Freedman’s Favorite PGA Matchup (Jan. 16): Jon Rahm vs. Patrick Cantlay

Freedman’s Favorite PGA Matchup (Jan. 16): Jon Rahm vs. Patrick Cantlay article feature image

John David Mercer, USA Today Sports. Pictured: John Rahm

  • In 2019, Matthew Freedman is writing a new series featuring his favorite prop bet for each day.
  • On Wednesday, he looks at the PGA Desert Classic and the golf head-to-head tournament matchup of John Rahm and Patrick Cantlay.

Each day, I publish at least one quick-n’-dirty piece highlighting a favorite prop of mine.

For more information on my research process and the resources I use, see the master list of my 2019 prop bets.

2019 Year-to-Date Record

9-9-2, +7.22 Units

  • Golf: 1-1-0, +0.25 Units
  • NFL: 3-4-0, +6.35 Units
  • NBA: 2-2-0, -0.33 Units
  • NHL: 3-1-2, +1.95 Units
  • NCAAF: 0-1-0. -1.0 Units

Freedman’s Favorite PGA Matchup for Wenesday, Jan. 16: Jon Rahm (-165) vs. Patrick Cantlay (+145)

Rahm and Cantlay tee off tomorrow (Jan. 17) in the Desert Classic at 1:20 p.m. ET, so I’m getting this pick in a day in advance.

The winner of this tournament last year, Rahm leads the field at +650 to win the event, so it’s not as if he’s someone to target haphazardly in head-to-head matchups, but Cantlay offers significant value at these odds.

In the FantasyLabs Golf Models, Rahm has the better recent form (67.7 adjusted round score vs. 68.3), but Cantlay actually has had the long-term edge over the past 75 weeks.

  • Adjusted round score: 68.3 vs. 68.4
  • Greens in regulation: 70.3% vs. 70.3%
  • Driving accuracy: 60.8% vs. 59.9%
  • Scrambling: 59.5% vs. 57.0%
  • Field strength: 95.4% vs. 92.4%

Long-term par-5 scoring has historically been important at Stadium Course, and Rahm has the edge on Cantlay there (-5.0 vs. -4.8), but these two golfers enter the tournament with not much separating them.

This matchup is available at MyBookie. I would bet it down to +125, although this line might actually move in the other direction: Rahm is popular and people might want to bet on him in head-to-head matchups.

The Pick: Cantlay (+145)

Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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