2024 PGA Championship Betting Trends: Two Golf Picks to Win at Valhalla

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Ladies and gentlemen, we are back for the year’s second major. This is always one of my favorite pieces to put together because golf betting trends are fun to compile and sift through.

While I’m a firm believer that trends are made to be broken, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy going through them. And hey, maybe they can point us in the right direction as we search for a winner for this year’s PGA Championship.

With the division in professional golf, the majors have a special feel to them these days. There are only four events a year when the world’s best are all competing against each other.

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This year’s PGA Championship will be held at Valhalla Golf Club, which is a Par 71 that stretches over 7,600 yards. This is a mammoth of a course, as all of the Par 3s measure at least 190 yards, and six of the Par 4s measure at least 470 yards. The rough is 4” thick and should be difficult to play out of, while the greens are small (5,000 square feet) and will be difficult to hit in regulation. The course is going to provide a difficult all-around test of golf, but distance off the tee will certainly be an advantage.

For a more extensive course preview, check out the PGA Championship First Look. However, we aren’t here to break down the course; we are here to spot trends from past PGA Championships to help us identify a winner this week. As always, I like to do these articles in elimination style. I will go through each trend and start eliminating golfers who don’t meet the criteria. Let’s get right into it.

2024 PGA Championship Betting Trends

Trend #1: 7 of the last 10 winners were in the top 15 in the OWGR

This trend makes a ton of sense, right? The courses picked for majors are complete tests of golf and tend to favor the best golfers in the world. Based on what we saw at Valhalla Golf Club in 2014 and the daunting length of the course, I expect that to be the case again this week. In general, the more difficult the course, the more we see the cream rise to the top of the leaderboard. 7 of the last 10 golfers were ranked inside the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings heading into the event.

The problem with this trend is that the LIV Tour golfers haven’t been accruing OWGR points in any events other than the majors. To combat this, I am going to include the top 5 LIV golfers in DataGolf’s rankings over the last 12 months of play.

Top 15 in OWGR

Scottie Scheffler
Rory McIlroy
Xander Schauffele
Wyndham Clark
Jon Rahm
Ludvig Aberg
Viktor Hovland
Patrick Cantlay
Max Homa
Brian Harman
Tommy Fleetwood
Sahith Theegala
Collin Morikawa
Matt Fitzpatrick
Hideki Matsuyama

Top 5 LIV golfers in DataGolf’s rankings

Bryson DeChambeau
Tyrrell Hatton
Joaquin Niemann
Cameron Smith
Brooks Koepka

We have narrowed our list of potential winners down to 20 golfers.

Trend #2: 9 of the last 11 winners finished in the top 20 in their previous start

Form is always important in golf, especially when it comes to the PGA Championship. 9 of the last 11 winners of this major posted a top-20 finish in their previous start leading up to the event. Let’s take that list from above and see how everyone performed in their most recent start:

Scottie Scheffler (win)
Rory McIlroy (win)
Xander Schauffele (2nd)
Wyndham Clark (T47) — see ya!
Jon Rahm (T10)
Ludvig Aberg (T10)
Viktor Hovland (T24) — au revoir!
Patrick Cantlay (T29) — adios!
Max Homa (T8)
Brian Harman (T47) — arrivederci!
Tommy Fleetwood (T13)
Sahith Theegala (T52) — sayonara!
Collin Morikawa (T16)
Matt Fitzpatrick (T52) – namaste!
Hideki Matsuyama (T33) – dasvidaniya!
Bryson DeChambeau (T27) – auf wiedersehen!
Tyrrell Hatton (T5)
Joaquin Niemann (T7)
Cameron Smith (2nd)
Brooks Koepka (win)

This trend certainly favors those who are playing on LIV since they are only competing against 53 other golfers each week, but we are going to run with it anyway. This trend helped us cut the list of potential winners down to 12 golfers. I am sad to see DeChambeau get the axe, as I already placed an outright bet on him for this week.

Trend #3: 8 of the last 11 winners had a top 10 in their last two majors

Some golfers are just built for major championships. This is for a few different reasons. The courses tend to favor a certain type of golfer, there is an added element of pressure in these events, and confidence plays such a large role in these championships. 8 of the last 11 winners posted a top 10 in at least one of their two previous majors. Let’s see how our final 12 have fared in recent major championships:

Scottie Scheffler (win, T23)
Rory McIlroy (T22, T6)
Xander Schauffele (T8, T17)
Jon Rahm (T45, T2)
Ludvig Aberg (2nd)
Max Homa (T3, T10)
Tommy Fleetwood (T3, T10)
Collin Morikawa (T3, MC)
Tyrrell Hatton (T9, T20)
Joaquin Niemann (T22, MC) — ciao!
Cameron Smith (T6, T33)
Brooks Koepka (T45, T64) — take it easy!

Wow, these guys are good. That did not go as expected. We only lost 2 golfers in this round, and one of them (Koepka) is on my betting card for the week.

Trend #4: 9 of the last 10 winners had a top-10 finish at a previous PGA Championship

Let’s hope this trend has more teeth than the last one. We need to narrow down this list. 9 of the last 10 winners of this event had a previous top-10 finish at the PGA Championship. Let’s see how the final 10 have done at this major in the past:

Scottie Scheffler (best finish: 2nd)
Rory McIlroy (best finish: win)
Xander Schauffele (best finish: T10)
Jon Rahm (best finish: T4)
Ludvig Aberg (best finish: N/A) — catch you later!
Max Homa (best finish: T13) — cheerio!
Tommy Fleetwood (best finish: T5)
Collin Morikawa (best finish: win)
Tyrrell Hatton (best finish: T10)
Cameron Smith (best finish: T9)

We are going to get down to a few golfers eventually (I hope). They say hard work pays off, so let’s keep at it.

Trend #5: 7 of the last 10 winners were in the top 30 in driving distance

Every major other than The Open has favored bombers over the years. With Valhalla measuring over 7,600 yards this week, we can expect the long hitters to have a big advantage. This is another trend that is a little tricky when it comes to LIV golfers. It’s a bit arbitrary, but I am going to include the top 30 in driving distance on the PGA TOUR and the top 7 in driving distance on LIV.

Scottie Scheffler (80th) — didn’t see that one coming!
Rory McIlroy (2nd)
Xander Schauffele (39th) — might not win, but T2 is very much in play!
Jon Rahm (6th)
Tommy Fleetwood (110th) — this is going to save me some money!
Collin Morikawa (147th) — iron game has been shaky anyway!
Tyrrell Hatton (17th) — he’s more fun when he’s playing bad!
Cameron Smith (40th) — inspired my son’s mullet for a time!

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2024 PGA Championship Betting Trends Finalists

Rory McIlroy +750 (FanDuel) – Rory checks all of the boxes this week. He’s also coming off back-to-back wins (yes, I am counting the team event since he carried Shane Lowry) and won the PGA Championship the last time it was held at Valhalla. He has talked about how good his swing feels, and that was certainly on display at Quail Hollow last week, where he gained over 15 strokes tee to green. While he looks great on paper, he hasn’t won a major championship in 10 years. The longer the drought goes, the more the pressure builds. While I love the way his game is trending, I don’t love betting him at +750.

Jon Rahm +1800 (BetMGM) – I wasn’t expecting to bet Rahm heading into the week, but he made it through the gauntlet of trends and is sitting at a very attractive price in the outright market. Rahm is typically in the +800 to +1200 range for major championships. He didn’t play particularly well at the Masters and has yet to win on LIV, but his game is a perfect fit for Valhalla. I’ll also note that his form is better than everyone is making it out to be. He has yet to finish outside of the top 10 in 7 starts on LIV. I might have to add Rahm to the betting card this week, although it’s getting a little crowded since I already have Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau.

Image Credit: Getty Images

About the Author

Derek Farnsworth (Notorious)

Derek Farnsworth (aka Notorious) is a lead RotoGrinders Expert and one of the most recognizable names and faces in all of DFS. Before joining the RotoGrinders team, Derek received a Master’s Degree from the University of Utah. When he’s not busy providing content, he’s dominating the DFS industry as evidenced by his consistent top rankings in several sports and multiple Live Final appearances. Noto provides expert NBA, NFL, MLB, and PGA analysis for RotoGrinders Premium members on a daily basis and has also been nominated for five different Fantasy Sports Writer’s Association (FSWA) awards. Follow Noto on Twitter – @RG_Notorious