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2023 Masters Second Round Picks: Target Taylor Moore Over Francesco Molinari

2023 Masters Second Round Picks: Target Taylor Moore Over Francesco Molinari article feature image

Pictured: Taylor Moore. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

We experienced the calm before the storm Thursday at Augusta National. It’s been well-documented throughout the week that rain and thunderstorms are supposed to impact the area over the next 24 hours, which caused tee times to move up 30 minutes Friday morning.

From a betting perspective, it was a slow start for my card. We saw a little over 0.60 units immediately go up in flames as Alex Noren’s disastrous front nine took us out of contention in all placement markets. That spot was always set up to produce a highly toxic ceiling versus floor combination. It obviously never helps ease the sting when the negative potential jumps to the forefront, but it is essential to remember that gambling is a long road.

So without any further ado, let’s jump back on the saddle and see if we can find an edge in the second round.

If you haven’t already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs 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.

Taylor Moore -105 over Francesco Molinari (Bet365)

I always talk about wanting 20+ points of value to give a play here because of the potential for movement. Delivering small edges in an article makes no sense since a shift can quickly move you into a negative expected value position. However, it has been a challenging board to maneuver this week because of the high hold percentages in most markets, and dead-zone price points in the head-to-head sector.

I say all of that to acknowledge that there isn’t a true “20-point” wager to consider for Friday. However, I do like Taylor Moore (-105) over Francesco Molinari at Bet365.

Molinari generated an awkward power rank in my model pre-event. We saw him grade better than only Sergio Garcia, Charl Schwartzel, Kevin Kisner and Zach Johnson when we looked into semi-active players who didn’t land on the amateur or total old-school end of the spectrum. All that rendered a nice fade candidate opportunity if we could find the optimal opponent to take against him in a matchup. Unfortunately, books have been stingy in the opponents we are being offered against Molinari in the second round.

I was hoping name recognition alone might move him into a different tier, but my numbers believe Moore should be -120 in this spot. That’s more than enough value to take a shot at the -105 price.

Molinari eclipsed Moore by a stroke Thursday, but we will start running into this problem on the statistical returns for each golfer when we dive into their expected production with the short game totals.

A 1.86-shot advantage with the putter quickly became a 2.36-stroke edge when we added in around-the-green totals. That means Molinari’s day one victory not only should have been a loss if the long-term data held with the more volatile categories, but it also should have come by nearly 2.5 strokes. I expect regression to the mean to take place Friday, putting us in a nice position to fade a golfer my model is lower on than consensus.

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