The Northern Trust: Betting Tips & How To Watch

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The Northern Trust is the first of the FedEx Cup playoff events and takes place this week on the PGA Tour at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. 

The end of the PGA Tour season is fast approaching, and now only the top 125 players in the standings are left to battle it out for the FedEx Cup title. 

The Northern Trust is the first tournament of the playoffs, after which 100 players will progress to next week's Dell Technologies Championship. From there, 70 players will make it to the BMW Championship, before the top 30 compete in the season finale Tour Championship at East Lake. 

2012 FedEx Cup Champion Brandt Snedeker claimed last week's Wyndham Championship title and shot a 59 on Thursday to move himself up to 30th place, but World No.1 Dustin Johnson still holds firm at the top of the current rankings and returns to the Northern Trust as defending champion, albeit to a different venue. 

He is one of nine of the top 10 players in the World competing, including US Open & newly crowned PGA Champion Brooks Koepka. Tiger Woods, who currently occupies 20th in the FedEx standings, is returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2013.  

Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia is the biggest name to miss out on qualifying for the playoffs this year, while Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy have all opted to miss the first event of the four-tournament series (Fowler and Stenson are both out with injuries). 

It could also prove to be a crucial couple of weeks for several Ryder Cup hopefuls. Paul Casey and Rafa Cabrera Bello are aiming improve their chances of making the European side, while Woods, Phil Mickelson, Kevin Kisner, Xander Schauffele, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau and Snedeker are among those hoping to impress Jim Furyk before he makes his four wildcard picks in a couple of weeks time. 

But who should you be backing this week, and how can you watch? 

Northern Trust: How To Watch 

Thursday
Featured Groups: Live PGA Tour, Sky Sports Golf (12:30), Sky Sports Golf - Red Button (14:00), Sky Sports Golf (17:00)
Main Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (19:00), Sky Sports Main Event (21:45)

Friday
Featured Groups: Live PGA Tour, Sky Sports Golf - Red Button (14:00), Sky Sports Main Event (17:00), Sky Sports Golf (17:00)
Main Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (19:00)

Saturday 
Main Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (18:00)

Sunday
Main Coverage: Sky Sports Golf (17:00), Sky Sports Main Event (19:30)

Betting Tips: Northern Trust 

Dustin Johnson - 8/1
Previous start at this course: MC ('08), T9 ('10)
DJ defeated Jordan Spieth in a playoff last year with a bold strategy off the tee, carrying the water on the par-four 18th at Glen Oaks and setting up the winning birdie. He's had two wins and four other top 10s in his last 10 starts on tour, last teeing up at the PGA Championship and finishing T27. Ranks 1st on tour for SG: Off the tee, SG: Tee to Green, Birdie Average, Scoring Average, Putting Average and 8th for SG: Approach the green. 

Justin Thomas - 11/1
Previous start at this course: None
Followed up his first MC in a year at The Open with a victory in his next start at the WGC Bridgestone and a T6 in the PGA Championship. Is 2nd in FedEx Cup standings and finished T6 at this event last year. Ranks 2nd SG: Tee to green and SG: Approach the green, 3rd for scoring average, 6th for putting average and 7th for birdie average. 

Brooks Koepka - 12/1
Previous start at this course: None
The now three-time major champion has claimed both the US Open and PGA Championship this year, with the only drawback that he seems to perform better in majors than regular tour events (of his four wins, just one was on a regular event in 2015). Ranks 5th birdie average, 6th Scoring average, 11th SG: Off the tee and 4th for overall putting average. 

Jason Day - 14/1
Previous start at this course: T31 ('08), T5 ('10), T2 ('14)
In terms of the course, it couldn't set up better for Day, who has two top 10s in his last two Ridgewood starts. He's also a multiple winner in 2018 and hasn't finished worse than T19 in four starts, which came at the PGA Championship. Ranks 1st for SG Putting and SG Around the green, 7th for Scoring Average and 8th for birdie average. 

Tiger Woods - 14/1
Previous start at this course: T12 ('10)
Has gone T4-T6-T31-2 in his last four starts, the most recent being his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship where he recorded his lowest ever final round and lowest ever 72-hole score in a major championship. Played here only once but finished T12. Ranks inside the top 10 for SG: Around the green, SG: Approach the green and Scoring Average, 11th for SG: Tee to green, 14th for birdie average and 27th for SG: Putting. 

Justin Rose: 16/1
Previous start at this course: T15 ('10), T30 ('14)
One of the most consistent players out there right now and with a good record here, Rose is expected to be a big contender. Has gone 1-T6-T10-T9-T2-T19 in his last six starts, and has a further three top 10s in 2018. Ranks 2nd Scoring Average, 3rd Birdie Average, 6th SG: Putting and 10th SG: Tee to green. 

Jon Rahm: 18/1
Previous start at this course: None
Coming to Ridgewood after a T4 at the PGA Championship, which is one of eight top 10s in 2018 (that includes victories on both the European and PGA Tour). Currently 13th of the FedEx standings and ranks 2nd for birdie average, 3rd SG: Off the tee, 6th for GIR, 8th SG: Tee to green and 9th for Scoring Average (actual). 

Jordan Spieth - 22/1
Previous start at this course: T22 ('14)
Lost in a playoff to DJ in this event last year, but has been quite streaky form wise in 2018 (two MC's, a T9 and T12 in his last six starts - the last two top 12 results at both the Open and PGA Championship). Still outside the top 30 in the current FedEx standings but ranked 2nd in SG: Putting at Bellerive, which was the part of his game he has struggled with. Ranks 6th for Scoring Average (actual) 14th for Birdie average and 21st for GIR. 

Tommy Fleetwood: 28/1
Previous start at this course: None
Fleetwood has been consistent all year, claiming a second Abu Dhabi title and finishing in the top 10 at both the Players Championship and US Open. Ranks 5th Scoring Average, 7th SG: Off the tee and for both 9th SG: Tee to green and birdie average. 

Webb Simpson: 30/1
Previous start at this course: T36 ('10), MC ('14)
Simpson finshed T2 thanks to an eight-under 62 on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, which was his sixth top 10 in 2018 and his best result since winning the Players Championship in May. He ranks inside the top 15 for Scoring average, SG: Putting and SG: Approach the green. 

Adam Scott: 40/1
Previous start at this course: MC ('08), T9 ('10), T15 ('14)
Scott was in with a chance to win the PGA Championship and held a share of the lead on the back nine, but eventually ended up 3rd behind Brooks Koepka and Tiger Woods. It was his second top 10 this year, but at No. 73 in the FedEx standings needs another good week if he wants to make the Tour Championship. Ranks 9th SG: Approach the green and GIR and 12th SG: Tee to green.

Tony Finau: 40/1
Previous start at this course: None
Finau is another American hoping to get in to the Ryder Cup squad, and currently ranks 12th in the FedEx Cup standings. He finished T42 in the PGA Championship, but has recorded top 10s in the other three of the year's majors. Ranks inside the top 20 on Tour for Scoring Average, Birdie Average and SG: Tee to green. 

Patrick Reed: 50/1
Previous start at this course: T9 ('14)
The Masters Champion missed the cut at the PGA Championship but he did win this event in 2016 at Bethpage, and was T9 at the Porche European Open at the end of July - one of  six top 10s in 2018 (including his victory). Ranks 8th SG: Around the green. 

Paul Casey: 50/1
Previous start at this course: T7 ('08), T12 ('10), T22 ('14)
Casey missed the cut at the PGA Championship but is still bidding for a spot on the European Ryder Cup team - and this could be the perfect place to make a statement given he has an impressive record here. Casey claimed the Valspar Championship earlier this year, has racked up five other top 10s and ranks 9th for SG: Approach the green and 14th for Scoring average. 

Zach Johnson: 50/1
Previous start at this course: T21 ('10), T22 ('14) 
Zach Johnson has two top 20s in two starts here and hasn't finished worse than T19 in his last six starts on the PGA Tour - helping his case for a wildcard Ryder Cup pick. Ranks 10th for Putting average, 11th for SG: Around the green and 17th for Scoring Average.