Sobel’s Waste Management Open Matchup Bets: Backing the Leader in the Final Round

Sobel’s Waste Management Open Matchup Bets: Backing the Leader in the Final Round article feature image

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Rickie Fowler

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — This thing is over.

I think.

Rickie Fowler leads the Waste Management Phoenix Open by four strokes with 18 holes left to play. There are days when a lead of that margin feels tenuous at best, like you can sense an imminent comeback; then there are days when it feels safe, offering enough cushion that the lead is never seriously threatened.

This feels like the latter. Although like I said, at least I think it does.

Here are the matchups I’m betting Sunday at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Rickie Fowler Over Justin Thomas By +0.5 (-125)

Before yesterday’s round, I took a similar bet on JT and felt like I was getting loads of value. That didn’t work, but I’m taking the leader as a ‘dog in this one. I think he’ll step on the gas pedal rather than playing defense all day.

Byeong-hun An Over Gary Woodland (+115)

Get used to seeing An’s name on leaderboards, as he has a ton of talent. Fading the defending champion might not seem like the smartest move, but I think An needs this one more to jumpstart his year.

Martin Laird Over Bubba Watson (+105)

This is a real quote from Bubba on 60 Minutes a few years ago: “I’m scared of crowds. … In between holes is really scary to me, because there’s so many people that close to you. I’m just scared of people in general.”

And yet, he continually contends at this event, where the crowds are biggest and scariest. I’m not even mad, I’m just amazed. But I’m also fading him. Laird loves desert golf and Bubba still can’t feel completely comfortable here.