Top Betting Picks for the 2021 Fortinet Championship

| September 14, 2021 10:16 am PDT

The 2021-22 PGA Tour season kicks off Thursday in wine country. This fall marks the eighth consecutive year that Silverado Country Club will host the proceedings formerly known as the Safeway Open.

Stewart Cink won’t be here to defend his title (his son Connor is getting married this weekend), but the field in Napa gets a major bump thanks to the commitment of Jon Rahm. The world #1 is the lone member of either Ryder Cup squad teeing it up this week; it’s no surprise he’s been installed as a massive betting favorite.

Those interested in backing Rahm at an unpleasant +400, be my guest. I’ve got my eye on some other Fortinet Championship betting picks that are priced much more favorably.

Sleeper Picks for Fortinet Championship

With most heavy hitters not in the field, now’s a perfect time to take a flier on a couple of unheralded names. Looking back at the past three editions of this event, that’s exactly who’s walked away with the trophy in hand.

Recent Winners at Silverado Country Club
Year Winner OWGR Entering the Week
2020 Stewart Cink 300
2019 Cameron Champ 170
2018 Kevin Tway 129

What players ranked outside of the top 100 in the world could make some noise this week? Here’s a pair of sleeper picks for the Fortinet Championship.

Maverick McNealy (+5500)

  • OWGR: 113

Making his fifth straight appearance at the Fortinet Championship, Maverick McNealy is coming off his most productive year as a professional. The 25-year-old Stanford product finished 58th on the FedEx Cup standings; he ended his season posting top-30s in seven of his final eight starts.

McNealy is sufficient off the tee (39th in SG: Off-the-Tee last season) and has deft touch on the greens (19th in Overall Putting Average last season), and we know he plays great golf in Northern California. Case in point – Maverick finished 2nd at Pebble Beach in 2020 and sits alongside Tiger Woods among the most decorated players who went to at “The Farm.” 

Stephan Jaeger (+6600)

  • OWGR: 116

The combined points leader from the Korn Ferry Tour is red-hot entering the first tournament of the fall. Talk about being locked and loaded to get off to a fast start, Jaeger arrives in Napa with top-4 finishes in each of his last three outings.

Stephan Jaeger – What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Date Tournament Scores (to Par) Result
8/29/21 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship 63-69-66-71 (-15) T2
8/22/21 Albertsons Boise Open 69-68-64-66 (-17) T4
8/15/21 Pinnacle Bank Championship 67-69-65-71 (-12) T4

Stephan flashed his elite short game all season long (1st in scrambling, 2nd in birdie average, 3rd in putting average), and he’s no stranger to success in the Bay Area. Jaeger burst onto the scene five summers ago, shooting a record 30-under-par at the 2016 Ellie Mae Classic, played nearby at TPC Stonebrae. That included an opening-round 58.

Best Bets for the Fortinet Championship in 2021

It goes without saying that Jon Rahm is primed to play well at Silverado. The only time Rahm has finished outside of the top 10 in the last four months was when he was forced to withdraw at the Memorial. You know, when he was leading by six strokes after 54 holes.

The problem is the best golf betting sites have installed “Rahmbo” in the neighborhood of +350 to +450. There’s just no value to be had at that number in a 156-man field.

Instead, I’d rather capture the upside attached to the following Fortinet Championship predictions.

Will Zalatoris (+2800)

No official PGA Tour status this past year, and yet Will Zalatoris competed in all four majors, all three WGC events, and THE PLAYERS. And not only did he compete, he hung up three top-10s in these aforementioned events, including finishing solo-2nd at the Masters.

Heck, the kid was just honored as the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year despite being a member of the KFT.

The 25-year-old Texan has had ample time to shore up his putting stroke over the last several weeks. I’m expecting BIG THINGS from Zalatoris this season, especially now that he’s not using a putter face that’s dented.

Cameron Tringale (+3300)

After pocketing nearly $2.5 million on the course this past season (41st in the FedEx Cup standings), Cameron Tringale has all sorts of momentum heading into the new campaign. Cameron finished 14th-26th-16th-21st in his run-up to the BMW Championship (T52). It’s evident this man is knocking on the door to pick up his first PGA Tour victory.

Since 2011, Tringale has accumulated seven top-3 finishes. Only Louis Oosthuizen and Jason Bohn have amassed more top-3s during that stretch without securing a victory.

The California native is a superb putter (12th in Total Putting in 2020-21) who knows how to execute poa annua surfaces. This could be the week it all comes together.

Those of you interested in playing DFS golf this week stayed tuned for more Fortinet Championship picks in our golf predictions section.

Michael Wynn
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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