The 2018 Northern Trust starts Thursday and marks the first tournament of the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs. The top 125 players in the world are eligible to participate and Dustin Johnson, winner of three tournaments this year including the RBC Canadian Open, is the Vegas favorite at 9-1. Jason Day and 2017 PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas are at 12-1 Northern Trust odds, followed by Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka at 14-1. Nine golfers are going off at 20-1 or lower, and Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, and Henrik Stenson are among those sitting the Northern Trust 2018 out. Before you lock in any 2018 Northern Trust picks or enter a daily fantasy golf tournament on DFS sites like FanDuel or DraftKings, you'll want to hear what the team at SportsLine has to say.
SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, was all over Johnson winning the 2017 Northern Trust, projecting him as a top contender from the start. It has also nailed four of the past eight majors entering the weekend and called Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. Anyone who has followed their model is up big.
Now that the 2018 Northern Trust field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising.
One huge shocker it's calling for at the 2018 Northern Trust: Tiger Woods, the only player to win the FedEx Cup more than once, makes a strong run but falls just short of winning the title.
Woods is still searching for that elusive 80th PGA Tour victory. His most recent win in the FedEx Cup Playoffs was at the 2009 BMW Championship. He is barely in the top 200 on the PGA Tour in total driving efficiency at 331 and his scoring average of 71.07 and 70.43 in the first and second rounds ranks 133rd and 79th, respectively.
However, Woods enters the 2018 Northern Trust with a solid track record in this event. He has played in the opening FedEx Cup event four times, finishing second twice. And he has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four starts on the PGA Tour, including a second-place finish at the 2018 PGA Championship.
Another surprise: Day, one of the top Vegas favorites and No. 6 in the 2018 FedEx Cup standings, barely cracks the top 10. There are far better values in the 2018 Northern Trust field.
Day ranks in the top 10 in the field in total strokes and par-4 scoring. He also finished sixth last year at the Northern Trust, but has struggled on the PGA Tour as of late. He's made the top 10 just once in his last six tournaments and was cut at the U.S. Open. Day is just 122nd on tour in driving accuracy percentage at 59.92 and only 125th in greens in regulation percentage at 65.60.
Also, the model says three golfers with odds of 20-1 or longer will make a deep run at the 2018 Northern Trust, including a mammoth long shot. Anyone who bets on these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2018 Northern Trust, and which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the Northern Trust projected leaderboard from the model that's nailed four of the last eight majors heading into the weekend.
Dustin Johnson 9-1
Justin Thomas 12-1
Jason Day 12-1
Brooks Koepka 14-1
Tiger Woods 14-1
Jordan Spieth 16-1
Justin Rose 18-1
Jon Rahm 18-1
Francesco Molinari 20-1
Tommy Fleetwood 30-1
Webb Simpson 30-1
Hideki Matsuyama 35-1
Patrick Cantlay 35-1
Matt Kuchar 40-1
Adam Scott 40-1
Brandt Snedeker 50-1
Patrick Reed 50-1
Tony Finau 50-1
Paul Casey 50-1
Zach Johnson 50-1