Having broken down our statistical modeling strategy for the Charles Schwab Challenge, it’s now time to begin sharing some best bets.
We’ll begin as always with the derivative selections. This week, I’ve identified four selections who I believe are primed for good finishes at Colonial Country Club based on their model positions and past performances.
With that in mind, here are the four players I’m targeting this week. All odds come courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook and are reflective at time of writing.
Best Bet #1 – Viktor Hovland Top-10 Finish (+290)
Hovland is coming off a disappointing T-41st in last week’s PGA Championship, but I believe Colonial will suit his game better.
In his only appearance to date at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Hovland posted a T-23 finish, but ranked 12th for the week in strokes-gained: tee-to-green. Additionally, in his last 24 rounds played on courses under 7,200 yards, Hovland ranks seventh in the field in SG: total.
In terms of my model, Hovland ranks out second in both my 36- and 50-round projections. If you include the 24- and 75-round projections, Hovland comes in no worse than fourth.
Just in terms of the 36-round model, there’s a lot to like about Hovland. He ranks inside the top-21 in the field in nine of 10 statistical measures and is 15th or better in the field in six of those nine. Most importantly, he’s 12th in SG: T2G, ninth in strokes-gained: approach and 10th in birdies or better gained.
Plus, across his last six starts on tour, Hovland has three top-10 finishes. For those reasons, I’d play the Norwegian at +200 or better for a top-10 finish.
Best Bet #2 – Collin Morikawa Top-10 Finish (+165)
A course that requires laser-point accuracy with drives and approaches? Sounds like something built for Morikawa!
The performances for the 2020 PGA champion back up that as he’s finished T-14th in 2021 after posting a runner-up finish at Colonial in 2020, losing in a playoff to eventual winner Daniel Berger. Further, Morikawa does very well on short courses — he’s second in the field in SG: total over his last 24 rounds on qualifying courses and ranks seventh in SG: approach over that span.
Morikawa is also someone that ranks out very highly in my different models. He’s fourth in the 36-round model and second in the 24-round projection. In terms of the latter model, Morikawa ranks out no worse than 14th in six of 10 individual statistics and ranks out 10th or better in four of those six categories.
Plus, although he only has one top-10 in his last three starts, Morikawa has ranked eighth or better in two of those three appearances. Given Colonial rewards that stat most heavily in terms of finishing position correlation, expect a strong performance from the Cal product.
Based on my modeling, I would play Morikawa at +140 or better in this market.
Best Bet #3 – Daniel Berger Top-20 Finish (+155)
To me, this is the perfect time to buy low on Berger, a former winner at this event with solid results on short courses.
In addition to his win in 2020, Berger finished in a tie for 20th in 2021. Plus, the latter effort saw him rank seven spots higher in SG: approach than his finishing position, so bettors should place confidence in Berger and his iron game.
In terms of my model, Berger is first overall in the field in all of the 24- and 36- and 50-round model projections. Add in the 12-, 75- and 100-round models and bettors will find Berger ranks out no worse than second in the field. In examining the 24-round model, Berger paces the field in three categories – SG: T2G, SG: Par 4’s and Proximity: 150-175 yards. He also ranks fifth in SG: approach, 11th in GIRs gained and 13th in birdies or better gained.
Check out the best sports betting sites and apps
Plus, although he doesn’t own a top-20 finish in any of his last three starts, his last five starts at courses under 7200 yards have seen Berger finish 21-4-8-20-13. Further, just in his last seven starts at Colonial and its two most closely correlated tour courses — Harbour Town and TPC Southwind — Berger owns six top-20 finishes with the lone exception a T21.
For all those reasons, I would play Berger at +110 or better for a top-20 finish.
Best Bet #4 – Cameron Davis Top-40 Finish (+160)
Davis is coming off a solid showing at the PGA Championship (T-48th) and now finds himself at a more favorable setup.
This is strictly a model play on Davis, who is usually a boom or bust candidate. In his last two events on tracks shorter than 7,200 yards — the Wells Fargo and the RBC Heritage — Davis posted a missed cut and a T3, respectively. In his four previous events at qualifying courses, Davis went 27-MC-45-26.
But, he ranks 17th overall in my 36-round model, 28th overall in my 24-round projection and 22nd overall in my 12-round model. He’s also 22nd in the field in SG: total over his last 24 qualifying rounds on this course type and has now gained strokes on approach in five of his last six events.
Going back to the 36-round model, there’s not a lot to alarm bettors. Although he’s 84th in fairways gained and 83rd in GIRs gained, Davis ranks 13th in the field in SG: T2G, fifth in SG: Par 4’s, second in birdies or better gained and first in putting from 10-15 feet.
As a result, I expect a strong finish from the Aussie this week at Colonial.
Credit: Notigroup Newsroom.
[Written in collaboration with other media outlets with information from the following sources]