2022 Waste Management Open: 6 Outright Bets to Chase After Round 1, Including Brooks Koepka
Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Brooks Koepka.
Click here for full Waste Management Open odds from PointsBet
|Si Woo Kim||+15000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+25000|
|Mito Guillermo Pereira||+30000|
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — I spoke with a few dozen competitors in this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open field in the days leading up to the opening round, and every single one of ‘em seemed in great spirits. Happy, relaxed, unstressed.
Plenty of that has to do with the atmosphere. It’s tough to feel too troubled when you’re playing golf inside a party. Then there’s the great weather and the underrated course and the simple fact that non-major Tuesdays and Wednesdays aren’t generally too stressful anyway.
Let’s not underestimate another reason for this feeling, though. For the first time in a month, these players didn’t have to prep for multiple courses during the competition, as they did for The American Express, the Farmers Insurance Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
From a gambling perspective, these events offered a perceived in-play edge for live outrights. If a player went low on Torrey Pines’ South Course in the opening round, we’d assume he would climb the leaderboard while playing the comparatively easier North the following day; if someone started with a solid score at Spyglass Hill, he might have an advantage in playing the two easier courses in the next two rounds.
We have no such dispersion this week, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a disparity of which we can take advantage.
This edge is based not on another host venue, but the conditions. Throughout most of the year, we tend to give a slight advantage to those with an early tee time, but not this week. As we’ve already seen, the temperature is colder and the wind is more blustery in the morning than the afternoon.
My friend Rob Bolton from pgatour.com, who lives nearby, has called it “diurnal range,” which is essentially a big two-word phrase for describing the temperature differential that occurs throughout the day.
In fact, we’ve already seen that dispersion, as the early wave posted an over-par average of 71.32 in the first round.
With that in mind, I’m looking at a half-dozen players with favored late-wave conditions in Friday’s second round for potential live outright plays.
2022 Waste Management Open Picks
*Odds as of Friday morning via BetMGM
Brooks Koepka (+900)
The defending champion posted an opening-round 5-under 66 on Thursday morning, his lowest total in 23 rounds this season. It might take a player with a little swagger to contend here, so the PGA TOUR’s unofficial swagger leader could keep up this pace Friday, from the third place on the odds board.
Louis Oosthuizen (+2200)
Playing his first full event in four months, we didn’t know what to expect from Louis, but earning 3.06 strokes tee-to-green suggests he’s ready to play some solid golf. While his lifetime win equity isn’t strong, this isn’t a bad number after an opening 67.
Sam Burns (+2800)
One of the savviest up-and-comers in the game, Burns missed the cut in his last start at Torrey Pines but seems to have regained form this week. He currently ranks eighth in strokes gained putting.
Jordan Spieth (+5000)
If we learned anything at this event last year — or at Pebble Beach last week — it’s that Spieth is very much a viable candidate for prevailing even after an opening round that doesn’t have him at or near the top of the leaderboard. For a guy who knows how to go low, this could be a great number at which to play him.
Viktor Hovland (+8000)
With victories in three of his last five worldwide starts, Hovland owns plenty of win equity. I spoke with him prior to the opening round and while he won’t boast about his achievements, it’s easy to see he has some confidence right now.
Max Homa (+8000)
An opening 2-under 69 was accompanied by a strokes gained putting number of -1.89, which can easily correct itself in coming days. Armed with a mustache about which he says, “I just needed to think about it and it grew in,” the local resident could be armed for a big round on Friday.