Best Longshot Bets and Sleeper Picks for 2020 Safeway Open

Safeway Open

Lucas Glover is one of the standout values this week at the Safeway Open. Photo by @GolfCentral (Twitter).

  • The PGA Tour’s 2020-21 season begins Thursday (September 10th) with the Safeway Open
  • Lucas Glover ranks first in this field in SG approach and sixth in birdie or better percentage since the June restart
  • Read below for analysis of the event and our favorite sleepers and longshot plays

The wait is finally over. After 48 long hours without golf, the PGA Tour returns to play Thursday at the Safeway Open. The field isn’t exactly elite, as evident by the fact that 50-year-old Phil Mickelson is one of the co-favorites, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t value to be found.

The set-up at Silverado Country Club isn’t overly difficult, and with four short Par-5’s to attack, we’ll be targeting players who excel at Par-5 scoring, with additional emphasis placed on off-the-tee and approach play.

One of the players who fits what we’re looking for is Lucas Glover, who will be our first target in the outright market.

2020 Safeway Open Odds

Golfer Odds to Win Top-10 Odds Top-20 Odds at FanDuel
Lucas Glover +6000 +600 +280
Adam Schenk +6500 +650 +340
Chris Baker +15000 +1600 +550

Odds taken Sept. 8th

The Glove Fits

After a pair of strong results following the restart, Glover has cooled off over the last month, missing four straight cuts. Two of those events however, featured elite fields on very challenging courses. This week, birdies will be made left, right and center, which is more suited to Glover’s game. He gains an average of 0.8 strokes on the field per round on courses that are ranked in the bottom-third in terms of difficulty, and the expected calm conditions should yield plenty of low rounds.

Since play resumed in June, he ranks first in this field in strokes gained approach, 21st in strokes gained off-the-tee, and sixth in birdie or better percentage. Those type of stats should translate very well to Par-5 scoring, and it doesn’t hurt that the Poa greens are his best putting surface.

Two months ago at a similarly soft field at the 3M open, his outright odds were +3500, so +6000 this week feels like an absolute steal.

Pick: Lucas Glover to Win (+6000)

2020 Masters Odds Tracker

Schenk is Stripping It

Another player representing strong value this week is Adam Schenk. The third-year PGA Tour vet has made five straight cuts, gaining strokes with his ball striking in each event. Three weeks ago at the Northern Trust, he gained 4.2 strokes on approach, his most since February at the AT&T Pro-Am.

He’s top-12 in this field in strokes gained off-the-tee and fifth in Par-5 scoring. He hasn’t had a top-10 since last year’s John Deere Classic, but he has had success at this course in the past. He finished 14th here in 2018 and has shot 67 or better eight times in his last four events.

Pick: Adam Schenk Top-10 (+650)

Baker the Birdie Maker

Chris Baker the bridie maker, as he’s known in PGA Daily Fantasy circles, got off to a rocky start last season, but finished his 2019-20 campaign by making his last six cuts. He punctuated that stretch last time out with a 20th place finish at the Wyndham Championship, posting incredible stats across the board.

Chris Baker Strokes Gained Stats at Wyndham Championship

6.6 1.7 4.3 0.6 1.0

Baker gained strokes in all the key metrics, including 4.3 on approach and 1.7 off-the-tee. Since the restart he ranks seventh in this field in approach, 13th in birdie or better percentage and 32nd in Par-5 scoring. Another thing he has going for him is his scoring proficiency on Par-4’s ranging from 400-450 yards. Seven holes at Silverado fall within that distance, and Baker ranks ninth in this field in Par-4 scoring within that range.

Pick: Chris Baker Top-20 (+550)

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Chris Amberley

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