PGA Betting Guide for THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
In a no-cut event with a top-heavy field, we can either load up on the favorites or dig deep to find long shot values who are way more likely to contend in a short field than a full one. Finishing position markets are ripe for additional investment in smaller fields. In picking a top-20 finisher, for example, you are basically betting a golfer will finish in the top 25% of the field instead of the top 12.8% in a full field contest (156 golfers).
Likewise, long shots are still long despite having to beat about half the number of golfers but are still offered at 100/1 and beyond.
For more info on Nine Bridges along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.
At the Top
Viktor Hovland (+2000) - Having celebrated his 22nd birthday just a month ago, Hovland finds himself near the pinnacle of his profession after just a few months on the job. His odds compare favorably to major winners and fellow youngsters with hardware on the mantle already, and it's hard to find a reason why the market is wrong on him. The ballstriking alleviates the need for a short game, though the putter is a concern when it comes to finishing. But Hovland is as advertised, ranking second in strokes gained: off the tee and third in approach in this field over hist last 50 rounds, and he currently boasts a 17-round streak of scores in the 60s. He will break through for a win soon, and with a top-20 finish in each of his pro starts since his first -- eight straight across the PGA Tour, the Korn Ferry Tour, and the European Tour -- he is a terrific bargain at -110 for a top-20 finish.
Gary Woodland (+2200) - Woodland rounds out the short plays, with Justin Thomas (+650) and Brooks Koepka (+850) too rich for our taste even in a 78-man field. So we find Woodland, second to Koepka here last year and avenged at the U.S. Open. We are looking for ballstriking and aggressive golfers who can make the most of their opportunities on this short par 72, and Woodland fits like a glove. His fall foreshadowed big things last season, and he'll be looking to get a good start under his belt early in the 2019-20 campaign.
Andrew Putnam (+4800) - The midrange is rife with overpriced options, and Putnam's so-so ballstriking runs counter to the rest of our M.O. at Nine Bridges. However, the man has been finishing of late, showing comfort both stateside and abroad. Short game specialists have contended here in both editions, as evidenced by a pair of Aussies well ahead of Putnam in the market in Marc Leishman (+2700) and Cameron Smith (+3100). Putnam was 29th here last year and some familiarity with the elevation and grass conditions should serve his game well. His lack of elite distance is mitigated by the elevation and layout, with eight par 4s under 450 yards. He has five top-25s in his last seven events with a T4 at the Scottish Open his best.
Ryan Moore (+6500) - Three of Moore's five career wins have come in the fall, with the other two late summer birdie-fests at TPC Deere Run and Sedgefield. He disappointed here last year with a T61, but two wins at Kuala Lumpur and loads of experience at Sheshan International give him an edge in this range. Moore does his damage in the swing season, with the years-old wins mentioned above reinforced by a runner-up at the Safeway Open last year and a T13 at this year's Shriners (though the latter was largely due to a hot putter). Moore has the ability to lead the field in both driving accuracy and greens in regulation, and if he can pull that off, he will very much be in play come Sunday.
Emiliano Grillo (+8000) - We just can't quit the Argentine, who leads the field in strokes gained: approach over his last 50 rounds. That type of ballstriking has to lead to something better than four missed cuts in his last six events and just one top-10 in calendar year 2019. He impressed in Asia last year, finishing runner-up at the CIMB Classic and T23 at the WGC-HSBC Champions, albeit with a T55 at Nine Bridges sandwiched between. He's played here in each prior edition and should have a game plan for this week. Grillo is at the same number we get him in full fields, and he's hard to pass up. He does not have a ton of top-10 or top-20 equity given his recent finishes, but if everything clicks and it just doesn't happen, we can hedge with a decent payout on a Top-5 finish (+1500).
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (+13000) - Another short game specialist to balance out the portfolio this week, Aphibarnrat will enjoy a return to Asia after a few duds on the European Tour this fall. He'll make his CJ CUP debut but has top-fives to his name in the other Asia stops, CIMB Classic and WGC-HSBC Champions. He is one of the most dangerous putters in the world, and while American fans only have a few years experience with Aphibarnrat, he has been doing this for quite a while and has seven career wins to his name.