You guys and gals probably know by now that I love some long shots for FRL bets on the PGA Tour. Anyone can have a hot day on the golf course and go low. We see it all the time. Plus, the books don’t price in advantages like tee time draw, weather, course conditions in the morning versus the afternoon, or temperature and how it affects the ball as much they probably should. I’m not saying that bookmakers don’t consider those factors at all, but I believe they don’t put as much into making the lines as they do outright options or bets over the course of 4 rounds of competition.
Therefore, I like chasing the long shot guys on Thursdays. It’s a great opening day PGA Tour sweat. Plus, if you hit, you’ve got house money to play with for the rest of the tournament.
Bay Hill is our host site for this week, and we’ve heard from a few local caddies that they like the “bombers” given the wide fairways and long approach shots. One caddie told us yesterday he felt like they were hitting hybrid into every fairway (he clearly caddies for a guy with Pat Perry like club head speed). The other big thing this week is being able to putt on these grainy Bermuda grains (similar to the ones we saw last week). We love looking at the long term data on Strokes Gained Bermuda to see who’s truly comfy and not just a flash.
In terms of weather, it looks to be quite lovely and benign. In the screenshot below, you see the wind is basically projected between 5-8mph all day Thursday with zero chance of rain. So…pretty even playing field as far as that’s concerned for both Thursday tee time waves. However, the temperature is where a slight edge may be found given the morning will start out in the 50s. The ball just won’t be traveling as far in the cold, heavy air as it will once we hit the mid 60s and 70s. Combine that with the tip from our caddie friend on how long the course plays, and it makes us lean with a slight mix in tee times. Last week, when we tipped Jhonnatan Vegas at 100/1 for FRL, we were all in on the morning guys. It’s a little different this week.
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Matt “EveryKey” Every 8:17am (80/1) - As the back to back winner here in 2014 and 2015, Every comes in better form now than he’s ever been coming to this event. The stats don’t line up, but Every pops a chub when he pulls in the parking lot at Bay Hill. It’s like MJ pulling into Neverland Ranch. His last 4 starts have all been T20 or better with SG: Approach leading the way in terms of how he’s playing so well.
Patrick Rodgers 11:35am (100/1) - Rodgers, like Every, doesn’t check many key stats this week, but this boy has tons of super low rounds on the PGA Tour. He just can’t put 3 or 4 together but maybe 3 times a year. He arrives this week in trending form after a T30 last week and a T15 at the Genesis. He’s made 2 of 3 cuts here in the last 3 years with a T7 in 2018 and a T20 in 2016. Catch the 1 round heater from P Rodg in the warmer conditions and take that 100/1.
Harris English 8:17am (125/1) - The Georgia Bulldog and Bermuda lovin son of a gun is a sneaky play in all formats, and we love the number at 125/1. He ranks 17th in this field in SG: Putting on Bermuda over the last 100 rounds. The T12 at Honda last week was solid with Harris gaining strokes in every major category tee to green and putting. He loves Bay Hill and makes it point to get here every season.
Harold Varner III 11:47am (125/1) - HV3 is 1 of 2 first round leader bets we’ve nailed this year as we hit him at 100/1 a few weeks back. He’s a young, aggressive bomber that can go unconsciously low from time to time. We like the length at the warmer part of the day. The form has been a little spotty recently, but the only thing that’s letting him down is the flat stick. We know that can come and go at anytime. He’s 15th in this field in Greens in Regulation over the last 24 rounds and 40th in Good Drive %. We like the way it stacks up for him as he takes on Bay Hill for the 3rd time.
Happy Betting Golf Addicts!