There’s not a ton of historical data on past winners at the Olympics. The most recent was in 2016 where Justin Rose (ENG) won gold, Henrik Stenson (SWE) went home with silver and Matt Kuchar (USA) brought the bronze back to the United States of America. Rose was +1200 when he won in Rio, ranking 12th in the world the week before his win. Stenson was fifth and Kuchar was 20th.
This week’s betting approach should be similar to betting a WGC event, which is also a no-cut event. Win equity carries more weight than usual, especially with four rounds available for the top golfers like Collin Morikawa (+650), Justin Thomas (+1100) and Patrick Reed (+1600) to make up ground or lengthen their lead. Both Morikawa and Thomas have shown the ability to win big golf tournaments when chasing the leader, and Reed closes at a fantastic rate when he’s in the lead heading into Sunday. This is not to say that longshots or golfers outside the top 100 in the overall world golf ranking (OWGR) can’t do well, but it’ll be difficult to beat out golfers who’ve been playing on either the European or PGA TOUR against the best.
Here are the bets we should be considering this week on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Since his win at THE PLAYERS, the fourth-ranked golfer comes into the Olympics with only one top 10 worldwide. Still, 65% of his victories on the PGA TOUR have come from no-cut events. Thomas has shown he can go extremely low like he did on Saturday at TPC Sawgrass, registering an 8-under (64) en route to his win. Thomas also ranks second in birdies or better gained in the previous 24 rounds in no-cut events.
Smith loves team events and carries a massive amount of pride when sporting his country colors. Last year, Smith was impressive at the President’s Cup, won the Zurich Classic with his current Olympic teammate, Marc Leishman (+3500), and is striking the ball well, ranking top 20 in approach over the previous 24 rounds.
The narrative isn’t the only reason why betting on Kim makes sense this week. Everyone in the industry is rooting for both Kim and Sungjae Im (+2800) to medal this week, so they don’t have to serve their mandatory two-year military service for their home country, South Korea. The conditions should set up nicely for Kim, who plays well in similar formats, ranking ninth in SG: Ball-striking over the previous 24 rounds in no-cut events. Already a winner earlier this season at the American Express, Kim also has a win at the 2016 Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield CC, a Donald Ross design similar to what he will be playing this week. The South Korean team will be highly motivated to play well, and we shouldn’t be surprised to see either medaling this week.
Even though the event is missing 13 of the top 20-ranked players, it’ll be tough for Lahiri to beat out the top of the board. Still, as one of the few in the field who has Olympic experience, Lahiri should feel comfortable playing in this part of the world with five wins in Asia and just finishing third at the Barbasol. He also has a top 5 at the Valero Texas Open earlier this year.
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