Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: 2022 Scottish Open
ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and betting picks for the 2022 Scottish 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.
Make sure to use our tools at ScoresAndOdds to find the best lines at your favorite legal sportsbook
If you followed my John Deere Classic article last week, you might be enjoying a nice taste of victory with a J.T. Poston winning ticket of 45-1!
It’s always nice when the research comes together and you get to cash an outright ticket. Let’s see if we can continue our momentum for this week’s Scottish Open.
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2022 Scottish Open
This year’s Scottish Open will be played at The Renaissance Club, North Berwick, Scotland.
It’s the fourth-straight year the event has been played at this venue. Minwoo Lee is the defending champion, who topped Matthew Fitzpatrick and Thomas Detry in a playoff.
This is a truly beautiful course. Although it isn’t defined as a traditional links course, it shares some very similar attributes. The course plays as a Par 71 and is 7,293 yards. There are five par 3’s –three of which are over 200 yards – four par 5’s and nine par 4’s.
The Renaissance Club is a very flat track that is protected by natural fescue and pot bunkers. The course is right on the coast. Wind will play a major factor this week, as it does just about any week we have a coastline course.
As of now, it appears that the winds will be rather benign.If the wind does stay low, this tournament could end up being a birdie fest. Last year’s winning score was -18.
The year before, the wind got really bad for a couple of rounds, and Aaron Rai won with a -11 in a playoff over Tommy Fleetwood.
Who’s playing at the Scottish Open?
This is truly a world-class field. All of the big names anyone could want are already committed to the event. As of writing, the PGA Tour hasn’t submitted its official field, but it appears as 14 out of the top 15 players in the OWGR will be playing this week.
Notables include: Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomnas, Jon Rahm, and Collin Morikawa – just to name a handful. I note the strength of field for one very specific reason. This is not just a standard tune-up the week before a major. This is a coveted title with a massive prize pool. Anyone teeing off plans to win this event.
Key statistics and metrics
Now, let’s take a look at some of the key stats that I want before jumping into the betting board. We have three years of course history, which is just enough in my opinion to be valid. Strokes-gained approach and strokes-gained tee-to-green are by far the most important metrics of the week.
With long irons being critical on the long par 3’s (and the six par 4’s that are over 460 yards), it makes sense that approach is so important for success on this course. If you rank every single player in the field’s last 24 rounds, Cameron Smith ranks number one in approach, and to nobody’s surprise, Scottie Scheffler ranks number one in strokes-gained tee-to-green. If you combine all of the strokes gained metrics in the last 24 rounds, Xander Schauffele ranks as the top golfer.
2022 Scottish Open: Free PGA Outright Picks
Jon Rahm (12-1, DraftKings)
Scottie Scheffler, Jon Rahm, and Justin Thomas are all co-favorites at 12-1 on DraftKings Sportsbook. I currently hold a ticket on Rahm at 10-1 to win The Open Championship at The Old Course. If you followed me on that bet, you should also take a stab on him at better odds to win the Scottish Open.
Rahm has been the odd-man out since Scheffler has taken over the number one spot in dominating fashion over the last several months. Justin Thomas also took home the PGA Championship during that stretch.
Rahm has had a disappointing season (for his standards). He went through a five-week stretch where he lost strokes to the field putting, and a six-week stretch where he lost strokes around the green.
That is a very ugly stretch of golf for the number-three player in the world. Rahm has since regained his form with his short game and I think he recaptures some of the dominance we have seen from him in the past. With the overall strength of this field being high, I want to take my favorite overall golfer regardless of market price.
Hideki Matsuyama (35-1) and Viktor Hovland (35-1) on BetMGM
I couldn’t decide between Viktor Hovland and Hidkeki Matsuyama, so I decided to avoid going lower on the betting board and make these two my final two outright picks for the week. The best odds for them can be found on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Like Jon Rahm, I have an outright ticket on Hideki Matsuyama to win The Open Championship at 28-1, so I am going to take a shot with him at 34-1 to win the Scottish.
We know that this tournament is going to lean heavily on ball striking and approach. With Hovland and Hideki, we arguably get two best of the best of both worlds. Both golfers have a tendency to struggle with the putter and we have to accept that as part of the risk of taking on these wagers.
Despite the lack of putter, they both excel in strong-field events, and that is what we are getting this week. This is essentially a major-strength field. I anticipate that both of these golfers will be gaining strokes on approach and off the tee.
I really like that there are long par 3’s on this course, which really makes long-iron play absolutely essential. I like both Hovland and Hideki significantly more straight up than any golfers at shorter odds, (other than the three co-favorites). I will be adding a wager on both Hideki and Hovland to top-20 at +140 odds.
2022 Sottish Open – Head to Head Matchups, Props & Picks
Keegan Bradley vs. Max Homa
- Pick: Keegan Bradley (+100, DraftKings)
Normally I am not a huge fan of Keegan Bradley, but I think that The Renaissance Club is a good fit for him. Say what you want about his horrible putting (and yes I agree it is tough to watch), however, I am attacking great ball strikers this week and that’s exactly what you get with him.
I am certainly a fan of Max Homa, but he has a tendency to struggle in tougher fields, and I am not expecting a big week from him. Homa’s ball striking is not his strongest attribute and I think he is going to struggle with his long irons – especially if we get a day or two with heavier winds.
Aaron Rai vs Matt Kuchar
- Pick Aaron Rai (-120, DraftKings)
Aaron Rai is a previous winner of this tournament and is one of my favorite golfers of the entire week.
I couldn’t get to him as an outright pick, due to this strength of field. I don’t think he has the ceiling to take home another Scottish Open title. That doesn’t mean I don’t want exposure to him in this event. He should have no problem taking care of Kuchar this week.
If Kuchar excels at anything, anymore, it is at much shorter, narrower tracks. Both of these players are in good form heading into this event, but I have to go with course fit.
If you look at the outright odds, Rai is currently sitting at 60-1, while Kuchar is sitting at 130-1. I think we have some really nice expected value in this head-to-head matchup. I will be adding an Aaron Rai top-20 wager at +230 odds.
Tides’ official Scotish Open betting card
- Jon Rahm (+1200 DraftKings)
- Hideki Matsuyama (+3500 BetMGM)
- Viktor Hovland (+3500 BetMGM)
- Keegan Bradley over Max Homa (+100 DraftKings)
- Aaron Rai over Matt Kuchar (-120 DraftKings)
- Hideki Matsuyama top-20 +(140 DraftKings)
- Viktor Hovland top-20 (+140 DraftKings)
- Aaron Rai top-20 (+230 DraftKings)