2023 PGA Championship predictions, expert advice from Chris “The Bear” Fallica


“Bear Bets” are actual bets that Chris “The Bear” Fallica actually makes.

The PGA Championship weekend is finally here Here! It’s time to get back on track and place some winning bets on some of the best golfers in the world.

Jon Rahm is the current favorite to win the tournament, +750 on FOX Bet.

Speaking of the favorite, it’s been 31 majors since Rory McIlroy’s last major win at the 2014 PGA Championship, yet he’s still the third pick on the odds list this week. Personally, I’ll stay away from Rory this week and opt for the following tracks.

Let’s take a look at the bets I’m making for the event.

Scottie Scheffler: +750 to win, -115 top 10

Scheffler and Rahm are currently 1A and 1B when it comes to the best players in the world. Scheffler made the top 10 in Augusta despite seemingly not putting down a putt all week. His game is so strong from the tee to the green.

Shockingly, he also missed the cut at Southern Hills after his Masters win last year, and such a result this week would be another surprise. But I don’t expect that from someone who has had a win and three top-five, top-seven, and top-10 finishes at 11 majors since early 2020.

As for overall wins before the tournament, I’m not getting sweet. I chose my fighter, his Scheffler. I bet he’ll both win and top 10 this week.

tom kim: +8000 to win, +650 top 10

If you’re looking for a long-term bet, you’ve come to the right place. This major has garnered some mammoth awards, and this course has given Jason Dufner and Shaun Micheel the winners of the last two majors taught there, so I’m going to post this one as a flyer selection.

Kim has caused quite a stir since the start of the year, but a look at the numbers shows it’s been a pretty solid year as he finishes in the SG top 15: tee-to-green, fourth in driving accuracy and third in scrambling. These metrics are important on a course with this type of rough. He posted a T-16 result in Augusta and, after a 71st opening round last week, went 66-69-65 in the last three rounds. Kim will be getting into one of those majors sooner or later, and this could be the one for you.

Xander Schauffele: +175 Top 10
Xander Schauffele: -164 vs. Justin Thomas

Schauffele is a paragon of consistency in the majors, as evidenced by his last four games in which he has reached T-10, T-15, T-14 and T-13. Maybe we should play him to finish in the top 20 instead of the top 10, but I like the number. Schauffele has played 23 majors over the course of his career. He achieved six top 5 finishes, ten top 10 finishes and 16 top 20 finishes. That’s a pretty good series of cash derivatives and probably a neck-and-neck race.

He’s in fine form too, his recent three-stroke events being a second-place finish at Wells Fargo, a fourth-place finish at RBC and a T-10 at the Masters. And don’t forget his T-5. Place in the Match Play event and a T-4. place in the Zurich team event.

Schauffele may not be removed from the “best players not to win a major” list this week, but he should once again put in a solid result. I’m going to put him head-to-head against reigning PGA Champion Justin Thomas, whose game doesn’t seem to have worked out. Thomas missed the cut at the Masters and placed 60th at THE PLAYERS, the two biggest events he’s played this year.

Sahith Teagala: +300 Top 20

Theegala has seven top 10 finishes from 18 events including the Masters. Statistically, he’s not the best driver, but he’s one of the better putters out there, ranking ninth on putting average. This weekend I’ll take a small piece of a top 20 finish with me.

Ricky Fowler: +250 Top 20

In case you weren’t paying attention, Fowler has only been outside the top 20 once in his last nine events. He’s 11th on the TOUR in SG: Total and seems to be in great physical and mental shape with his game. This will be his first major of the year after failing to secure a place in the Masters division.

Phil Mickelson Miss cut -180

Mickelson’s second place finish at the Masters was incredible, but also an anomaly. He’d missed the cut in each of the previous three majors, and his form coming into Augusta led no one to believe he’d be able to keep up like he did. I suspect familiarity with Augusta National and a shorter field helped him do well this weekend, but this course is a whole different animal. I expect we’ll be seeing Michelson in the rough a lot, which will likely send him home for the weekend.

Brooks Koepka Miss cut +300

In every major there seem to be a few names that miss the point and raise eyebrows. Koepka could be a candidate for this honor here. He was great in rounds one and two at the Masters and then we saw a dip over the weekend. He also missed cuts in two of the four majors last year. Yes, he’s healthier now, but there may be a little “LIV regression” here as many of their players who played so well at the well-known Augusta National course may not be doing so well this week.

JustinThomas Miss cut +275

As mentioned, the reigning champion hasn’t been at his best on the biggest stages this year, and he wasn’t great off the tee this year, finishing 118th in accuracy. That could lead to a lot of difficult second shots and put a lot of pressure on a putter that was also bad – 138th in SG: Putting.

Chris “The Bear” Fallica has been covering sports for nearly three decades. While his primary focus has been college football, he also enjoys playing in the NFL, soccer, golf, tennis, MLB, NHL and horse racing, “occasionally” betting on such events. Chris recently won the inaugural Circa Football Invitational and finished in the top 10 in the Golden Nugget Football Contest. He has qualified multiple times for the NHC Handicapping Championship. Remember, “The less you bet, the more you lose when you win!” Follow him on Twitter @Chrisfallica.

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