Charles Schwab Challenge Sleeper Picks and Predictions: Mav Makes Hay at Colonial

Maverick McNealy is far from an elite ball-striker but there have been some encouraging signs lately that pair nicely with the fact he's one of the best putters on the PGA Tour. He highlights our Charles Schwab Challenge sleeper picks below.

Neil Parker - Analyst at
Neil Parker • Betting Analyst
May 21, 2024 • 11:51 ET • 4 min read
Maverick McNealy Charles Schwab Challenge PGA Tour
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Following an eventful PGA Championship, World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler is once again the betting favorite in the Charles Schwab Challenge odds for this week’s tournament at the storied Colonial Country Club.

No course has hosted a PGA event as long as Colonial, but the track underwent an extensive overhaul ahead of this year’s 78th event in Fort Worth, Texas.

Collin Morikawa, Max Homa, Jordan Spieth, and Tony Finau round out the second tier of favorites in the golf odds this week, but we’re looking further down the board with our long shots and sleepers. Here are my golf picks for this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.

2024 Charles Schwab Challenge sleeper picks

Picks were made on May 21, 2024. 

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2024 Charles Schwab Challenge and Colonial key stats

The noted renovation at Colonial Country Club will give the track a new look, but only 80 yards were added and it will play as a Par 70 at 7,289 yards with one Par 5 a side.

Recently, the course has played more difficult while rewarding a strategic tee-to-green game. Emiliano Grillo won in a playoff at 8-under last year, and he finished sixth in true strokes gained on approach and second in true strokes gained putting. 

Additionally, each of the previous seven winners finished inside the Top 10 in true strokes gained tee-to-green, and Grillio ranked 20th last year. Scheffler has finished first in the metric in back-to-back years for a T3 result in 2023 and a runner-up finish in 2022 after losing to Sam Burns in a playoff.

A hot putter has also been a calling card for the winners, with Justin Rose the only champ outside the Top 10 in true strokes gained putting over the past nine years. He ranked 26th with top billing in true strokes gained tee-to-green and on approach.

I’m anticipating Colonial playing a little easier this year, with the Texas winds serving as one of the lone defenses in this exposed layout. Finally, with the major renovation, I’m not placing as much emphasis on course history this week and focusing more on tee-to-green play. 

  • Strokes gained tee-to-green
  • Strokes gained on approach
  • Strokes gained putting
  • Par-4 scoring

2024 Charles Schwab Challenge sleeper predictions

Maverick McNealy to win outright (+6,000)

Maverick McNealy’s approach game doesn’t jump out statistically but he’s recently delivered on courses that require precision and shot placement with a T6 at the Phoenix Open and T9 at THE PLAYERS. I also value him finishing T23 at Valhalla last week while ranking 16th in true strokes gained tee-to-green in the final round and 23rd for the event.

Additionally, he ranks second in true strokes gained putting in this field across 124 measured rounds over the past two years. So, if the tee-to-green game continues to click, he’ll be positioned to cash in on his best asset. He's also sitting tied for 17th in Par-4 scoring this season.

There is also a notable difference in the available odds, with this +6,000 bet365 price presenting a positive expected value of 46% compared to the +4,000 Caesars number.

Pick: Maverick McNealy to win outright (+6,000 at bet365, 0.25 units)
Pick: Maverick McNealy Top 40 (-120 at bet365)

Keegan Bradley to win outright (+6,000 at Caesars)

Bradley is heating up with three Top-25 finishes in his past four events, and he’s gained true strokes on approach in six consecutive starts. I'm also encouraged by his recent run because it's come in two majors and two signature events. He was first in true strokes gained off-the-tee and 12th in true strokes gained tee-to-green at last week's PGA Championship.

So, with Bradley also ranking second in this field in true strokes gained on approach across his past 16 measured rounds, he’s checking a lot of boxes. An inconsistent short game is his shortcoming, but Bradley’s streaky with the putter and hasn’t bled strokes on or around the greens during the noted four-tournament stretch.

Finally, this +6,000 Caesars price isn’t in sync with several other books. Compared to the +4,500 bet365 odds, the Caesars odds present a positive expected value of 34%.

Pick: Keegan Bradley to win outright (+6,000 at Caesars, 0.25 units)
Pick: Keegan Bradley Top 30 (+130 at DraftKings)

Lucas Glover to win outright (+6,600 at bet365)

Ball-striking consistency has come part and parcel with Lucas Glover for nearly a calendar year, and he’s played the weekend in six consecutive events while ranking fourth in true strokes gained tee-to-green, fifth in true strokes gained on approach, and seventh in driving accuracy in this field. The vet also ranks 17th in Par 4 scoring this season.

He's gained true strokes on the greens in four of those six events and carded four Top 25s along the way. If Colonial continues to reward accuracy off the tee and approach play this year, his current form makes him a perfect course fit.

Additionally, While I noted course history isn’t a huge focus, the 44-year-old American having 16 competitive events at Colonial on his resume can’t be seen as anything but a positive.

It’s also worth noting Caesars is listing him to win outright at +4,500, so this is another example of where shopping for the best price can provide an edge. The difference in the numbers presents a positive expected value of 47% with the +6,600 bet365 price.

Pick: Lucas Glover to win outright (+6,600 at bet365, 0.25 units)
Pick: Lucas Glover Top 40 (-110 at bet365)

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