3M Open Round 4 Betting Tips Using Strokes Gained: Golfers to Buy, Fade Sunday
Ryan Moore .G Fiume/Getty Images
Moving Day didn’t exactly live up to its name today at the 3M Open, as the top-two golfers entering Saturday — Michael Thompson and Richy Werenski — still hold the lead ahead of Sunday’s final round.
There was some movement, though, notably with guys like Charl Schwartzel, Max Homa, Cameron Tringale and Denny McCarthy, who put up excellent rounds to move into legitimate contention at Twin Cities.
Who should you buy and sell tomorrow? Let’s break it down, but first a quick note on Strokes Gained, which we’ll mention quite a bit in this piece.
Strokes Gained Explanation
Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer is truly playing by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.
Using the millions of data points it has, 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 handle them 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, ball-striking and tee-to-green are more stable long-term, and often you can find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well but just not getting putts to drop, which is more random. Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.
3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4 of 3M Open
Call me a masochist, but I’m going to mention two guys I talked about after Thursday’s opening round: Tony Finau and Ryan Moore.
At this point, they’re two of the top-three golfers in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green on the entire week. The problem is that they’ve been pretty average with the short stick, which is why they’ve stayed continuously a couple shots back of the lead throughout the three days.
But man, if they were able to put things together on the greens, they could definitely swoop in and win this thing. Talent, form and course fit definitely isn’t a problem, especially for Finau, who uncharacteristically lost a ton of strokes off-the-tee on Saturday. Regression towards his usual game would work wonders; we’ll see if that happens.
Another guy who’s interesting — more in DFS than betting — is Matthias Schwab, a 25-year-old Austrian golfer who played in college at Vanderbilt and is currently a member of the European Tour.
Schwab is right there with Finau as the best this week in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, but unfortunately he’s been a big negative on the greens. To be fair, he hasn’t been a lights-out putter by any means in his short career, but he also hasn’t been as disastrous as his results this week would suggest.
Most importantly, though, the rest of his game has been really darn good this week, especially the ball-striking. If he’s able to get anything going on the greens, he could put up a surprise Sunday to win someone money in DraftKings showdown tournaments.
All-in-all, Finau and Moore are guys I’m eyeing in terms of to-win odds. Finau remains just two shots back and is the most talented golfer in the field; he’s third in odds entering Sunday at +350 at DraftKings, which is actually giving a 30% booster on golf bets tomorrow. That means you can actually bet him at +455; approaching 5/1 is definitely intriguing.
Moore, meanwhile, is four shots back but at 28/1, which means you could bet him at a little over 36/1.
3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4 of 3M Open
These three guys — Denny McCarthy, Alex Noren and Matthew Wolff — are all golfers who have done most of their damage with the putter over the first three rounds, which is tough to bet on moving forward.
Noren seems especially primed to regress, as he gained a stupid 4.04 strokes with his short stick Saturday — nearly double the next highest mark in the field. He was essentially neutral ball-striking, which means if that putter regresses at all, he probably won’t shoot a 5-under again.
McCarthy and Wolff are among the best in the field this week in SG: Putting as well — right up their with Werenski and Thompson, in fact. The problem with all of these guys is that they’re actually all pretty good putters in general.
It’s a bit of a conundrum with these guys: Sure, their putting certainly won’t regress to zero since they’re positive most weeks, but it also means they’ll have to remain incredibly good there given their other metrics. Will that happen? Who knows … golf is random, and they’ve kept it up across three days already.
It’s hard for me to buy them, though, given that data. And in the leaders’ case, it’s really tough to roster them in DFS given that the top guys are usually overowned and they typically play more conservatively, which leads to lower scoring. I guess I’m going down with the tee-to-green ship this week.
Alright, enough talk. Here’s the data for all players for Saturday.
Strokes Gained Data for Every Player in Round 3
(Note: The graph below is interactive. Click/hover to see data.)