1. #1
    Hman's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    Best bets for the Memorial Tournament ⛳

    Best bets for the Memorial Tournament


    PGA Tour golf is back in full swing, albeit without the crowds we're accustomed to.

    Collin Morikawa outlasted Justin Thomas in a playoff for his first PGA Tour win last weekend at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. None of our experts had Morikawa for the win, but several hit on prop bets, including Xander Schauffele, Kevin Streelman, Patrick Cantlay and Viktor Hovland finishing in the top 20 and Gary Woodland posting a top-5.

    The tour will remain at Muirfield for the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.

    Which players are good bets, and which props are worth a look at Jack's place?

    Betting expert Chris "The Bear" Fallica, ESPN.com sports betting deputy editor David Bearman, ESPN betting analyst Doug Kezirian and fantasy analyst Anita Marks offer their best bets.

    Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook unless otherwise noted.

    Bets to win

    Cantlay 13-1 (+200 to finish top-10)

    Bearman: I almost pulled the trigger on Cantlay last week and wasn't too worried about the miss until his final-round 65 shot him up the leaderboard. Sometimes, it's right in front of you. The defending champ at the Memorial finished T-7 last week at this course, which makes Cantlay six for his past six with top-20s in full field events this season. That includes finishing in the top 11 five times in those six events. In his past three appearances at the Muirfield Village, including last week, he shot par or better in all 12 rounds. Cantlay is seventh on tour in strokes gained: tee-to-green, a stat in which he was second in the field last year when he won and in which 2016 champion Jason Dufner led the field in his win. I love Cantlay to match last week's performance at the very least, which pays off the +200 top-10 pick and would spread some dough on the 13-1 (I've seen as high as 16-1 in other books) for the outright win, even though they aren't great odds. It took Cantlay three rounds to get it going last week, but a hot start on Thursday could lead him to a trophy.

    Brooks Koepka 18-1

    Kezirian: Remember when he was considered the world's best golfer? The guy is often hard to figure out, but he certainly has a top-notch game. We saw a glimpse of that last weekend, when he shot 6-under over his final 10 holes and barely missed the cut. Granted, that started when he was 5-over, so we can't completely dismiss the wretched start. However, this could be just the right spot to back a guy whose motivation and commitment have been questioned. He originally wasn't planning to play this event, but perhaps last week's Twitter gaffe toward Bryson DeChambeau has lit his fire and we'll get the best version of Koepka.

    Morikawa 20-1

    Bearman: Sometimes, it isn't rocket science. You won't get the 33-1 of last week, but 20-1 isn't bad for the guy who destroyed Jack's course last week. As we did at the Workday Charity Open, we are going to look at strokes gained: tee-to-green, in which Morikawa was third in the field during his win last week and in which two of the past three champions of the Memorial Tournament finished in the top two. He's also up to eighth on tour in this stat. Morikawa already has a win and runner-up finish since the tour's return and has made the cut in all but one event as a pro. Former ESPN researcher Justin Ray pointed out that the most recent player to have two wins before two MCs was none other than Tiger Woods in 1996. If you are willing to lay the -500 on him to be there this weekend ...

    Webb Simpson 24-1 (+275 to finish top-10, +125 to finish top-20 at DK)

    Fallica: I can see Simpson's game taking to Muirfield this week. It has been a pretty mixed bag for Simpson here, as he has missed three cuts and has just one top-10 finish. But he's among the best in the world right now. He has one round worse than 70 in his past nine rounds, he is 12th in strokes gained: tee-to-green, and it would be a surprise if he didn't post a third straight top-10, with a great chance at a third win in his past six events.

    Schauffele 25-1

    Marks: Schauffele loves the big stage, and Memorial will be the biggest since the tour resumed play. He is one of the best ball-strikers on tour, and Muirfield rewards those magicians with irons. The metrics needed to win this week fit Schauffele's game to a tee; this season he ranks top-13 in SG: tee-to-green, on approach, greens in regulation percentage and par-5 scoring -- and he putts well on bent grass.

    Daniel Berger 33-1 (+400 to finish top-10 at DraftKings)

    Bearman: Shh ... don't tell anyone, but Berger is back playing this week. I say that because I am not sure people know. After winning in the tour's return at Colonial, Berger followed with a T-3 at Harbour Town and then took the next three weeks off. His past five starts? All top-10s. He has shot par or better in every round since October. That's right: 32 consecutive rounds at par or better, dating to a missed cut at the Houston Open. He's seventh in total shots gained, 17th in SG: tee-to-green and sixth in scoring average. Why 33-to-1? Maybe because he hasn't played here since 2016? Stacked field? Don't ask. Just jump on it (I've seen it upward of 40-1 at some books) and enjoy.

    Woodland 40-1 (+200 to finish top-20 at DK)

    Bearman: On Anita's show Friday, she asked me whom to watch over the weekend who could make a run at a high finish. I said Woodland, who struggled Thursday and early Friday and was flirting with the cut but finished 4-under over the last five holes of Round 2. He carried that over to a 66-69 weekend and T-5 finish. His 13-under par over the last 41 holes at Muirfield Village was tops in the field, besting even that of the two playoff participants. He won both his matchups easily and paid off pre-tourney bettors with a backdoor top-5. Woodland also has two other top-10s at Jack's event, finishing T-4 in 2016 and sixth in 2011. Woodland runs hot and cold, as he has seven top-10s this year but went T-62 at Harbour Town and missed the cut at Cromwell. Right now, he is riding hot, so take the 40-1, and should he be there over the weekend, I have him finishing in the top 20.

    Long shots

    Abraham Ancer 50-1

    Marks: Ancer took two weeks off and should be refreshed and ready to go. He's another top-notch ball-striker whose game has been on point this season. Ancer is ranked 11th in SG: tee-to-green this season, 11th in approach and eighth in par-3 scoring.

    Patrick Reed 55-1

    Kezirian: We all dislike backing him because he's, well, Patrick Reed. But this number has incredible value, given that he was in the neighborhood of 33-1 last week. He's still ranked eighth in the world, and his three PGA Tour wins have all come against strong fields. He has also made the cut all four times at Muirfield Village, but all things considered, his course history isn't amazing. Nonetheless, he was playing extremely well before the shutdown and can certainly deliver on this price.

    Streelman 70-1 (+300 to finish top-20 DK)

    Bearman: Going to the well is a fun exercise with golf picks, and it's perfect for this week, with the same course being played. Streelman was my profit driver last week in matchups and top-20, so I'm going back to him again. Sure, it's a harder field than last week, which must explain how Streelman (whom I was able to get at 65-1 and +250 for a top-20 last week) has even longer odds this week. Here's a guy who flirted with the top of the leaderboard all week at Muirfield, has a proven history at the course (four top-10s, including fourth last year and seventh last week) and was runner-up three weeks ago in Connecticut. He holds up metric-wise, up to 33rd in SG: tee-to-green and 35th in strokes gained overall. I thought I was fortunate last week to get him at the long odds, and he delivered. I expected shorter odds this week, but I will happily take the 70-1 and 3-to-1 value to finish in the top 20.

    Byeong-Hun An 100-1

    Kezirian: He fits the mold of a recent trend, which is young guys with great approach games getting early wins so far in this resumption. An started his second round last week on fire and looked like he'd make the cut, but his momentum was crushed by the weather delay. When he's on, he's great tee-to-green and a horrible putter, but he has never lost strokes putting here. I'm always down to grab triple digits.

    Prop bets

    Cameron Champ to make cut (-150 at DK), +500 to finish top-20

    Fallica: Champ is 3-for-3 in making the cut since the restart, and although he kind of blew up on the weekend last week, he should play better this week and have another shot at the weekend this week. Prior to last week, he posted consecutive top-15 finishes, so 5-to-1 to finish in the top 20 is appealing.

    Berger (+110) vs. Schauffele

    Bearman: I listed the half-dozen reasons to take Berger. Now he's getting plus money against Schauffele, who played OK but not great last week at Muirfield. He finished T-14th, but at plus money and well rested, give me Berger.

    Cantlay (+115) vs. DeChambeau

    Fallica: I'll take the plus money with Cantlay, as I'm not as sure DeChambeau's "grip it and rip it" approach will be the best way to play the course this week. I expect thicker rough and some severe penalties for being short or long on approach, as well as firmer greens. I think Cantlay's game is a safer bet this week. If you can find Cantlay at plus money vs. some of the other top players here (Rory McIlroy, JT, etc.), I'd grab him in those matchups, too.

    Jordan Spieth to miss cut (+138 at DK)

    Fallica: It's hard to have a lot of confidence in Spieth right now, as he's 145th on tour in SG: tee-to-green and missed the cut in the Workday last week. Plus money to miss the cut is very appealing, and I would be looking at fading him here, too, as he just can't seem to keep his drive in the fairway (205th in driving accuracy).

    Woods to miss cut (+185 at DK)

    Fallica: Tiger is a perfect 17-for-17 in making the cut at Memorial, but I think he's a huge question this week. The last time we saw him on tour, he struggled at Riviera, another place he's typically comfortable. With this field having the strength of a U.S. Open, Open Championship or WGC Event, I'll be fading Tiger in head-to-head and putting a little something on him missing out on the weekend.

    Lucas Glover +188 to finish top-30 (DK)

    Marks: Glover is having a nice season (four top-25s) and sports six straight made cuts at Memorial. He ranks top-40 in driving accuracy, strokes gained on approach and greens in regulation percentage this season ... all metrics needed to score well at Muirfield.

    Cantlay +200 to finish top-10, -112 to finish top-20 (DK)

    Fallica: Cantlay is seventh in SG: tee-to-green, and coming off a Sunday 65 last week at the Workday, he should be poised for -- at the very least -- his seventh straight top-20 finish as he looks to defend his title. You can lay a small number to finish in the top 20 -- a place he hasn't finished out of since September -- and get 2-1 to finish in the top 10. That's how I will play him, along with some head-to-heads.

    Jim Furyk +200 to finish top-40 (DK)

    Marks: Furyk is easy money to finish in the top 40 this week. The game in his bag screams Memorial; he's first in driving accuracy this season, first in greens in regulation percentage, 18th in strokes gained on approach and 45th in SG: tee-to-green. Others I like: Troy Merritt (+225 at DK) and Doc Redman (+163 at DK).

    DeChambeau +250 to finish top-5 (DK)

    Marks: Bryson is back, and no one is playing better. I mean, who hits their 9-iron 190 yards? DeChambeau won here in 2018 and is ranked near the top of every metric needed to win this week. I just hope he ends up paired with Koepka. That'd be fun. Others I like: Simpson (+550 at DK) and Cantlay (+400 at DK).

    Paul Casey +275 to finish top-20 (DK)

    Marks: On metrics alone, top-20 for Casey is a no-brainer. This season he ranks 15th in SG: tee-to-green, ninth in approach, 12th in greens in regulation percentage and 13th in par-5 scoring, and he is fantastic on fast bent grass greens. I also like Tony Finau (+250 at DK).

    Jon Rahm to miss cut (+300 at DK)

    Marks: Rahm has played in the Memorial only once and missed the cut. His game is so horribly off, and Muirfield is not the course this Spaniard can scramble to stay in the game.

    Woods (pass)

    Bearman: What to do, what to do? ESPN's Michael Collins put it perfectly when he wrote that his mind changes every few minutes on how Tiger will fare this week. No one knows if he is healthy because of the long rest or if he's rusty because of it. He looked pretty good in the charity event with Peyton Manning, but people forget that he was out because of back issues before the pandemic hit. I am treading lightly with Tiger this week and just enjoying that he is back. His odds range from 20-1 to 30-1 and aren't bad at the higher end for a five-time winner of this event. At 20-1, I am a pass. I could see him having a good weekend after surviving the cut, so the +150 on a top-20 isn't terrible, but you also risk him just trying to figure out his game if he is not in contention. For all those reasons, I am laying off.

  2. #2
    Leave of absence until March Madness
    RudyRuetigger's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    best bets....ok so they name most of the top 10 golfers

    what a bunch of clowns

    thatll atleast secure jobs though

  3. #3
    navyblue81's Avatar Become A Pro!
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    I played Xander Schauffele at 25-1 and Webb Simpson at 22-1. Both the best value plays out there.

    Schauffele played great over the weekend at Muirfield last week and always plays well with big fields.

    Simpson should be a lot lower than 22-1. I'll take those odds all day. He's playing perhaps the best golf of anyone in the world right now.

    I try not to play more than 2 guys a week. Picking these things are hard enough. Not going to throw money away on picking favorites and then watch Sepp Straka win.