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Flag Hunting: PGA Betting Picks - 2024 WM Phoenix Open

Jordan Spieth - PGA DFS lineup picks daily fantasy golf

Between Monday's Course Preview piece (found right here on RotoBaller), and last night's podcast (currently posted on our Twitter page), we've given y'all every possible trend, key stat, and player take needed to make the most educated betting decisions possible this week at TPC Scottsdale. This Wednesday article will now serve as a final bow to wrap up a jam-packed week of PGA content at Flag Hunting. No fluff, no rants or superfluous soliloquies, just the entirety of our 2024 Farmers Insurance Open outright betting card.

The three names on this betting card are aimed at returning ~6.5 times our investment (including potential live-adds). Because of the inflated odds associated with the outright market, it becomes even more imperative to remain disciplined when setting your unit allocations from this article's picks. Golf outright betting is a notoriously fickle beast, and multiple month-long droughts are very much within the range of outcomes. However, at these prices, one single hit can pay off many weeks of poor decision-making.

In the two-year history at Flag Hunting, we've been fortunate enough to cash a total of 22 outright winners (a 22.2% hit rate), for a profit of nearly $17,000 (betting roughly $350 per week), and an aggregate ROI of 47.1%. The volatility of the sport means I can't promise you a winner in any given tournament, but if you're willing to bet methodically and stick with the process, the outright golf betting market has the potential to be one of the most profitable (and enjoyable), betting sweats in the business. But I suppose I'd better keep my word about the necessary rants, so with no further ado, here's every bet I've made for the 2024 Pebble Beach Pro-Am!

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WM Phoenix Open Pro-Am Betting Card

Justin Thomas (16-1)

I'm not exactly breaking new ground in the Golf Betting space by having Justin Thomas as my headline selection this week. In fact, scrolling through Twitter, I'd go as far as to say a JT victory here in Scottsdale might result in the biggest celebration this community has ever seen.

I'm not scared away by the consensus, as JT profiles about as well as you can for the test these guys face here in Scottsdale. He's long been one of the premier mid/long-iron players in the game -- evidenced by the fact that he's never lost strokes on Approach in 8 starts here (averaging 4.02 SG/start), and has only lost strokes off the tee here once since 2015. JT's also putted very well historically on these winter overseeds (PLAYERS, Valspar, Scottsdale), and currently rides a streak of five straight Top 6 finishes around the world.

Over his last five appearances around TPC Scottsdale, JT's yet to finish worse than 13th, and leads this field in Strokes Gained average: even over 2x defending Champ Scottie Scheffler. I posted him as a bet at 16-1 as soon as the field was released last Friday, but even the 12-1s available early this week as top names Xander/Hovland took a pass are more than acceptable.

 

Jordan Spieth (30-1)

Spieth was another name that I outlined late last week as a potential value in a reduced strength of field, and although the 30-1's from seven days ago are long gone, the fact that Xander and Hovland have both taken an unexpected pass from Scottsdale this year makes the 22-1 currently being dealt on BookMaker a very compelling proposition.

Spieth has recorded four top-10 finishes around TPC Scottsdale since 2016, including a fourth-place finish here in 2021 during one of the more trying stretches of his career. Jordan came into the 2021 iteration on the back of ten consecutive starts without a top-30 result, before gaining 7.8 shots on approach and 4.1 strokes putting over four days in the desert.

There will be no such need for a get-right spot in 2024, as Spieth comes into the WM Open on the back of 3rd and 6th place finish to bookend the New Year, before stringing together back-to-back sub-70 rounds at Pebble Beach. The elements cut short what seemed to be a momentum-building week, as Jordan gained 3.5 shots from tee-to-green in Rounds 2 and 3 alone.

Those ball-striking trends should safely continue around TPC Scottsdale this week, as Jordan has recorded four of the best 16 approach weeks of his entire career right here in Arizona:

  • +8.4 in 2023
  • +7.8 in 2021
  • +7.2 in 2017
  • +6.2 in 2015

He recorded one of the best putting weeks of his 2023 season on similarly overseeded greens at the Valspar Championship at Innisbrook (+4.6), and two starts ago, the putter was as hot as we've seen in nearly three years at Kapalua (+5.9). He hasn't exactly been the most reliable commodity over the last few years, but when Jordan feels comfortable at a venue, he tends to spike in a big way (see: Harbour Town, Augusta National, Kapalua, etc). I trust him to return as much upside as anyone currently priced over 20-1.

 

Did you know RotoBaller has a Premium DFS PGA subscription? Like what you read today? You can show your support for Ian by using the discount code BALLER when purchasing a PGA Premium Pass. You get 10% off and full access to all of our Premium PGA articles, DFS tools, and Lineup Optimizer! You also get access to weekly betting picks from Spencer Aguiar, one of the top betting minds in the industry.

 

Matt Fitzpatrick (35-1)

It's been a rather inauspicious start to the 2024 campaign for Matt Fitzpatrick, as the Englishman followed his 14th-place result at Kapalua with a MC and T58 in Waialae and Pebble Beach. Despite these recent inconsistencies, however, I believe books have gone a bridge too far pricing the World No. 9 in the mid-30s in this field.

Fitzpatrick has recorded finishes of 10th and 29th in two Scottsdale starts, and despite the two recent disappointments from a results standpoint, he enters this week on the back of one of the better ball-striking runs he's had in recent memory. Over the last five months, Fitzpatrick has put gained strokes on approach in six of eight starts, and gained off of the tee in six of nine. Those recent splits become even more enticing when you consider that TPC Scottsdale will provide a much more suitable fit for Fitzpatrick's long-term ball-striking profile.

Since the start of last year, Matt has gained ~0.05 strokes per shot on approaches from >150 yards. This is a substantial increase in his overall baseline when you consider his consistent struggles from inside 150 (-0.024 strokes per shot). The proof is right there in his recent results, as well, as six of Fitzpatrick's best iron weeks over the last two seasons have come at venues with a heavy distribution of mid/long-iron approach shots.

  • +6.2 SG: APP at Harbour Town
  • +4.2 at Augusta National
  • +4.2 at Olympia Fields
  • +4.6 at LACC (2023 U.S. Open)
  • +4.2 here at TPC Scottsdale in 2022
  • +5.9 at Brookline (2022 U.S. Open)

I'm not saying recent form isn't important, but when you consider the handicap we used at places like Waialae or Pebble Beach compared to what we anticipate seeing this week in Scottsdale, the differences couldn't be more night and day. Fitzpatrick hit 81% of his fairways last week in three rounds between Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, and ended his 2023 season with three top-five finishes from September-December. I'll gladly take my chances on a recent U.S. Open Champion, and one of the better course fits we have in this field at a number bordering on 40-1.

 

Akshay Bhatia (90-1)

After making three bets under 40-1 to start the week, I was largely content with saving the remainder of my budget to make a few in-tournament adds around this volatile layout. At 90-1, however, I was never going to be able to resist a player of Akshay's pedigree around a ball-strikers paradise like TPC Scottsdale.

Bhatia has begun his 2024 season with three finishes of 14th of better, including a very impressive 13th place finish in his Farmers Insurance Open debut in which he gained 4.5 strokes ball-striking and 4.8 strokes putting in three rounds at the demanding Torrey Pines South.

The long-term statistics also speak to an ascendant ball-striking talent, as Akshay ranks inside of the top 15 in both my Total Driving and Mid/Long-Iron Proximity models over his last 75 rounds. The field he'll face this week isn't any more daunting than the ones he's conquered over this torrid stretch to start the season, and if he does find his way into contention, there won't be a more popular name in the field to this raucous crowd than a 22-year-old wunderkind with Bhatia's flair and personality.

Best of luck guys, and Happy Hunting!

 

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