No Cut events are always a fun week to hoist away some bombs in DFS, as there’s no reason to fear the bottom of the barrel players tanking your 6/6 hopes. Instead in a no cut event like the CJ Cup, you’re really just looking for a few salary savers who can efficiently rack up DK Points with their birdie making ability. From a betting perspective, I’m a little less bullish on the bombs than a usual week on the PGA Tour, given how top heavy the elite talent is on this week’s board, and then seeing a notable drop off in talent after the 40/1 range. With that said, I personally won’t be betting on any bomb outrights, however the value plays below should still offer high placing upside relative to their price, whether it be in DFS or betting markets.
DFS Values & Betting Bombs
Pricing from Draft Kings
Maverick McNealy (+8000, $7,300)
As everyone else has probably heard by now, Maverick McNealy is a member at The Summit Club, he lives in Las Vegas, and holds what is reportedly a course record of 61. He also comes in two events removed from a valiant T2 finish at the Fortinet Championship to kick off the 2022 PGA Tour Season, where he carried a fully well rounded performance, gaining 2+ strokes in all categories (OTT, APP. ARG, P). Despite missing the cut on the number last week at TPC Summerlin, McNealy still rides in with solid form, having finished T30 or better in 7 of his last 9 events. That moderate ceiling gives me some pause to hammer the outright, however I’m much more confident in backing him in DFS, with the comfort of knowing this course will not be as foreign to him as it will the majority of this week’s field. That same above average-ness carries over into my model this week, as McNealy rates out 26th overall, ranking Top 30 in SG: T2G, BoB Gained, SG: P – Bent, P5: 550-600, P4: 350-400, and Fairways Gained. At $7,300, McNealy has a clear path to pay off his price and finish in the top half of this week’s field.
Alex Noren (+8000, $7,100)
If the fairways are wide, rough isn’t penal, course isn’t prohibitively long, and greens are larger than Tour average, then we can essentially scrap all the premiums on ball striking and just make this a good old fashioned putting contest. If we do that, we’ll want to consider the player who is #1 SG: P L50: Alex Noren. Bent grass also happens to be Noren’s best surface, rating out #1 SG: P on Bent grass L24 and gaining a sizeable 0.45 strokes putting on Bent grass over the totality of his career. It’s also worth noting that if not for Dustin Johnson’s 9.5 strokes gained at the TOUR Championship, Noren would be #1 SG: P L12, 24, and 36 rounds as well.
As a brief disclaimer, I was all in on Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen last week as the best putters in the field in an expected putting contest at TPC Summerlin, and they each put on their worst and second-worst putting displays over the past calendar year, so we’ll find out if I’m just a living breathing jinx, or if putting is just volatile and difficult to predict week over week.
Anyway, beyond the putting prowess, Noren also rates out an impressive 8th in Birdies or Better Gained and 9th P4: 350-400, which should help set up scoring opportunities on the driveable Par 4s at The Summit Club. He also rides in with solid overall form, entering this week with 3 T10 finishes over his last 5 PGA Tour starts. As a minor warning to caveat, Alex Noren lost nearly 20 strokes to the field at last year’s CJ Cup in Las Vegas, shooting +17, bested by a mere 37 strokes by Jason Kokrak. Fortunately for Noren, we aren’t going back to Shadow Creek this year, so he’s worth a gamble with a clean slate at The Summit Club.
Jhonattan Vegas (+8000, $6,300)
It’s fun to play a guy named Vegas, in Vegas. That alone may have been enough to command more ownership than a typical week. Add to that the fact that Mr. Vegas is a great course fit here, as a bomber who thrives in easy scoring conditions and has shown the ability recently to pop with the putter on Bent grass greens, and he’s sure to be an even more popular play. Then consider he’s grossly mispriced on Draft Kings just $300 removed from the minimum price and a full $1K cheaper than Maverick McNealy at the same outright odds, and I pause to wonder how necessary it even is to call any further attention to Jhonattan Vegas as a value play.
If you run any sort of model this week, Jhonattan Vegas who has 5 T15s in his last 9 events, will stick out like a sore thumb at $6,300. He enters this tournament 8th SG: T2G, 8th SG: APP, 2nd P4: 350-400, 13th P5: 550-600, and 13th in Comp Course History. Nobody loves a driveable Par 4 more than Jhonny Vegas, and I’ll always roll the dice on him on a course that offers 3 different opportunities to go after it.
Lucas Glover (+25000, $6,000)
Lucas Glover won a Bent Grass birdie fest 3 months ago and is listed on Draft Kings at exactly the same price as Minkyu Kim who is ranked 712th in OWGR and has never before played in a PGA Tour event over the course of his 6 year career. Usually at the bare minimum price on Draft Kings, you’re just looking for one aspect to feel optimistic about, and accept your fate if he misses the cut. But given there’s no cut at the CJ Cup to worry about, it’s a great week to take a chance on the minimum price guys and look for some birdie making upside to rack up DK scoring points while freeing up salary relief, even if the ceiling isn’t much higher than a T30.
With Glover, we get a player who ranks 6th in Birdies or Better Gained, 4th in Fairways Gained, and 20th in SG: APP, gaining on approach in 5 consecutive events entering this week. It’s been the putter that’s prevented Glover from racking up any notable finishes over that same span, ultimately keeping him at a flat $6,000, but if there’s reason for optimism, a majority of his recent starts have come on Bermuda greens, his worst surface. Bent grass on the other hand happens to be his best surface, upon which he ranks 25th in the field SG: P over the last 24 rounds. He may very well go on to lose another 2 strokes on the greens this week, but the ball striking has been consistent enough to give him a solid T30 floor even if the putter continues to not cooperate.