As the FedEx Cup Playoffs get underway, fans will inevitably focus on Men’s Golf. The Northern Trust is a tournament where getting balls close to the hole and making birdies is more of a priority than most weeks.
The top eleven men are listed below in our The Northern Trust Futures.
|2021 The Northern Trust -- PGA Tour Odds|
The number of players that could win this tournament is more than usual. That is where the problem comes in as far as handicapping this tournament. Again, the options are a bit more than the typical men’s tournament this time of year. The FedEx playoffs often do that. With almost every top golfer in the field this week, the expectations are higher than most for a more wide-open tournament.
Now, the pandemic definitely shifted things but so does the course venue. The Northern Trust last took place on the Liberty Course in 2019. The Jersey City course features views of New York City. Could someone like Patrick Reid surprise the golf world by winning the tournament in Jersey City again? That may not be as likely given the slight bump up in the quality of the field.
Again, some contend the Wyndham Championships are irrelevant here to a point. Last week’s tournament is a springboard for birdies. Now, The Northern Trust is a different kind of course. It is 7,410 yards in length and has some risk/reward holes. There is the mammoth eighth hole which is 611 yards and a Par 5 that rewards taking risks. Four Par 5’s on the course make this a birdie magnet but the course lays out differently especially in August.
The last two tournament winners in Jersey City shot -11 and -16 respectively. This venue is certainly not like last year’s version at TPC Boston where birdies were in the offing from the first hole to the last. Dustin Johnson won that in a runaway (-30). Also, the weather could play a slight role with some scattered thunderstorms. That might soften the course and the greens especially.
Keep in mind, all it takes is a few raindrops and birdies to change things. Here is where some of the early money is going.
This is where the debate for The Northern Trust Futures begins. Naturally, no one quite knows what will happen during this tournament. The FedEx Playoffs could start with a bang.
Yes, the results dictate why Rahm could be considered a favorite. Few golfers have been consistent at this tournament for almost a decade. he is one of those select players. With two second-place finishes, a win, and some top tens sprinkled in, Jon Rahm is a slight favorite at a range of +900 to +1100.
Again, that one wrinkle is this course is more about ball striking and working around the greens over just making birdies all over the place. The Spaniard is one of the best when it comes to these disciplines and has the form to handle being the favorite.
Rahm expects to be ready for this leg of the FedEx Cup. This is a risk to pick the favorite when the favorite is close to some of the other favorites. Again, watch out for golfers like Jordan Spieth and even Abraham Ancer who finished second to Patrick Reed in 2019. With Rahm’s form (1st and 3rd but two COVID bouts), he can be a popular pick. Will the winds sway the picks? There are few trees on the course and the shifts can wreak havoc.
Hence, our The Northern Trust Futures pick below is one where the odds may just change right before Thursday morning’s tee time. That’s right. The tournament goes from August 19th – August 22nd.
The questions about Jordan Spieth’s vanished golf game have themselves evaporated. If he can putt well in the final round, this would tilt The Northern Trust Futures at least a little more. As it is, the American golfer even saw his odds shorten into the +1600 range. This was behind those recent two top-five finishes.
Spieth is one of these golfers that can go on some impressive runs. Also, again the PGA field is more elite this week with 124 of the top-125 golfers in New Jersey. That is the type of scenario where Spieth shines.
According to PGA Tour Stats, the fact that Matsuyama is not ranked top-ten in the world is odd. That is the reality. It is more than the fact that several men may have surpassed Matsuyama. In the golf world, it is easier to pass them back given the ebbs and flows of the game.
For The Northern Trust Futures, our best bet is to take a shot on Jordan Spieth. He could win this tournament and the shifting winds could be a significant reason why.
2021 has taught us to just keep looking at the men’s field as a body of work and not one or two players. This week, one is looking for players who can negotiate the changing conditions and are excellent around the greens while making just enough putts.
Some will even eye players like Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson again as well. Also, Jason Kokrak may be the true wildcard. Adam Scott and again Abraham Ancer are our medium shots of note. Ancer is around 40 to 1 by the way.
Take Jordan Spieth to win the tournament at +1700 before his odds possibly shorten.
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