PGA Championship Final Round Odds, Picks: Value on Phil Mickelson, Hideki Matsuyama
Pictured: Phil Mickelson. (Photo by Darren Carroll/PGA of America via Getty Images)
The excitement continued in round three of the PGA Championship. Scottie Scheffler, who was the overwhelming betting favorite going into the round, struggled mightily and shot +3 for the day. That opened the door for our pre-tournament outright pick, Brooks Koepka, to surge into a great position to win his fifth major championship. We also doubled down on Koepka at 46-1 after round one.
Koepka sits at -6 and is in the lead after a masterful 66. The 33-year-old is one shot ahead of both Viktor Hovland and Corey Conners. Both Koepka and Hovland have been incredible through three rounds. Hovland has been lights out on approach and leads the field in that category (+10.7 strokes). Koepka is third in the field in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee and second in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green, trailing only Hovland. Conners has been incredibly steady outside of a lone double-bogey on Saturday.
There are also a handful of dangerous chasers lurking. On a difficult golf course, drastic swings on the leaderboard can happen quickly, which keeps plenty of guys in the mix as we approach the final round. Among the chasers are, Rory McIlroy (-1), Scheffler (-2), Justin Rose (-2) and Bryson DeChambeau (-3).
With two outright tickets on Koepka, it’s clear what we are rooting for Sunday. But here are a couple of matchup bets to sweat as we wait for the final pairing to tee off.
Matchup Bet: Phil Mickelson (+155) over Justin Thomas (DraftKings)
Neither Phil Mickelson nor Justin Thomas is playing as well as they’d have hoped this week. They’re each +10 after shooting matching 77’s on Saturday.
Looking at the numbers for the week, Mickelson edges Thomas in the important ball striking categories. Thomas is putting better than Mickelson, but that doesn’t seem sustainable.
SG: Approach: Mickelson (-0.3), Thomas (-2.4)
SG: Off-the-Tee: Mickelson (+0.1), Thomas (-0.5)
Sure, Thomas could turn it around on Sunday, but at this price, there’s a lot of value on the 52-year-old.
Bet: Hideki Matsuyama Top-10 Finish (+550) (DraftKings)
The leaderboard is bunched up and only two strokes separate Hideki Matsuyama from 20th, where he currently sits, to 10th. There are also only four players in between at +2, so he doesn’t have many to pass.
I love how Matsuyama is striking the ball this week. He’s gained 3.7 strokes on approach and 8.0 strokes on the field from tee-to-green. The Japanese star is the type of golfer capable of making birdies when everyone else is going backward. Matsuyama plays tough tracks extremely well.
He’s lost 1.8 strokes putting through three rounds. Many would think a poor putting performance from Matsuyama is common place and therefore it would be unwise to expect positive regression. However, the 31-year-old has been a very solid putter for a prolonged stretch. He’s gained an average of 1.0 strokes putting per round in his past 20 events.
I think Matsuyama goes out and shoots a low one on Sunday.
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