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13D AGO

Sunday Story-Lines: Look for Scottie Scheffler to emerge from crowded Houston leaderboard

3 Min Read

Draws and Fades

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    Written by Matt DelVecchio @DelGolfBets

    Moving Day was true to its name today in Houston. The lead of 9-under didn’t budge at the Texas Children’s Houston Open, but we saw a ton of low scoring. Tony Finau entered the day with a lead after setting the course record but faltered out of the gates, allowing five others to grab at least a share of the lead. Seven out of the eight players within one shot of the lead had rounds of 3-under 67 or better, with Finau the lone exception.

    As a result, we’ve got a packed leaderboard for Sunday with a ton of storylines in-play (odds via BetMGM Sportsbook):

    • Scottie Scheffler (T1, -9) +140: Win would make three straight, first to do so on TOUR since 2017.
    • Stephan Jaeger (T1, -9) +650: Never won on TOUR but has six career wins on Korn Ferry Tour.
    • Thomas Detry (T1, -9) +750: He would become the first Belgian ever to win on TOUR.
    • Taylor Moore (T6, -8) +1200: A winner last year at the Valspar Championship but has yet to finish T10 or better this season.
    • Alejandro Tosti (T1, -9) +1400: Looking for first TOUR win in eighth start as a member.
    • Akshay Bhatia (T6, -8) +1400: In eight starts this year he has four MCs and four top-20s.
    • David Skinns (T1, -9) +1600: Seeking first TOUR win at age 42.
    • Tony Finau (T9, -7) +1600: Looking to defend his win here from November 2022.
    • Nick Dunlap (T6, -8) +1800: No top-40 finish or better since winning at The American Express as an amateur.

    Here’s a look at some of the notable odds movement from the third round:

    • Skinns: +10000 down to +1600
    • Dunlap: +40000 down to +1800
    • Finau: +200 up to +1600

    With several players within striking distance heading into a jam-packed final round, here’s a look at how I would assess the contenders from an odds-value perspective:

    Draws

    Scottie Scheffler (+140)

    Not often do we get such a straightforward bet in the outright market, but in this case we do. The fact that Scheffler is still plus-money and tied for the lead shows some great value. Yes, there are more than a dozen players in the mix, but Scheffler showed a lot of resilience bouncing back from his emotional second round, an even-par 70 that ended with a double bogey. If you want stats to help back the pick, then here you go:

    • Eighth on the week in SG: Approach. First compared to the players tied in the lead (second highest is Tosti, who ranks 23rd)
    • 17th in SG: Off-the-Tee (third out of the eight players within one shot of the lead).
    • Seventh in SG: Putting today gaining +2.189 strokes on the field

    Scottie Scheffler’s Round 3 highlights from the Texas Children's


    Looking to win his third straight start, Scheffler is a clear betting favorite – and an understandable one given his credentials.

    David Skins (+1600)

    Skinns surprisingly flew under the radar today with his bogey-free round of 5-under 65. He is bogey-free in his last 35 holes. We’ve recently seen Skinns in a similar situation earlier this year at PGA National for the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches, where he was also the co-leader through 54 holes and finished T4. What has impressed me the most is his putting and approach game this week: T2 in SG: Putting gaining +4.361 strokes and fifth in SG: Approach gaining +2.207 strokes on the field. To top it all off, he’s also driving the ball fantastically, gaining +1.072 strokes off the tee where he ranks 10th (highest ranking out of everyone within one stroke of the lead). Look for Skinns to be more relaxed this time around as the 54-hole co-leader and one who can grab this championship should Scheffler falter.

    Tony Finau +1600

    The most notable mover today, Finau started as our overnight leader but fell to T9, two strokes back. What let him down today was his putting and approach game. However, when his back was against the wall after going in the water on back-to-back holes on Nos. 15 and 16, he pulled off an amazing chip-in for birdie on the par-5 16th. It’s clear he loves this place and, in any round, can go extremely low. The fact that he is only two strokes back entering Sunday should fuel him to put up another round in the low 60s and place a number for the later groups to chase as he looks to go back-to-back in Houston.

    Fade

    Thomas Detry (+750)


    Thomas Detry’s interview after Round 3 of the Texas Children's



    In most cases, you need to have a good approach game to win on TOUR – especially when there are eight players within a shot of the lead. Detry has been relying on his putter all week, while his approach game and irons have let him down. He’s one of just two players within two shots of the lead who is losing strokes with his approach play (-1.593 strokes while the other player, Max Greyserman, is only -0.489). In a round where the margins will be thin, that lack of accuracy with his irons will likely cost Detry a run at this championship.

    For resources to overcome a gambling problem, call or text 1-800-GAMBLER today.

    Matt DelVecchio is on staff at the PGA TOUR. Follow Matt DelVecchio on Twitter.

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