The Masters is just around the corner so let’s take a look at some golf betting trends worth keeping an eye on.
Scottie Scheffler found the winner’s circle at the Players Championship but that shouldn’t be a surprise considering how sturdy his game has been the past 13 months. We’re also looking into the curious case of Collin Morikawa, examining how good Max Homa has become and staking our claim on a player who will pick up their first win this season.
Check out our latest golf betting trends as major season quickly approaches.
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It took Scheffler just three weeks to regain his world No. 1 title from Jon Rahm and he did it with authority.
The Big Texan blew the doors off a stacked field at TPC Sawgrass, shooting 17-under par to win the PGA Tour’s flagship event by five strokes. Only three other players posted scores of 10-under or better.
That marked Scheffler’s sixth win in the past 13 months and none of those trophies are small ones, either. He’s won the Players, the WM Phoenix Open (twice), the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Dell Technologies Matchplay and the Masters.
So how is he doing it?
He’s simply putting the ball in the hole in fewer strokes than everyone else. Scheffler has only recorded a bogey or worse on a stunning 8.95% of holes this season.
He had five bogeys at the Players (tied for the fewest in the field) and was one of 10 players to not make a double-bogey or worse all week. Scheffer is a remarkably steady player and that translates to him living atop the leaderboard.
The 26-year-old hasn’t finished outside of the top 12 at an event since last October and has seven top-10 finishes and two wins in that span. He ranks first in strokes gained: tee-to-green (+2.268) and is elite around the greens, too.
The scary thing is he’s doing all of this with a cold putter. Scheffler ranks 101st in strokes gained: putting this season (+0.016). If and when the flat stick wakes up, he could be legitimately unstoppable.
It might seem tough to get behind betting favourites like Scheffler but he’s racking up top 10s like fun coupons and still has a ways to go before he hits his ceiling. Picking up at least one major title this year seems inevitable.
The Morikawa dilemma
Different players are held to different sets of standards.
So when Morikawa became a two-time major champion in just eight major starts, his standards were set pretty high.
The 26-year-old seems to be on a trajectory for greatness but he hasn’t won an event on the PGA Tour since the 2021 Open Championship. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been good though — in fact, that’s far from the case.
Morikawa has 10 top-five finishes since he lifted the Claret Jug, including a solo fifth-place finish at the Masters and a T5 at the U.S. Open last season.
He’s been running hot to start 2023 as well, with three top-six finishes in six starts. But again, no wins.
Morikawa had one hand on the trophy at the Sentry Tournament of Champions before collapsing on the back-nine and gift-wrapping the tournament to Jon Rahm.
He also leaped out to the top of the leaderboard at the Players after firing an opening round 7-under 65, only to play the remaining 54 holes at even par.
The underlying numbers are there — he ranks third in strokes gained: approach, third in driving accuracy and 14th in scoring average — but the wins are not.
Betting on Morikawa to finish inside the top 20 or 10 has been profitable but picking him to win has caused hair-pulling levels of frustration.
With all that said, it feels like Morikawa has a chance to win every time he tees it up. There are lingering doubts about his abilities to play in windy conditions but how he performs during this major season will be telling.
If we’re talking about standards being set, Homa is a guy that we expect to be in contention at majors this season.
The 32-year-old from California has been playing the best golf of his life and his bank account reflects that. Homa ranks third on the PGA Tour money list and has pulled in $7.3 million through nine events this season.
That’s because of how consistent he has become — Homa has finished within the top 25 eight times, with five of those being top-five finishes and two of them being wins.
Betting on Homa has been equally as profitable.
He was 22-to-1 to win the Farmers Invitational in January and 14-to-1 to win the Fortinet Championship when the season started in September. He’s also cashed top 20 bets at a 77.7% rate this season and top 10 bets at a 55% rate.
Homa has accomplished this by taking his ball striking to another level. He ranks sixth in strokes gained: approach (+0.942) and has the second-best par 3 scoring average (2.89). It also helps that he’s 10th in strokes gained: putting (+0.719).
Cameron Young is coming
The No. 1 candidate on our breakout list is Cameron Young.
It might be unfair to use the words “breakout candidate” considering he finished T3 at the PGA Championship last year and was runner-up to Cameron Smith at the Open Championship.
That said, he’s never won an event as a professional and we think that’s about to change.
Young has three top-20 finishes in his last five starts. He has also posted positive strokes gained: approach in each of those events. He’s prone to inconsistencies but can also light up any course at any given moment.
For example: In Round 3 at the Players, Young played holes 10-18 at a nearly flawless 6-under par.
It’s tough to win designated events but we’re going to pounce on Young’s outright odds when he’s ready to tee it up in a field that’s not quite as deep.
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