Corey Conners leads the best Wells Fargo Championship derivative bets

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After sharing our statistical modeling strategy for the Wells Fargo Championship, we are now able to start sharing some picks.

I’ll start as always with my favorite spin-off tracks of the week, which were really hard to narrow down to a trio. A total of six players have moved past their lowest finishing position with more money for this week’s event.

But, I ultimately settled on the following three markets for this week’s event at TPC Potomac. All odds courtesy of Fanduel Sportsbook and are reflected at the time of writing.

Best bet #1 – Corey Conners finishes in the Top 20 (+120)

The Canadian has been playing extremely well lately and should adapt his game well to this course.

In his last five starts, Conners has posted three top-20 finishes — including a T6 at the Masters and a T12 at RBC Heritage — and five straight cuts. He has also won tee-to-green and approach shots in five consecutive events.

Overall, my model likes it this week. Conners is in fifth place overall in my 36 and 24 lap patterns while also ranking first in the field over the final 12 laps. In the latter pattern alone, Conners ranks no worse than 29th in any of the six individual categories, but is third in SG: approach and sixth in good drives earned over those 12 rounds. Additionally, Conners is seventh overall in the field in SG: Par 4 over the last 24 laps.

Corey Conners
PA

Although Conners was T41 at the 2018 Quicken Loans National, there are positives to take from that performance at TPC Potomac. Over the week, Conners gained 4.1 T2G shots and 3.1 approach shots, but was let go by his putter (-2.6 SG: putting of the week).

Additionally, Conners has demonstrated his ability to score well on short courses. In his last 50 rounds on courses under 7,200 yards, Conners is ninth overall from the field and first from the field in SG: ball striking. Finally, in his last three events on courses under 7,200 yards, Conners has posted 12-MC-11 finishes.

For all of these reasons, I’d play Conners down to -105 on his market top 20.

Best Bet #2 – Keegan Bradley Top 30 Finish (+115)

There’s less wiggle room with Bradley based on my model, but I still think there’s a lot to like with the American this week.

In an appearance at the 2017 Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac, Bradley finished T5 and ranked second in the field in strokes gained: tee-to-green. Also, much like Conners, Bradley’s recent results have been outstanding. In his last four starts, Bradley has posted three top-11 finishes to go along with a missed cut.

Additionally, Bradley has now won tee-to-green shots in eight of his last nine events, a skill set that should come in handy at TPC Potomac. Additionally, Bradley is second in the pack in SG: approaching over his last 12 laps and 15th overall in that pattern. Although Bradley doesn’t rank particularly well in the remaining five categories — his second-best ranking is 21st in SG: Par 3, the least stressed category — he’s no worse than 54th in the peloton in five of the six.


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However, Bradley simultaneously ranks 10th or better in SG: Ball Striking and SG: Approach in his last 36 rounds on courses under 7,200 yards. With that in mind, I’m going to trust my projections and back Bradley at what I’ve priced right.

Best bet #3 – Marc Leishman finishes in the Top 30 (+120)

Leishman is one of the few players on the court with two-tournament experience at TPC Potomac, with both producing positive results.

Leishman recorded a T5 finish at the 2017 Quicken Loans National before recording a T13 at the 2018 version played during that week. Also, the Aussie ranks very well in a number of my models. Over the last 12 laps, Leishman is fourth overall in the peloton. Over his last 24 qualifying laps, Leishman is ninth overall in the field.

These rankings are largely based on Leishman’s strength in three of the four most important statistical categories. Over his final 24 laps on qualifying courses, Leishman ranks ninth in SG: Approach, ninth in SG: Par 4 and 26th in bogey avoidance. He is also slightly above average for good drives won, ranking 37th in the field.


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But, I’m not too concerned about this ranking as Leishman is concurrently 27th in SG:T2G over his last 24 laps on courses under 7200 yards.

Finally, expanding the sample size with Leishman in terms of the model sees its individual rankings shrink considerably. He’s still fifth in the pack over the last 50 laps, but is no worse than 28th in any of the six statistical categories. Accordingly, back Leishman at +100 or better for a top 30.

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