We’re back after an action-packed week across the PGA and LPGA Tour. Before we turn the full page to the Arnold Palmer Invitational this weekend let’s check out how the NLU guys did last week across the scorecard.

03 MAR 2021 - WALK IT IN

Walking it Back:

In Puerto Rico the nuggies went up in flames for TC due to the enacting of the Trainer Act for his math misgivings on his Heinz play in a previous week (Trainer finished DFL in Puerto Rico). It was the only exposure to the Puerto Rico Open on the cards for any of the guys, and TC’s only exposure for the week due to the aforementioned Trainer Act which required all of his nuggies this week on Trainer to win. Ball don’t lie.

Neil and Soly combined forces on a few guys last week, and it looks like Neil’s form may have weighed down Soly as he went 0fer on his picks this weekend. Neil had Leishman, JT, Bryson, and Hatton who all showed signs of life at different points on the weekend, but never had their best stuff to place where Neil needed. Soly did manage to find some magic despite Neil being all over the yard, and hit on Scheffler top 20 with 30 nuggies on the line.

Another week and another Finau winner bet for Soly, but this time he wasn’t alone because DJ hitched his wagon with a full 100 nuggie play on Finau to win. There were points where it looked possible, but a triple on the 2nd hole on Sunday took the wind out of the sails for the SS Finau which remains adrift after his Puerto Rico win in 2016.

Finally, we pick up Randy’s scorecard where he sprinkled his nuggies across four players this weekend. At the WGC he took a Koepka win ticket and Hovland top 5. His Hovland top 5 winner joins Soly’s Scheffler top 20 as the only winning tickets this weekend because both Carlota Ciganda and Sung Hyun Park both were never really in it for an outright victory at LPGA’s Gainbridge this past weekend.

It was a mixed scorecard for the Walk It In guys this weekend as well, but Jeff did hit on the Puerto Rico Bourbon Bet with a winner on Branden Grace. Maybe we should start betting in shots of bourbon versus nuggies and dollars going forward? Not as profitable, but we’ll forget our losses faster!

The Approach

If you’re going to putt for dough it helps when you’ve given yourself more putts inside the leather than double breakers so where are the guys looking this week on their approach? Jeff is “away” this week having tied Mark last week, but having a worse showing the week before at Riviera so he’ll go first on the reads.

Jeff: The Florida swing continues and we’re on back to back “long” courses measuring in at 7,400+ yards. That means another week where a premium will be placed on approach. The Par 4s are an average of 430 which is the same as Concession, and the Par 5s average out to a very manageable 560 yards. This course doesn’t have the same green undulation we saw last week, and that is backed up because historically there has been less weight in SG: Putting than the average PGA event. Guys like Keegan Bradley and Leishman playing well here over multiple visits is evidence that putting prowess may not matter. So I’m going to look at tee to green this week along with my approach numbers to get a few guys that can strike it.

Mark: Bay Hill seems like a very similar course to The Concession last week; very long with scorable par 5’s and very fast Bermuda greens so I may target some of the same players as last week and others that performed well with their iron games and work on/around the green. Course history is also back in the fold for me considering the difficulty of the course and variables like wind, where experience might be a huge advantage.

Inside the Leather

Jeff’s Picks:

Matthew Fitzpatrick Top 10  (+225) - 1 unit

If we see the wind that they are projecting for Saturday and Sunday then I expect Fitzpatrick to shine. He says he loves the tougher conditions, and he’s done well here in the past. His form has impressed and while he’s only 37th in SG: Approach amongst the field in the last 36 rounds, he’s 17th SG: Tee to Green and positive in all categories. Give me his complete game contending in a potentially windy setup.

Paul Casey Top 10 (+225) - 1 unit

Double Euro! Another guy who has played very well of late, but doesn’t have the pedigree on this course that Fitzpatrick has. Even so, I like Casey’s form and iron play (he’s 9th in approach amongst the field in the last 36 rounds) and has a sneaky good driver in the bag in terms of accuracy and distance. Lots of international guys play well at this course and I think Casey is primed to contend.

Will Zalatoris Top 20 (+188) - 1 unit

Did you all see the wood that Zalatoris took into the final hole at Torrey Pines a few weeks again and stuck his 2nd shot to 8 feet? Yeah, me too. This guy strikes it from anywhere on the map and the stats show that. I’m going to take his approach game (5th in the field) along with the form of 4 of the last 5 finishes inside the top 25. Zalatoris proves week after week that he can figure a course out even with a lack of history.

USA Winner - No (+188) - 1 unit

Mark reminded me that just because the roulette table is red five times in a row doesn’t mean you should put it all on red again, but I’m doing it. We’ve seen five straight international winners and the odds table shows a lot of love for international guys again. I’m worried about Bryson and Burns and that’s the list.

Mark’s Picks:

Viktor Hovland (-112) over Bryson DeChambeau - 1 unit

Hovland could have very well won last week without that snowman at the end of round two, still finishing T2 to go with all of his other top 5’s and 10’s recently. In his last 16 rounds, he ranks 1st in the field in SG: T2G and 3rd in SG: Approach. People may not realize Hovland is only 2 spots behind Bryson in the OWGR as they seem to be going in opposite directions recently.

Sungjae Im Top 10 (+225) - 1 unit

Has two third place finishes at Bay Hill in as many appearances. Didn’t play up to expectations last week, but generally putts much better on Bermuda, is great off the tee and has the approach game (27th in GIR%) to be in contention again.

Tyrell Hatton Top 20 (-110) - 1 unit

He’s the defending champ and the 6th best player in the world, and I can have a top 20 for -110? T22 last week at The Concession, but would have placed much higher if not for some hiccups around the green. 4th in the field in SG: Approach and 9th in putting among this week’s entrants over his last 16 rounds.

Lanto Griffin Top 20 (+275) - 1 unit

In his last three events, he has gone T7, T26 and a T22 last week at the WGC. He gained strokes on the field during all four rounds in T2G and approach and is a much better putter than he showed last week. If he turns that around at Bay Hill, I expect him to be in contention this weekend.

Francesco Molinari Top 10 (+275) - 1 unit

He’s made the cut in all seven tries here with four top 10’s and a win in 2019. T8 at the Genesis two weeks ago is his third top 10 in his last 4 events and he’s been brilliant tee to green, around the green and with his approach.

Marc Leishman Top 20 (+225) - 1 unit

Was I a week early on the Leishman love last week? Maybe. But he finished second here last year, is second all time on the tournament money list and the T2G/Approach/Putting stats that led me to pick him last week have me going back to the well.

Matthew Fitzpatrick Top 10 (+225) - 1 unit

Riding with Jeff here; Fitzpatrick’s numbers last week were very strong and his history at Bay Hill is good enough to back him (three top 15’s and a runner-up). He’s “pretty good” in just about every measurable stat over the last 16 rounds and says he likes playing in wind so why not?!

Double Breaker

Jeff’s Picks:

Matthew Nesmith Top 20 (+450) - 1 unit

I think they’re asleep at the wheel on this one with Nesmith’s latest form (three straight top 20s including a T20 at Riviera) and his great iron game. He’s another young guy where I think he’s really finding some magic lately, and ranking 4th in approach in this field would show that. He also missed the cut on the number last year with a 36th hole bogey so I think he’ll be hungry

Henrik Norlander Top 20 (+400) - 1 unit

Let’s get some more international exposure! Henrik (not Stenson) has been good lately aside from his missed cut at Genesis and fade on Sunday at Pebble. His irons are strong (11th in approach amongst the field) and his putting woes won’t be exacerbated on a tough course.

Corey Conners Top 20 (+335) - .5 unit

Just like Nesmith and Norlander, Conners can pack a punch with the irons. Even though he’s been cut here twice I like that his overall game is in great shape from the tee (9th in driving accuracy) to the green. His putter is his downfall just like Norlander, but I’m hoping one of the two can find some Morikawa like magic.

Cam Davis Top 20 (+300) - 1 unit

He has the shortest top 20 odds amongst my picks in this segment and that is warranted. He’s made 5 straight cuts and his iron and tee game is very strong. He’s 2nd in the field tee to green in the last twelve rounds so I’m going for it with Davis to show up.

Patrick Reed win (+1600) - .5 unit

Sungjae Im win (+2250) - .5 unit

Sam Burns win (+4000) - .25 unit

Matthew Nesmith win (+10000) - .25 units

I know I have the no US winner bet on Inside the Leather, but if Burns or Reed want to spoil the fun then I’m all for it. Sungjae has a great history here and got his tune up after a couple weeks off last week at Concession. I think Burns is still ascending and I want 40-1 before we start seeing him in the 20s and 30s soon. Reed is just Reed. His stats don’t wow, but he’s solid everywhere and is a gamer. He was in the mix again last week and that’s just what you expect with him. Finally, Nesmith was profiled already but 100-1 for the 4th best ball striker in this field?! Don’t have to ask me twice.

Mark’s Picks:

Sam Burns Top 10 (+450) - 1 unit

Hopefully still in good spirits after letting a win slip away at Riviera two weeks ago. One of the best putters on TOUR and that’s multiplied on Bermuda as he gains over .5 strokes per round more on that surface. He’s 16th this season in GIR% and 25th in par 5 scoring, two big time stats for me this week.

Ian Poulter Top 20 (+350) - 1 unit

Poults lives in Orlando and obviously loves this course as he’s made 10 straight cuts here with six top 25’s. He’s not in the best form, but I’m putting my trust in his course history here.

Francesco Molinari GROUP C Winner (+350) - 1 unit

Offered on Draftkings, Molinari’s group includes Horschel, Spieth, Kokrak and Day. I already mentioned Frankie’s history here as well as his recent form and think he’s poised for a big week. Draftkings has him at 30/1 this week with Spieth and Horschel. Day and Kokrak are both 35/1.

Sungjae Im To Win (+2250) - .5 unit

Matthew Fitzpatrick To Win (+2500) - .5 unit

Grouping these plays together since they’re right next to each other on the odds board this week and I’m already on both of them to finish in the top 10. They both love the course, they both putt extremely well and they’re even better on Bermuda. It wouldn’t surprise me to see one of these two win this week.

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