Bellus’ Betting Breakdown: Golf Season is Back
With the Super Bowl just around the corner and NFL Season coming to an end, it’s time I turn my attention back to the best summer sport, golf.
And there’s no better time to do it than this week at TPC Scotsdale with the best field we’ve seen up to this point of the 2023 golf calendar.
If you haven’t been paying attention to golf since the summer, here’s what you missed.
Rory McIlroy and Jon Rham have separated themselves from the field.
They have combined for seven wins and 13 top fives in their last 14 events.
With the top of the oddsboards so weighted towards Rahm and McIlroy, it’s opened up some value the lower we look.
Let’s take a look at a few guys I like to upset the two Europeans this week, and which lesser known names I think might be in the mix come Sunday.
According to RickRunGood.com, there are only nine courses on Tour where Strokes Gained: Tee to Green are more important than at TPC Scottsdale.
Xander Schauffele +1400
Xander Schauffele has played in this tournament five times.
He’s finished inside the Top 20 all five of years.
The last two trips here, he’s finished tied for third in 2021 and tied for second place last year.
Since this event last year, Schauffele has added three PGA Tour wins to his resume and enters this week with top 10 finishes in five of his last six events.
He’s going to win at this course before all is said and done, why not this year?
Third. Second. And Sixth.
Those are the finishing places for Collin Morikawa in his last three events.
The two-time major champion should already have one win under his belt this season, when he took a massive six-shot lead into Sunday at the Tournament of Champions.
But three straight bogeys and a fury of birdies from Jon Rahm flipped that script.
And now it’s Morikawa’s turn.
Morikawa has played at this venue once before, finishing tied for 25th in 2020.
I expect he’ll have plenty of opportunities to score at TPC Scottsdale this week, and if he rolls in enough putts, he’ll contend and might add a win to his resume.
Tom Kim +150
Find me a 20-year-old that hits the ball better than Tom Kim, and I will give you my job.
Kim is one of the brightest stars we have in the sport of golf at the moment.
While he’s quickly becoming known for his ability to ball-strike, it’s his flair for the dramatic that has me interested in him this week.
We saw Kim elevate his game at this year’s Presidents Cup, where he collected two points for the International side.
With this being one of the first big events on the 2023 golf calendar, I expect him to be in the mix on Sunday, and cash this T20.
Sahith Theegala +160
If it weren’t for a bad bounce on the 71st hole last year, Theegala might have celebrated his first PGA Tour win on this course.
He enters this week on the heels of his fourth Top 5 finish of the season, and has gained in the ball-striking category in four of his last five.
Theegala will be a winner on tour, and even if it doesn’t come this week, don’t be shocked when his name is near the top page of the leaderboard on Sunday.
Hayden Buckley +165
The name of the game at this course is ball-striking and that’s something Buckley has excelled at lately.
Buckley has gained strokes in the ball-striking category in 13 of his last 15 events.
The 26-year-old has cracked the top 40 on five occasions this season.
And enters this week in much better form than last season, when he missed the cut at this event.
Sam Ryder +230
Ryder has made the cut in all four trips to this course, and enters this year’s event on the heels of second top ten finish of the season.
He stole the show here on Friday last year with a hole-in-one, hopefully this season he’s making us some dough.