2023 FedEx St. Jude Round 3 Odds, Picks: Si Woo Kim, Viktor Hovland, Hideki Matsuyama Among Saturday Bets
Pictured: Si Woo Kim. (Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Lucas Glover hasn't slowed down after his win last week at the Wyndham Championship. He has steamrolled his way back to the top of the leaderboard through the first two rounds of the FedEx St. Jude Championship. His 10-under mark has him one shot ahead of Jordan Spieth and two shots above players like Sungjae Im, Tommy Fleetwood and Tom Kim.
It's easy to like Glover's form heading into the third round, but with so many top-tier players on his heels, I'll be looking for value on Saturday. There are plenty of opportunities for low scores at this course and we'll look for some guys who can work their way into contention before the final round. Let's see who stands out from a Strokes Gained perspective as 2023's first playoff event heads into Round 3.
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 3 Best Bets: 3 Golfers to Buy
Three players jump out to me going into the weekend. They are all long shots from an outright win perspective, but each is worth a sprinkle.
I'll start with Si Woo Kim. He's a volatile player, but I'm always interested when I see form like he's shown to start the week. Kim is gaining strokes on the field in every metric tee-to-green and has done so in each of his two rounds. However, the putter has been the problem. The South Korean has lost two strokes to the field on the greens through 36-holes, but if he can find some form and sink some putts over the weekend, he's playing like a guy who can work his way into the mix.
Kim's odds (+12500) are too long in my view as he's just five shots back at the halfway mark, but at +400 to finish in the top 10 (PointsBet), he has some real achievable value. This course can fit Kim's game and he's showing it this week. He just needs to find his putter to put himself on the first page of the leaderboard.
It's a similar story for Viktor Hovland, who likely has the most legitimate winning upside among this trio of buys. Hovland +6600 on BetRivers and will need a strong Saturday to get in the hunt.
The Norwegian's best scoring round this season is the third round and he has the ability to fire a 63 or 64, which will likely be needed to get into the mix before Sunday. I really like what we saw from Hovland on Friday after an uncharacteristically poor round on Thursday. If he keeps that momentum going, he'll be a steal at this number and in all markets this weekend.
My final buy, a bet on Hideki Matsuyama, has me a bit perplexed. Sure, he hasn't had the most impressive season, but he ranks top five in this field in SG: Tee-to-Green, despite sitting T30 on the leaderboard. Masuyama's issue, as is often the case, comes almost entirely on the greens. In fact, he gave 3.38 strokes back to the field with his flatstick on Friday. I'll look for variance to head in his direction this weekend and if he continues to strike it well, he can be a bet across the board from top-20 markets to +15000 to win on PointsBet.
Is it likely? No, but it costs so little that it's worth a sprinkle while digging in on the other markets.