In an effort to stick to our #yearoftheprocess, we have decided to enhance our weekly gambling content to include a written feature. NLU is proud to introduce Mark & Jeff from the Walk It In Podcast. Mark & Jeff are good friends, hack golfers, and fans of the game that love gambling and talking sports. We could not be more excited to have them onboard and see what type of "experts" they actually are. Cheers -
Subscribe to the Walk It In Pod weekly pics: https://walkitinpodcast.substack.com/
Find them on Twitter and Instagram: @walkitinpod
And check out their Podcast Stack at: https://linktr.ee/walkitin
24 FEB 2021 - Walk It In
It was a monumental week at Riviera as friend of the program and all-world guy Max Homa won the Genesis Invitational in exciting fashion over Tony Finau and the rest of a loaded field. Homa (70/1) overcame a missed birdie putt on the 72nd hole to beat Finau on the second playoff hole and cash big money for his supporters (of which there were many).
One of those supporters, Tron, is the new Draft King this week after betting on Homa to win outright at a massive 70/1. He missed all his other bets last week, but it doesn’t matter as he’ll be playing with house money (nuggets) for a while. Neil has escaped the Pouch of Misery after going 1-4, his first win in five weeks - progress! Homa’s three foot birdie miss at the end of regulation single handedly passed the Pouch to Big Randy as Randy had a prop that the winner birdie the 72nd hole. He finished the week 0-5 with his other misses on Morikawa and Scott top 10’s, Bubba Watson to win and a winning margin of two strokes. DJ hit a Max Homa top 20 (+200), but missed on Cantlay to win, Niemann top 10, Norlander top 20 and a matchup parlay. Soly had a good week at the book, also supporting Homa with a top 20. If only he and DJ were as confident in their friend as Tron was, amirite?! Soly also hit on a Tony Finau top 10 and a matchup parlay with Rory and Morikawa. His two losses were Jordan Spieth top 10 and Cam Tringale top 20.
The Walk It In guys had mixed results last week as Mark was up almost four units and Jeff was down almost six. Viktor Hovland (top 10 and top Oklahoma State player) came up huge for Mark as well as Tony Finau (top 10). Swings and misses included a Carlos Ortiz top 20 and a matchup with Tringale as well as Joaquin Niemann top 10 and win bets. Add Jeff to the Homa supporters section as he had him in a matchup over Jason Kokrak. He also won Morikawa over Matsuyama, but his finishing position bets didn’t fare as well. He lost on Cantlay to win and finish top 10, Ortiz to win and finish top 20, HVIII to finish top 40 and Justin Thomas to win.
The TOUR puts a new course in play this week at the WGC-Workday Championship and we each also have a bonus play on the Puerto Rico Open…
How do the pros put themselves in the best position to score? A great approach! Here’s how the Walk It In guys are looking at this week’s tournament, followed by our best bets. Our safer picks are dubbed “Inside the Leather”, like a short putt that your friend might give you at the country club. Longshot plays are “Double Breaker” bets; difficult, but makeable putts that require great reads and execution. Mark leads it off this week after a better showing at Riviera.
Mark: The Concession Golf Club looks awesome, but that doesn’t help bettors handicap a tournament much, does it? Without course history, I’m putting my chips mostly into approach and putting (specifically on Bermuda) considering how long this course is and how small the greens are. Of course I’m also looking at recent form. There may be some value in players down the board for me, but I typically favor better players in WGC’s as the cream often rises to the top.
Jeff: The approach was errant last week. Very errant. You could say that I had some trouble even finding the green with the direction some of my picks went. Need a big rebound week (looking at you too, Justin Thomas) down in Florida where a longer course at 7,400 yards should put a premium on approach. The par 3s are long (180+ yards) and a couple Par 4s have some teeth at 470+ yards. With little to no course history this week (except for NCAAs in 2015) I’m looking for guys who play Florida well, flush irons, and have fantastic form.
Inside the Leather
Viktor Hovland Top 10 (+250) - 1 unit
Back to the well with Hovland after he came through huge for me at Riviera. He is currently doing everything well, led last week’s field in SG: Off The Tee, is 9th this season in SG: T2G and 11th in GIR percentage. I love this kid!
Tyrell Hatton Top 10 (+250) - 1 unit
Hatton (+106) over Justin Thomas - 1 unit
I hope people keep sleeping on Hatton because I’ll try and take advantage of the prices every time. Hasn’t played in America in a few months so he’s flying under the radar, but he’s 5th in the world, won in Abu Dhabi last month and won last year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando. Fantastic iron player and fantastic putter, especially on Bermuda. Neil is on Hatton this week too and he’s kinda sorta turning a corner with his picks so let’s go!
Xander Schauffele Top 10 (+138) - 2 units
Doing EVERYTHING well right now and has the results to prove it. Over his last 16 rounds, Xander ranks 6th in the field in SG: T2G, 6th in Approach and 5th in putting. He has 16 straight top 25’s and he’s going to win again very soon.
“System Play” - Sergio Garcia Top 20 (+150) - 1 unit
Jeff’s weekly system play tries to identify a golfer who missed the cut the previous week but showed positive indicators in strokes gained approach and off the tee. To date we’re 3-2 in the system with wins on Sam Burns, Abraham Ancer, and Jason Day but loses on Cameron Champ and last week with Harold Varner. Sergio Garcia showed well last week despite the MC at Riviera and that can be chalked up to a bad putter. This guy crushes in Florida and before the missed cut had three top 15s out of the previous 4 events he played. Vamos!
Scottie Scheffler Top 20 (+200) - 1 unit
Soly and I are all aboard the Scottie train this weekend. He’s rounding into form with his irons (20th in approach in the last month amongst the field) and has booked a T7 and T20 in his last two (amongst strong fields) after back to back missed cuts. Remember he had new clubs to start the season so I think he’s finding the right groove.
Xander Schauffele Top 10 (+138) - 1.5 units
Xander has 5 straight T17 or better and three of those were top 5s. He’s got a complete game and is gaining strokes in every category in the last 30 days. He’s an elite player that should contend this weekend. These greens won’t give anyone a break and he’s bringing a hot putter to compliment an approach game that ranks 8th in the field. Xander Finau final group on Sunday?! One can hope.
Patrick Cantlay Top 10 (+138) - 1.5 units
Patrick just missed the top 10 last week with a really lackluster performance on Sunday. He had to wake up and finish on Sunday and with a guy with that kind of injury history and the effort he has to put in to get ready I think it was just too much for him on Sunday. I like the bounce back here for another guy who is so good in every category just like Xander, and especially with the irons placing 5th in the field in the last 30 days.
Xander Schauffele to Win (+1200) - 1 unit
Jeff and I told you all the reasons why we love Xander for a top 10 this week and he’s my pick to win the tournament as well. He’s crushing just about every metric out there right now and is real close to collecting another trophy.
Viktor Hovland to Win (+2250) - .5 unit
Writing this on the one year anniversary of his win in Puerto Rico, it’s fitting that that tournament is also being played this week. Hovland is stepping up in class to the WGC-Workday this year and has what it takes to win this one as well.
Tony Finau Top 5 (+400) - 1 unit
It may not seem like it sometimes, but I swear I’m rooting for Tony Finau. “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride”, he’s also always gracious in defeat and always bounces back with another top performance. Maybe he wins this week and maybe he doesn’t, but he’s playing great golf and hopefully keeps charging ahead. Top 5 Tony, let’s dance.
Marc Leishman to Win (+12500) - .25 unit
Leishman Top 10 (+750) - 1 unit
Can someone explain to me how the 32nd ranked player in the world is 125/1 to win a golf tournament? In his last five events, he’s gone T8-T24-T4-T18-T32 and he always tends to creep up the leaderboard in big tournaments. 4th in the field over his last 16 rounds in SG: Approach and 16th T2G. He’s also a much better putter on Bermuda greens. I mentioned Hatton’s win last year at the API - Leishman was the runner up in that tournament.
Christian Bezeuidenhout Top 20 (+300) - 1 unit
Shout out to my co-host for allowing me to properly pronounce the South African’s last name. Not a lot of folks probably pay close attention to a guy that only comes over to the PGA Tour a few times a year. He’s been showing up on leaderboards over in Europe this season and has 4 T22s or better in his last 5 and won a European Tour event in December. His putting is a bitttt volatile, but he brings the 11th ranked iron game on strokes gained approach. Let’s hit 'em close, Christian!
Tony Finau to Win (+1600) - .5 units
Tony Finau Top 5 (+400) - .5 units
Soly and DJ are all over this and I’m along for the roller coaster ride that this could be. I’ll protect the downside of a duel on Sunday with the Top 5, but I was sold on this pick watching him react to losing the playoff on Sunday. Gracious, positive, and calm describe his comments even after shooting a 64 on Sunday and still losing. He’s a complete player (2nd in approach amongst the field in the last 30 days) and will break his own Puerto Rico curse the same weekend as the Puerto Rico Open is played. It’s just too perfect.
Tyrell Hatton to Win (+2250) - .25 units
Much like Bez, Tyrell is back over in the states and resides in Florida during these swings. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational last year and showed some amazing golf after the restart. He’s legit and has 5 straight top 25s including a win at HSBC in December in a very solid field. He also gains in all categories amongst this field and packs a sweet set of irons on contact.
Sungjae Im to Win (+45000) - .25 units
This is a boom or bust play. With Finau why not protect the downside of a close finish, but with Sungjae he brings an all or nothing attack every week. Surprisingly (and good for my bet) he took a week off last week to rest up because this guy has played a lot. His putter has been a little shaky and his irons haven’t been what we expect, but I bet he figured it out in the off week in his new home in Atlanta. If he has a silky set of irons this week I think he’s right there, and he’s been comfortable during the Florida swing.
Justin Thomas to Win (+1850) - .5 units
I picked Berger at Phoenix he goes missed cut and then victory at Pebble. I take Molinari at Pebble and he cold tops to open the weekend and fades outside the top 45. Then comes back to finish T8 at Genesis. Now last week, where I take Justin Thomas and he folds for one of the worst performances in recent memory. The form and iron numbers do not back this up, but my ability to be a week early sure does. Let’s do it.
*BONUS PUERTO RICO OPEN BET*
With a bottle of bourbon on the line, we have a special H2H matchup between co-hosts to make the Puerto Rico Open more interesting! In one corner, Jeff and Branden Grace (20/1). In the other corner, Mark and Cameron Percy (45/1). Who you got?!