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Mears: Koepka over Rose? How to Handicap 5 Big-Name PGA Championship Matchup Bets

May 16, 2019 8:20 PM EDT
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Photo credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Brooks Koepka

  • I created a golf model based on past PGA Championship data to identify head-to-head betting opportunities for this week's tournament.
  • Below are my five favorite matchup bets among the studs in the field, including Brooks Koepka vs. Justin Rose.

Using the FantasyLabs Trends tool, I backtested historical PGA Championship data to create a model for this week’s tournament. Using that data, I’ve handicapped the 100-plus head-to-head matchup props, with the ones I’m most interested in betting listed below.

Brooks Koepka (-115) over Justin Rose

Rose certainly has the talent to compete at any event, but he’s one of the lower studs in my model this week. That’s scary given his elite long-term form and world-class ball-striking, but his his recent play has been lacking.

The past PGA Championship data shows that golfers who are peaking entering the tournament have done much better than those who are tinkering.

He did bounce back at Wells Fargo with a third-place finish, but that Masters missed cut is dragging him down. He uncharacteristically hit just 55.6% of his greens, and he was errant off the tee and poor with the short game. Perhaps those turn around this week, but, again, I’d rather bet on players who I know are in elite form currently rather than ones needing to prove it.

And Brooks needs no more proof. Last year’s winner is the top player in my model, he perfectly suits Bethpage Black and he’s coming off back-to-back finishes of fourth at the Byron Nelson and second at the Masters. The price of -120 given those factors is too low, and I’d bet it up to -135.

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