2021 Northern Trust golf odds, field: Proven expert reveals top picks for first stop of FedEx Cup Playoffs

Written by on August 17, 2021

After a grueling season, the 2021 FedEx Cup Playoffs have arrived, and the top 125 players on the PGA Tour will compete for the title starting Thursday at the 2021 Northern Trust. After four majors across a 13-month span and the Olympics and a WGC event wedged in at the end of the regular season, players are fatigued but focused. Dustin Johnson is aiming to defend his Northern Trust and FedEx Cup titles, while Jon Rahm wants to cap a season that included his first major win but two costly positive COVID tests. Red-hot Collin Morikawa, resurgent Jordan Spieth and Olympic gold medalist Xander Schauffele also are among the many notable names in the 2021 Northern Trust field.        

Caesars Sportsbook lists Rahm as the 10-1 favorite in its latest 2021 Northern Trust golf odds, with Spieth and Morikawa a distant second at 16-1. Johnson is at 18-1, followed by Schauffele (20-1) and Rory McIlroy (22-1). Before you lock in any Northern Trust golf 2021 bets or make any PGA Tour predictions, you have to see what proven golf insider Sal Johnson has to say.

The media legend and esteemed golf insider has a strong track record making golf picks, and he knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour. Before last year’s Northern Trust at TPC Boston, the golf expert tabbed Johnson among his contenders despite his up-and-down season. “His stats still don’t show the true nature of his game,” Johnson told SportsLine at the time. “He hits it long, and on paper he should do well this week.”

He certainly did that, shooting 30-under par to win by an astonishing 11 strokes over Harris English. He was the third PGA Tour player to break 30-under, falling a shot short of tying Ernie Els’ record at Kapalua in 2003.  

The golf expert also was one of the few to say Kevin Kisner had a legitimate chance before his win at the Wyndham last week. Johnson cited Kisner’s top-five finishes at the Rocket Mortgage and Travelers, “on courses that have the same traits as Sedgefield.” He shot 15-under and won a six-man playoff for his first stroke-play win in more than four years.  

Johnson has been on fire all season. Before the Olympics, he listed Schauffele, Morikawa, McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama among his top five golfers. Schauffele won the gold medal for Team USA, while the other three made the playoff for the bronze. Anyone who has followed Johnson’s advice has cashed in huge.  

Now Johnson, the first producer of “Inside the PGA Tour,” a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, and founder of the world’s top golf stats database, has released his highly confident 2021 Northern Trust golf picks, and they will surprise you. You can only see Johnson’s expert golf picks and FedEx Cup Playoffs predictions at SportsLine.

Top 2021 Northern Trust golf predictions

Shockingly, the golf expert is fading Dustin Johnson, the defending tournament and FedEx champion. The 37-year-old’s highest finish at Liberty National is a tie for 15th, and he isn’t having close to the season that was expected of him. He has three top-10 finishes in his last 10 events but also three missed cuts, including the Masters. His stats show why is playing so poorly. He is third in scoring average (69.564) but 135th in driving accuracy, 73rd in greens in regulation and 75th in strokes gained putting. His inconsistency has Sal Johnson looking another direction.    

On the other hand, Johnson knows Rahm is as good as it gets on tour right now and will want to make a statement. His first positive COVID test cost him a likely win at the Memorial in June, and his second took away his chance to play for an Olympic gold medal. The 26-year-old has been on fire, tying for third at the Open Championship last month after his U.S. Open victory in June. Those are his only events the past two months, so the top-ranked player in the world is rested. He leads in scoring average (69.429) and is third in greens in regulation (71.62 percent).    

The golf expert also is wondering whether Koepka will ramp up to “major-ready” form for the playoffs. Koepka has a long history of doing his best work in the biggest events. But his physical issues this season have been well documented, and he comes in off a T-54 at the St. Jude Invitational. That broke a run of four top-six finishes in five events, but three of those were majors. The 31-year-old is eighth in scoring average (69.803) and in the top-10 in strokes gained tee-to-green and total, so he should get himself into the mix if he is healthy and motivated.   

How to make 2021 Northern Trust golf picks

This week in Jersey City, Johnson is backing a massive long shot who comes in at well over 50-1. This veteran shot three rounds in the 60s last week and is often able to turn it on when he really needs to. He could pull off a stunning run in the FedEx Cup opener, and you’ll want to be along for the ride. Anyone who backs this underdog could cash in huge. Johnson is only sharing this pick and his other Northern Trust golf 2021 predictions at SportsLine.

Who wins the 2021 Northern Trust? Where do Jon Rahm and Brooks Koepka finish? And which huge long shot is a must-back? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sal Johnson’s full leaderboard, picks and analysis for the 2021 Northern Trust, all from the insider who knows what it takes to win on the PGA Tour, and find out.

2021 Northern Trust odds, field, top contenders (via Caesars)

Jon Rahm 10-1
Jordan Spieth 16-1
Collin Morikawa 16-1
Dustin Johnson 16-1
Xander Schauffele 20-1
Brooks Koepka 20-1
Rory McIlroy 22-1
Justin Thomas 25-1
Bryson DeChambeau 25-1
Daniel Berger 28-1
Abraham Ancer 28-1
Scottie Scheffler 30-1
Viktor Hovland 30-1
Hideki Matsuyama 33-1
Patrick Cantlay 33-1
Webb Simpson 35-1
Paul Casey 35-1
Cameron Smith 35-1
Adam Scott 40-1
Harris English 40-1
Patrick Reed 40-1
Tony Finau 50-1
Sam Burns 50-1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 50-1
Corey Conners 55-1
Tyrrell Hatton 55-1
Kevin Kisner 60-1
Joaquin Niemann 60-1
Jason Kokrak 66-1
Sungjae Im 66-1
Shane Lowry 66-1
Brian Harman 66-1
Ian Poulter 66-1
Russell Henley 66-1
Si-Woo Kim 80-1
Sergio Garcia 80-1
Branden Grace 80-1
Billy Horschel 90-1
Marc Leishman 100-1
Phil Mickelson 100-1
Jason Day 100-1
Kevin Streelman 100-1
Seamus Power 100-1
Cameron Champ 100-1
Maverick McNealy 125-1
Keegan Bradley 125-1
Alex Noren 125-1
Lee Westwood 125-1
Gary Woodland 125-1
MacKenzie Hughes 125-1
Matthew Wolff 125-1
Charley Hoffman 125-1
Brendon Todd 125-1
Stewart Cink 125-1
Garrick Higgo 125-1
Cameron Davis 125-1
Bubba Watson 125-1
Sebastian Munoz 125-1
Emiliano Grillo 125-1
Ryan Palmer 125-1
Roger Sloan 150-1
Matt Wallace 150-1
Brandt Snedeker 150-1
C.T. Pan 150-1
Max Homa 150-1
Aaron Wise 150-1
Carlos Ortiz 150-1
Chris Kirk 150-1
Charl Schwartzel 150-1
Jhonattan Vegas 150-1
Harold Varner 150-1
Erik Van Rooyen 150-1
Talor Gooch 175-1
Pat Perez 200-1
Troy Merritt 200-1
Patton Kizzire 200-1
Lucas Glover 200-1
Joel Dahmen 200-1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 200-1
Zach Johnson 200-1
Doug Ghim 200-1
Brian Stuard 200-1
Chez Reavie 200-1
Hank Lebioda 200-1
Adam Hadwin 200-1
J.T. Poston 200-1
Scott Piercy 250-1
Brice Garnett 250-1
Matt Kuchar 250-1
Kyle Stanley 250-1
Sepp Straka 250-1
Keith Mitchell 250-1
Brandon Hagy 250-1
Luke List 250-1
Russell Knox 250-1
Andrew Putnam 250-1
Scott Stallings 250-1
Adam Schenk 250-1
Matt Jones 250-1
Brendan Steele 250-1
Dylan Frittelli 250-1
James Hahn 300-1
Henrik Norlander 300-1
Martin Laird 300-1
Matthew NeSmith 300-1
Lanto Griffin 300-1
Adam Long 300-1
Kramer Hickok 300-1
Sam Ryder 300-1
Chesson Hadley 300-1
Doc Redman 300-1
Denny McCarthy 300-1
Tyler McCumber 350-1
Harry Higgs 350-1
Richy Werenski 350-1
Robert Streb 400-1
Peter Malnati 400-1
Anirban Lahiri 400-1
Wyndham Clark 400-1
Hudson Swafford 500-1
Tom Hoge 500-1
Brian Gay 750-1


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