Northern Trust PGA weekend betting preview

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First two rounds summary

At the halfway point of the Northern Trust, it certainly has been an interesting start to the PGA Tour playoffs. The course has played even easier than expected, which is really saying something because it was already supposed to be a fairly easy week. The tour made the majority of the flags very gettable to the players on Friday which led to some abnormally low scores, including a 59 from Scottie Scheffler and a 60 from Dustin Johnson. Johnson was at a scorching pace of 11 under through his first 11 holes and for a while looked as if it could have been a truly historic day. He ultimately parred his remaining holes on the back nine and settled for a “disappointing” 60. 

A few very prominent golfers in the world rankings failed to hang around for the weekend. Collin Morikawa failed to back up his PGA Championship performance, Patrick Cantlay still can’t seem to piece it all together for a whole week, Bryson DeChambeau can’t seem to get his approach game dialed in, and Jordan Speith remains inconsistent off the tee. 

Below is the current leaderboard heading into the third round:

Dustin Johnson-15
Scottie Scheffler-13
Cameron Davis-13
Louis Oosthuizen-12
Danny Lee-12
Harris English-12
Russell Henley-11
Kevin Kisner-11
Daniel Berger-10
Si Woo Kim-10
Matthew Wolff-10

The weather looks to remain calm throughout the weekend which should lead to even more solid scoring during the final two rounds. There are a number of different ways to attack this weekend from a betting perspective. Whenever a prominent figure in the golf world holds the lead entering the weekend, there is bound to be value to be found. This is the exact situation we find ourselves in entering Saturday, with Dustin Johnson holding a 2 stroke lead. 

Outrights review

The recommended outright plays from the original article have been much like Byrson DeChambeau’s approach game, hit and miss. By far the biggest disappointment up to this point has been Jason Day. He came into this week in scorching hot form and appeared to have lost it all in two rounds, ending with a Friday 75 to miss the cut by six shots. His rankings to the field in the major strokes gained categories are all near the bottom for the week: 

Truly disappointing numbers from a golfer who had been playing so well coming in. Hopefully he can get it together for the tournament next week. 

Of the three golfers I originally wrote up, two of them are currently in the top 10 with Daniel Berger (28/1) and Matthew Wolff (60/1) both playing very solid golf. By having both of them in contention after the first two rounds, it allows us to get even more creative with how we want to attack the board from an live outrights perspective. 

If you missed getting the original bets, both of them are very live to win this with Berger currently at +1400 and Wolff sitting at +2200. Feel free to take shots on either of those odds heading into the weekend.

Live stats summary

Below are the current leaders in strokes gained: approach throughout the first two rounds side by side with their strokes gained: putting. When looking at live odds, we are wanting to target golfers who have been striking the ball well but just can’t seem to get a putt to drop.

PlayerPosSG: APPSG: P
Dustin Johnson1119
Kevin Streelman202104
Harris English435
Russell Henley7437
Adam Scott29552
Adam Long20672
Adam Schenk29766
Scottie Scheffler2822
Cameron Davis296
Keegan Bradley201086
Charley Hoffman121126
Brian Harman121277
Kevin Kisner71315
Justin Rose5814107
Cameron Smith401561
Cameron Tringale581694
Robby Shelton401743
Webb Simpson181818
Si Woo Kim91940
Bubba Watson122073
Live Stats

Initial golfers that stand out at first glance that may be poised to have a good weekend are Kevin Streelman, Justin Rose, and the trios of Adams in Long, Schenk, and Scott. Be careful with just taking this approach however. A counterargument to this can be looking at Webb Simpson. He is a consistently solid putter; one of the best on tour. His approach numbers are enough reason to believe he will have a good next couple rounds because, more often than not, he will maintain his strong putting performance as well. 

Outrights added

We should start this outrights segment by discussing Dustin Johnson. He was the star of the show on Friday and holds a two shot lead heading into the weekend. There are a handful of golfers on tour that, when at their best, no one else can compete with. Johnson is one of those select few. He has already won on tour this year and looks poised to make the first playoff event win #2. I won’t be taking a stab at him with live outrights odds down as low as +150 but it is difficult to find a scenario where he doesn’t pull away from the field. Luckily for you, that’s exactly what we are going to try to do.

Harris English +1000

A golfer who consistently finds himself in my outright articles, English is having a stellar season so far. He has finished inside the top 23 in his previous five starts and has only missed one cut in his past 11 events played. His strokes gained numbers have been elite and that hasn’t changed throughout the first two rounds so far in Boston. Below are his ranks against the field:

If Dustin Johnson gives back some strokes early there is not enough star power on the leaderboard to compete paving the way for English to make a run at the title. I’ll take a stab at 10/1.

Russell Henley +3300

A name that continues to pop up on the first page of leaderboards is Russell Henley. He’s had two top 10 finishes in his past four starts and looks ready to make it a third this week. He finds himself four shots back of DJ heading into the weekend which is definitely obtainable. Last week at the Wyndham was the first event in quite some time that he gained strokes putting but through the first two rounds this week he has gained over a full stroke. If Henley has figured something out with the flat stick there are surely wins in his near future. 

Top five in the field in Approach, Ball Striking, and Tee to Green? Give me all the Russell Henley this weekend. I’m betting him at 33/1 live and also looking for whatever matchup the books will give me. 

Matchups to consider

At the time of writing this, most books have not yet released the head to head matchups for round three but I’ll do my best to make arguments for golfers I like heading into Saturday so then when matchups are released, we know who to target. 

Adam Long

Three straight made cuts on tour including a 2nd place finish at the 3M, maybe Adam Long isn’t just a fluke. He seems to have really found something in his game. He currently sits in 20th place this week and has done most of his damage on Approach which, of course, I love to see.

Adam will be one of my favorites for head-to-head matchups this weekend. It looks as if he will be paired with Scott Piercy tomorrow. I can’t get to the betting window fast enough. 

Adam Schenk

Schenk finds himself in a tie for 28th at the moment and has made it to this point with impressive ball striking. His irons and total tee-to-green game has been superb through the first two rounds. He is the exact golfer we want to be looking for heading into a Saturday; great approach, poor putting. 

He is currently in the top 10 in the field in approach, a field that includes all of the best golfers in the world. The ball striking and tee-to-green numbers don’t hurt to see either. It appears as if he will be paired up with the inconsistent Jason Kokrak on Saturday. I will be all over that matchup for the third round. 

J.T. Poston over Maverick McNealy

Sometimes head-to-head bets come down to picking a golfer who you think will have a poor round, not always who will just perform well. McNealy lines up as the exact golfer to go after tomorrow.

5th in the field in putting but 113th in approach? That screams regression and will most likely take form for Saturday’s round. JT Poston on the other hand posted approach and ball striking numbers in the top half of the field but was 77th in putting. Just strictly looking at the numbers, this appears to be a dream matchup to bet. Once the odds are released, I’ll be taking Poston over McNealy. 

I will post some additional live plays I like on Twitter once all of the lines are released. Fingers crossed that DJ can give some back early and Wolff or Berger can make a run at the title. Good luck to everyone this weekend in Boston!

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