Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: 3M Open
ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and betting picks for the 2022 3M Open!
Welcome to my new weekly PGA column! I will be focusing primarily on tournament (or H2H) matchups, but if I think the odds are right, I will throw in an occasional outright wager.
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3M Open Course Breakdown
Congratulations to all of the Cam Smith backers last week. The Old Course played quite a bit easier than I was expecting, but it was still a very competitive major with lots of intriguing story lines.
This week, the PGA Tour heads to Blaine, Minnesota, where the field will take on TPC Twin Cities. The course is 7,431 yards and is a par-71. The greens and fairways are bentgrass and the rough is 3” bluegrass/fescue. There are 72 bunkers throughout the course but the most important protection that this course offers is that there are water hazards on fifteen of the holes.
This course plays long, with more approach shots over 175 yards than the average PGA tournament stop. Driving distance is going to be important, as past winners at this course include Cameron Champ (2021) and Matthew Wolff (2019).
The cut has been -1 or -2 in the three years this course has hosted a PGA event. Winning scores have ranged anywhere from -15 to -21.
When looking at past results, I am noticing that while it is a birdie fest there are also a lot of big numbers that occur on this course due to the vast amount of water hazards.
Bogey avoidance is more important on this course than courses with a similar easy set up. The greens are considered to be one of the easiest on tour due to their size and flatness.
Cameron Champ and Michael Thompson (who won this event in 2020) both lost shots to the field around the green, but both gained over seven shots to the field putting. Accuracy off the tee, long irons, and the putter will be the keys to success this week.
The field for this week’s 3M Open is understandably on the weaker side of competition. The week after The Open, is a off week for a lot of the higher ranked players. It wouldn’t shock me to see a couple more withdrawals from this event. This can have an effect on the betting board so make sure to keep up to date on the news. Tony Finau is currently the betting favorite at 11-1 and Sungjae Im is sitting behind him at 16-1.
I will just go right and say it, I won’t be betting either one of them in the outright market. If they beat me they beat me and we move on. There is little to no value betting either of them and I don’t think they are that much better than other golfers lower down the betting board.
3M Open Betting Picks
- Current Odds: 25-1 on BetMGM
Theegala is the first bet on my card this week. If you agree with me, I think you should bet on him now, because I think the number will get worse bye the end of the week. He has a very wide range of outcomes and his ceiling has flashed in big ways throughout this season.
Theegala has been just a couple of shots away from having at least one win this season – and possibly two. He also brings an element of consistency that I love to have when betting on an outright winner.
He has made eight-straight cuts and his ball-striking numbers are very solid. It’s his putter that has to spike for him to have a ceiling week. That’s exactly the type of player you want in the outright market.
If you look at Theegala’s numbers from the John Deere Classic, where he finished T16, you’ll see his ball-striking numbers were off the charts, but he lost 3.15 strokes putting.
Now, if you look at his results from the Travelers Championship, where he finished T2, his ball-striking numbers were the class of the field. However, during that event, he gained 4.19 strokes putting.
That is the type of volatility I want. He has never won on the PGA Tour, but I think this is a soft enough field for him to break through.
- Current Odds: 45-1 on DraftKings
You might not know of Nick Hardy if you don’t follow the PGA Tour religiously.
He will be a very solid pro in the years to come and on the first page of the leaderboard in many events. Hardy earned his card in the 2020-21 season and currently sits at 230th in OWGR.
His current form is elite. Across his last 36 rounds, Hardy ranks second in total strokes gained amongst this field. He has gained strokes in every metric, except for around the green, where he has only lost .18 strokes.
Just like I discussed earlier in this article, I am not that concerned about around-the-green game at this course. He showed a lot of class by finishing T14 in the U.S. Open, while making his next three cuts (including an eighth-place finish at the Travelers).
We have yet to see a true ceiling from Hardy, but I want to be early rather than too late. I will be adding Nick Hardy top-10 for +400
Head to Head Matchup Pick
Emilano Grillo vs Dylan Frittelli
- Free PGA Pick: Emilano Grillo (-120, DraftKings)
Grillo has finally regained some of the form that he had lost earlier in the season and when this guy gets his irons going he really is one of the best ball strikers on tour.
Over the last 12 months, Grillo ranks seventh in strokes-gained off the tee and fourth in total driving across his last 36 rounds.
He played his way into The Open Championship by finishing second at the John Deere Classic.
Unfortunately, for Grillo, his first round 78 was too much to overcome, despite a 68 in Round 2.
Fritelli’s results may look a little better than Grillo’s, recently, but I don’t think this is a good course fit for Frittelli. Grillo has the superior approach and off the tee game despite his putter being extremely shaky. But with the easier greens that effect should be mitigated enough to give me positive expected value on this wager.
Tides’ 3M Betting Card
- Sahith Theegala (25-1, BetMGM)
- Nick Hardy (45-1, DraftKings)
- Nick Hardy top-10 (+400, DraftKings)
- Doug Ghim top-10 (+650, DraftKings)
- Grillo over Frittelli (-120, DraftKings)