2023 PGA Championship Final Round Odds, Pick: Bet Viktor Hovland Over Brooks Koepka
Warren Little/Getty Images. Pictured: Viktor Hovland.
Here we are, again, on a Saturday night of a major championship in 2023. Brooks Koepka is playing the role of villain? Or maybe a hero? I’m not sure which, but he is once again the lead actor in a play I’d call ‘The Fight for Golf Supremacy.’
It is tournaments like these where we realize just how much the PGA Tour is missing players like Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau, who offer a unique presence.
Having all the top talent competing against each other weekly is something significant that we lose when LIV events are played in reduced fields and barely shown on TV.
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 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.
PGA Championship Final Round
My model remains very harsh in its pre-tournament assessment of these players when I run data from an in-tournament perspective. It is one of those common mistakes most bettors make — doing plenty of research Monday-Wednesday, but immediately ignoring everything after a round or two.
Falling into that rut is dangerous for any number of reasons. However, the most significant concern is that a bettor falls a recency bias move that is already priced into the market. The last thing we want to be doing is chasing bad numbers.
That’s one of the reasons you RARELY see me hand-alter pre-tournament stats on a golfer. My math is my answer for the week, and it shows with anyone who uses my model for any wager I recommend. That said, there is something to be pinpointed about the performances of Koepka and DeChambeau when we talk about major championship winners who have experienced a lack of information over the past year-plus.
Essentially, there is no point in running a model that believes Koepka is the 38th-best player in this field. That was a pre-tournament mistake on my end that doesn’t need to compound nightly in trying to take on a golfer producing as the fifth-best ball-striker in the tournament.
For that reason, I went back and ran Koepka’s baseline totals when he was competing to win majors years ago in order to generate a fair price that we should be anticipating for Sunday. That shift did jump him back to where he belonged — as the favorite to win this event — but the catch to this situation is that Viktor Hovland barely graded behind the American and looks to be the better value on the slate.
My sheet has Hovland in first place when comparing everyone’s baseline scores in multiple areas, and he’s also the only golfer in this field who has compiled three consecutive rounds inside the top 10 for ball striking. That safety with the more predictable parts of a golfer’s game will often appear in critical tournaments as making putts becomes more challenging.
Fading Koepka is dangerous because we’ve seen him close an event four times when faced with this position, but the books are trying to prevent proper exposure in that area.
I will take a shot on Hovland having his moment in the sun and believe any of the +350-like prices in the space are worth a small gamble.
Pick: Viktor Hovland +310
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