On the eve of the 103rd edition of the USPGA Championship, Steve's had a good look at the plethora of side markets and he's picked out five bets ranging from 6/4 to 50/1...
"Daniel Berger at an industry wide best of 6/4 looks a very solid bet. He played really nicely last week in Texas where he improved day-by-day to eventually finish third, he’s won on a blustery seaside links already this season at the AT&T Pebble Beach, and he has some very solid form at Pete Dye designed courses."
There are a number of top nationality markets that are just a match-up between two players and an argument can definitely be made for backing the outsiders blind for level stakes or even in multiples.
For example, Jon Rahm is the strong favourite in the Top Spanish market at 2/7 but if he has a bad week, Sergio Garcia won't have to do too much to reward backers at 5/2, but the market I like best has three runners - the Top Irish.
Having won the USPGA Championship on the last occasion it was staged at Kiawah Island, in 2012, and having won the Wells Fargo Championship (for a third time) last time out, Rory McIlroy is the favourite in the outright market and the 2/7 jolly in the Top Irish market but he's worth taking on.
Prior to his victory at Quail Hollow last time out, Rory had missed the cut at the Players Championship, won just one of three matches at the WGC Match Play, and failed to make the weekend in the US Masters. He began working with coach, Pete Cowan after the Players and it's obviously starting to pay dividends but one swallow doth not a summer make, and it really wouldn't be a shock if he lost his form as quickly as he found it.
Matt Cooper makes a strong case for Shane Lowry in his each-way column and he could very easily finish in front of Rory, even if McIlroy doesn't have a really bad week. Padraig Harrington is the only other representative from Ireland so it would be prudent to have a tiny saver on him too at 28/1.
I came close to backing Bubba Watson in the Top Lefty market and I really like Keegan Bradley in the Top Former winner market but they've both been cut unfortunately. Bubba was a 3/1 shot yesterday and I thought that was just about fair but the one I'm really kicking myself over is Bradley. He was 10/1 shot on Monday but he's now down 13/2.
The Former Winner market looks eminently winnable and with three places up for grabs, the 10/1 was huge. At 13/2, I'm a little more reticent but Bradley has been in exceptional form of late and I expect him to contend. Something that can't be said about many of the other past champs.
In the To Miss the Cut market, I'm quite happy to play the two-time winner, Brooks Koepka, at 6/4. I backed him modestly in Texas last week in the hope that he'd recovered after his knee operation but his movement was severely restricted still and he failed to make the weekend. He can't get down to read putts and a third missed cut in-a-row is on the cards.
In the Top 20 market, Daniel Berger at an industry wide best of 6/4 looks a very solid bet. He played really nicely last week in Texas where he improved day-by-day to eventually finish third, he's won on a blustery seaside links already this season at the AT&T Pebble Beach, and he has some very solid form at Pete Dye designed courses. He's a very consistent sort and I expect him to contend.
Stewart Cink was an industry-best 6/1 to finish inside the top-20 yesterday but the 5/1 available today is still worth taking. The 47-year-old is enjoying a remarkable season and as highlighted in the Find Me a 100 Winner column yesterday, I can see him contending again this week at a venue that really should suit him nicely.
Finally, there are lots and lots of #OddsonThat options to trawl through but the one I liked at a really juicy price, with a couple of players already mentioned included, is Stewart Cink, Keegan Bradley, Lee Westwood & Matt Wallace all top 40 finish (inc. ties) at 50/1.
I'll be back on Friday with the In-Play Blog.
*You can follow me on Twitter @SteveThePunter