Fortinet Championship 2023 Showdown Picks: Bet on Matt Kuchar vs. Martin Laird on Thursday

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The shortest offseason in professional sports saw a two-week pause before this week’s return in Napa at the Fortinet Championship, but it won’t come without some changes from the norm as we look at what to expect in the fall.

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There will still be tournaments in September, October and November, so don’t worry, but the fall events will no longer be included as part of the FedExCup hunt. The new purpose of this part of the season will be for golfers to try to improve their position for the 2024 season and pursue their status on Tour.

How these moves will alter events going forward remains to be seen, although it is exciting that the likes of Sahith Theegala, Cameron Davis and a few additional non-Ryder Cup options decided to start with very little to play for in Napa. We may still have those random talents in the field for the next few months, but it should add some interesting betting boards to dive into since we won’t just be looking at the biggest names in golf. For someone like me, that’s always positive.

If you haven’t already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful, interactive data spreadsheet that allows users to input data to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is published every Monday, so be sure to check it out and build your own numbers from my database of information.

Fortinet Championship Round 1 Showdown

Matt Kuchar – 125 over Martin Laird (DraftKings)

I talk a lot about finding fade opponents in these matchups against golfers I want to bet on throughout the day/week, and we have a perfect example of that here as we try to back Matt Kuchar against Martin Laird on Thursday.

Kuchar was not a golfer who was hugely on my radar for any particular betting market. My model had no real opinion on his projected rate to win this event or the $8,100 price on DraftKings. That’s not to say that the American was rated as an option that fit the fade narrative, but there wasn’t much thought put into either direction in wanting to get good or bad exposure.

There’s probably a legitimate reason he’s dropped from 45/1 to 80 in some space shops by diving into his inability to score on these par four holes between 400 and 450 yards. Still, you need to ask yourself, “At what point does inflation become too high for a golfer to experience a decline in prices on the other end?”

Martin Laird has received a lot of support in these books due to his three consecutive cuts before the break and his multiple top 20 finishes during that time. However, there are some red flags that show why he has missed three consecutive weekends in this tournament in as many years.

Laird’s putting is projected to fall from 79th to 138th on these Poa Annua greens, and additional issues arose when dipping into his Weighted Strokes Gained: Total moving out of the top 125 due to a secondary issue with his wedges and irons short from 0-150 yards.

There may be some tension in the knuckles throughout this bet because neither golfer offers the type of security one would expect to see in a daily matchup. However, those are the head-to-head battles I often find myself in during the day for various reasons.

Fortinet Championship Full Tournament Matchups

We won’t spend too much time on either of these two bets because you can tune into Links & Locks for a longer breakdown of each play, but let’s start with Nate Lashley over MJ Daffue and go from there.

Nate Lashley – 120 over MJ Daffue

If you dig into the course data last year, you’ll see that Daffue’s last year’s performance fell apart because his putter missed 7.2 shots on the course.

That’s not something I would expect to happen again. However, it all comes down to this combination of poor proximity weighting, as he loses most of his best ranges from outside 150 yards, causing a 59-point drop in his projection, and his long-term return performances. defective in easy fields.

The last part of that answer isn’t necessarily very indicative from place to place because there are more factors to consider, but I was happy to back a player like Lashley for the price after making nine of 11 cuts and qualifying as one of the 20 top. option in all iterations of my model.

Fortinet Championship 2023 Odds and Picks: Image by Bet Sahith Theegala, Justin Suh and Beau Hossler

JJ Spaun – 120 over Lucas Herbert

I think this goes in one of two directions for Lucas Herbert.

The upside is there for him to find success if he can combine his top-notch distance and deliver quality performance. That makes the direct and top 10 markets the places I would consider the Australian dollar if I were forced to bet on it this week, but I couldn’t overlook some of its glaring concerns, including the paltry 145th positions for Weighted proximity, 107th in weighted score and 111th from tee to green.

Let’s not underestimate Spaun’s 18 consecutive rounds of par or better when trying to take on Herbert, giving us multiple avenues to find success.

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