2023 FedEx St. Jude Final Round Odds, Picks: Back Max Homa for Sunday Win
Pictured: Max Homa. (Photo by Matthew Maxey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Lucas Glover;'s hot play continued Saturday and he'll carry a one-shot lead into Sunday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship. His 4-under was enough to maintain his edge over Taylor Moore, who shot a 65 Saturday. Tommy Fleetwood is two shots back at 12-under while Max Homa and Jordan Spieth round out the group of five players at double digits under par through three rounds.
SG: Tee-to-Green is telling the story of the leaderboard as the top two players in that category are also the top two, in the same order, on the leaderboard. Homa is just behind Glover and Moore, while Sungjae Im sits in fourth in that metric and T6 in the standings. That's the metric we'll chase as we try to dial in on the best bets for the final round.
It seems to be a 5-man race, so I'll be focusing on the group at the top as we look for a winner, but there's certainly a lot of opportunity in the placement markets as well.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained gives bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has 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, SG: Ball Striking and SG: 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 aren’t getting putts to drop.
Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
2023 FedEx St. Jude Round 4 Best Bets: 3 Golfers to Buy
As is always the case when I'm fortunate enough to be in position, I'm sticking with my first pick — Max Homa — to bring home the win. I noted in that write up that Homa is a closer and seems to step his game up to finish the job when in position to do so.
Homa ranks third in the field in SG: Tee-to-Green, and that's after an opening round that saw him lose strokes to the field on approach and gain less than a stroke on the field tee-to-green. He's been on fire since Thursday, gaining strokes in every aspect of that metric, including better than 2.5 strokes ball striking over each of the past two rounds. If he can keep that play going in the final round, he'll be in position to win.
I wrote about Viktor Hovland yesterday and want to add to my thoughts on him. He did exactly what we hoped until he hit his final tee box of the day and yanked it in the water from the 18th tee. His closing double puts him look a little too far behind for the win, though it certainly wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities if everything goes his way. However, my play is for him to continue to climb the leaderboard and solidify a spot in the top five.
Hovland's 4.21 strokes gained on approach in the third round are the best for a single round this week and it's clear he's shaken the ugliness off from his opening round 72. He may have dug himself too big of a hole to win, but I love his chances to close strong.
If I had to pick one player to have a Justin Rose like climb up the leaderboard Sunday, it would be Jon Rahm. We saw Rose go from the bottom of the board to a spot in the top 25 after his 9-under 61 on Saturday. I wouldn't be surprised to see Rahm challenge with a really low round after he finished his third round with birdies on four of his final five holes.
It certainly hasn't been the first playoff event that the third player in the world imagined, but he has a chance to close things out in respectable fashion with a good Sunday. If you can find a decent number that pays ties in full for a top-20 finish, that's where my target would be. However, you certainly want it to be worth it with him being four shots from that position as things stand. I'll mostly be betting Rahm for unders for his total score and overs on birdies. I'll also take him in DFS and matchup bets.