2022 Masters Final Round Odds, Picks, Predictions: Find Value in Scottie Scheffler vs. Cameron Smith Matchup
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Cameron Smith.
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2022 Masters Odds
It was a cold and blustery third round at the Masters, and the scoring was reflective of that. The field averaged more than 2.5 shots over par on the day, as the number of players under par shrunk to just seven after the round. There were a couple of 80s and four 79s during what was one of the most difficult days in a long time at Augusta National.
Scottie Scheffler held onto the top spot, though it didn’t come without drama. At one point on Saturday, he had a six-shot lead, but after a closing bogey he will go into Sunday just three shots ahead of Cameron Smith.
Scheffler and Smith have been pretty clearly the two best players this week, and they’ll now play together in the final group. First-round leader Sungjae Im is two shots behind Smith at 4-under, with Charl Schwartzel and Shane Lowry two more shots behind the Aussie at 2-under.
The 2022 Masters looks set up to be a two-man race to the finish between the two players who have been the best on the PGA TOUR this year. Both players have multiple wins on the year and will be seeking their first major championship victory.
As always, anything can happen on Sunday at Augusta, but Scheffler and Smith have certainly separated themselves from the pack. Only one, though, will be wearing the green jacket tomorrow night.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it collects, the TOUR calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation. If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field.
Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.
In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:
- Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
- Strokes Gained: Approach
- Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
- Strokes Gained: Putting
- Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
- Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)
In general, ball-striking and tee-to-green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility.
You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well but are just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4
I’m going to call for the come-from-behind win for Cameron Smith on Sunday. As I noted on the Australian last night, he has been the best in the field in the all-important Strokes Gained: Approach metric this week, and he was able to dial the putter back in on Saturday. The weather is expected to be better on Sunday, so he’ll likely be back to his more typical aggressive style as he looks to chase down the leader.
Smith has gained more than nine shots on this elite field with his irons across the first three rounds. If he can keep that going he will be able to continually put pressure on Scheffler in the final round. The leader was on the range late into the night on Saturday and is headed for a tough night’s sleep heading into Sunday.
Smith is the guy with a bit less pressure as they get started, and he has the experience of being in the hunt around this course. If you didn’t get in on him with me yesterday at +1400, I still like the +280 available for him to put on the green jacket on Sunday evening.
Corey Conners was one of just six rounds under par on Saturday at Augusta National as he leaned on his reliable ball striking to get it done. He gained better than three shots on the field with his ball striking, including 2.43 coming on approach in the round.
The Canadian ranks third in the field, only behind the two players in the final group, in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green for the week. I expect he’ll continue to strike it well in the better conditions on Sunday.
While he is likely too far back to contend for a victory, Conners is someone I will target in matchups and DFS for the final round.
I highlighted Rory McIlroy after the opening round on Thursday, after which I expected he would bounce back. It took another day for him to get there, but he too was one of the few rounds under par on moving day.
McIlroy has progressed through each and every round on approach, which is such a key for a player that we know will drive it well off the tee. He peaked with 1.79 shots gained with his irons on Saturday and will go into the final round just inside the top 10.
McIlroy is too far back to capture the career grand slam tomorrow, but I do expect him to continue to build on his momentum and post a good number in a pairing alongside Collin Morikawa.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4
Smith is my pick to win, but I am not going to spend time writing a fade on Scottie Scheffler. Smith will likely need some help and it’s a bit off-putting that Scheffler was on the range so long on Saturday night, but I just don’t see him fully collapsing. He could get beat and that’s where my play is coming in on the Australian for the win.
Instead, I am going to start my fades with Shane Lowry. He was absolutely dejected following the third round. He felt he was really hitting it well before a bad break on the 9th, and it seemed to boil over into the last nine where he dropped two more shots, including one on the Par 5 13th. Lowry lost 2.42 shots to the field on approach in the third round and hearing him talk after the day, it may be tough for him to get back up off the deck enough to stay in the Top 5 on Sunday.
The dream run has to come to an end on Sunday for Danny Willett, doesn’t it? He is losing strokes to the field this week with his ball striking and yet he’s still even par for the tournament and in 8th place. His putter has been on fire this week as he gained another 3.78 shots on the greens on Saturday.
Willett seemed to make every putt he needed from 6-10 feet for par in the third round. There was no hole more indicative of his play than the par-5 13th where he put it in the penalty area off the tee, but managed to scramble his way to have a 9 foot putt for par. That par save is exactly what he has done through three rounds, but I think the nicer weather and potential for more accessible hole locations will require some scoring to stay in the top 10 in the final round.
The 2016 Masters champion is not hitting it well enough to score right now, and I think that catches up with him tomorrow.
Tommy Fleetwood‘s 2-under day on Saturday looks really nice, but the underlying data doesn’t paint as pretty of a picture. The Englishman has lost strokes to the field on approach in each of the first three rounds, and it was a hot short game that got him to that score in the third round.
Fleetwood is obviously a ball-striking type who can turn it all on at any given time, but he is clearly struggling to find his irons this week. Similar to Willett, he can’t rely on the short game to save him if things are more conducive to scoring on Sunday, and I think that is where it comes to bite him a bit.
We may get some good leverage in DFS or nice odds in matchups with Fleetwood based solely on the score he produced on Saturday, so I’ll look to take advantage in those markets for the final round.