and Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, and Henrik Stenson all ranked T7 in Par 4 Scoring and finished the week inside the top 10 as well. Many will point to thriving on the Par 5s, and it might be a birdie or an eagle on one of those at the right time that leads to a win, but holding it together on the Par 4s will be key.

Approaches from > 200 Yards - There will be a bunch of approaches from 200 yards and beyond this week, so you will want to find a player who is hitting their mid-to-long irons the best this season.

Do Sleepers and Value Picks Win The PGA Championship?

Before the PGA Championship moved back to May in 2019 (with the exception of the 2020 renewal) the level of player winning here has been straight out the top drawer. This used to be a major that offered longshots a chance though, and could that be the case again this week?

Below are the odds for every winner at Augusta since 2012.

2023 - Brooks Koepka +2000

2022 - Justin Thomas +1600

2021 - Phil Mickelson +25000

2020 - Collin Morikawa +3500

2019 - Brooks Koepka +1100

2018 - Brooks Koepka +2000

2017 - Justin Thomas +4500

2016 - Jimmy Walker +15000

2015 - Jason Day +1400

2014 - Rory McIlroy +500

Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka have won 5 of the last 7 PGA Championships between them. The two that broke this run were Collin Morikawa who won on his PGA Championship debut in 2020 and Phil Mickelson who won the following year, as a 250-1 shot.

Koepka should arguably have won the 2021 renewal, blowing the lead on Sunday, and he was also only two back entering the final round in 2020 as well. This is all one player of course, but the best players have competed for this title since the move to May.

Mickelson's win gives everyone hope, but despite him being 50 years old and 250-1, he is still one of the best players in the history of golf, so he's still a world-class winner.

PGA Championship Betting Trends, Correlating Courses

The PGA Championship has actually become fairly predictable in recent years, thanks to repeat performances from Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas, so there are some trends to pay attention to certainly.

A Previous Top 10 in the PGA Championship is a Must: Collin Morikawa won on his PGA Championship debut in 2020 and so too did Keegan Bradley in 2011. Every other winner between those two wins and since though, have been by a player who had already finished top 10 in this event. That includes some of the more surprising winners, such as Jimmy Walker (Previously 7th), Jason Dufner (5th and 2nd), and Phil Mickelson, who had already won one.

Top 5 Finish on the Season: Phil Mickelson was the only PGA Champion since 2012 to win this event, without previously recording a top 5 finish on the season. That wouldn't have been too much of a surprise when the event was held in August, but it's held up since the move to May as well, outside of Mickelson.

Top 20 on the Last Start: Phil Mickelson (again) and Justin Thomas (first win) are the only two PGA Champions since 2012 to win after finishing outside the top 20 on their previous start.

4+ Career Wins: 11 of the last 12 winners of the PGA Championship had won four or more times before winning the Wanamaker Trophy. Collin Morikawa was the exception. Note: These wins could be at any level as a professional.

Correlating Course: Muirfield Village

I was hesitant to put Muirfield Village in here, after all, Mikko Illonen and Victor Dubuisson had never played it, Phil Mickelson largely struggled there, Henrik Stenson hated it, and Hunter Mahan had middling results. These players all finished inside the top 10 at Valhalla in 2014, without any success at Jack's Place, but the others excelled. McIlroy has four top 8 finishes there and was the 54-hole leader last year. Fowler has twice been runner-up there and was three shots clear going into Sunday on debut. Jim Furyk, Steve Stricker, and Ernie Els all won there, Ryan Palmer was a runner-up, and Jimmy Walker finished 6th there on his most recent start (2021). This means the majority of the top 10 here a decade ago, enjoyed Muirfield Village as well.

Sleepers and Value Picks for the 2024 PGA Championship

Here are my four picks at +4000 and bigger for the 2024 PGA Championship.

Patrick Cantlay +4500 (FanDuel)

As recently as yesterday, I said I couldn't possibly bet on Patrick Cantlay to win this week. Then his prices were adjusted. Now +4000 to win the PGA Championship, I find it difficult to leave out a player who certainly ranks as one of the best without a major.

Xander Schauffele might look more foolproof at the moment, but he's half the price of Cantlay, and both have the same issue. They are both players who have won multiple times on the PGA Tour, but when it comes to the majors, have failed to get over the line.

Cantlay's best major finish still remains his T3 in this event back in 2019, and he has since followed that up with a second top 10 12 months ago. He was 9th in this event this time last year, shooting a final round 66 to backdoor his way into what is just a fourth major top 10 so far in his career.

It's hard to pinpoint why Cantlay has struggled in the four biggest events of the year, but he's not alone, and he will perhaps take confidence from the 2021 winner, Phil Mickelson, who was 33 and had been playing for 12 full years before he made his major breakthrough at Augusta. Cantlay turned pro in 2012 and is now 32 years of age. It would not surprise me if he picked up his first this year, when perhaps expectations were at their lowest and then went on to win a couple more in his career.

Cantlay has won twice at Muirfield Village and also won the Tour Championship in 2021 and lost in a playoff at TPC Southwind last year. The latter two courses both feature Zoysia fairways which are in play this week.

Ultimately, the number is too big, and this is the perfect test for Cantlay, who despite coming under fire, has still finished inside the top 4 twice this season already, and played well for the most part at Augusta.

Hopefully, his two-under-par final round yesterday, where he gained in all four strokes-gained metrics has provided enough confidence.

Cameron Young +6000 (FanDuel)

We don't need to go over the downside to Cameron Young in detail. The guy hasn't won at the PGA Tour or DP World Tour level, and in 2024 he had a chance again to win on both and failed to deliver, so the negative story continues around him.

The fact of the matter is, Young is a high-caliber player, who drives the ball brilliantly and has been a machine in his short major career. Two top 10s at Augusta, two top 10s at the Open including a 2nd at St Andrews, and a 3rd in this event two years ago, he just knows how to play at the elite level.

One day, talent is going to take over and he is going to win something big, and I'll count on it happening this week, as his price drifts to a more palatable 55-1.

Byeong Hun An +6600 (BetMGM)

If this was the NFL, Benny An would be in the running and probably the market leader for Most Improved Player. Whether he can have a career-defining moment like his NFL counterpart, Joe Flacco did remains to be seen, but what I do know, is this is right up his alley.

An is one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, and he has been impeccable from a ball-striking perspective in 2024. He ranks 4th in that category on the PGA Tour, and he's also been brilliant from 200 yards and beyond with his irons, so I am confident he can navigate a tricky Valhalla.

He almost made a big breakthrough on the PGA Tour, at the correlating Muirfield Village, where he lost to my favorite play of the week, Bryson DeChambeau in 2018, and this consistent major performer can now find an outstanding finish to bolster his record.

Those who have the luxury of betting each way will want to take advantage of it here, but he's a rock-solid player in the form of his life, finishing 3rd and 4th in the past two weeks, and 16th earlier in the season at Augusta.

Corey Conners +11000 (FanDuel)

Corey Conners has been one of the better ball-strikers on Tour for a long time now, and he is finding form at the right time.

Brilliant Off the Tee and on Approach last week, Conners will of course need to tidy up his short game here, but his countryman, Graeme DeLaet laid out an obvious blueprint for him here, 10 years ago.

Conners is generally considered an Augusta specialist, but he's also finished 17th and 12th in this major, both of which promised better. Three years ago he was the first round leader, and still found himself inside the top 10 going into Sunday before falling to 17th, and then last year, he was 2nd after round 1, the 36-hole leader, and still in 2nd place going into Sunday.

Sure, he's had two chances to really make an impact in this event and blown it both times on Sunday, but if he keeps knocking the chance will come, and at 100-1+, I will take a shot on a guy who has gained on Approach in 16 straight events dating back to last year's Open Championship, and also gained in all but two of those events off the tee as well.

It would take another level of performance for him to really threaten on Sunday, but he showed for 54 holes last year that he is capable, and now it is time for the Canadian to put four rounds together and post his best-ever major finish.

Look for him to come out fast as well.

Article Author

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Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!

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