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.
This just in…the #PolarVortex will not be effecting TPC Scottsdale and the Waste Management Phoenix Open! Thursday looks to be perfect. No rain. Essentially no wind. Clear skies. Birdies abound. As a result, you may think there’s not really an edge to be found for first round leader bets, but I’d say we can find a small potential edge. There are multiple PGA Tour players cited as saying the cooler air of desert mornings plays a factor in the distance the golf ball travels. Take a look at this screenshot from Weather.gov for the Scottsdale area starting at 8am Thursday.
Weather.gov / Scottsdale
The guys going off at 7:20am to maybe 8:30am are going to deal with fresh green surfaces, but the ball won’t fly as far in that air. I like the distance advantage this week. Therefore, I’m looking at long shot bombers that can score in bunches.
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Kevin Tway (80/1) 12:35pm – It’s big sexy’s 3rd trip around TPC Scottsdale, and round 1 seems like most likely for him to go low before he gets distracted and shacks up with some shawty that flashed her boobs on 16. He’s an aggressive, young bomber in shockingly steady form when you look at the strokes gained data. He’s not losing strokes in any category when you look at his last 5, 10, and 20 tournaments. The game is clicking for young Kev on all cylinders. His finishes would just indicate he’s a little inconsistent in putting 4 rounds together. However, we only need the 1st round to be bangin this week.
Jason Kokrak (90/1) 11:35am – Kokrak’s been on a touch of a heater lately with back to back Top 20s on the PGA Tour. He makes the trip to Scottsdale every year, and while his results vary, he clearly enjoys the Stadium course enough to keep putting it on the schedule. It suits his game given his SG: Off the tee numbers and ability to go low. In his last 2 events, he’s gained 4 strokes off the tee and nearly 3 on approach. The ball striking is there. This 90/1 number seems too long for a guy in his form. Jump on it.
Harold Varner III (100/1) 11:45am – While this will be HV3’s 4th trip around TPC Scottsdale, his finishes haven’t been strong. However, he comes in this year checking all of the boxes when you look at both short term form and long term. He’s top 30 in the field in SG: OTT, Opportunities gained, and birdie or better. I’ll take the aggressive bomber types at triple digit odds every tournament for a half unit or so. You should too!
Sam Ryder (140/1) 12:45pm – I nearly left Ryder off this, but I just have a gut feeling about it. Plus, 140/1 is just ridiculous for a FRL bet on a young guy that’s made some waves on the PGA Tour already. He’s proven the ability to get hot and put up a low round or two. This is his first time around TPC Scottsdale, but it appears he’s enjoying the track according to his Instagram stories this week. His iron play has been off a little the last 3 tournaments, but he’s known to be a boom or bust kind of player when you look at his finishes in 2018. A half unit throw in bet at 140/1 is just too good to pass up on this kid.
Happy Betting Golf Addicts!