During the 2022 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week using odds as of Tuesday morning. Here are his thoughts on this week’s Charles Schwab Challenge.
Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
About the tournament
After this past week’s PGA Championship, the PGA TOUR heads back to Texas for the Charles Schwab Challenge. Colonial Country Club in Forth Worth is the setting for this week and it’s a par 70 course that measures 7,209 yards. As a reference point, last week’s major championship at Southern Hills was also a par 70 course, but was a much longer 7,556 yards. A tighter course should give more players a chance to win this week because driving distance isn’t as important.
Top of the board
The field for this event is surprisingly strong the week after a major. Last week’s winner Justin Thomas (11/1) headlines the 120-player field fresh off his PGA Championship win. Texas native Scottie Scheffler (12/1) looks to bounce back off a missed cut in Tulsa.
The name at the top that interests me the most is another Texan in Jordan Spieth (12/1). He won last month in the tournament after the Masters at the RBC Heritage and finished second in the tournament before the PGA Championship at the Byron Nelson. Spieth finished 34th last week at the PGA Championship in another attempt to complete the career grand slam, but his underlying stats proved his tee-to-green numbers were strong and he was held back by his putter. Spieth’s short game has held him back at times this year, but his play on the greens can turn around at a course he has putted well at in the past. I don’t usually bet on players at this short of a number in events like this, but Spieth’s form and course history at Colonial, including a second-place finish last year, give me a strong interest in him.
The next group of players include Collin Morikawa (18/1), Will Zalatoris (20/1), Viktor Hovland (22/1), Sam Burns (28/1) and Max Homa (28/1). Zalatoris made the PGA Championship a profitable one for me, but I don’t have interest in investing in him at half the price and off a playoff loss to Thomas.
Instead I’m going to turn my attention to a trio of players priced at 33/1. The three that I have circled are Abraham Ancer, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger.
Ancer and Simpson both unexpectedly played well at the PGA Championship. Ancer, who finished tied for ninth despite entering in suspect form, has finished tied for 14th at this event in back-to-back years.
Simpson made the cut on the number at Southern Hills and then posted an amazing five-under 65 in the third round on Saturday, which was a day where most players struggled with chillier temperatures in Tulsa. Simpson ended up tied for 20th, which was his best finish in 2022.
Berger had a miserable time at Southern Hills shooting +13 over two rounds and missing the cut. I will give him a pass because he was playing in the tough weather draw on Thursday and Friday that also took down top players like Scheffler, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Cantlay. Berger’s last win in February 2021 was the week after a missed cut and he won this event in June 2020, which was the first tournament after the COVID-19 hiatus. Berger has a history of winning multiple times at a course (he won the 2016 and 2017 FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis).
Out of the three players, Berger interests me the most in terms of outright betting. If I end up betting on Spieth, I’ll pass on Ancer and Simpson, but that’s a decision I’ll make later this week on Twitter.
I bet on Davis Riley (40/1) at the Mexico Open where he finished fifth and the Bryon Nelson where he finished tied for ninth. After not betting him at the PGA Championship, where he finished tied for 13th, I’m going to get back to Riley because of his solid recent form. He had strong strokes gained off the tee and approach numbers at Southern Hills and could contend at this event with improvement from his short game.
Kevin Na (40/1) is another name that pops out this week. He won here in Fort Worth in 2019. More recently, he led the field in strokes gained approach at the Masters where he finished tied for 14th and finished tied for 23rd last week.
Tom Hoge (50/1) finished tied for ninth place and ranked second in the field behind Cameron Smith in strokes gained approach at last week’s PGA Championship. Hoge has a win this year at Pebble Beach and the local connection of playing his college golf in Fort Worth at TCU.
The three longshots I’m considering are all priced at 125/1 in Aaron Rai, James Hahn and Patton Kizzire. Rai is a player who has made my betting card a few times this year and consistently gains strokes on approach.
Hahn is coming off back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo and Byron Nelson. Hahn’s putting carried him to a strong finish in the first tournament and he followed that up by ranking second in the field in strokes gained approach at Byron Nelson.
Kizzire is another player I have bet on a couple times in 2022. He has fallen out of form, but finished tied for third at this event a year ago.