2022 Fortinet Championship Updated Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions: Brandon Wu & 2 More Bets for PGA TOUR Season Opener

2022 Fortinet Championship Updated Odds, Expert Picks & Predictions: Brandon Wu & 2 More Bets for PGA TOUR Season Opener article feature image

David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Wu.

  • With the PGA TOUR returning to action this week, our analyst has three outright plays at over 100-1 with value.
  • He has put together a model that emphasizes factors such as good drives gained, strokes gained on approach and putting on poa annua greens.
  • Check out Matt Vincenzi's picks and analysis below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Fortinet Championship odds via WynnBet
Max Homa+1600
Corey Conners+2200
Hideki Matsuyama+2200
Maverick McNealy+2800
Sahith Theegala+2800
Taylor Pendrith+2800
Cam Davis+3300
Davis Riley+3500
Emiliano Grillo+4000
Justin Suh+4000
Taylor Montgomery+4000
Brendan Steele+4500
Cameron Champ+5000
Gary Woodland+5000
Tom Hoge+5000
Jason Day+5500
Trey Mullinax+5500
Webb Simpson+5500
Wyndham Clark+5500
Alex Noren+6000
Thomas Detry+6000
Nick Hardy+6600
Denny McCarthy+7000
J.J. Spaun+7000
Taylor Moore+7000
Troy Merritt+7000
Chris Kirk+7500
Adam Long+8000
Alex Smalley+8000
Andrew Putnam+8000
Carl Yuan+8000
Kevin Streelman+8000
Luke List+8000
Patrick Rodgers+8000
Will Gordon+8000
Lee Hodges+9000
Martin Laird+9000
Michael Kim+9000
Austin Eckroat+10000
Beau Hossler+10000
Brandon Wu+10000
Callum Tarren+10000
Charley Hoffman+10000
Chris Gotterup+10000
Joseph Bramlett+10000
Mark Hubbard+10000
Matt Kuchar+10000
Michael Gligic+10000
Rickie Fowler+10000
Robby Shelton+10000
Stewart Cink+10000
Adam Svensson+11000
Chez Reavie+11000
David Lipsky+11000
Stephan Jaeger+11000
Adam Schenk+12500
Chesson Hadley+12500
Dylan Frittelli+12500
Harris English+12500
Hayden Buckley+12500
James Hahn+12500
Joel Dahmen+12500
John Huh+12500
MJ Daffue+12500
Matthew NeSmith+12500
S.H. Kim+12500
Tyler Duncan+12500
Zecheng Dou+12500
Augusto Nunez+15000
Brendon Todd+15000
Byeong Hun An+15000
C.T. Pan+15000
Danny Lee+15000
Danny Willett+15000
Doc Redman+15000
Doug Ghim+15000
Greyson Sigg+15000
Lucas Glover+15000
Mackenzie Hughes+15000
Matt Wallace+15000
Matti Schmid+15000
Nate Lashley+15000
Patton Kizzire+15000
Russell Knox+15000
Sam Ryder+15000
Sam Stevens+15000
Vince Whaley+15000
Davis Thompson+17500
Harry Hall+17500
Justin Lower+17500
Michael Thompson+17500
Peter Malnati+17500
Ryan Armour+17500
Scott Piercy+17500
Austin Smotherman+20000
Henrik Norlander+20000
Vincent Norrman+20000
Austin Cook+22500
Ben Martin+22500
Ben Taylor+22500
Brice Garnett+22500
Cameron Percy+22500
Kevin Roy+22500
Kevin Yu+22500
Matthias Schwab+22500
Nick Taylor+22500
Robert Streb+22500
Zac Blair+22500
Ben Griffin+25000
Brent Grant+25000
David Lingmerth+25000
Kelly Kraft+25000
Paul Haley II+25000
Ryan Moore+25000
Chad Ramey+27500
Erik Barnes+27500
Brandon Hagy+30000
Brandon Matthews+30000
Garrick Higgo+30000
Kevin Chappell+30000
Kramer Hickok+30000
Nico Echavarria+30000
Philip Knowles+30000
Brian Stuard+35000
Kevin Tway+35000
Seung-Yul Noh+35000
Aaron Baddeley+40000
Anders Albertson+40000
Brandt Snedeker+40000
Chris Stroud+40000
Eric Cole+40000
Harrison Endycott+40000
Harry Higgs+40000
Jimmy Walker+40000
John Augenstein+40000
Richy Werenski+40000
Scott Harrington+40000
Sung Kang+40000
Carson Young+50000
Dylan Wu+50000
Jim Herman+50000
Max McGreevy+50000
Ryan Brehm+50000
Tano Goya+50000
Trevor Cone+50000
Andrew Landry+60000
Kyle Stanley+60000
Kyle Westmoreland+60000
Tyson Alexander+60000
Jason Dufner+75000
Nick Watney+75000
Trevor Werbylo+75000
Alex Lee+100000
Jacob Bridgeman+100000
Taylor Lowe+100000
Scott de Borba+250000

After an agonizing three-week break, the 2022-23 PGA TOUR season kicks off in Napa Valley at the Silverado Resort and Spa to play the Fortinet Championship.

The event was previously called the Safeway Open but the tournament sponsor changed to Fortinet last year taken over as the tournament’s sponsor and will do so for the next five years. Although the name has changed multiple times, Silverado’s North Course has been featured on the PGA TOUR since 1968.

The course is a par 72, measuring at 7,166 yards. Silverado features Poa annua greens that can be tricky, especially as the surface becomes bumpier in the afternoon. The tree-lined fairways aren’t easy to hit, but the rough shouldn’t be exceedingly penal. Shorter hitters are in play on this relatively short course, and accuracy will be at a premium.

The field will consist of 156 players. Being the swing season, the field for this event is usually relatively weak. However, there are some intriguing names in the field including Hideki Matsuyama, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Cameron Champ, Corey Conners, Si Woo Kim and Matt Kuchar.

Past Winners

  • 2021: Max Homa (-19)
  • 2020: Stewart Cink (-21)
  • 2019: Cameron Champ (-17)
  • 2018: Kevin Tway (-14)
  • 2017: Brendan Steele -15
  • 2016: Brendan Steele -18

Let’s take a look at several key metrics for Silverado to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds.

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Strokes Gained: Approach

Historically, one of the North Course’s defenses will be tightly tucked pin placement, so effective shot-shaping and a higher ball flight may be an advantage this week. In order to find success, players need to hit the correct level of the sloping Poa annua greens.

Strokes Gained: Approach past 24 rounds:

  1. Brendan Steele (+23.6) (+18000)
  2. Chez Reavie (+22.0) (+5000)
  3. Mark Hubbard (+18.6) (+15000)
  4. Corey Conners (+18.3) (+12000)
  5. Adam Schenk (+16.6) (+18000)

Good Drives Gained

Hitting fairways in regulation at Silverado is more difficult than TOUR average, as players have done so in the past at a rate of only 52.2%. While the rough isn’t extremely long here, controlling spin out of the thick grass is much more difficult than doing so from the fairway. In order to find success, players need to hit the correct level of the sloping Poa annua greens.

The top eight players on the leaderboard all had a positive week in "Good Drives Gained. The winner, Max Homa was +3.3 in the category and Mito Pereira, who finished third, was +8.3.

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Good Drives Gained past 24 rounds:

  1. Corey Conners  (+30.9) (+5000)
  2. Chez Reavie (+27.4) (+11000)
  3. Ryan Armour (+26.4) (+5000)
  4. Hayden Buckley (+22.3) (+6000)
  5. Adam Long (+21.6) (+17000)

Par 4: 400-450

There are six par 4’s at Silverado that are between 400 and 450-yards. It will be important to target players who excel at playing these holes. With the par 5s being fairly short and reachable, the par 4 scoring may prove to be the bigger difference-maker.

Par 4: 400-450 past 24 rounds:

  1. Andrew Putnam (+14.5) (+2200)
  2. Chesson Hadley (+14.1) (+3700)
  3. Tyler Duncan (+13.5) (+6000)
  4. Corey Conners (+12.7) (+9000)
  5. Adam Svensson (+11.7) (+480)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Conners.

Birdie or Better: Gained

With scores at Silverado potentially approaching the 20 under par range, making plenty of birdies will be a requirement in order to contend this week.

Birdie or Better: Gained in past 24 rounds:

  1. Taylor Moore (+25.3) (+480)
  2. Cameron Davis (+24.7) (+9000)
  3. Trey Mullinax (+22.5) (+1100)
  4. Emiliano Grillo (+20.2) (+5000)
  5. Adam Svensson (+19.9) (+3500)

Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa Annua)

Poa annua greens on the West Coast can be quite difficult for golfers to adjust to if they don’t have much experience on the surface.

Prior to the 2019 Safeway Open, Phil Mickelson talked about how the type of putting surface is a major factor:

“I think a lot of guys struggle with the Poa annua greens, which is a grass that I grew up playing, so I’m very comfortable on the greens. When you grow up and spend most of your time back east in Florida on the Bermuda, this is a very awkward surface to putt on. The color looks different — it’s hard to sometimes read. But when you’re used to it, I don’t know of much better surfaces than these right here.”

This week it is important to look for the golfers who historically excel on Poa annua.

Total strokes gained in category in past 24 rounds:

  1. Matt Kuchar (+28.1) (+11000)
  2. Denny McCarthy (+21.7) (+42000)
  3. Webb Simpson (+18.6) (+4100)
  4. Mark Hubbard (+18,.0) (+15000)
  5. Zac Blair (+17.6) (+5000)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Denny McCarthy.

Statistical Model

Below, I’ve reported overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.

These rankings are comprised of SG: APP (25%), Good Drives Gained: (25%), Birdie or Better (20%), Par 4: 400-450 (15%), SG: Putting (Poa annua) (15%).

  1. Taylor Moore (+480)
  2. Chesson Hadley (+3700)
  3. Mark Hubbard (+5000)
  4. John Huh (+15000)
  5. Lee Hodges (+9000)
  6. Taylor Pendrith (+2200)
  7. Brendan Steele (+18000)
  8. Corey Conners (+8000)
  9. Stephen Jaeger (+11000)
  10. Hayden Buckley (+5000)

Fortinet Championship Best Bets

Brandon Wu (+13000, DraftKings):I've been extremely high on Brandon Wu since arrival on the PGA TOUR scene starting in early 2022. It certainly hasn't been a case of consistent success for Wu, but he's shown some flashes of what made him so successful in college and on the Korn Ferry Tour.

The 25-year-old had a few impressive events in his first PGA TOUR season including finishing in a tie for 3rd at the Puerto Rico Open, a tie for 2nd at the Mexico Open, and tie for 6th at the Genesis Scottish Open. Now that Wu has had a taste of life on the PGA TOUR, he might be in a position to take advantage of some weaker fields during the fall swing.

Wu should also be incredibly comfortable playing golf in California. The Stanford product won a national championship as a senior at Stanford, and his four years of golf in the area will ensure he's familiar with the feel and agronomy of the golf course.

There will be a lot of excitement surrounding the recent Korn Ferry Tour graduates playing in the event, but Wu is a more seasoned player than most of them and can be bet at longer odds.

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Beau Hossler (+13000, DraftKings): Last year, I embraced the narrative of betting on golfers who have California ties to play well at Silverado. The approach is partially what led me to choosing Max Homa as my headline selection, and the decision paid off handsomely.

Beau Hossler is another golfer who will feel right at home at the golf course. The 27-year-old grew up in California and won multiple amateur championships as a teenager in the state.

In addition to his amateur golf, Hossler has had a good deal of success on the PGA TOUR in his home state. Last year, he finished 3rd at Pebble Beach and also has a top ten finish at Torrey Pines (2020), and back-to-back top-25 finishes at Silverado ending with a 16th place last season.

Once a highly regarded young player, Hossler's potential has yet to be fulfilled on the PGA TOUR. Although he's looked shaky thus far when in contention, he's still young enough to get his career on the right track going forward. The lesser field this week should enable him to contend this week if he can find the ball striking to match his usually reliable putting stroke.

James Hahn (+15000, DraftKings): You may be noticing a theme with my selections thus far, and James Hahn fits in nicely. Hahn grew up in Alameda, California and went to the University of California to play his collegiate golf.

The 40-year-old has an excellent track record on California courses on the PGA TOUR, and his first TOUR win was captured at Riviera back in 2015. Hahn also has top-5 finishes in his career at Pebble Beach and PGA West.

Hahn showed his fondness for Silverado two seasons ago when he finished in 9th place. He's a very "boom or bust" type player and missed the cut in more than half of his starts in 2022. However, among the starts where he played the weekend, he managed to have some strong finishes.

He had three top-10 finishes including a 4th at the 3M Open only a few months ago. In fact, Hahn finished the season strong, and gained 6.0 strokes ball striking at the FedEx St. Jude to conclude his season.

It's tempting for bettors to bet the young up-and-comers during swing season, as the weaker fields create opportunity. However, veteran journeymen tend to be able to feast on weak fields just as well as the inexperienced players.

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