Workday Charity Open Round 4 Betting Picks: Justin Thomas Is Too Good to Fade, Too Pricey to Back
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images. Pictured: Justin Thomas.
The only guarantee for Sunday’s final round of the Workday Charity Open is that you’ll need to get your bets in early, as tee times have been moved up due to weather concerns, with the final group of Justin Thomas, Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa scheduled to begin at 9:01 a.m. ET.
If you think Thomas — with 16 birdies, 38 pars, no bogeys and a two-stroke lead so far — is a lock to win this title, well, you’re not exactly alone. He’s currently -159 to follow Bryson DeChambeau as the second consecutive pre-tournament favorite to win a PGA TOUR event.
If you think Hovland can track him down, you can get him at +350. If you think Morikawa, who parlayed a three-stroke 36-hole advantage into a three-shot deficit through 54 holes, can come back to win, you can get him at +650.
Anyone else — Sam Burns? Kevin Streelman? Ian Poulter? Rory Sabbatini? — is sufficiently priced at +3300 or above.
These are the kinds of situations we tend to dislike, as an elite player tops the current list, two other very talented guys are just behind him and, according to the books, nobody else has much of a chance of catching them.
While I can’t recommend a live outright play on JT at such low odds, I can’t exactly recommend a wager on anyone else, either, considering he’s a proven closer who’s yet to make a mistake this week.
Sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet. If you didn’t take Thomas at his pre-tourney odds, it’s nearly impossible to jump on at this number, which is essentially like taking a 3-point NFL favorite on the money line.
Instead, let’s focus on some Sunday matchups, which should offer a nice early-morning sweat for bettors.
Round 4 Matchups
Russell Henley (-114) over Zach Johnson
Henley ranked fourth in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green on Saturday, but only posted a 2-under 70 because of his poor putting performance. That might be a normal day numbers-wise for him, but it’s hard to believe he won’t at least roll it a little better in the final round.
Gary Woodland (+100) over Rickie Fowler
Not sure I understand this line, unless Fowler bettors are paying a Rickie tax for his popularity. Each player is tied for eighth place and each one is fresh off a third-round 66. Woodland’s final-round scoring average this season is one-third of a stroke lower than Fowler’s, so really, this price should be just about equal, if not favoring Woodland just a little bit. At this number, he’s a bargain.
Sepp Straka (+100) over Troy Merritt
Speaking of final-round scoring average … want to take a guess at which player leads that category this season? If you said Straka, well, your deduction skills are strong, if not your researching skills. In six Sunday rounds this season, he’s posted an average score of 67.50. Merritt, meanwhile, is 183rd at 71.80. This doesn’t feel like a fair fight based on those numbers.
Sam Ryder (+190) over Xander Schauffele
We went through this just a few weeks ago: When Schauffele isn’t in contention, he tends to have a tough time getting fully motivated for weekend rounds. And yet, he wasn’t really in contention entering Saturday’s third round and still posted a 6-under 66. That’s the same score Ryder had, yet with better ball-striking numbers. All things being equal, you’d have to take the top-10 player here, but at nearly 2-1 odds, it’s worth a shot on the lesser-known guy.