Ahead of this week's WGC event, Paul Krishnamurty has scoured the wide array of speciality markets to build the following betting portfolio...
"In a field of 75, where at least half are hard to make any sort of case for, it will take less than usual to reach the top-ten. The very best value about Casey lies here. How often do we get to take 3.814/5 about something that has won five out of six times, and only fell short by one place on the other?"
Outright: Back to lays
For reasons partially laid out in our each-way column, my shortlist of potential winners at Sheshan is much smaller than usual. Henrik Stenson is confidently recommended as an each-way bet there and I have no qualms about pressing up further in the form of a back-to-lay trade. I rate his current 19.018/1 quote at least five points too big and, after the way he dominated the FedEx Cup, should Stenson get into contention, punters would waste no time in installing him as a short-priced favourite, unlikely to be much bigger than this 4.03/1 lay target.
The plan is to have a combined trade with another course specialist, Paul Casey. In six completed starts at Sheshan, Casey has never finished worse than 11th and the fact he topped the greens in regulation stats last week is eye-catching. From an initial nine units outlay, should either man shorten to 4.03/1, we'll make a minimum of 11 units profit whilst retaining a substantial extra profit if they go on to win. Plus remember the potential profits from such a trading strategy also include the possibility that both hit the lay target. A fortnight ago at the JT Shriners Open, for instance, my Find Me a 100 Winner column enjoyed it's second best week of the year despite neither profitable selection ever trading particularly short.
I considered adding BVP to the above trading plan but, given his poor win ratio, a top-five bet looks the better option. He seems to thrive when outside the States, winning the CIMB Classic in 2011, Perth International in 2011 and recording a good 11th on his course debut two years ago. Notably, he's ranked fourth and sixth for greens in regulation over the past fortnight.
Back Paul Casey 6u @ 3.814/5
Back Francesco Molinari 5u @ 4.47/2
In a field of 75, where at least half are hard to make any sort of case for, it will take less than usual to reach the top-ten. The very best value about Casey lies here. How often do we get to take 3.814/5 about something that has won five out of six times, and only fell short by one place on the other? Similarly, 2010 champion Francesco Molinari is huge at 4.47/2, especially after confirming good form when finishing second last week. He clearly likes it here, registering three top-tens out of four and 23rd on the other occasion.
Lay Brett Rumford to be Top Australian 10u @ 1.68/13
In the absence of their best world-class candidates such as Adam Scott and Jason Day, the race to be top Aussie is a very weak three-runner contest. While Brett Rumford may be the best on paper, it would require either bravery or stupidity to take 1.68/13 about him on a course where two previous attempts have yielded finishes of just 33rd and 65th, (out of 76). Second favourite Scott Hend has slightly better numbers with 27th and 48th on his two previous appearances and, significantly, is bang in form having won two of his last four Asian Tour events. Daniel Popovic is rank outsider of three, but something of an unknown quantity. Since pulling off one of the greatest all-time upsets in last winter's Australian Open, Popovic has shown little on his few starts but 18th in the Perth International wasn't so bad. Furthermore, every single shot and dollar earned in a prestigious event like this really matters to a player like Popovic.
With a vast bank of course form to study, this is a good tournament for match betting purposes. Ian Poulter doesn't appear to particularly like this layout, failing to register a top-ten in seven attempts and his overall 2013 form is weaker than other recent campaigns. In contrast former Sheshan champion Martin Kaymer has three good results out of four here, finishing 20th on his 2008 debut, sixth the following year and winning the title in 2011.