PGA Championship 2023: Predictions, Best Bets, Sleepers

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Xander Schauffele watches his tee shot on the 16th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament, Friday, March 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla.
(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable May 18, 2023, 4:18 PM
  • The PGA Championship is May 18-21 from Oak Hill.
  • It will be tough for long shots to contend this week.
  • Xander Schuaffele, Matt Fitzpatrick and Sungjae Im are good options.

The second major of the year, the PGA Championship, which is also considered a designated event, is here.

One-hundred and fifty-six golfers will take on Oak Hill in Rochester, New York, May 18-21. And since the PGA Championship is hosted by a different course every year, there isn’t much course history.

Oak Hill is one of the most prestigious courses in the country, hosting three U.S. Opens, and this will be its fourth PGA Championship, with the most recent being in 2013.

Since the vast majority of the players have never played the course before, and the course has almost been completely redone since 2013, it will make handicapping the week a little more difficult.

It is a classic major championship course, especially in the Northeast. It has some length but also narrow fairways and penal rough. It also features some quirky, raised, and fast greens, which will certainly test players once they get close to the hole.

Given the difficult test, it’s unlikely the winning score will be in double digits, so avoiding bogeys will be key.

The PGA Championship, like all majors, favors the best players. Of the last 11 PGA Championship winners, nine were ranked inside the top 25 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Entering the week, Scottie Scheffler is the favorite at +750, followed by Jon Rahm at +800. Rory McIlroy, who is a member at Oak Hill, is +1200. He hasn’t won a major since 2014 and is struggling of late with two missed cuts in his last four starts.

The defending champion, Justin Thomas, is +2200.

Below are some players to target when golf betting, followed by my betting card for the week.

*All odds as of May 16.

PGA Championship Predictions 

Scottie Scheffler is predicted to win the Wells Fargo Championship with an 11.76 % implied probability — i.e., the overall chance of a potential outcome in relation to the odds — according to betting markets.

Jon Rahm has the next best odds to win with a 11.11% implied probability.  He is followed by Rory McIlroy at 7.69%.

PGA Championship Best Bets

Jon Rahm +800 Odds to Win

Rahm didn’t play in the most recent designated event at the Wells Fargo Championship, so he comes in a little more rested than others and is still the hottest player in the game. He has four wins and eight top-10 finishes this season.

As for PGA Championships, Rahm has two career top-10 finishes, most recently finishing T-8 in 2021.

Rory McIlroy +1400 Odds to Win

McIlroy enters the event in the midst of a few slumps. After missing the cut at the Masters, he withdrew from the RBC Heritage and returned for the Wells Fargo Championship, but finished T-47. And then everyone knows his last major victory came in 2014.

But this could be a good week to change that, as he’s very familiar with Oak Hill since he’s a member of the course. His wife is from the area, and he joined shortly after they got married. McIlroy finished eighth at the PGA Championship a year ago and T-8 in 2013, the last time it was at Oak Hill.

PGA Championship Sleepers

Tyrrell Hatton +4000 Odds to Win

Hatton is having a terrific season, including four top-five finishes in his last eight starts. The 31-year-old’s gritty mindset is perfect for majors, and his excellent ball striking will serve him well this week.

He’s made the cut in five straight major championships, and it feels like he has the game to eventually win one.

Gary Woodland +10000 Odds to Win

The 38-year-old is playing some strong golf of late, which includes six straight made cuts. His game is getting back to where it was when he was contending in majors.

Woodland finished T-10 at the U.S. Open last year, which was held at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, which has some similarities to Oak Hill.

PGA Championship Betting Card & Other Predictions

  • Xander Schauffele Outright Win +1600
  • Sungjae Im Outright Win +3000
  • Cameron Young Outright Win +3300
  • Matt Fitzpatrick Outright Win +3300
  • Jordan Spieth Outright Win +3500
  • Tyrrell Hatton Outright Win +4000
  • Rory McIlroy Top-10 Finish +120
  • Sungjae Im Top-10 Finish +275
  • Tyrrell Hatton Top-20 Finish +138
  • Tom Hoge Top-40 Finish +175

Since it is a major, my betting card is bigger than a normal week, but I’m still relying on my Fantasy National model.

For my outright plays, I focused on the favorites and players who tend to play well in majors. Since it is a tough course, players who can grind out pars will likely have the best chance to win. Spieth is a bit of a risk, given his wrist injury, but getting him at +3500 is good value.

It was a similar thought process for my props, with the lone exception being Hoge. While the results haven’t been super consistent, he’s one of the best iron players and finished the 2022 PGA Championship T-9, so plus money basically to make the cut feels like a steal.

Here is the top 10 of my model for the week:

  1. Tony Finau
  2. Jon Rahm
  3. Jason Day
  4. Rory McIlroy
  5. Max Homa
  6. Scottie Scheffler
  7. Wyndham Clark
  8. Xander Schauffele
  9. Sungjae Im
  10. Patrick Cantlay

PGA Championship Odds at BetMGM

BetMGM is the premier destination for updated PGA Championship odds each year.

Whether you’re a first-time bettor browsing futures odds for Jordan Spieth months in advance, a casual fan placing a bet on Scottie Scheffler before the first round begins, or a longtime diehard breaking down weekend weather trends, there’s something for everyone.

Sign in to your account today — or, if you don’t have an account, sign up today with a sportsbook welcome offer — to start betting. And always check your new account for updated sportsbook promos and bonuses.

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a Content Managing Editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”