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 Wells Fargo Championship.
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 a week in Mexico, the PGA TOUR heads back to the United States for the Wells Fargo Championship. The event is usually played at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, but it won’t be played there this week with that course hosting the Presidents Cup in September. Instead, TPC Potomac in Maryland will play host to the event, which was seen last on the PGA TOUR when the 2017 and 2018 Quicken Loans National was played at that course.
Don’t look at previous Wells Fargo Championship results if you want to use tournament history as a guide for your research this week. I would look at the results from past PGA TOUR events held at TPC Potomac, which is a par 70 course that measures 7,160 in yardage.
Early weather reports in Potomac call for rain and chilly weather, so it’s hard to predict how the course will play this week.
Top of the board
Rory McIlroy sits at his own tier at the top of the oddsboard at +750. He’s the defending champion at this event and he shot a final-found 64 to finish in second place at the Masters the last time we saw him. McIlroy is a pass for me in outright betting this week because of the price (remember that tournament history doesn’t matter this week).
An intriguing name behind McIlroy is Tony Finau (22/1). He is coming off a tied for second finish at last week’s Mexico Open where he led the field in stroke gained tee to green over four rounds, but putted horribly on Thursday and Friday. In typical Finau fashion, he shot a final-round 63 when the pressure wasn’t high and ended up one stroke shy of winner Jon Rahm. I’m curious what Finau’s number would’ve been without his strong finish on Sunday, but at this price I will fade him.
The other names around Finau on the board is where I start gaining interest in Corey Conners (20/1) and Matt Fitzpatrick (22/1). Conners is a perfect course fit for TPC Potomac with his strong iron game. He finished sixth at the Masters and 12th place the next week at RBC Heritage. Fitzpatrick is another player whose game is suited for this course and could play well if the weather conditions are bad. He has four top-10 finishes in the United States this calendar year, and he finished 14th at the Masters last month. I will likely just bet one of these two players before the start of the tournament.
I placed my first bet on this tournament after the odds opened for this event on Monday morning. That bet was on Tyrrell Hatton (33/1). Hatton is a player I’ve backed multiple times this spring, including his last start at the RBC Heritage. One reason I liked Hatton that week was because his 40/1 price was released after his Masters antics. Hatton finished 26th at RBC Heritage, but it was encouraging to see him gain strokes with his putter after a miserable week with his flatstick at Augusta. For me, Hatton should be priced the same as Conners and Fitzpatrick, so it was an easy bet to make on the player priced behind the aforementioned two.
My plan for this week is to pair Hatton with either Conners or Fitzpatrick to headline my betting card. I also want to save money for a possible in-tournament bet, especially if the weather is bad this weekend.
Sergio Garcia (40/1) was a player I had interest in when he opened the week at 50/1, but I’ll likely stay away pre-tournament after his odds shortened.
I could also go back to Aaron Rai (66/1) after betting on him last week in Mexico. Matthew NeSmith (66/1) is another option because of his iron play.
Instead of betting on the mid-range, I’ll take my chances on betting a few players at longer odds.
The first two are players I wrote about in this section last week, although I didn’t end up betting on them. David Lipsky (80/1) showed well at the Mexico Open with a tied for sixth finish after a 64 on Sunday. I’ll take a chance at the same odds he was at last week.
The other is Kurt Kitayama (100/1), who I thought I was going to regret not betting on when he was part of the final group on Sunday. Kitayama also finished third at the Honda Classic earlier this season, so last week’s finish might not have been a fluke.
Lastly, I’ll bet on Branden Grace (100/1) this week and hope he can carry over his performances from the last two starts. He put together a strong strokes gained approach showing at RBC Heritage and then followed that up nicely at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Grace has a pedigree of winning on the PGA TOUR, and he wouldn’t mind if the weather made the course tough to play.