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Last week at the Wells Fargo Championship, we had a tournament for the ages.
Max Homa not only cashed our best bet by finishing in the top 20, but he won the tournament cashing a very nice 41-1 outright ticket in the process.
It was a sweat-free Sunday as we had outrights on Homa, Keegan Bradley and Cameron Young who finished first, second and third, respectively.
All in all, it was a +21 unit tournament and we will look to have continued success this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
TPC Craig Ranch is a longer course that features very wide fairways and large greens so the bombers will be at an advantage again this week.
It is being played in the heat of Texas, so the fairways will be dry and the ball will really run. Last year, the winning score was -25.
This is a course that is very birdiable, with all of the par 5s being very reachable. We expect it will be birdie fest again, which means we are looking for players who have the propensity to put up low scores and have success with ball striking, specifically on the approach.
This week the key metrics that our model is using to compile our portfolio are: Strokes-Gained: Approach, Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green, Strokes-Gained: Par 4s, Strokes-Gained: Par 5s and Birdie Average.
Justin Thomas | +1200 at FanDuel
Some weeks there is value with the long shots (like last week with Max Homa at +4000) and other weeks it’s better to go with the chalk (like the Mexican Open with Jon Rahm at a paltry +400).
This week, I like the winner to come from the top of the odds board and Justin Thomas is my favorite play of the week.
JT ranks in the top 3 in every key metric we are looking for this week, including No. 1 in the field in birdie average, which is probably the most important of all since the winner is going to have to shoot in the low -20s.
Thomas is one of the best players on Tour, but it’s been over a year since he has won — far too long for a player of his caliber — so he is definitely due.
He is the best approach player in the field and he has a history of success at courses like this where it’s a birdie-fest, winning the Sony Open in 2017 shooting a -27, including a course-record 59.
Don’t be surprised if history repeats itself this week.
Best Bet Alert: JT to finish in the top 20 is my best bet of the week, and I love his outright odds at +1400.
Will Zalatoris | +2000 at FanDuel
Similar to Justin Thomas, Will Zalatoris is in the top 5 in the field in every metric we are looking at this week, including No. 1 in Strokes-Gained: Approach, Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green.
His form has been great, coming in off three straight top-10 finishes, and he has plenty of experience playing in the Lone Star State being a Texas native.
My only concern with Zalatoris is his putting has been abysmal, losing an average of almost five strokes putting over his last 20 rounds when putting on bentgrass greens, including losing more than four strokes here last year.
If he can avoid losing strokes to the field this week, I love him to be right in contention come Sunday.
Dustin Johnson | +2200 at BetRivers
There is some concern with Dustin Johnson that he is just using this week as a tuneup for next week at the PGA Championship. This is something he has done in the past heading into majors, but by all accounts he is focused after getting married last week.
If he comes in focused, he absolutely has the skill set to contend this week. His length and accuracy off the tee will put him in prime position to make a ton of birdies this week and he is excellent putting on bentgrass greens.
His form is solid as well, having a ninth-place finish at the Players and a 12th-place finish at the Masters. I expect him to be in one of the final groupings come Sunday.
Joaquin Niemann | +3500 at DraftKings
Joaquin Niemann has been a familiar face in our outright and derivative portfolio this year and will continue to be as long as he keeps his level of play up.
He has been in great form, notching his first career victory earlier in the season in a wire-to-wire win at the Genesis and most recently had a T-12 at the RBC Heritage.
He is deceptively long off the tee and is one of the best approach players in this field. He has shown the ability to go low and win a birdie fest like he did at the Genesis, winning with a -19.
His game sets up well for the TPC Craig Ranch, ranking ninth in Strokes-Gained: Tee-to-Green. I expect another strong showing from Niemann.
Cameron Champ | +6500 at FanDuel
Cameron Champ is one of the best values on the board this week. He is a two-time PGA Tour winner who has been in great form this season, coming off a T-10 at the Masters.
He was in contention late on Sunday at the Mexico Open two weeks ago until he had a late triple bogey that cost him a chance at his third win.
He is No. 1 in the field in Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and, as long as he can gain a few strokes putting, we love his chances to finish in the top 20 or beyond.
Sepp Straka | +8000 at DraftKings
We were on Sepp Straka last week and he missed the cut, which really inflated his odds this week. We will go right back to the well at even better odds.
Straka has been as hot as any player on Tour, with an outright win at the Honda Classic a few months ago. He has since contended at the Players Championship with a T-9 and was one stroke away from joining Jordan Spieth and Patrick Cantlay in the playoff at the RBC Heritage.
He has been in excellent form since the onset of the Florida swing and he has proven he has what it takes to be in contention on Sundays. He isn’t the longest player, but his approach and putting on bentgrass will allow him to score plenty of bogies.
This price at +8000 is far too high.
Justin Thomas | +155 at BetRivers
Dustin Johnson | +275 at BetRivers
Will Zalatoris | +250 at FanDuel
Justin Thomas | -130 at FanDuel
Will Zalatoris | +125 at BetRivers
Joaquin Niemann | +175 at BetRivers
Sepp Straka | +320 at FanDuel
Cameron Champ | +130 at FanDuel
Sepp Straka | +200 at FanDuel
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