2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Round 2 Picks: Bet Eric Cole in Matchup Market

2023 FedEx St. Jude Championship Round 2 Picks: Bet Eric Cole in Matchup Market article feature image

Pictured: Eric Cole. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Our Thursday head-to-head play of Cameron Davis (-120) over Sahith Theegala served as a continuation of what I talked about in my round one article, where I noted that books are now better than ever at pricing matchups.

We ran on the wrong side of expected value as Theegala overproduced by 32 spots on the leaderboard, according to my model. Thankfully, that didn't stop the bet from getting to the window because Davis was rather clean throughout the round and got us a one-shot win. However, books have shown off their newfound savvy nature by placing Theegala as a massive round-two underdog to options like Matthew Fitzpatrick and Lee Hodges. They're also tempting us with a "fade versus fade" matchup against Taylor Moore at DraftKings.

Theegala, according to my model, graded as one of the more significant overachievers Thursday. That is generally a sign that regression is looming. Unfortunately, I'm unsure if there is an opponent at most shops that makes logical sense for us to use against Theegala on Friday.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.
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Round 2 Matchup

Eric Cole -115 over Taylor Moore (FanDuel)

Thursday was a great iron day for Taylor Moore, even though he only hit 50% of his fairways. The aggregated output between SG: Off-theTee and SG: Approach landed him 21st in my model, but what happens if the irons go south?

My pre-tournament math placed Moore inside the bottom 75% of the field in expected performance with his irons because of his struggles from 125-175 yards. His off-the-tee play was worse than anticipated in round one because my model viewed him as the 32nd-best driver for TPC Southwind (52nd Thursday), but trouble starts to loom if he misses greens in regulation and has to rely on his 52nd-ranked around-the-green game.

There is built-in potential for Cole to struggle off the tee and lose in a over-par versus over-par battle on Friday, but Moore ranked as one of my preferred fade options.

I expect to see him get better with the driver and worse with the irons, but that data shift could be enough to uncover a secondary problem, his struggles chipping around the putting surface.

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