Charles Schwab: Value on Kokrak to Win

·3 min read

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Saturdays are typically reserved for moving day, but players appeared unaware of such. That was music to the ears of those at the top of the leaderboard. Jordan Spieth, the 36-hole leader, faced no serious charges outside of his playing partner. Between Spieth and Jason Korkak, it is likely that this Charles Schwab Challenge has turned into a two-man race.

While many stalled in Round 3, there were a few golfers that were able to take advantage of the soft conditions. Most notably, Ian Poulter, who carded a 6-under 64, good for the best round of the day. After making birdie on the last two holes of the “Horrible Horseshoe,” Poulter added three more on his back-nine. Despite the solid showing, Poulter will start the final round seven-strokes back of the lead as he sits at 8-under for the tournament.

The lead I am referring to is still held by Spieth at 15-under. The local kid has been flawless to this point and started his third-round bogey-free for the week. That didn’t last long as Spieth’s front-nine was erratic, but as Spieth does, he still found a way to score. After turning in 1-under 34, Spieth came home in 3-under, good for a round of 4-under 66.

After falling a few strokes behind on the front-nine, Kokrak matched Spieth punch for punch on the back-nine. Kokrak made six consecutive threes on his inward half and eventually turned in a round of 4-under 66. He’ll start the final round where he began today, one-stroke back of Spieth, and in a great position to play spoiler.

With the final pair being four-strokes clear of the closest competitor, our final round will be focused on a value play as we try to make up for our Saturday snafu.

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Updated Odds to Win (via PointsBet Sportsbook):

-250: Jordan Spieth

+230: Jason Kokrak

+2200: Sergio Garcia

+12500: Ian Poulter

+15000: Sebastian Munoz

+20000: Brendon Todd

Round 4 Plays:

Jason Kokrak (+230 to win):

This is essentially a head-to-head matchup where we are spotting Spieth a stroke. It’s fair that Spieth is the favorite given that he is 50% for his career in converting 36-hole leads, and with only 18 holes remaining his probability to win only goes up. But this number feels just a touch too long. Kokrak has been the better ball-striker of the two and I expect that to continue in the final round.

For the week, Kokrak leads the field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green. Broken down, it reads as 2nd in SG: Off-the-Tee, 2nd in SG: Approach, and 47th in SG: Around-the-Green. Combine that with being 6th in SG: Putting and it’s clear why Kokrak is only one back of Spieth.

Spieth currently leads the field in SG: Putting and has lagged behind from the tee box. It’s unlikely that Spieth retreats on the putting surface, but there is always a possibility of a putter running cold. At such long odds, I’ll take that chance and hope that Kokrak’s ball-striking continues and Spieth’s putting cools off.

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