Betting news, trends, odds and predictions for from various handicappers and websites for Wednesday 7/24/19
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WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational
TPC Southwind – Par 70 – 7,244 yards
After a highly entertaining final Major of the season, one that was quite pleasurable to local Irish golf fans to see one of their own in Shane Lowry win, it's a quick turnaround for most guys back to the US for this WGC event in Memphis.
The St Jude never used to have WGC standing as the condensed schedule has forced the switch, meaning that a usual softer field event that was favored by many at TPC Southwind is only out there to a select field of 70 or so, as this week's event has 64 guys teeing it up. Gone are the days of only a few big names making the trek to Memphis though, as this field is loaded at the top, with defending champion Dustin Johnson leading the way. Johnson (+800) was able to overpower the course and a lesser field a season ago for his second career win at this venue, but the latter likely won't be repeatable as names like Brooks Koepka (+900), Rory McIlroy (+1000), Jon Rahm (+1200), and Justin Thomas (+1600) are all in the field this week and have odds listed below the +2000 mark.
The name recognition for the best players in the world doesn't settle down from there either as the WGC Invitational status brings the bigger WGC payday along with it, as you can count on your fingers the biggest names in golf that are not involved, rather then the opposite being the case.
The tournament name and prize money may have gotten a boost for the St Jude – which is always a great event for it's focus on giving back to the community – but the TPC Southwind course still remains the same. You've got to be prepared (and able) to go low, take full advantage of scoring on the two getable Par 5's, keep your ball out of the water, and do the bulk of your work scoring well on all the Par 4's that this course has.
So it's that stat that takes high priority this week, given that there can be such little separation between all these top names – especially since DJ won't be one of just a handful of guys consistently using his length to have shorter irons in his hands routinely.
Golfers to Watch:
Xander Schauffele (+2000) – It was a rough Sunday in the wind and rain for Schauffele at Royal Portrush, shooting a 78 (+7) for the day to fall well back and finish T41. But he was far from the only stud on Tour to get eaten up by that nasty Irish weather on Sunday, and you shouldn't hold it against him by any means.
But anytime there is a “WGC” attached to the tournament title, Schauffele has to be up for consideration, as since coming on the seen in 2017, Schauffele has played in eight WGC events and has one win and five other Top 25 finishes. He's a guy that's made it known over the past 18 months that he's a big game hunter like Brooks Koepka, and while he's yet to have the Major success that Koepka has, Schauffele's name always seems to be in the conversation in the Majors the past two years. To know this guy tends to bring his best when the fields are their deepest is another piece of supporting evidence to add him to your ledger, but it's far from the only reason.
Schauffele ranks 7th on Tour in the Par 4 birdies or better statistic, and while five of the six names ahead of him are in the field this week, there are plenty of reasons to look past them all. Rafa Cabrera Bello missed the cut last week, as did Gary Woodland (who might be preoccupied with the upcoming birth of his twins), and Rory McIlroy (who may need a week or two to regroup after the emotional two days he had in Northern Ireland). Phil Mickelson hasn't had very good form for weeks now, and with Justin Thomas being the other name ahead of Schauffele, the +2000 price tag just looks a little better than +1600. It's not hard to make a case that Schauffele could end up as the best of the bunch in this stat when all is said and done this week, and as long as he doesn't experience his own Major hangover, we should expect his name near the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Andrew Putnam (+5500) – Putnam is a name that many can easily overlook in a field like this, as he's not a household name by any means, but these WGC events have often served as “coming out parties” for some guys and it could take on that feel for Putnam this week.
For one, he was the runner-up to DJ at this track a season ago, and while he was six shots behind Johnson, he still bested the rest of the field and navigated his way around this course quite expertly for the four days. It was a final round 72 as part of the final group with Dustin Johnson that proved to be a bit too much pressure for Putnam to live up too, but the 30-year old gained plenty of experience through that ordeal and has already applied that knowledge and grown from it since then.
It was just a few weeks later last year that he went on to win the Barracuda Championship for his first career PGA Tour victory, and he carried that momentum into going through the first three Fed-Ex Cup playoff events last year. The 2018-19 wrap-around season has already seen him finish T4 at the WGC-HSBC Champions last October, a runner up finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and a T3 result at the Charles Schwab Challenge at the end of May. His T32 at The Open last weekend was done in by a poor Sunday in the nasty conditions, definitely nothing to hold against him, and to come all the way over the top of a field like this would be a huge confidence boost going into this year's Fed-Ex Cup playoffs in a few weeks.
Furthermore, he's not that far behind Schauffele in terms of his Par 4 birdie or better numbers, ranking 19th on Tour coming into the week. His ranking took a bit of a hit last week (he was 14th going into the Open) but considering it was a Major week – and others on Tour increased their stats if they played in the Barbasol Championship – again it's not a knock at all.
If Putnam can hold his own off the tee, and get his putter rolling hot, his approach and scrambling numbers (39th and 47th respectively in the Strokes Gained stats for those categories) will keep his name in the mix by the time Sunday rolls around.
Kevin Kisner (+6600) – Kisner's not a guy in the same class as the other two on this list in terms of his Par 4 birdie or better numbers (71st), and he hasn't been at TPC Southwind since a 5oth place finish back in 2014. But the 35-year old is plenty capable of taking down deep fields given his success in the WGC-Match Play event the past two years (2nd and 1st), and as long as he can keep the GIR percentage high and not scramble too much, his ability to be accurate off the tee and drain some putts will give him an edge over plenty of guys this weekend.
Kisner's not a guy who typically can go low with the best of them (118th in birdie average), but he's an all-around solid golfer with even his B or C game, and should he bring better then that this week, this +6600 price will look very cheap. He doesn't have the course history here that others do which is part of the reasoning behind his odds being a bit higher then they arguably should be, but that's far from a reason for bypassing Kisner in Memphis this week.
WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational Odds
Dustin Johnson 9/1
Rory McIlroy 19/2
Brooks Koepka 10/1
Jon Rahm 12/1
Justin Thomas 14/1
Justin Rose 20/1
Patrick Cantlay 20/1
Xander Schauffele 20/1
Tommy Fleetwood 22/1
Henrik Stenson 28/1
Adam Scott 30/1
Bryson DeChambeau 30/1
Hideki Matsuyama 30/1
Jason Day 30/1
Tony Finau 30/1
Jordan Spieth 33/1
Matt Kuchar 33/1
Webb Simpson 33/1
Louis Oosthuizen 40/1
Patrick Reed 40/1
Paul Casey 40/1
Chez Reavie 50/1
Gary Woodland 50/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 50/1
Tyrrell Hatton 55/1
Andrew Putnam 55/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 60/1
Billy Horschel 65/1
Danny Willett 66/1
Marc Leishman 66/1
Matt Wallace 66/1
Sergio Garcia 66/1
Kevin Kisner 66/1
Brandt Snedeker 70/1
Phil Mickelson 75/1
Ian Poulter 80/1
Matthew Wolff 80/1
Alex Noren 100/1
Bubba Watson 100/1
Cameron Smith 100/1
Eddie Pepperell 100/1
Keegan Bradley 100/1
Haotong Li 110/1
Jim Furyk 110/1
J.B. Holmes 125/1
Kevin Na 125/1
Lucas Bjerregaard 125/1
Thorbj rn Olesen 125/1
Justin Harding 150/1
Kevin Tway 150/1
C.T. Pan 175/1
Keith Mitchell 175/1
Nate Lashley 185/1
Adam Long 250/1
Corey Conners 250/1
Sung Kang 250/1
Max Homa 275/1
Aaron Rai 300/1
Shugo Imahira 300/1
Kodai Ichihara 500/1
Poom Saksansin 500/1
Mikumu Horikawa 750/1
Philip Eriksson 750/1
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St. Jude/Barracuda - Matchup Bets
July 24, 2019
By Joe Williams
The PGA TOUR heads moves to the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational this week at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee, and we also had the Modified Stableford scoring method on display at the Barracuda Championship this week at Montreux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada.
Each week we'll take a look at the best round matchups to try and build up a nice bankroll.
WGC - Cameron Smith (-110) vs. Matthew Wolff: Smith was the Top Australian at Royal Portrush last weekend in The Open Championship, much to my dismay. I was in on Adam Scott, who didn't even make the cut. Smith's lack of accuracy off the tee is a bit of a concern, as TPC Southwind ranked No. 1 in water balls in 2018. However, he is a solid scrambler and putter, and his Par 4 Scoring Average is adequate. Wolff surprised at the 3M Open with a victory, but he'll face a much tougher hill to climb in a rather star-studded field.
WGC - Brandt Snedeker (+125) vs. Sergio Garcia: I am banking on Snedeker's locale for this particular matchup, as the 38-year-old is a Volunteer State native. He brings it when he plays in Memphis, including a sixth-place finish on this course last season. Before that, he was 15th in 2011 and 29th in 2010. He isn't a banger, but you do not need to be for success in Memphis. He is solid in the accuracy department, and he ranks a solid 54th in Par 4 Scoring Average. He also checks in third in Strokes Gained: Around the Green, and 45th in Scrambling, while ranking 11th in Putts Per Round (28.30). The latter will be helping on the Bermudagrass dance floor in Memphis.
WGC - Phil Mickelson (-105) vs. Alexander Noren: Lefty has been wildly erratic this season, and just hasn't been himself. But if there is a course to snap him back into form, it's TPC Southwind. He finished 12th at this event last season, and he has finished 12th or better in each of his past six showings at this tournament. That includes a pair of runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2016, and a third-place run in 2014.
WGC - Patrick Reed (+125) vs. Jason Day: Another solid underdog matchup this week is Reed over Day. Reed posted a top-10 showing at Portrush last week, and Day had another lackluster performance, missing the cut. He has just been OK this season, and that's not good enough to eat chalk. Take the 'dog, who is playing better golf than Day right now.
Barracuda - Cameron Tringale (-110) vs. Jhonattan Vegas: Tringale does solid work avoiding bogies, and he rolls in this week ranking 12th in Greens In Regulation, an area of focus for Barracuda bettors. He is a so-so scrambler and putter, but he ranks fourth on Tour in Par 4 Scoring Average (3.97), so he won't hurt himself in that area.
Barracuda - J.J. Spaun (-110) vs. Brendan Steele: The latter, Steele, is a dismal 127th in Birdie-to-Bogey ratio, and that's not good in a tournament which rewards points for under-par holes and penalizes those over par. The Stableford scoring method will be more of a friend to Spaun this week, as he shoots far more holes under par than his opponent.
Barracuda - Wes Roach (-120) vs. Roger Sloan: Roach is the play in this one, as he'll fare better with the Stableford scoring with fewer mistakes than Sloan, who checks in 113th in Birdie-to-Bogey ratio.
Last event (The Open): 1-3 (-300)
This season: 32-31-2 (-325)
WGC - Top 20 Finish - Phil Mickelson (+177): I am banking on FIGJAM to do what he does best at TPC Southwind and that's rattle off top-20 finishes. He has managed six in the past six years, so why not one more?
WGC - Top 20 Finish - Brandt Snedeker (+167): I've always been a big fan of Snedeker's even-keel playing style and his attention to detail. He is a cerebral player who doesn't bang, but is smart and is sharp with the irons. He'll perform well in his home state.
Barracuda - Top 20 Finish - Denny McCarthy (+150): McCarthy is an interesting play at the Barracuda Championship, mainly for his solid work in the Birdie-to-Bogey Ratio. He is tied for 11th on Tour with a 1.71 ratio, and that will come in handy in the Modified Stableford scoring method, which rewards five points for eagles and two points for birdies.
Barracuda - Top 20 Finish - Cameron Tringale (+137): Using the same Birdie-to-Bogey rationale, Tringale is also a strong play at Montreux, as he is tied for 14th on Tour in the category.
Barracuda - Top 20 Finish - Sam Ryder (+150): Ryder is strong in the Birdie-to-Bogey ratio area, too, and he checks in 40th in Eagles and 34th in Birdies, and he is solid on the greens ranking 40th in Putts Per Round (28.64).
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