Best Bets – 3M Open

PGA Tour Betting Preview
3M Open
TPC Twin Cities – Par 71– 7,468 yards

After the birdie fest that was last week's Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit, the PGA Tour heads further through the NFL's NFC North country as they are in Minnesota for another first time event, the 3M Open.

The TPC Twin Cities has been a staple on the Champions Tour this entire century, but they made the move to the PGA Tour this week. It's a course that's not overly hard as long as guys avoid all the water that's out there. Water hazards are the biggest defense this week as they show up on more then half the holes, but consistently being in the rough won't be a picnic either.

That being said, the course is one that should benefit longer hitters in general, and the ones that can dial in those shorter irons to these rather large greens will see plenty of birdies drop. We are likely to see the winner end up in the -20's again this week, as there are three very short Par 4's that will give up some eagles with the putter, and while the Par 5's are going to be giving up plenty of birdies as well, their length does suggest that only the longest of the long out there will have a shot at eagle putts.

Tournament organizers have already come out and said that they do want to see plenty of birdies for this event, as they'll happily give them up for plenty of 'splash' balls as well. It's going to be feast or famine for many guys out there this week, and if it turns out anything like the event last week in Detroit, there will be plenty of guys well fed come Sunday evening.

If birdie fests are your thing, then this week's event should tickle your fancy, but the overall depth of the field is lacking, meaning that there are very few guys ranked atop the world rankings involved. Brooks Koepka (+750) comes in as the favorite, but with the narrative of him being a guy that only shows up in Majors gaining more and more steam you might want to question Koepka's spot atop the odds list.

Personally, I don't give much credence to all that talk of Koepka mailing in regular Tour stops, as his recent poor finish at the Travelers – that has fanned the flames of this narrative – was his third straight week of playing, a week after he nearly accomplished history by three-peating at the US Open. If you can't give a guy like Koepka the benefit of the doubt in that spot, especially considering he rarely plays three weeks in a row on Tour as it is, well then you're probably searching too hard for perfection in an imperfect game. Koepka's odds are always going to be a touch inflated, but in terms of skill set profile, he's got everything that should work well at the TPC Twin Cities.

Behind Brooks, we've got Jason Day (+1000), Hideki Matsuyama (+1100) and Bryson DeChambeau (+1400) as the only other guys below that +2000 threshold. Like Koepka, all three of those guys have the right skill set to succeed here, but as we saw in last week's event, motivation from these top guys can be lacking in these weak field, birdie fest type tournaments, and at these prices I believe it's better to take the wait and see approach with them come the weekend. With everyone making birdies, it's unlikely anyone goes out and hides atop the leaderboard through the first two days, and if one of these guys are right there, you may not be getting the 10-odds anymore, but at least you know they are right in the hunt.

Bombers off the tee that can get their irons close and knock in a plethora of putts is the profile you are generally looking for this week, and if forced to play one of those sub +2000 guys, I'd probably end up biting the bullet and back Koepka to be involved with the leaders on Sunday. Thankfully I'm not forced to limit selections to that group, as this week's list of golfers to watch starts a little further down the odds board.

Golfers to Watch

Scott Piercy (+5000) – Piercy isn't really what you'd classify as a generic “bomber type” on Tour, as his 290.9 yards average off the tee is 121st on Tour for distance. But that number is still going to be plenty fine for Piercy this week, as it's his accuracy in the long game - 35th on Tour in Driving Accuracy (67.3%) and 16th on Tour in GIR percentage (69.68) is more cause for excitement here. Remember length is always going to be nice here, but avoiding all that water is the first goal, and accuracy always helps in that regard.

All of those shots from the fairway that Piercy gives himself leads to plenty of birdie putts with that GIR %, and in a tournament that is expected to see everyone go low, Piercy's ranking of 37th on Tour in birdie average is a number that's worth to get behind. He's 26th on Tour in scoring average which translates to a Top 10 ranking within this field. The bulk of that data comes from Piercy's 3rd ranking on Tour in Par 3 scoring average (2.98 strokes per Par 3) and 10th ranking in Par 4 scoring average (3.97 strokes per hole), as he ranks in the Top 30 on Tour in birdie or better numbers for both of those types of holes. Again that translates into a much better ranking within this field, and if he can just stay level with the field on the Par 5's – ie make 1-2 birdies or better per round there – this is a guy that should be among the leaders on Sunday.

Charles Howell III (+5500) – Howell is another guy that won't get the typical classification as a bomber off the tee, but he's actually 43rd on Tour in driving distance (300.9), and holds the same exact ranking in Strokes Gained: Off the tee as well. He ranks 5th on Tour in GIR% (2nd in this field) and with the large greens at TPC Twin Cities, I expect Howell to put that accuracy to good use.

Hitting those greens and hitting them within makeable birdie range will be the task for Howell this week as his weakest part of his game is his Strokes Gained: Approach, and in a tournament where you need to go low, you can't be leaving yourself 30-40 ft for birdie and then just be looking to make two-putt pars. But if he dials that in and relies on his scoring on the Par 4's (ranks 13th on Tour at 3.98 strokes), Howell should be a guy in the mix this weekend as well.

Keith Mitchell (+8000) – I've backed Mitchell a couple of times earlier this year without much success, but in an event that will resemble a Korn Ferry (ie scoring fest, I'm going back to the well with him again. The 2017 graduate can go low with the best of them when he's on, and his overall length is something that should play well here.

Mitchell can be a 'sprayer' at times which means water hazards might make it a short week for him, but he gains plenty of strokes off the tee against basically any quality of field (7th in SG: Off the tee), and if his putter gets hot, who knows how low we end up seeing him go this week.

3M Open Odds
Brooks Koepka 7/1
Hideki Matsuyama 11/1
Jason Day 11/1
Bryson Dechambeau 14/1
Patrick Reed 25/1
Joaquin Niemann 33/1
Rory Sabbatini 33/1
Tony Finau 33/1
Viktor Hovland 35/1
Keegan Bradley 40/1
Kevin Na 40/1
Kevin Streelman 40/1
Phil Mickelson 40/1
Ryan Moore 40/1
Sungjae Im 40/1
Charles Howell III 50/1
Daniel Berger 50/1
Scott Piercy 50/1
Adam Hadwin 66/1
Kyle Stanley 66/1
Nate Lashley 66/1
Nick Watney 66/1
Brian Harman 75/1
J.J. Spaun 75/1
Jason Dufner 75/1
Jimmy Walker 75/1
Cameron Tringale 80/1
Charley Hoffman 80/1
Collin Morikawa 80/1
Danny Lee 80/1
Lucas Glover 80/1
Pat Perez 80/1
Peter Malnati 80/1
Bud Cauley 100/1
Cameron Champ 100/1
Chesson Hadley 100/1
Corey Conners 100/1
Denny Mccarthy 100/1
Keith Mitchell 100/1
Kyoung-Hoon Lee 100/1
Luke List 100/1
Martin Laird 100/1
Sam Burns 100/1
Sepp Straka 100/1
Sung Kang 100/1
Talor Gooch 100/1
Brendan Steele 125/1
Dylan Frittelli 125/1
Jonas Blixt 125/1
Mackenzie Hughes 125/1
Matthew Wolff 125/1
Peter Uihlein 125/1
Si Woo Kim 125/1
Wyndham Clark 125/1
Austin Cook 150/1
Beau Hossler 150/1
Bill Haas 150/1
Hank Lebioda 150/1
Harris English 150/1
Josh Teater 150/1
Matt Jones 150/1
Max Homa 150/1
Michael Thompson 150/1
Nick Taylor 150/1
Roberto Diaz 150/1
Sam Ryder 150/1
Scott Stallings 150/1
Troy Merritt 150/1
Wes Roach 150/1
Adam Long 200/1
Adam Schenk 200/1
Alex Prugh 200/1
Andrew Landry 200/1
Anirban Lahiri 200/1
Brian Gay 200/1
Brice Garnett 200/1
Bronson Burgoon 200/1
Carlos Ortiz 200/1
David Hearn 200/1
Russell Henley 200/1
Ryan Blaum 200/1
Sebastian Munoz 200/1
Shawn Stefani 200/1
Stephan Jaeger 200/1
Trey Mullinax 200/1
Ben Crane 250/1
Ben Silverman 250/1
Brandon Harkins 250/1
Chris Stroud 250/1
Cody Gribble 250/1
Curtis Luck 250/1
Dominic Bozzelli 250/1
Joey Garber 250/1
Kramer Hickok 250/1
Ollie Schniederjans 250/1
Roberto Castro 250/1
Sangmoon Bae 250/1
Scott Brown 250/1
Ted Potter Jr. 250/1
Zack Sucher 250/1
Cameron Davis 300/1
Charlie Danielson 300/1
Chase Wright 300/1
Derek Fathauer 300/1
Fabian Gomez 300/1
Freddie Jacobson 300/1
J.J. Henry 300/1
Johnson Wagner 300/1
Martin Piller 300/1
Patton Kizzire 300/1
Richy Werenski 300/1
Robert Streb 300/1
Roger Sloan 300/1
Ryan Armour 300/1
Scott Langley 300/1
Seth Reeves 300/1
Tyler Duncan 300/1
Tyrone Van Aswegen 300/1
Brady Schnell 400/1
Colt Knost 400/1
Hunter Mahan 400/1
Kelly Kraft 400/1
Nicholas Lindheim 400/1
Sam Saunders 400/1
Smylie Kaufman 400/1
Tom Hoge 400/1
Adam Svensson 500/1
Alex Cejka 500/1
Alvaro Ortiz 500/1
Anders Albertson 500/1
Chad Collins 500/1
Chris Thompson 500/1
Jim Herman 500/1
John Chin 500/1
Julian Etulain 500/1
Justin Suh 500/1
Kyle Jones 500/1
Martin Trainer 500/1
Michael Kim 500/1
Morgan Hoffmann 500/1
Robert Garrigus 500/1
Rod Pampling 500/1
Satoshi Kodaira 500/1
Tim Herron 500/1
Tom Lehman 500/1
Tom Lovelady 500/1
Whee Kim 500/1
Kris Blanks 750/1
Will Claxton 750/1
Craig Brischke 1000/1
David Berganio Jr. 1000/1