Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: Fortinet Championship

Our PGA experts are backing Smalley this week at the 2022 Fortinet Championship.
Image Credit: Imagn

ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and pga betting picks for the 2022 Fortinet Championship!

We have arrived for another PGA season after a short break.  Congratulations to Scottie Scheffler for winning the PGA’s player of the year award. I am truly excited to be covering another year of the PGA action for ScoresAndOdds. 

I am going to try and build on some of the things that worked well last season and will track every bet and ROI for the new season. The season is long, so expect for a wide range of outcomes, but the point of betting golf is trying to get paid when you do hit. I very rarely take the favorite in the outright market and I am hoping to hit some high odds in the outright market for the readers this season. I will also be adding head to head matchups each week and top-20 and top-10 bets. Now, let’s breakdown this week’s golf!

Fortinet Championship: Keys To Success

The PGA kicks off the season in Napa, California., where they will be teeing up at the Silverado Country Club’s North Course. 

Originally designed by Ben Harmon, in 1955, the course was renovated by Robert Trent Jones in 1966, and then again by Johnny Miller in 2011. The course will play 7,165 yards and is a classic par 72. The greens are Bent Grass with some POA mix, which is typical for California.

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Max Homa won this title last year, as he is originally from California. This course is one of the easiest on Tour and I expect the winner to be better than -20 – and could push -25.

The fairways are narrow, but the rough is not traditionally penal.  Missing the fairway is not the punishment that it would be at more difficult courses. As we so often say about the easier courses on the Tour, this will come down to the wedge game as the most popular yardage, as the second shot will be between 100-150 yards.

Wedges and putters. That is the key to success this week.  I want players who excel from 100-150 and gain birdie opportunities.  There will be a lot of variance with the putter this week, and although we can’t completely rule out the putter, it can be hard to quantify, so I am going to weigh great proximity players from 100-150 over putters.  

Free PGA Betting Picks

A surprise pick to be a part of this year’s President’s Cup team, but not completely undeserved. Pendrith missed most of last year due to a rib injury, but once he returned, he came back with a vengeance.  He came very close to winning in Detroit and I think this course plays similarly.  Taylor doesn’t have to worry about being accurate off the tee, and with the short rough, he can maintain his stellar iron play. I really like that he has some momentum going into this event. Not just from a golf standpoint, but he has to help psychologically to be selected to be on the President’s Cup. I think he is riding high right now.  Unfortunately, the books have caught up to the talent, however I think there is still some value left at this price.  

For those of you that haven’t heard of Justin Suh. He is a Korn Ferry Tour graduate, who easily was able to obtain his PGA Tour card for the 2022-23 season. Suh grew up just an hour from this golf course. He Monday qualified for this tournament last year and played quite well – until a final round 76 cost him a really solid finish. Suh is a little bit of a wildcard, but I really like his chances to get his first PGA win this week in California.    

When looking back at previous winners of this event, it really strikes me at how much tee-to-green game is the most important metric. Brendon Steele has won this event twice, while Elimano Grillo earned his lone PGA Tour win here. Both of those golfers are your classic terrible putters, who excel at ball striking. That is exactly what Alex Smalley’s game is. Smalley contended on Sunday on more than one occasion last season and just kept falling short due to his putter. If he can putt to a zero against the field this week, he should be in contention once again. He has one of the strongest tee to greens in this field and is hungry to make his presence known in a year where I think he becomes a winner on tour.  

Head to Head Matchup Picks 

I mentioned above how Steele has won this tournament twice at this very same golf course and it really does make sense from a course fit perspective. While I really like Theegala’s game as a whole, I think this course fit is so much better for Steele.  Theegala’s length really won’t be as much of an advantage at Silverado and Steele’s wedge game is far better. Neither player is strong with the putter, so I am not really concerned with Steele’s lack of stills with the flat stick. Go with the course history and course fit with this matchup at even money.  

Tides’ Official Betting Card