3-Ball Matchup Bets For The 3M Open: Finau & Mitchell Stand Out For Thursday

Credit:

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR via Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau

  • Jason Sobel breaks down each three-way matchup for the 3M Open's featured groups on Thursday.
  • Find out why Tony Finau and Keith Mitchell stand out for the opening round.

You can tell a lot about a PGA TOUR field based on the featured groups.

Last week at the Memorial Tournament, the opening quartet of threesomes read like a who’s who of the game’s biggest superstars. That’s not quite the case at this week’s 3M Open, but it doesn’t mean we don’t have some intriguing groups — and more importantly, some inherent value here.

Let’s get right to the picks for Thursday’s opening round.

Tony Finau (+187) over Dustin Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood

Over the course of a single round, any matchup bet can go spectacularly wrong, but this one feels like a smash play. Finau is fresh off a T-8 which started when he opened with a 6-under 66 at Muirfield Village to take FRL honors.

That’s a stark contrast from Johnson, who posted two rounds of 80 before missing the cut and didn’t appear overly motivated to turn it around.

Then there’s Fleetwood, who hasn’t played a competitive round in four months. Not only should we expect some rust, but even before his extended break, he’d competed in six events and never broke 70 in an opening round.

Pick: Finau +187

Matthew Wolff (+120) over Max Homa and Branden Grace

I gave lengthy consideration to Homa and Grace in this one, as each of them has shown signs of decent form in recent weeks. I’m not a huge fan of taking defending champions for outright bets, but I can’t overlook Wolff here, as this course obviously suits his game.

Fresh off a top-20 finish last week, he’s once again starting to trend in the right direction. On a big ballpark where he can bash driver, expect Wolff to get off to another hot start.

Pick: Wolff +120

Keith Mitchell (+260) over Brooks Koepka and Charles Howell III

Here’s your value play: After struggling for the first month of the restart, Mitchell finished T-22 last week and could be rounding into form on a course which should accentuate his strengths, as last year he posted scores of 69-66-69 before a final-round 75.

Koepka has admitted his knee injury still isn’t fully healed — which begs the question of why he’s continuing to play this week — and while I never dislike CH3, whose game tends to fit any track, I think the single-round ceiling is higher here for Mitchell.

Pick: Mitchell +260

Pat Perez (+275) over Bubba Watson and Paul Casey

More value? Absolutely. Last year, Perez opened with a 67, while Watson and Casey didn’t even play this event, which already should offer a built-in advantage — as small as it might be.

Since the restart, Perez has broken 70 in three of four Thursday rounds. Once again, I don’t dislike Casey at this event — Data Golf shows Innisbrook as a comparable course and he’s won each of the last two editions of the event there — but I like the upside of the plus-money on Perez here.

Pick: Perez +275
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