Fedex Cup Betting: Front-running pair look too short after the points reset
Matt kuchar is favourite to win the Fedex Cup but it won't be straightforward
"The best Fedex Cup betting strategy now is simply to take on the front pair, Kuchar and Johnson. Currently, they can be laid at [3.5] and [4.5] respectively, which equates to around an even money chance."
Matt Kuchar and Dustin Johnson lead the Fedex Cup race but the pointscoring system is more complex than the market suggests and Paul Krishnamurty suggests the two young stars of American golf are worth taking on
With the first three play-off events completed, the race for the Fedex Cup and that eyewatering $10M first prize enters it's final furlong at next week's Tour Championship. Only the top-30 points-earners are qualified for East Lake, ruling out some very big names - most notably Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Padraig Harrington.
In order to make the finale more exciting, and ensure all 30 competitors retain a mathematical chance, there is now a points reset. Leader Matt Kuchar is awarded 2,500 points, second placed Dustin Johnson gets 2,250 and the figure reduces further with each position, down to 30th placed Bo Van Pelt on 210. At East Lake, the winner will receive 2,500, the runner-up 1500 and the last-placed player will earn 205 points. Full details are available here.
There are endless permutations, but the bullet point is that the top-five control their own destiny. Should any one of Kuchar, Johnson, Charley Hoffman, Steve Stricker or Paul Casey win the Tour Championship, they are guaranteed to win the Fedex Cup. Anyone else would remain reliant on other players' results, even if they win the event.
Back at the beginning of the series, I recommended five players to follow. Of that quintet, Stricker and Jason Day are right in the thick of it in third and sixth place respectively. While I certainly wouldn't put anyone off a bet on either player, currently trading at around [10.0] and [30.0] respectively, I feel the best strategy now is simply to take on the front pair, Kuchar and Johnson. Currently, they can be laid at [3.5] and [4.5] respectively, which equates to around an even money chance.
Perhaps because of past Fedex Cups, the market may be reading too much into their strong positions in the points standings. Layers doubtless recall last year, when Phil Mickelson won the Tour Championship, but didn't earn enough to overhaul Tiger Woods because he began the event outside the top-five in the points standings. Previous Fedex Cups had also gone to the front-runner, but are irrelevant as this secondary points reset was only invented last year.
The most obvious conclusion to draw here is that different rules apply when it comes to Tiger. This time last year, it was virtually impossible to imagine him finishing off the first page of the leaderboard. Nevertheless, the exciting new format meant he had to battle all the way to the line, and would have been overhauled by Mickelson if he'd finished any worse than runner-up. With all due respect to Kuchar and Johnson, either of whom would make a worthy money list winner on their season's efforts, they aren't Tiger Woods. Kuchar will be making his East Lake course debut, while Johnson finished 27th on his sole visit last year.
Their tasks are anything but straightforward. Lets take the following hypothetical scenario. Were the player currently in 10th place, defending champ Mickelson, to win the event, he would have a total of 3,100 points. That would mean that in order to win the Fedex Cup, Kuchar would need to finish at least fourth, and still be reliant on other results. Johnson would need to finish at least third.
Given their lack of East Lake pedigree, that doesn't strike me as a good even money bet, and remember, this isn't by any means their toughest scenario. Stricker, Casey and Hoffman all have their fate in their own hands, and there are other dangerous challengers inside the top-10. Imagine, for instance, seventh-placed Luke Donald or eighth-placed Ernie Els were to win at East Lake. In either scenario, Kuchar or Johnson could afford nothing worse than second place.
Lay Matt Kuchar @ [3.5]
Lay Dustin Johnson @ [4.5]
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