PGA Championship Round 3 Betting Picks: Where’s the Value in Koepka vs. Spieth?

PGA Championship Round 3 Betting Picks: Where’s the Value in Koepka vs. Spieth? article feature image

Brad Penner, USA Today Sports.

  • Brooks Koepka is a -400 favorite to win the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black.
  • Even though Koepka is running away with the Wannamaker Trophy, our staff thinks there are a few bets that could make Round 3 more interesting.

Brooks Koepka is a -400 favorite to win the 2019 PGA Championship.

It would take something calamitous or miraculous for Koepka to fall off his perch, but that doesn’t mean the fun will stop.

Here are our staff’s favorite bets for Round 3.

Jason Sobel

The bet: Jason Day -1.5 over Kevin Tway (-110)

After Day missed a half-dozen putts inside 10 feet during the opening round, I thought he was a candidate to make a serious leaderboard run on Friday.

Instead, he went the wrong way, but I’m doubling down on Day going low for the third round. Well out of contention, he’s got no reason to not play aggressive, which should lead to plenty of birdies.

I also have little faith that Tway can post a solid number. So far this week, he’s bogeyed a quarter of his holes, but the more staggering stat here is the fact that he hasn’t finished inside the top-30 since the first week of the year at Kapalua. It’s tough to imagine he’ll suddenly figure something out on the weekend at Bethpage.

Justin Bailey

The bet: Brooks Koepka over Jordan Spieth (-165)

Koepka is as locked in as it gets this week, and despite laying this much juice, I’ll happily ride the Koepka train in this matchup. Through two rounds of the tournament, Koepka ranks first in: Strokes Gained: Approach, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, along with ranking third in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.

Meanwhile, Spieth has been doing most of his damage with the putter as he leads the field in Strokes Gained: Putting. If Spieth isn’t dropping putts, it’s hard to envision keeping up with Koepka when you look at his metrics elsewhere. Overall, he ranks 54th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee, 57th in Strokes Gained: Approach, 73rd in Strokes Gained: Ball Striking and 44th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green.

Josh Perry

The bet: Koepka -0.5 strokes over Spieth -135

I’m going to tag right along with Justin but lay the half shot and cut down the juice.

Bethpage Black was designed for a golfer like Brooks and we’ve seen it for two days now.

Meanwhile, it’s been all smoke and mirrors with Spieth and his short game, but that has faded for him all season on the weekends and is a major reason why he’s yet to record a top 20 yet this season.

Dr. Lou Riccio*

The bet: Tony Finau (-136) over Emiliano Grillo

My model favors Tony Finau by a full stroke for the third round, which is worth paying the price. Finau’s advantage in length will be the difference here. He’ll be eyeing up a low round to get back into contention, and he certainly has the firepower to back here.

Dr. Lou Riccio, a PhD senior lecturer, teaches rational decision making at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business and has served on the USGA’s handicap research team for three decades. More of his predictive analysis can be found over at Golf Digest.

John Ewing

The bet: Field +300 vs. Koepka

Koepka is dominating. He’s +8.35 on strokes gained this week and has a comfortable 7 stroke lead after two rounds. So why bet against him? Because the math says there is value. According to Data Golf, there is 28.3% chance that Koepka doesn’t win and the implied probability at +300 odds is 25.0%, which means there is value placing a bet on the field.

Oddsmakers tend to inflate lines against winning golfers and Koepka is overpriced. With Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson, past major champions, in striking distance I’ll be betting the field to catch Koepka.