WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational Round 4 Betting Tips Using Strokes Gained

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Photo credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Brendon Todd

After three rounds, it’s still longshot Brendon Todd who sits atop a loaded St. Jude Invitational leaderboard at 12-under par. He barely kept the lead Saturday, shooting 1-under for the day, and has huge names in Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas all breathing down his neck.

Byeong Hun An is actually in lone second place at 11-under, just a shot off Todd after an impressive 4-under round Saturday.

So who is offering value for Sunday? Let’s dive in, but first a note on Strokes Gained, which I’ll cite a lot in this article.

(Click here to skip to the analysis section.)

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.

Read more about Strokes Gained here.

3 Golfers to Buy in Round 4

First, let’s look at the odds:

Todd is in the lead, so it makes sense he’s the favorite to win. An and Rickie, who are one and two back, respectively, are at +450, and then its Brooks and Thomas before a huge drop-off to the 25/1 and longer range.

The conditions tomorrow look pretty pristine: It looks like beautiful weather in Memphis with sunny skies and almost no wind. Guys will be able to score.

For that reason, I’m going to pass on Todd and An and instead take the studs who are within reach and obviously can put up huge rounds at any time.

Brooks, JT and Rickie are actually Nos. 1, 2 and 4, respectively, in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green on the week, with Chez Reavie — who I fear is probably a stroke too far back to really contend — at No. 3. Todd, interestingly enough, is about middle of the field, which shows just how hot his putter has been to lead.

But in terms of overall game outside of greens, these have been your three best golfers of the weekend, and conveniently they’re among the three-most talented golfers in the world. I have no problems grabbing them at their numbers, especially on DraftKings, which gives a 30% profit boost on any bet.

I also don’t mind taking all three and doing a “JT, Brooks and Rickie vs. the field” type of bet. Add in the booster, and those odds are pretty solid given where they stand, how they’ve played and their long-term talent.

3 Golfers to Fade in Round 4

As I mentioned yesterday, Todd is a great putter on a normal week, so him being tops in the field in that category isn’t completely crazy. But this far above his close competitors is a little unsustainable, and I don’t think he offers much value at his current price tag.

And for DFS he’s an even stronger fade, as leaders are often over-owned and they underperform given they tend to play more conservatively. I’ll fade him; if he puts up a 5-under incredible round to clinch it, so be it.

My other fade along with Todd yesterday was Matthew Fitzpatrick, and that worked out fine with his mediocre 1-under score. Fitz too is an incredible putter, but the rest of the game so far concerns me. On the week, he’s actually lost 1.3 strokes with his approach, a rough mark compared to his peers at the top of the leaderboard.

An even worse mark in SG: Approach belongs to Xander Schauffele, who has lost 1.82 strokes with those crucial second and third shots. He’s been pretty rough in Strokes Gained: Ball-Striking and has really only made up ground with his short game. It’s difficult to imagine that giving him a huge edge on Sunday.

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.)

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