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Justin Thomas
David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports
Odds and Ends

Byron Nelson: Eyeing a Thomas Triumph in Texas

by Brad Thomas
Updated On: May 11, 2022, 11:43 pm ET

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The week before a major is often challenging to remain focused and find angles and edges that have value. This week that is my job to find value in the AT&T Byron Nelson. Luckily for me, we have a decent field to choose from, with seven of the World’s top-15 golfers. I kept my formula simple, back golfers who have had success this season, which are great ball strikers, and gain a lot of strokes on approach. Many golfers will be distracted by the fact that next week is the PGA Championship. However, we should find solid value on PointsBet Sportsbook in the outright market.

Justin Thomas to win (+1100)

Thomas is the first name that comes to mind when thinking about any TPC course. Most are ball-strikers paradises, and TPC Craig Ranch is no different. It’s been a little over a year since Thomas has last won an event. However, that event was at TPC Sawgrass. A course that invites ball strikers to try and beat it. Despite not having a win this season, it feels as if Thomas is close. He finished third at Mayakoba, fifth at Sentry, eighth at the Phoenix Open, sixth at Genesis, and third at Valspar. For Thomas, he hasn’t had an event where he gained strokes on the putting greens and a lot of strokes on approach. The last event was the Northern Trust. An event he likely would’ve won, but he lost -2.6 strokes around the green.

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I trust Thomas will figure it out soon. He’s too good of a golfer not to. He’s number one on SG: APP over the last 36 rounds. He’s top-5 in SG: Par 4, SG: Par 4, and Birdie or Better gained. Like I said, his putter is cause for concern. I find comfort in knowing that he's gained strokes putting over his last five events. A solid showing on the putting greens, paired with his brilliant iron play, should hoist the trophy.

Hideki Matsuyama to win (+2500)

We often get reasonable prices on guys who are generally under-the-radar golfers. By that, I mean, regardless of how good Matsuyama is, he’s generally not talked about enough or regarded as high as he should be. That is surprising because Matsuyama is one of the few golfers who have two wins on the season. There are at least three golfers with shorter odds than him who have fewer wins on the season. He did miss some time and withdrew from a couple of events due to an injury. After watching him at the Masters, I’m not overly worried about that.

I think Matsuyama can win because he has all the tools necessary. He’s long and accurate off the tee. He hits a lot of greens in regulation, and he’s a decent putter. What’s special about Matsuyama is his play with his irons. When he’s dialed in, he’s the best in the world. Much of the reason he makes birdies in bunches is that he gains a lot of strokes on approach, but when his irons are cooking, so is his putter. The early bird got the worm at the best price for Matsuyama, but this is still very playable.

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Brad Thomas

Brad is a sports handicapper who is lucky enough to write about his true love; sports. "We may all root for different teams, but our objective remains the same… Beat the books! Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint." Follow Brad on Twitter @MrBradThomas.