PGA Championship betting preview: Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler are the favorites

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The second major of the year is here.

The 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, begins on Thursday. The tournament is the first major at Southern Hills since the 2007 when Tiger Woods won his fourth PGA and his 13th major ahead of Woody Austin.

Southern Hills was restored four years ago and is known for its exceptionally tough 18th hole. The almost 500-yard par 4 has only been parred twice in the final round by the winners of the seven majors held at the course. Woods was one of them in 2007.

Coverage of the PGA Championship is shared by ESPN and CBS. ESPN has the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday and three hours of coverage starting at 10 a.m. ET before CBS picks up television rights at 2 p.m. ET on both Saturday and Sunday. ESPN+ will also have featured group and hole-specific coverage all weekend long and that coverage will include new ESPN broadcaster Joe Buck.

Defending PGA winner Phil Mickelson is not in the field. Mickelson’s name was on the entry list for the tournament but he withdrew on Friday as he hasn’t played golf since his controversial comments excusing Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses were made public.

All odds below are from BetMGM. You can view a full list of odds here.

PGA favorites Jon Rahm (L) and Scottie Scheffler faced off at the Ryder Cup. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
PGA favorites Jon Rahm (L) and Scottie Scheffler faced off at the Ryder Cup. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The favorites

  • Jon Rahm (+1200)

  • Scottie Scheffler (+1200)

  • Justin Thomas (+1600)

  • Rory McIlroy (+1600)

  • Collin Morikawa (+2000)

  • Jordan Spieth (+2000)

Rahm and Scheffler are the obvious favorites for the tournament. Rahm is at the top of the board ahead of nearly every tournament he enters and Masters champ Scheffler has three wins so far this season. It’ll be a surprise if both aren’t in the vicinity of the lead heading into Saturday.

Thomas is searching for his second major after winning the 2017 PGA while McIlroy is looking for his third PGA title and first since 2014. McIlory was fifth in his last start two weeks ago and Thomas finished tied for fifth on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson.

Jordan Spieth was a shot back of winner K.H. Lee at the Byron Nelson. Morikawa has made just one individual start since finishing fifth at the Masters and he was 26th at the RBC Heritage.

Good mid-tier value

  • Joaquin Niemann (+4000)

  • Sam Burns (+4000)

Niemann struggled at the Masters and finished at +6. He was 12th the following weekend at the RBC Heritage and was 25th on Sunday. He has the length and bunker play to be in contention for his first major at Southern Hills and is capable of posting a low number on Thursday or Friday to jump to the top of the leaderboard.

We’re also buying a little low on Burns as he’s missed the cut in his last two individual tournaments. Burns didn’t make the weekend at either the Masters or the Byron Nelson but won at the Valspar in his final start before the Masters. Burns’ best finishes have come after struggles in his previous starts, so why not wonder if that could happen here?

TULSA, OKLAHOMA - MAY 16: (EDITOR'S NOTE: Alternate crop) Tiger Woods of the United States plays a shot from a bunker during a practice round prior to the start of the 2022 PGA Championship at Southern Hills Country Club on May 16, 2022 in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods has been practicing a lot at Southern Hills ahead of his second start of 2022. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Where Tiger ranks

  • Tiger Woods (+6600)

Woods should be healthier and stronger than he was at Augusta when he made his first start since his 2021 car crash. Tiger is tied for 20th among the favorites to win the tournament and his odds are a lot shorter than they’d be if he was anyone else. We’re not going to be surprised if Woods is one of the three most-bet golfers before the tournament begins. If you want to wager a dollar or two on Woods to win, go for it. But don’t bet more than that.

Don’t bet this golfer

  • Bryson DeChambeau (+6600)

DeChambeau is still recovering from a hand injury suffered early in 2022 and has missed the cut in his last three tournaments. His last start was at the Masters and he’s taken time off to heal up and practice. DeChambeau is hoping to play this weekend after a couple of practice rounds at Southern Hills early this week. Even if he deems himself healthy enough to play, go with another golfer.

Looking for a long shot?

  • Max Homa (+6600)

Homa has vaulted up to No. 28 in the World Golf Rankings after his win at the Wells Fargo on Mother’s Day. That was his second victory of the season after winning the Fortinet Championship in September. Home has finished in the top 20 in half of his starts this season and is playing well enough where it won’t be a surprise at all if he’s in the top 10 on Sunday.

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