Monday, May 27, 2024

The PGA Championship: Late DFS Plays and Bets

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Placing golf bets and creating DFS lineups does not have to be so terribly complicated.

I am as guilty as anyone, weighing a thousand factors and splicing short-term and long-term data, trying desperately to find a handful of golfers who have the best chance of taking down the upcoming event — or coming close. It is paralysis by analysis, as the saying goes.

That is why I dumb down my modeling process in the days before a new event kicks off. Zooming out and seeing which players are playing the best is a worthwhile exercise before making your final calls on which golfers to go in on for DFS or betting purposes. I focus on short-term form here, seeking players who have been hot in (very) recent outings.

It is a novel concept: Play the players who are playing the best.

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Below are players who popped in this simple little exercise ahead of the PGA Championship at Valhalla Country Club. Some fit Valhalla well, others not so much.

Sepp Straka (7th in strokes gained total)

Only the game’s elite have gained more strokes than Straka over the past 90 days. In fact, Straka — who tied for eighth place at the Wells Fargo Championship last week — is Top 30 in all strokes gained categories except for around the green since the start of March.

Straka, having gained strokes on approach in six of his past seven events and has gained off the tee in all of his 2024 appearances, profiles as a low-cost, low-rostered DFS option and a solid bet to make the cut this week.

Straka is currently +9000 to claim his first major title and +280 to finish Top 20.

Russell Henley (14th in strokes gained total)

Henley comes into the PGA Championship with two Top 12 finishes in his past two outings, including a blistering approach shot performance last week at Wells Fargo. Since the start of April, Henley is eighth best in this field in strokes gained on approach. His irons are hot. Real hot.

Only 13 players in this week’s field have a better total strokes gained than Henley, an accurate driver of the golf ball who should be in position to score. When Henley misses the fairway, it is not by much. That will matter quite a bit with Valhalla’s graduated rough (which gets deeper the further a ball strays from the fairway).

Henley is +11000 to win the PGA Championship and +300 to finish Top 20.

Keith Mitchell (15th in strokes gained total)

The visored one has played tremendously well over the past 60 days. Among players in this week’s field, Mitchell is second best on approach and fifth best off the tee. Cashmere Keith is also sneaky long with the driver: With an average drive of 301.3 yards, he is 11th in driving distance since the beginning of April.

That along with Mitchell’s superb long iron play should make him a good fit for Valhalla. If you are rolling with Mitchell, try not to look at his recent putting form. Our man has lost strokes on the green in four of his past five events. He enters the PGA Championship as one of the Tour’s worst putters. So it goes.

Mitchell is +13000 to take home the Wanamaker Trophy and +2200 to Finish in the Top 20.

Again, just a few of the world’s best who may not be players you were considering for your DFS lineup and your betting card, but give them a second thought.

Enjoy Valhalla and the 2024 PGA Championship.

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