In a field that features nearly every top player in the world, Bryson DeChambeau is the betting favorite this week at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. Looking down the line, too, DeChambeau is also favored to win all three majors – the US Open, PGA Championship, and Masters – right now at Caesars Sportsbook.
FanDuel Sportsbook has him at +1000 to win at Muirfield, ahead of last week’s winner Justin Thomas and big names like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Tiger Woods. If you haven’t been paying attention, it’d be hard to believe. DeChambeau has never won a major. In fact, his signature win came two years ago at the Memorial. But DeChambeau’s astronomical rise is due to a mix of incredible recent form and the unprecedented way he’s now approaching the sport.
At this time last year, DeChambeau was coming off a disappointing start to his season after tearing up the second half of 2018 and rising to No. 5 in the world. Nicknamed the “Mad Scientist,” DeChambeau wanted to try something new as he worked on his body and focused on being able to mash the ball farther than anyone on Tour.
Jacked up odds
DeChambeau now looks more like a middle linebacker or a wrestler than a golfer – and it’s working. His monster drives have led him to being the best overall driver on Tour, and he has seven straight top 10s dating back to the Genesis Open in February. Since the restart from COVID-19, he’s finished third, eight, sixth and first to propel him to No. 7 in the world. He’s suddenly one of the most famous players among casual golf fans and a betting favorite for all of this year’s majors.
It makes sense when looking at the stats. In a sample size of the last 24 rounds, DeChambeau ranks first in strokes gained: off the tee, 1st in strokes gained: ball striking and 1st in strokes gained: total. He’s even third in strokes gained: putting. The numbers are there, but the media hype around his body change and unbelievable drives have no doubt helped him jump up to the top of the odds list in every tournament as well.
“I think it’s largely his play,” said John Sheeran, the Director of Risk and Trading for FanDuel. “He hasn’t been outside the top 10 since January, and that run has resulted in seven top 10 finishes in a row on the PGA Tour. That’s an incredible level of consistency that is extremely rare. I think the manner of those performances, particularly since the enforced COVID-19 break, have undoubtedly added intrigue, but his game could revolutionize the sport.”
Bryson DeChambeau, a futures bet darling
It’s also interesting to wonder if people have suddenly been hammering DeChambeau bets on future majors because of his recent play and the spotlight on him. People were placing bets on him at 40/1 at the beginning of the year and even 28/1 a month ago. He’s now 11/1 at the PGA Championship, 14/1 at the US Open and 12/1 at the Masters on FanDuel. DraftKings Sportsbook has him even lower. He’s 8/1 at the PGA, 8/1 at the US Open and 8/1 at the Masters. Only McIlroy at the Masters has better odds at any major on DraftKings.
“He’s playing like the top man in golf. He drives the ball longer than anyone in the game, second in scoring average, eight top 10 finishes in 11 events. So what’s not to like?” said Johnny Avello, the sportsbook director at DraftKings. “Yes, he’s physically bulked up, but mentally he’s feeling it. We’ve taken significant future money on him so he’s in the top three for lowest odds on all the upcoming majors.
Some believe DeChambeau’s odds could go even lower with plenty of tournaments to play before majors this year.
“Form is the main factor in golf future prices, so with some amount of time to pass between now and the majors, there is a ton of room for DeChambeau’s odds to rise significantly,” said Sheeran. “The issue is that the game he is showcasing may not just be temporary form and could be a more structured ‘edge’ that he has refined, particularly over the past few weeks. Like with many aspects of oddsmaking, we need to try to find out what the probability of each likelihood is and set a line that represents those considerations.”
With DeChambeau teeing it up this week at a course he’s already won at, he could easily contend again in the strongest field we’ve seen all year. If he does, those odds can get even lower for a player that’s never finished in the top 10 at a major. The circumstances are rare, but bettors who got him at 40/1 in majors earlier this year must be feeling great.