2022 The American Express Final Round Picks: Best Bets, Including Patrick Cantlay to Contend on Sunday
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.
Saturday at The American Express played out about as expected as the winds wreaked havoc throughout La Quinta, CA. The scores were higher for most, but especially on the Nicklaus where, for the first time all week, the field averaged over-par scoring. Now, after a 54-hole cut everyone will tee it up at the Stadium Course on Sunday to decide the winner of this tournament.
A couple of relative unknowns, in Lee Hodges and Paul Barjon are tied for a one-shot lead over the rest of the field at 18-under. They will be joined by Tom Hoge in the final threesome on Sunday, as all three players look for their first win on TOUR. There aren’t many wins ahead of them in the final round, which makes things interesting in a bunched up leaderboard.
This one seems to be setting up for a player to come from behind and steal this win at long odds. Let’s take a look and see if we can find that player heading into Sunday at The American Express.
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 just not getting putts to drop. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
Patrick Cantlay +1200 BetMGM
I do not believe that any of the final threesome will win this tournament, which puts my hypothetical leader at 16-under for the week. That makes Cantlay two shots short of the lead, and for a player that closed with a 61 last year, I am interested.
We know that Cantlay can go low at any moment as he showed to start the week, and he will have little pressure on him Sunday compared to the rest of the field. In my opinion, someone comes from behind and wins this tournament, so I will start with one of the top two players in the field.
Sahith Theegala +6600 (BetMGM)
If I am looking for a longer shot that can go low and steal the tournament on Sunday, Sahith Theegala has that talent. He already posted a 10-under round earlier this week, and now he will start final round five shots back of the lead. I have already posted my position that I do not believe any of the lead group will find the win, which opens the door to a number of others.
Theegala was a well decorated collegiate player in California, and he clearly has shown some comfort in the area this week. He was making some detailed notes during his round on the Stadium Course, and I believe he will be ready to make a run for the title on Sunday.
Davis Riley Top 10 +250 (BetMGM)
Every year there are players that seem to come out of nowhere to be studs on TOUR. After two weeks I am of the opinion that Davis Riley could be the next of those players. He has shown a ton of talent over the past several rounds, and while I don’t expect him to go low enough to win this week, he certainly should be in the mix for a Top 10. I am buying the former Alabama stud on Sunday with solid odds to Top 10 on a site that will pay me in full, even with ties.
Strokes Gained Data for All Players on the Stadium Course