What have you done for me lately. The golf markets seem place a ton of emphasis on this question each week.
In my last golf newsletter, the numbers questioned whether Rory McIlroy should have been the favorite at the PGA Championship. He finished 49th at +5.
Instead of an overrated golfer, let’s focus on an underrated golfer for The Open in Britain.
Tony Finau has missed the cut in his last two tournaments. This includes the last major at the US Open in June.
However, this recent form masks stronger performance over the past year. In his 20 tournaments in 2021, he has finished top 20 in 11 of those tournaments but also missed 5 cuts.
To dig deeper into Finau, let’s look at the results of two models.
- Brandon Gdula of numberFire, who uses multiple data sources to adjust tournament results for field strength. He has Finau at 2.5% to win, 20.0% to finish top 10.
- Abnormally Distributed, a professional bettor with an academic background. While he doesn’t reveal the details of his model, he commanded credibility in a recent interview on the Circles Off podcast. He has Finau at 2.0% to win, 17.4% to finish top 10.
FanDuel Sportsbook has Finau at 50 to 1 to win, which gives a break even probability of 2%. I’m not a fan of such long odds. It’s like thinking England will win a penalty shoot out at a major international tournament.
Luckily, there are markets for top 10 and top 20 as well. FanDuel has Finau at +490 to finish top 10, a 16.9% break even probability. Both models have a higher probability for Finau to finish in the top 10.
The best balance of value and odds is most likely Finau at +210 to finish in the top 20. As mentioned on Covering the Spread, my FanDuel podcast, Finau has finished in the top 20 in 12 of the 21 majors he has played since 2015.
The results of the two models have significant differences. This is mostly likely because of the even playing field in pro golf. However, they agree on Tony Finau.
Both models are worth checking out before The Open tees off on Thursday morning:
Data driven betting information
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