FedEx Cup betting predictions: Thomas favored heading into playoffs

Justin Thomas acknowledges the crowd in Mexico.
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Ricky Dimon


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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me. For Ricky Dimon media enquiries, please email
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The FedEx Cup Playoffs generally mark the end of the annual PGA Tour season. This year? Not so much. Although the playoffs have arrived (they begin on Thursday), we still have a lot more golf to go in 2020. Amidst the tour’s rescheduling due to the coronavirus crisis, two more majors are still on the schedule (the U.S. Open switched from June to September; the Masters was pushed back from April to November). For golf fans and anyone else who dabbles into betting on the sport, a smorgasbord of riches remain in the offing for 2020.

Amazing fields have consistently on display since the PGA Tour returned in June. Collin Morikawa beat the best field of all to win the PGA Championship earlier this month, while Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, and Bryson DeChambeau have also impressed just about the entire way this summer. Thomas, Morikawa, Simpson, and DeChambeau lead the FedEx Cup standings heading into The Northern Trust, which is being hosted this week at TPC Boston. Sungjae Im rounds out the top five going into the playoffs.

FedEx Cup format

Only three total playoff events instead of the normal four are taking place this year. The Northern Trust will be followed by the BMW Championship in Olympia Fields, Ill. and the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Ga. The top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings have qualified for the playoffs, and the field will dwindle down to 70 for the BMW Championship before being reduced to just 30 for the finale in Atlanta. With 2,000 points going to the winner in each of the first two events, major moves can be made during the playoffs. In fact, throughout this entire season only Thomas currently has more than 2,000 total points (2,458). In other words, there is a good chance The Northern Trust champion will soar right to the top regardless of where he currently finds himself in the standings.

Over the next fortnight, players will be battling not only for a spot in the Tour Championship but also to put themselves in the best position to triumph in Atlanta. As of last year, whoever wins the Tour Championship also wins the FedEx Cup. Standings following the conclusion of the BMW Championship determine each qualifier’s starting position in Atlanta. Whoever leads the standings begins the Tour Championship at 10-under par; second place starts at 8-under; and it continues to with various scores down the list of 30 until Nos. 26-30 start the tournament at even par.

Top contenders

Is a current perch at or near the top of the FedEx Cup standings a good thing? Sure. Thomas is No. 1 and goes into the playoffs as a +350 favorite to win the cup. Second-place Morikawa is the third favorite (+600). DeChambeau, who occupies the fourth spot, is the second favorite (+500). Of course, current form has just as much to do with that as the standings. They are not simply starting the playoffs in good spots; they are also expected to add to their point totals in a big way over the next two weeks.

Among those currently in Tour Championship position (top 30) worth keeping an eye on are Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, and Viktor Hovland. McIlroy won the FedEx Cup in 2016 and 2019, Rahm is the No. 1 player in the world, and Schauffele, Finau, and Hovland have been incredibly consistent this summer. At +3300, Finau is one of our picks to win The Northern Trust.

Be sure to check out our PGA Tour expert picks page for weekly outright picks as well as daily picks for the playoffs and major championships.

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