Dallas Cowboys @ NY Giants. 6.00pm Sunday. Cowboys moneyline. 3pts@4/5. Bet365.
Dallas have finally started to get things together the past few weeks, winning their last 3. The giants however have gone off the boil at completely the wrong time, losing their last 3. They just cannot put points up at the moment so you must fancy the cowboys to outscore them. The cowboys have won the last 7 H2H going back to 2017.
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns. 6.00pm Sunday. Steelers +10.0 handicap. 1pt@4/5. Bet365.
The Steelers are going to be playing a totally different team tonight through a mixture of testing players and COVID issues, hence why the Browns are such heavy favourites. However I think the books have overreacted. These teams don’t have ‘friendly’ games and the Steelers will definitely be pushing for the win. The Browns were also so poor last week against the Jets. Mason Rudolph is in at QB for the Steelers and after the incident with Garrett last year (where he head his helmet ripped off and was nearly knocked out with it it) he should definitely be up for it.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Indianapolis colts. 9.25pm Sunday. TY Hilton over 57.5 receiving yards. 2pts@5/6. Bet365.
TY had some injury issues early in the season but he has been back at full health for a few weeks now and has gone over this line each of the last 5 weeks. The colts need a win to give them a chance of making the post season and i fancy them to make a statement here.
Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans. 9.25pm Sunday. Derrick Henry under 7.5 receiving yards. 2pts@5/6. Bet365.
Henry has been under this line 11 of 15 games this season and see no reason for him to go over it tonight. Should be a straightforward win for the Titans to secure the division, the Texans have nothing to play for. Expect the Titans to keep it simple and just use Henry on the ground, potentially even pull him from the game let on if they are winning comfortably.
Chicago bears @ Minnesota Vikings. Sunday 6.00pm.
Under 46.5 points.
2pts @10/11. Bet365.
The last few weeks both of these teams have been involved in some high scoring matches, which I believe has helped us out here in pushing this line too high. Both sides are run heavy and when two teams like this meet the result is generally low scoring affairs. Also this is a historically low scoring divisional game, when they met earlier in the year it finished on 32 points. Previous years (which you do have to take with a pinch of salt but show a trend) have ended in 40,22,34,45,33,37,48,30,55,43,22 and 34 points going back to 2014.
Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts. Sunday 6.00pm.
Darren Fells over 11.5 receiving yards.
1.5pts @ 5/6. Bet365.
I was originally looking at going over his longest reception line at 9.5 yards, but with the total just being two more that’s definitely the play. He’s gone over 11.5 yards in 9 of 11 games, the only two times he didn’t were games where he had no catch. One of those was against Indianapolis, which is the only thing that dampens enthusiasm, still more than happy to take this line though.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons. 6.00pm Sunday.
Tom Brady under 309.5 passing yards.
1.5pts @5/6. Bet365.
Going in again on Brady not hitting his yards. It’s set at 309.5 this week and although this should be a higher and more free scoring game than last week I still think it’s too high. He’s finished under this line in 9 of 13 games. I think he will get more than last weeks 196 but still don’t think he will make it over 300.
Cleveland Browns @ NY Giants. Monday 1.20am.
The Browns have really hot form the past few weeks offensively, culminating in a 47-42 loss to Baltimore. However the giants aren’t going to be able to put up anywhere near that amount of points so it comes down to how many they can restrict Cleveland to. The giants defence is okay, but Mayfield and the rest of the browns offence should still have enough to put points on the board. The giants however, for whom it’s still not clear whether it will be Jones or McCoy at QB, have so few weapons to use that regardless who’s in at QB you have to fancy Cleveland to cover a one touchdown spread.
Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 6.00pm Sunday.
Tom Brady under 295.5 passing yards. 3pts @ 5-6 bet365.
In 12 games this year Brady has gone over this line 5 times, under 7. However each game he has gone over (apart from one) has been a high scoring shoot-out, with both sides throwing the ball around. That’s very much not the Vikings way, who will look to use Cook a lot on the ground, eating up the clock in the process. Add to that Tampa Bay’s top two receivers have both missed practice this week (Mike Evans is particularly looking questionable) it gives this line a great look
NY Jets @ Seattle Seahawks. 9.05pm Sunday.
Chris Carson over 56.5 rushing yards. 1pt @ 5/6 bet365.
The winless Jets travel to Seattle and are very likely to remain winless. This should be simple for the Seahawks and I expect them to use Carson a lot more now that he’s getting back to full fitness. Throughout his career his yards have always been higher in both games and games that Seattle win.
New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles. 9.25pm Sunday.
Alvin Kamara under 2.5 receptions. 2pts @ 6/5.
Taysom Hill still in at QB for saints so it’s surely going to be the same as every other he has started, low scoring old fashioned power football. Using Kamara as a catcher from the backfield doesn’t fit in to this style of play, he has only 3 receptions over the course of 3 starts for Hill.
Atlanta Falcons @ LA Chargers.
Younghoe koo over 1.5 field goals made.
2pt @ 8/11 William Hill. Koo has arguably been the best kicker in the league this season, with just one miss from 33 attempts. He’s made 2 or more in 10 of his 11 games. Against an average chargers defence the Falcons should get the ball in field goal territory on multiple occasions
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Buffalo Bills. 1.20am Monday.
Pittsburgh moneyline 1pt @ 11/10 bet365.
Also: Devin Singletary over 15.5 receiving yards. 2pts @ 5/6 bet365. I fancy the steelers to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Washington. I really think the Pittsburgh defence will be able to get to Josh Allen, almost at will and this could cause the bills offense real problems. That leads onto the Singletary bet. With TJ Watt and co getting the pressure on Allen I expect one of his few choices will be to dump the ball of quickly to the running backs. Singletary has gone over this line in 8 of his 12 games this season, and I’m expecting him to have more opportunities to do so on this occasion.
Saturday 5th December 2020
Chelsea: Played 10, 3rd position, 19PTS, 18.89 xPTS, 22 goals for, 16.16 xG, 10 goals against, 8.53 xGA
Leeds: Played 10, 12th position, 14PTS, 14.71 xPTS, 15 goals for, 16.89 xG, 17 goals against, 16.16 xGA
The North London derby will draw the attention of most this weekend, but my pick of the card is this match-up between two dynamic teams. Leeds have been hailed as the best of the promoted bunch, with many expecting them to push for a top half finish in their first season back in the top flight for 16 years. While their current position doesn’t quite match up to these expectations, we are barely over a quarter of the way into the season, and they have been relatively unlucky in their meetings with teams such as Liverpool and Arsenal. Remarkably, they have dominated possession in all of their games so far this campaign, including against Liverpool and Manchester City, who average 59.6% and 62.6% respectively. This embodies Bielsa’s philosophy and exemplifies Leeds’ approach – they are not afraid to go toe-to-toe with even the best teams in the league and impose their game plan.
Unsurprisingly, Chelsea have got off to a strong start this season after investing heavily in the summer – with distinct focus on the recruitment of exciting attacking talent. Interestingly though, their 5.84 difference between expected goals and actual goals scored suggests they may have been over-performing at the top end of the pitch. While this may suggest some reversion to the mean at some point down the line, it may also simply indicate the quality of their forwards; not to mention the fact they have also won four penalties so far this season in the league.
While I think there’s some value in a goal head-start for Leeds on the Asian Handicap market, my main play for this fixture will be Leeds shots. They rank 3rd in the league in this particular stat, only behind Liverpool and Manchester City, with an average of 15.3 shots per game. While Chelsea only concede on average 9.5 shots per game, it’s important to note that they have played the 5 weakest teams in the league in terms of shots taken. One other vital factor to consider with this specific type of bet is how often a team goes behind and has to chase the game. Given their attacking talent, I expect Chelsea to get on the score-sheet, and they have taken the lead in half of their games thus far; while Leeds have fallen behind in half of their games up to this stage.
I think 11 Leeds shots is an adequate starting line, and you can get this on SkyBet, Betfair, PaddyPower and Bet365. This line opened at 1.91 on Betfair/PaddyPower but unfortunately this has since shortened, with the best price now 1.83 with Skybet. I also like to take a few of the higher lines; if the game state is right, Leeds can really motor and rack up huge numbers, as seen in recent games against Everton and Arsenal. Stakes should be staggered in order to cover most/all of your total outlay if the first line is hit.
Leeds 11+ total shots – 1.83@SkyBet
Leeds 13+ total shots – 3.1@Betfair/PaddyPower
Leeds 15+ total shots – 6.0@SkyBet/Betfair/PaddyPower
Leeds 17+ total shots – 15.0@Betfair/PaddyPower
The most anticipated week in golf is finally here as the players head to Augusta for the 1st major of the year. The betting for this event is very different to your average PGA Tour event as the betting market was opened months in advance rather than a few days as you get with most tournaments. The odds have shifted over that time as players seemingly go in and out of form. Big name former winners here, Bubba, Phil and Tiger have shortened dramatically over the last few months as their form improved.
The only major played at the same course each year. Augusta is a 7,400 yard Par 72 that plays longer due to the way the grass is mown. The fairways are wide and easy to hit, while the rough is so short it is not a real obstacle so driving distance is a big key this week. Missing fairways is not a huge problem unless you are spraying it all over the place.
Good form has shown to be important leading up to the event and while Augusta is a true test of all aspects of a player’s game, these are the main key stats we are looking at:
· Par 5 Scoring
· Proximity from 200+ yards
· Driving Distance
· Birdie-or-Better %
· Greens in Regulation %
Spieth, Mcilroy, Thomas and Dustin Johnson are at the top of the market all between 10-12/1. There has been times over recent months when Spieth and Rory were priced slightly higher and may have represented value but they are probably about right now. Tiger is just behind them @ 14/1 but he has struggled driving the ball since his return so is tough to trust unless he has figured that out since his last tournament. Many people’s tip Justin Rose is next up @ 14/1 and he has a great track record here. He’s finished 2nd twice in the last 3 years and has Top-25s in each of his last 7 trips here. He has a great chance but the value may be gone and we will have a look at some players who are more under-the-radar at this point to see if we can find value.
Jon Rahm @ 25/1 WH 7 places e/w 1/5 odds. Unibet 6 places 1/4 odds
The Spaniard is the 3rd ranked golfer in the world but we are getting about double the odds from the other top guys. This may be due to his inexperience at Augusta as this is only his 2nd visit, he finished 27th last year. The course is a good fit for him though. He is a bomber who is 2nd in this field in Stokes Gained:Off-The-Tee and Proximity from 200+ yards over the last 12 months. He has a win 5 tournaments ago at the Careerbuilder challenge but his form has cooled off a bit since then, mainly due to his iron play not being as sharp. Despite this his long iron play from 200+ yards has still been solid which is more important here. He makes a lot of birdies but the question is whether he knows the course well enough to avoid costly mistakes.
Hideki Matsuyama @ 35/1 Bet365 8 places 1/5 odds
A wrist injury has caused Hideki to drift but should finish well if he is 100% fit. An elite ball-striker at his best it is often putting that lets him down. At Augusta we have seen a number of lower ranked putters do well (think Sergio and Rose last year, Bubba with 2 wins, Adam Scott 1 of the worst putters on tour also with a win). He has played well here finishing in the Top 11 the last 3 years. The greens here are very tough to hit so chipping is vital to avoid bogeys and keep momentum which Hideki excels at. Often saves his best form for majors shown by Top 15 finishes in each Major last year. A good each/way shout.
It is well documented that course experience is important here. Only 2 1st timers have ever won here the last coming in 1979. That trend will surely be broken at some point but recently we have seen 1st timers perform well without winning. Spieth finished 2nd on his 1st appearance here and last year Thomas Pieters was 4th. There are 2 who we think provide each way value:
Xander Schauffele @ 90/1 PaddyPower 8 places 1/5 odds.
The Masters layout should suit the 2017 Rookie of the year. Over the last 12 months he is 7th in this field in Driving Distance and 11th in Par 5 scoring. In 2018 he has improved his long approach play and if he can get back to his prolific Par 5 scoring he can play well here. He loves putting on fast bentgrass greens which we have here and we have already seen he can rise to the big occasion when he won the last event of the FedEx Cup playoffs last year The Tour Championship.
Tony Finau @ 100/1 WH 7 places 1/5 odds. 90/1 Bet365 8 places 1/5 odds
Another bomber who putts much better on bentgrass greens. Finau leads the tour in driving distance this year. Surprisingly it has been Par 5 scoring which has held him back this year and probably cost him the victory at The Genesis Open. He is 2nd in the field in Par 5 scoring in the last year and he will definitely get back to his level soon. 4th In ball-striking and birdie% the key for him will be avoiding bogeys and keeping momentum. Has the profile of a winner here which may be more likely in future years but can certainly get a high finish this year.
Charley Hoffman @ 100/1 Bet365 8 places 1/5 odds
Despite not being the longest driver he is outstanding Off-The-Tee and scores very well on Par 5s. Good course history making the cut each time. He finished 10th 3 years ago and although he only finished 22nd last year he led by 4 after the 1st round and was only 2 shots back going into Sunday. Tends to perform better on hard courses with fast greens. Has played well Tee-To-Green so far in 2018 without putting well. Maybe the move to fast bentgrass greens can heat up the putter. More a 1st round leader bet, but I think the bookies are on to this so his odds are quite low. Maybe someone to trade.
Gary Woodland @ 150/1 Unibet 6 places 1/4 odds. 125/1 WH 7 places 1/5 odds
Despite not having a great pedigree here at Augusta Woodland has the profile of someone who can play well. He looks a better player now than when he arrived here in previous years. He missed the cut last year but was dealing with tragic circumstances off the course. He has a win this year after so many close calls in recent years so should bring confidence into the event. 9th in Driving Distance, 6th in Proximity from 200+ yards and 3rd in GIR% over the last 12 months bode well. The key for Gary will be scrambling and putting, areas where he can struggle. Has not performed well since his win but after a few weeks off hopefully he can get back to his best here.
Kevin Chappell @ 125/1 WH 7 places 1/5 odds. 110/1 Bet365 8 places 1/5 odds.
For us the best value on the board is Kevin Chappell. The only minor issue is a potential back injury after he pulled out of the WGC Matchplay but that appears to have been just a precaution. Has played consistently since last summer missing only 1 CUT since the Open Championship in July. He has gained strokes off-the-tee and on approach in each of his last 4 events with 2 Top 10s in that time. 3rd in Driving Distance, 4th in ball striking and 5th in Proximity from 200+ yards in the last year are good indicators. In 2018 he has improved his scrambling which will be vital at times here. Has slightly over-performed his baseline in major championships and has made the cut in both his appearances here. He finished 44th in 2012 and 7th last year. He has been trending up in the last couple years finally getting his 1st win at the 2017 Valero Texas Open after so many near misses. Scoring on the Par 5s will be crucial and if he can hole a few 10ft par putts he will have a chance to be there on Sunday.
Top 20s: Alex Noren has been in outstanding form recently finishing lower than 21st once in his last 7 events and Bryson DeChambeau was in contention for 3 rounds as an amateur in 2015 and is an elite Par 5 scorer who likes hard courses. Their odds have come in recently and may not present enough value for the outright win.
One of the most open tournaments in years, there are plenty others we like to do well but you can’t back the whole field J. Just sit back and enjoy…
Congratulations to Patrick Reed on a great tournament and particularly his performance on Sunday being able to hold off all the big names in the chasing pack to earn his 1st major and a green jacket. He is a very interesting character and despite not being the most popular winner ever at Augusta the win was fully deserved, holing tough putts at vital times and fighting well.
This week the PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head Island on the South Carolina Coast for a course that could hardly be more different than Augusta National. Harbour Town Golf Links is a 7,100 yard Pete Dye design with Bermudagrass greens. It is a short tree-lined course where keeping the ball in play and on the right side of fairways is important to give yourself a chance to attack the pin. Most players will not hit many drivers and the emphasis is hitting the fairway and nailing the approach. The sole similarity from last week is that the greens here are tough to hit. These are the smallest greens on tour so getting up and down for par to keep momentum will be vital.
Key Stats we are looking at this week:
Stokes Gained: Tee-to-Green
Strokes Gained: Short game (putting/chipping)
Par 4 Scoring
Proximity 150-200 yards
The leading contenders are Dustin Johnson, Paul Casey and Matt Kuchar. DJ has played here twice and never made a cut but is playing here for the 1st time since 2009. He is only playing here as he is sponsored by RBC so we have to question how focussed he will be and therefore cannot be backed at less than 10/1. Paul Casey and Matt Kuchar should go well here where it will all depend on the putter for them, but it is tough to take guys with there strike rates below 20/1.
It wouldn’t be an RBC Heritage Preview without mentioning Luke Donald. The former world no.1 has an incredible record here with 7 Top 3 finishes in the last 9 years without winning. That would suggest each way value and it would not surprise us to see him contend but the form is not there for a recommendation from us. Even his trusty iron game is struggling, losing strokes on approach in his last 3 tournaments. Here are some players we think provide value:
Marc Leishman @ 33/1 BetStars 5 places e/w 1/4 odds
The Australian is coming off a good masters week that he will feel could have been so much better having sat 2nd at the halfway point. He struggled off the tee at Augusta but was dialled in with the irons and putted very well. That could bode well for this week where he can leave the driver in the bag. 6th in this field in SG:Tee-2-Green over the last year and has gained strokes around the green in 12 of his last 15 tournaments so we know he can get up and down when he misses the green. The course setup looks to suit. Being Australian he is used to playing in the wind and has performed well on coastal courses. Top 10 finishes in his last 2 stroke-play events show he has the form to contend.
Adam Hadwin @ 40/1 Coral 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another player who has been in excellent form recently. 8th in SG:T2G and 2nd in bogey avoidance in 2018 the thing holding him back from a big finish has been putting. This is a bit of a surprise as that has historically been the strongest part of his game. No real course form to speak of but his approach play from 150-200 yards has been outstanding in the last 2 months and if the putter heats up he will be there or thereabouts.
Ian Poulter @ 50/1 PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
We know the Englishman is in good form, the question is does he have enough left in the tank for another good week. At 50/1 we are willing to take a chance that he does. Over the last 12 months he is 9th in this field in SG:T2G and 4th in proximity from the important distance of 150-175 yards where a lot of his approaches will be played from this week. His approach play from 175-200 has been outstanding the last month and the week he made some putts he was able to get the win. He is a Pete Dye specialist who plays his best golf on bermudagrass. Has solid form on this course with Top 20s in 2 of the last 3 years here when he wasn’t playing as well as he is right now.
Ollie Schniederjans @ 66/1 Unibet 5 places e/w 1/4 odds
Ollie looks well suited here as he has played his best golf on coastal courses with bermudagrass greens. He is 7th in the field from 150-175 yards and has really improved his short game recently, gaining strokes around the green in 6 of his last 7 events. 3rd here on debut last year and has good finishes at similar layouts, 2nd at The Wyndham Championship and 6th at The RSM classic last year. He is known for hitting low stinging irons off the tee -which we hope to see this week. OS will have plenty of support out there.
Chris Kirk @ 100/1 Skybet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
Chris Kirk is a player who is slowly getting back to his best form. Since the turn of the year he is 10th in this field in SG:T2G, 11th in Driving Accuracy and 16th in bogey avoidance. He performs very well on Pete Dye designs and has been consistently excellent from 175-200 yards for months now. A multiple winner at his best, it seems only a matter of time before he finds the winners circle again.
Longshots to consider:
Kelly Kraft @ 125/1 Betfair/PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Kraft is another player in form with 2 Top 10s in his last 4 events. He likes colder, windier coastal conditions, but struggles with the driver. Consequently these shorter courses suit him. He has been hitting it close from 150-200 yards lately and has always been a solid putter.
Vaughn Taylor @ 200/1 Betfair/PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Vaughn Taylor has been solid this year, making the cut in 4 straight tournaments with 2 Top 20s. He is 5th in the field in Driving Accuracy and Top 10 in proximity from 150-200 yards. He is an excellent chipper but struggles to make putts. No real pedigree on Pete Dye courses but if he finds some form on the greens he could go well at a big price.
Blayne Barber @ 250/1 Betfair/Coral/PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another Pete Dye specialist who is arguably the best putter on tour on bermudagrass greens. A good wind player who may have found some form with the irons over the last month.
2nd April 2018
A great win last week for Satoshi Kodaira at the RBC Heritage to earn his PGA Tour card. It was an exciting week of golf but Si Woo Kim backers will not be happy with how he played down the stretch, appearing to give the tournament away after missing a number of short putts. This week will be another tough test in windy conditions, but that is probably where the similarities end.
TPC San Antonio is a long 7,435 yard Par 72 with fairways and greens that are very tough to hit. It is a Greg Norman design with plenty of trees lining the fairways. The rough is not too thick here but the trees and native area can lead to trouble as Kevin Na knows all too well after making a 16 on the Par 4 9th in 2011.
The main key stats we are looking at this week:
Xander Schauffele @ 33/1 Skybet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
A great driver of the ball who leads this field in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and 8th in Driving Distance over the last 12 months. Loves a long course and his ball-striking has been on form for a while now, gaining strokes both off-the-tee and on approach in his last 5 tracked events. Won twice last year in stronger fields than this so looks to go well here on a course that should suit.
JB Holmes @ 60/1 Unibet 6 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another long driver, JB has finished in the Top 16 in 3 of his 5 visits here. He is an outstanding wind player who is showing signs of getting back to his best ball-striking form after falling away towards the end of last year. He has gained over 12 strokes on approach in his last 3 events and but poor putting has cost him a good finish. He has putted well at times here and if he performs well on the greens this week he should go well.
Long Shots to consider:
Aaron Wise @ 125/1 Betfair/Coral/PaddyPower 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Aaron Wise has been playing solid in 2018 without any really good finishes. He is 14th in Driving Distance and 8th in BoB% in 2018. He looks to be a good wind player. A highly rated prospect who is poised to come good if he can get all his game together at the same time. Was consistently hitting it close from 175-225 yards from November-February so if he can back to that form can contend.
Brandon Harkins @ 150/1 Coral 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another player who has shown flashes this season without really breaking through. 11th in Driving Distance, 16th in BoB% and 28th in SG:T2G in 2018 bode well for this test. 25th at The Sony Open, 8th at Careerbuilder, 12th at Farmers and 15th at Pebble beach show that he knows how to play in windy conditions. The main weakness in his game is his around the green play so he will need to continue his outstanding iron play from 150-225 yards.
Robert Garrigus @ 200/1 Coral, BoyleSports 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
An elite ball striker coming in 8th in Driving Distance, 7th in Bob% and 4th in proximity from 175-200 yards this year. The issue with Garrigus is often putting where he is one of the worst on tour. He has actually gained strokes putting in 2 of his last 3 events including an outstanding putting performance at another Texas course in Houston. The overseeded green surfaces in Houston have a similar make-up to the ones found here so if we are being hopeful another good putting performance could lead to a good score.
The PGA Tour returns to North Carolina. Quail Hollow is a venue which last hosted the 2017 PGA Championship. The course was set up slightly different than normal for that week and we expect it to be back to its usual conditions for this week. The rough was much tougher to play from last year, meaning that missing fairways often led to big trouble. This year it will not play nearly as difficult, with early spring conditions allowing easier contact from off the fairway.
Last year this championship was held at Eagle Point Golf Club so those results are of less significance. The field is absolutely stacked with 8 of the World’s Top 15 in attendance as well as a resurgent Tiger Woods. This should be a great event and in being awarded hosting rights, shows that Quail Hollow truly is one of the great golf courses. The course will provide a true Tee-2-Green test.
A 7,550 yard Par 71 with very hard to hit fairways, and overseeded Bermuda grass greens., means that players will need to use a Driver off the tee a lot. Furthermore any golfer you back will need to cope with greens that are generally slightly faster than tour average. With a lack of rain in the area recently, the course looks like it will be very firm. This could reduce the advantage 'bombers' generally have, but we still think Distance is still an important criteria. It's likely that players who gain strokes off the green will perform well this week.
Key stats we are looking at this week:
Daniel Berger @ 66/1 Coral , BoyleSports 7 places e/w 1/5 odds
A solid all-round player who is quietly putting some consistent form together. He has Top 20s in 6 of his last 9 starts. 15th in SG:T2G and 3rd in Par4 450-500 yard scoring bode well for a player who should enjoy these conditions. 14th in this field over the last 2 years in Bermuda putting and he actually leads the field in total strokes gained on courses with Bemuda. A solid putter generally these greens should really suit him and his improved scrambling this year could help him save a few pars to maintain momentum. He will be hoping he can add to his 2 PGA Tour wins this week.
Luke List @ 66/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
List has come so close to winning this season many feel the win is just around the corner. 3 Top 10s in his last 7 tournaments; he shaved the hole on the 18th at The Heritage to miss a playoff by 1 stroke and lost a playoff to world number 2 Justin Thomas at The Honda Classic in February. A real bomber: he leads this field in Driving Distance, SG:OTT and SG:T2G over the last 12 months. 3rd in 200+ proximity and Par 5 scoring he can use his length to set up easier approach shots. This year his chipping is much improved and we have seen him make some extraordinary recovery shots. Putting often lets him down but he has performed well on overseeded Bermuda in the past which is a strong sign as just an average putting week would give him a great chance.
Gary Woodland @ 90/1 Bet365 5 places e/w 1/4 odds
Another long driver who has been up and down this season. Woodland has struggled since winning The Phoenix Open in February missing 3 of 5 cuts, but his driving has stayed at an elite level and this could be the course to get him back on track. 9th in SG:T2G and 200+ yard proximity and 1st in GIR bode well here and he has a strong history at Quail Hollow since 2014. 18th, 4th, and 24th were his finishes, as well as 22nd at The PGA last year. This shows Gary knows the layout well. Hard to hit fairways help his game and overseeded greens have brought out some of his best putting in the past.
JB Holmes @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
JB, a former winner of this event looks worth chancing @ 100/1. Always a great driver and strong ball striker, he has struggled to put consistent play together mainly due to putting, because he has lost strokes on the greens in 8 straight tournaments!! He knows this layout though and has putted extremely well on these greens. Since 2014 when the Bermuda was introduced he has gained 12.8 strokes in 3 tournaments which is phenomenal.
Xander Schauffele @ 100/1 Unibet 6 places e/w 1/5 odds
X continues to be underrated. Arguably the best driver on tour he is an elite Par 5 scorer who also ranks 19th in this field in Par 4 450-500 yard scoring and is a sneaky good scrambler. Long driver heavy courses will always suit him and we know he can win in strong fields after his Tour Championship success at the end of last season.
Jamie Lovemark @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another long driver, Lovemark is 20th in the field in SG:T2G and 22nd in Par 4 450-500 yard scoring. He has made 7 cuts in a row since getting his driver back on control and is an excellent scrambler which should help him limit mistakes. His approach play has been superb over the last 2 months and the wildcard is the putter, however we are placing less emphasis on putting here as a number of lower ranked putters have won this tournament in recent years.
Lucas Glover @ 100/1 SkyBet 8 places e/w 1/5 odds
Another former winner of this event, Glover has been one of the tour’s elite ball strikers and worst putters over the last 2 years. This season his approach play has not been as stellar but his putting has improved. His driving remains outstanding, gaining strokes in 10 straight events. He played well in the team event last week and the key this week will be avoiding costly mistakes. Improved putting will help as he has gained strokes on the greens in 3 straight events and Bermuda has always been his preferred surface. Found the water on 18 2 years ago to finish 8th so hopefully he can go slightly better this week.
Keith Mitchell @ 250/1 Bet365 5 places e/w 1/5 odds
Mitchell looks worth a flutter at really high odds here. His driving has been outstanding recently gaining a crazy 12.3 strokes off-the-tee in his last 3 events. His chipping has been superb as well leading to Top 10s in 2 of his last 4 events.
Luke List found the water on the 72nd hole yesterday to miss out on a place by 1 shot. Jason Day was the winner with a ridiculous chipping and putting performance, gaining over 13 strokes with his short game! It would have been difficult to project as he hit less than half the fairways and only 57% of GIR for the week, but this can be overcome when you make every putt.
This week the ‘best field in golf’ head down to TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville for another true golfing test. The course is a 7,200 yard Par 72 Pete Dye design with Bermuda greens. The test will be different to Quail Hollow as this is a ‘less than driver’ course where finding the fairway is more important. GIR rate drops dramatically here when playing from the rough and short game will be vital due to these greens being much smaller than average.
Key Stats we are looking at this week:
Despite a relatively poor history here, it still feels like a course that should suit Spieth’s game. He finished 4th on his first visit here but has missed the cut in each of the last 3 years. In the last 12 months he ranks first in the field in SG:T2G, 2nd in SG:APP, 3rd in Bogey Avoidance and 14th in scrambling. It may come as shock to casual golf followers but his problem in the last year has been with the putter. He has spoken about struggling to figure out these greens in the past but you would have to expect it will come back at some point. The lack of course history is giving us a good price for the win. He plays well on Pete Dye courses and often produces his best form on shorter tracks where using the Driver is not as important.3rd place in his last 2 starts show that the game is almost there.
Henrik Stenson 29/1 Skybet, BetStars, Betway 8 places 1/5 odds
The 2009 winner here, Stenson is in excellent recent form with Top 6s in his last 3 starts. For stats he ranks 5th in Driving accuracy, 5th in Bogey Avoidance and 10th in SG:APP over the last 12 months. He is also 9th in Bermuda Putting over the last 18 months. The main concern is with chipping where he has struggled this year but he has elite GIR stats which should mean he has to scramble less than most of the field. His last start was at the Masters where he came 5th having poor previous form at Augusta. Coming to a course where has has an excellent record could help him to play better and get the win.
Webb Simpson @ 100/1 Paddy Power 10 places e/w 1/5 odds
Webb is another player with in good recent form who looks a good fit for TPC Sawgrass. 22nd in SG:T2G, 2nd in Bogey Avoidance, 3rd in Par 3 Scoring and 1st in Scrambling in the last 12 months. His putting has improved dramatically over the last year or so. He ranks 25th in this field in Bermuda Putting over the last 18 months, 5th over the last 12 months and 3rd in 2018. 3 Top 10s in his last 6 strokeplay events he came 21st last week but was very close to putting a complete performance together. He gained 5 strokes on approach and was solid with chipping and putting. Driving was below par but that should not be a big problem this week where finding the fairway is more important than bombing it out there.
Chris Kirk @ 125/1 Paddy Power 10 places e/w 1/5 odds
Chris Kirk is a solid all-round player who is back to playing well. We backed him at The Heritage and the reasoning will be similar here. Kirk plays very well at Pete Dye courses but only finished 55th at The Heritage as he had an uncharacteristically poor week with his irons. Finished 8th last time out at Valero at a course that is not a clear fit for his game. In 2018 he is 18th in SG:T2G, 20th in Bogey Avoidance, 28th in SG:APP and 21st in Scrambling. Solid history at this course finishing 13th, 13th and 12th in 3 of the last 4 years(in 2016 he was forced to withdraw).
Chez Reavie @ 200/1 Paddy Power 10 places e/w 1/5 odds. 250/1 Bet365 6 places e/w 1/4 odds
Chez was on fire in February with back-to-back 2nd places but has really struggled since then. He has taken a month off since the Masters so hopefully can start getting back to form here. A shorter more accurate hitter, he is 2nd in Driving Accuracy over the last year and even in his recent slump he was still finding fairways. A solid iron player, he also ranks 5th in Bogey Avoidance, 7th in Par 3 scoring and 24th in Scrambling in the last 12 months. Doesn’t have a great record here or at other Pete Dye courses but he has the game to do well at his best and worth a shot @ 200/1+.