3M Open betting preview: All signs point to a big Bubba performance
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Following a near-miss with Jordan Spieth at the Open Championship, we turn the page to the 3M Open from Blaine, Minnesota.
Dustin Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen, and Tony Finau headline the 156-man field. They're all making the long trip back from England after playing four rounds at Royal St. George's.
- TPC Twin Cities, Blaine, Minnesota
- 7,431 yards, par 71
- Arnold Palmer design
- Water in play on 15 of 18 holes
- Bentgrass greens
- Second-shot course that can turn into a putting contest
2020: Michael Thompson (-19) by two over Adam Long
2019: Matthew Wolff (-21) by one over Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa
Fade the entire favorites group.
Johnson could easily win this tournament by six shots, but he's an easy pass at +900 and after just traveling back from the U.K.
The same goes for Oosthuizen, who played four high-pressure rounds at a major and is likely exhausted.
The other four names simply don't offer enough value to bet.
The next tier
This is where the value starts to open up, beginning with Bubba Watson at +3500. The left-hander is playing some impressive golf, and he didn't make the long trip to play last week's Open.
Sergio Garcia (+3500) could also be considered. This course should suit his game because it's very dependant on approach play, and the Spaniard is still among the world's best with an iron in his hand.
Keegan Bradley (+4000) has been on a tear with his tee-to-green game. He's gained at least eight strokes tee to green in four of his past nine events, and Bradley showed he can putt on the greens at TPC Twin Cities by gaining four strokes with the flatstick in 2019.
Finally, Rickie Fowler fired a 5-under 65 on Sunday at The Open and has shown signs of life in four of his previous five starts. You could do a lot worse than going with a player everyone knows is extremely talented at +5000.
The 3M Open has produced a long-shot winner in two straight years, as both Wolff and Thompson were well over +10000 on the betting board.
Here are a few to consider, especially in a top-five or top-10 market.
- Chris Kirk (+6000): There's nothing sexy about taking Kirk, but he plays a very similar game to Thompson, and we saw what happened last year. Kirk has been playing well despite the missed cut at last week's Open.
- Jhonattan Vegas (+6000): The Venezuelan finished 11th at the John Deere Classic and second at the Palmetto Championship three starts ago. He leads the field in strokes gained: tee to green over the past 12 rounds.
- Doug Ghim (+6500): He finished 18th at the 3M Open last year, and Ghim gained 7.7 strokes through approach shots during his most recent start at the John Deere Classic.
- Beau Hossler (+11500): The former Texas Longhorn has gained at least four strokes tee to green in four of his past five starts. He's trending toward a breakout performance.
- Cameron Champ (+13500): The bomber played very well at the John Deere Classic for the first time in a while. If Champ has regained the form he showed earlier in his career, it's well worth backing a two-time PGA TOUR winner at these juicy odds.
Picks to win
Bubba Watson (+3500)
There's a lot to like about how Bubba is playing right now. Two starts ago, he held the lead late at the Travelers Championship before giving it away with a flurry of late bogeys. Still, he put himself into contention in the final round.
He followed up that disappointing finish by tying for sixth at the Rocket Mortgage Classic while gaining 5.3 strokes through approach shots and 9.4 strokes tee to green. Watson gaining strokes on the greens in five of his past seven recorded events is encouraging.
He's a proven PGA TOUR winner, and Watson should be well-rested after not playing in last week's Open Championship. Getting him at +3500 in a field this weak while he's playing great golf is an absolute steal.
Rickie Fowler (+5000)
Backing Fowler to win is a risky proposition, but he's coming off one of the best rounds of his season. He's also logged two sneaky top-15 results over his last five starts, tying for eighth at the PGA Championship and 11th at the Memorial.
The 32-year-old went off last week at +8000, and now he gets to play in a much weaker field at +5000 while displaying solid recent form. Rarely is there value in backing Fowler, and this is one of those weeks.
Bo Hoag (+11500)
Here's your long-shot pick of the week.
Bo Hoag gained 11 strokes tee to green last week at the Barbasol Championship, with 6.8 of those coming through his irons. He's now gained over six strokes through approach shots in two of his past three events, which should bode well for his chances at TPC Twin Cities.
Hoag registered two top-15 finishes in his past five starts while making four cuts over that stretch. He's a long shot for a reason, but there's a better chance than his odds imply that he'll be in contention come Sunday.