PGA: Hot Picks for the 2021 3M Open

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There was action all across the golf globe last week with Collin Morikawa holding off Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen and Jon Rahm for his second major championship in eight starts at The Open Championship. But Royal St. George’s of Sandwich, England was not the only place with drama last week, as Seamus Power collected his first PGA Tour victory at the Barbasol Championship, finally triumphing over J.T. Poston in six playoff holes. The PGA Tour now turns its attention to the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minneapolis, Minnesota this week.

The field is pretty light as it is sandwiched between The Open Championship and the Olympics, but that does not mean that there is a lack of value on the board this week.

Course Breakdown and Weather

TPC Twin Cities comes in at just over 7,400 yards as a par-71 this week. The course is getable, with the only real defense being the water hazards, which are in play on nearly half of all the holes. The event played as a bomber’s paradise the first year, when Matthew Wolff came out victorious by one stroke over Bryson DeChambeau and Morikawa with a score of 21-under. In 2020, Michael Thompson also was able to win with yet another score of 20-under.

Wolff and Thompson both play completely different styles of golf, but the one thing they both had in common was they got hot with their putter for the week. The course gives a slight advantage to those bombers in the sense that they can reach the par 5s in two with relative ease here. The weather should play little factor here this weekend, with some clouds in the sky all four days, but wind hovering around 10 miles per hour and no rain expected.

The Favorites

Dustin Johnson (+700) opens as the favorite for the 3M Open this week, following his eighth-place finish at The Open Championship last week. Johnson was sitting at seven-over par on the first day of the 2020 3M Open, before withdrawing with a back injury. Do not put any stock in his poor performance last year due to his injury, but rather focus on his fantastic recent form. He has rattled off four straight top-25 performances and has to be thrilled to come to a course that suits his game perfectly to try and get back to his winning ways. The card will have plenty of longshots this week, but the first name to throw on the card is the world No.1, who is no stranger to taking care of business as a pre-tournament favorite.

Louis Oosthuizen (+1400) comes in right behind Johnson after finishing tied for third place at The Open Championship. Oosthuizen has one career PGA Tour win, which was that 2010 Open Championship. At 14-1, it makes no sense to back a golfer with no PGA Tour wins in the United States, especially after an underwhelming Sunday performance at a major championship.

Tony Finau (+1400) presents an intriguing option, especially after finishing in third place at this event last season.

The biggest issue with backing Finau is that the win equity is not there, as he owns one win at the 2016 Puerto Rico Open. Patrick Reed (+2000) is next in line and has shown no reason as of late to bet him at that number. Brian Harman (+2800), Cameron Triangle (+2800), Matthew Wolff (+2800), and Robert MacIntyre (+2800) are all golfers that are capable of winning this week, but with Johnson at 7-1 already on the card, sit tight and choose to pair him with golfers and higher odds.

Bovada Pick
Dustin Johnson

Best Value Plays

Cameron Davis (+4000) and Emiliano Grillo (+4000) are intriguing options in the middle tier with both golfers playing really well right now, but the golfer at 40-1 worth a bet is Bubba Watson. Watson did not travel to Sandwich, England for The Open Championship last week, so he will be plenty rested when he tees it up this Thursday. Not to mention, Watson has been playing great golf as of late, finishing sixth in his last event. He missed the cut last year despite shooting a second-round 67, so he does have the ability to play this course somewhat well. At 40-1, Watson is definitely worth a bet to win here as he should be near the top of the leaderboard if he can keep the ball in the fairway.

The second golfer to target in the middle tier is Hank Lebioda (+4000).

He has finished inside the top 10 of his last three events, including finishing tied for eighth in his last start after a Sunday round of 65. He had a week of rest last week and should be ready to attack a golf course that suits the lefty really well. He ranks 24th in strokes gained putting, which gives him a chance to win if he can find a way to keep the ball in the fairway. He struggles off of the tee box, ranking 145th in strokes gained off the tee, but with wide fairways and greens that are getable, he will have a chance to win if he keeps the ball dry off the tee box.

The Picks
Bubba Watson
Hank Lebioda

The Longshots

There is a great crop of longshots this week sitting in the 66-1 tier and the first name to look at is Patton Kizzire (+6600). Kizzire owns two career PGA Tour victories and has already collected five top-10 finishes in the 2021 season. He has finished inside the top 25 of his last two starts, in large part to playing courses that are forgiving off the tee. He ranks 15th in strokes gained putting this season and has the ability to get hot with his irons, which places the majority of the pressure on his driver. The 3M Open is going to be a birdie-fest, and at 66-1, it is worth taking Kizzire to make enough birdie putts to win his third PGA Tour event this week.

The next golfer at 66-1 worth taking is Brandt Snedeker (+6600). Snedeker shot a final-round 68 at The Open Championship to creep inside the top 20 and finish tied for 19th at this year’s final major. He is looking to win that elusive 10th career PGA Tour win, and although his 2021 season stats are not encouraging, the veteran has the ability to turn back the clock long enough to get the win against a weak field in Minnesota.

The previous two winners of this event opened the week at 125-1, which makes it worth taking a flyer on one golfer in triple digits. Brandon Hagy (+10000) has finished inside the top 20 of back-to-back events. He made the cut at the 2020 3M Open in the midst of a slump last season, so entering in great form this season could be exactly what he needs to catch fire and steal his first PGA Tour win at 30 years old.

The Picks
Patton Kizzire
Brandt Snedeker
Brandon Hagy

Top-10 Play of the Week

There are few things on this planet that are more certain that Finau and top-10 finishes without him winning the tournament. He has seven top-10 finishes already this season and the 31-year-old has racked up 46 top-10 finishes for his career.

He hammers the ball off the tee and should be in position to attack the pin locations this week at TPC Twin Cities, as well as reach each par-five in just two shots.

He is a below-average putter and that is what has kept him from his second PGA Tour win to this point, but rolling the ball well enough to find himself in contention this week with aa effortless top-10 finish to show for it.

Bovada Pick
Tony Finau Top 10 Finish

Matchup Play of the Week

The matchup play of the week is Brandon Stone to finish ahead of Harry Higgs this week at the 3M Open. Stone owns three European Tour wins in his career and has the driver and putter that are more than capable of catching fire and leading him to his first win on this side of the pond.

Please Note:
Do not bet Stone to win, but rather at plus-money to defeat Higgs, because Stone is likely to play well enough to finish at least inside the top 30.

That places a ton of pressure on Higgs who has not played great lately. He has missed four of the last five cuts in his starts, with the lone exception being a 68th-place finish at The Memorial. His game is in shambles right now and this play is more a fade of Higgs than anything.

Bovada Pick
Brandon Stone Over Harry Higgs

One Player to Avoid

The one golfer to avoid this week is Oosthuizen (+1400). Oosthuizen was the 54-hole leader at The Open Championship last week before falling apart on Sunday and watching both Morikawa and Spieth pass him by on the leaderboard. He is priced at a terrible number here due to the success that the public has seen him have in major championships this season.

However, with only one PGA Tour win in his career, which just so happened to come on European soil, he is the worst golfer to bet outright this week.

His focus is not going to be 100 percent in Minneapolis this week after letting three chances at adding another major championship slip through his fingers this season.

The One Player To Avoid:
Louis Oosthuizen
Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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