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PGA DFS: Vegas Report - WGC-HSBC Champions


Tiger Woods continued his quest for history, tying Sam Snead's record at the ZOZO Championship for most wins all-time on the PGA Tour at 82.

Of all the records that Woods has tied or broken in his career, this one feels the most unbreakable. To put into perspective just how dominant the 43-year-old has been during his 23-year career, Dustin Johnson is the only player under the age of 40 that has won 20 or more times on tour and would need until the year 2056 (age 72) to tie Tiger at his current win rate.

False hyperboles are a part of the sports culture that we love, but calling Woods the greatest sportsman that has ever lived isn't one of those exaggerations. Through the ups and downs - both on and off the course - the American has revolutionized the game of golf and continues to cement his legacy with each passing year. Woods will need three more major titles to tie Jack Nicklaus, and while it seems like a farfetched challenge, haven't we learned better than to count him out?

Editor's Note: Our friends at Fantasy National have built some incredible DFS Golf lineup tools including a Lineup Optimizer, Stat Engine, Ownership Projections and Course Breakdowns. They are by far the best daily fantasy Golf tools in the industry. Seriously. You can read all about them here and see screenshots.  Sign Up Now!

2020 WGC-HSBC Champions

For an in-depth breakdown of the top DraftKings and Fanduel plays, check out Joe Nicely's weekly Horse For The Course that highlights the best fits for the week's course.

Sheshan International Golf Club

7,266 Yards - Par 72 - Greens Bentgrass

Sheshan International Golf Club opened in 2004 and is one of China's premier courses. Listed on the score sheet as a 7,266-yard Par 72, the fairways are average in width and feature tree-lined protection. However, despite the perception that wayward tee shots could present issues, bombers have found success here in the past.

Water comes into play on 11 of the holes, and diabolically located bunkers will add to the difficulty if players are unable to hit quality shots. The venue has been made more difficult multiple times throughout the years, but easy par-fives and a driveable par-four present an ample amount of scoring opportunities.

Pure Bentgrass greens add to the scoring nature of the event, but nasty run-offs will come into play if golfers don't hit quality iron shots. Strokes gained off the tee, greens in regulation and driving distance will all be important, so look for players that are able to dominate with a driver in hand.

WGC-HSBC Champions

#1 Shane Lowry 50/1

DK Price $8,800, FD Price $9,900

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 9.3%

We do have a few issues with the betting board this week that we need to discuss. As many of you who follow my article weekly may know, I am not a big proponent of messing around with the very top of the betting card. We far too often are handed insufficient numbers with no real long-term equity included, which can lead to a quick decline in your bankroll when you are forced to invest more into an event to account for the odds.

However, Rory McIlroy is presenting a slight problem from a mathematical perspective this weekend. McIlroy's current odds of 6/1 aren't showing up to be a negative EV wager with my current model, placing us in a position where we might want to be cautious when attacking the tournament from a gambling aspect. For the record, it is a minor deviation between McIlroy's current and perceived outright price tag, but it is somewhat uncommon for me to have the favorite grade out adequately priced for any event.

I think part of the reason for the value on the Irishman has to do with the next range of options available. For as much as I like Xander Schauffele, his victory here last season is being baked heavily into his current figure, while the likes of Hideki Matsuyama, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and Tony Finau don't possess as much win equity as the casinos are giving them in China. Thankfully, the overpricing on that group has opened up a window of value a little further down the board.

Shane Lowry, who is arguably playing the best golf of his career over the past six months, is wildly underpriced by my calculations - coming into the event at 50/1 - as opposed to my 22/1 projection. The Irishman does just about everything you would want to see at a course like Sheshan International, which includes power off the tee and quality putting splits on Bentgrass greens. During his past 50 rounds on the surface, Lowry ranks sixth in strokes gained putting and third in putts between five-to-10 feet. The reason I believe that distance will be critical to success stems from the fact that the putting surface is immaculate and pure once you safely hit your spots on the green. Players that have the propensity to misread putts will fall slightly behind at a venue like this because there isn't much that should go wrong from within 10-feet. Lowry's $8,800 price tag on DraftKings places him in a range that should reduce his ownership, making him one of the better contrarian options on the board in GPP events.

#2 Kevin Kisner 80/1

DK Price $7,200, FD Price $8,300

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 10.6%

Top American Player Odds - Kevin Kisner 25/1

If we are looking for value on the board, Kevin Kisner at 80/1 does provide a tiny window of opportunity because of the American's poor performance last weekend in Japan. The 32nd-ranked player in the world has seen a nearly 25% increase from where his 60/1 outright price was at the ZOZO Championship - a field that was substantially more challenging than we will get in China - and his new value of 80/1 at Sheshan International is worth a double-take.

While I do believe we have enough equity to take a small flier on Kisner as an outright bet, I am also intrigued by the 35-year-old when it comes to finishing as the "Top American." Fifteen of the top 20 players in odds hail from outside the United States, and the lack of firepower from the options that we do have here helps to make the card even more wide-open. Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods are all absent from the event, and you could argue that Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and Jordan Spieth are all overvalued when it comes to their odds of capturing the title.

There is no reason why Kisner shouldn't be in the same price range as Charles Howell III, who is 50/1 to win the tournament and 12/1 to be the "Top American," which is good enough for me to place an investment on him in both sections. Getting rid of Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose and the rest of the foreign golfers presents us with a unique spot this weekend to find an advantage in a watered-down market.

#3 Xinjun Zhang 100/1

DK Price $6,900, FD Price $8,000

Projected DraftKings Ownership Percentage - 19.3%

Top Asian Player Odds - Zinjun Zhang 16/1

This is more of a number grab than anything else on Bovada, but there is a discrepancy when it comes to Xinjun Zhang's odds to be the "Top Asian" golfer versus other spectrums of the market. Priced at 100/1 in the outright market, Zhang has been placed in the same territory as Jazz Janewattananond, who is currently valued at 200/1.

If we look at Zhang's odds to be the top player for the "Rest of the World," he only moves down to 25/1 from 18/1, which has now added Canadian, Australian and South African golfers. For the sake of parity, Janewattananond slips to 50/1 under those same parameters. Zhang is long off the tee and has shown upside in the past, so I don't mind a small sprinkle on the Chinese golfer in his home country to be the "Top Asian" player this weekend. I have him correctly valued at 12/1.

 

Key Stats: Strokes Gained Off The Tee 25%, Proximity from 150 - 175 Yards 20%, Driving Distance 17%, Putting From 5-10 Feet 15%, GIR Gained 12% and Scrambling 11%

60% Stats/30% Form/10% Course History


Head-to-Head Play of the Week

No head-to-head wager this week.

2020 Head-to-Head Record (2-1-1)

+0.85 Units Year-To-Date From H2H Bets

Tournament

Head-to-Head Bet

Bet

My Picks Finish

Opponent Finish

Result

Total

Sanderson Farms

Denny McCarthy -110 over Martin Laird

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T18 (-11)

MC (+4)

Win

1.00

Safeway Open

Cameron Percy -110 over Danny Lee

1.10 Units to Win 1.00

T7 (-12)

MC (+2)

Win

1.00

Shriners Open

Bud Cauley -115 over Phil Mickelson

1.15 Units to Win 1.00

MC (-1)

61 (-9)

Loss

-1.15

Houston Open

Jhonattan Vegas +100 over Aaron Baddeley

1.12 Units to Win 1.12

MC (+3)

MC (+3)

Push

0

2020 Outright Bets That Have Finished Inside the Top-10

Player

Event

Odds

Finish Position

Xander Schauffele

ZOZO Championship

25

10

 

Career Record: 

2017 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets (10-2-2) +8.175 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Dustin Johnson Genesis Open (10/1)
Sergio Garcia Masters (50/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open (45/1)
Justin Thomas PGA Championship (35/1)
Dustin Johnson Northern Trust (14/1)

2018 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(46-24-2) +24.49 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Phil Mickelson WGC-Mexico (22/1)
Bubba Watson WGC- Match Play (45/1)
Brooks Koepka U.S. Open In-Play Wager (14/1)
Dustin Johnson RBC Canadian Open (7/1)
Justin Thomas WGC-Bridgestone (30/1)

2019 Golf Betting:
Head to Head Bets
(16-9-2) +8.33 Units
Outright Winners (5)
Matt Kuchar Mayakoba Golf Classic (66/1)
Corey Conners Valero Texas Open (200/1)
Rory McIlroy RBC Canadian Open  (10/1)
Brooks Koepka WGC- St. Jude Classic (12/1)
Rory McIlroy Tour Championship (8/1)

Career Record (Excluding 2020 Season Results):

Head to Head Bets (72-35-6) +40.995 Units
Outright Winners (15)
Top 5s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 16
2019 - 26
Top 10s (Didn't Track in 2017)
2018 - 31
2019 - 41

 

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