During the 2023 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week. 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
The PGA TOUR heads back to Texas for the fourth time this year for the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. It’s a par 70 course that measures just over 7,200 yards. Last week’s PGA Championship at Oak Hill was a par 70 course that measured close to 7,400 yards, and driving distance was a key stat to monitor, although that won’t be the case this week, as being long off the tee is mitigated by the shorter course.
Top of the Board
Scottie Scheffler (4/1) is the man to beat, and he likely will be the favorite in almost every tournament that doesn’t feature one of Jon Rahm or Rory McIlroy. The Dallas native finished tied for fifth two weeks ago in another hometown event at the Byron Nelson and followed that up by tying for second at the PGA Championship.
At last year’s Charles Schwab, Scheffler lost in a playoff to Sam Burns. While it’s almost a guarantee that the former Texas Longhorn will be in contention on the weekend, I’ll pass at this price.
Collin Morikawa (16/1) is the player near the top who I have the most interest in. I considered Morikawa last week, but worries about his driving distance and short game kept me off. Morikawa now comes to a course that suits his game better — and it’s where he lost in a playoff three years ago. You can count on Morikawa to have a strong week with his irons, and if he putts field average or better he’ll be in the mix to win on Sunday.
I’m tempted to bet on Sungjae Im (18/1) after betting him so many times this spring. Im was a staple of my PGA Championship card, as I placed a future on him three weeks before the second major took place. But Im missed the cut after two poor rounds at the very difficult course. Im traveled to South Korea the week before the PGA Championship to play in an event in his home country that he won, so it would be easy to give him a pass for a bad week in Rochester due to all that travel. That being said, I will likely end up staying away from Im before the tournament, but will look to get involved live.
One of the first two bets I made on Monday morning was on Cam Davis, whose price has since crashed from 70/1 to 40/1 since the odds opened for this event. I knew I wanted to get in on Davis early after he finished tied for fourth at the PGA Championship. Davis ranked near the top of the field in strokes gained off the tee, strokes gained approach and strokes gained around the green. Davis is a big hitter and has had success in 2023 at shorter courses like we saw at THE PLAYERS Championship and RBC Heritage. Don’t forget that the Australian finished tied for seventh at Colonial last year.
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (80/1) only played two rounds at the PGA Championship after an uncharacteristically bad second round with his putter. The underlying metrics show that he continued to demonstrate his strong approach play, and I like this spot for him to bounce back on the greens. He finished tied for 15th last year in Fort Worth and has had some solid finishes over the last few months.
Hayden Buckley (90/1) had a forgettable stretch in Florida, but he’s responded nicely since. He finished tied for 10th at the Valero Texas Open in the beginning of April and finished tied for fifth two weeks ago at RBC Heritage. The consistent iron play in his recent run of good form is enough for me to take a shot on Buckley at a big number.
My other Monday morning wager was on Sepp Straka (100/1). He finished tied for seventh at the PGA Championship and ranked second in the field in strokes gained approach. The Austrian missed the cut at this event in his only two appearances in 2020 and 2021, but he’s a better player now and is worth a shot to see if he can carry the momentum from Oak Hill.