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2012 Italian Open Picks - Storm brewing in Italy?

The PGA Tour takes a break this week and blog focus remains on Europe in the shape of the Italian Open. The top of the market looks dreadful, consisting of a handful of players such as Olesen and Wiesberger that would have been trading over double their prices earlier in the year in an event of this ilk. If you must go for some of the shorter odds, I'd recommend you stick with the likes of Kaymer and Manassero, who would be likely to complete the job if in contention down the stretch

For me though, I love this type of event as it means bigger prices down the field to sink our teeth into and focus will be predominantly on ew place value for this week's Italian Open. A couple of in form players came in at triple figure odds which I find hard to understand but am more than happy to see. As usual with these players, they have the potential to become decent back-to-lay trades on Betfair.

Royal Park I Roveri is the sole Italian Open venue this week for the third year in succession and a quick look down the last two leaderboards tells you that it doesn't really favour any particular type of golfer. The course plays just under 7,300 yards long to a par of 72 and I'll be focusing largely on big odds players who featured last week.

Italian Open Picks - Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks

Pick #1: Jaco van Zyl ew @ 66/1 (general) The streaky South African has shown some form over the last couple of weeks with a top fifteen finish in Crann which he followed up in Holland with a T12 after two rounds, only to falter a little at the weekend. I expect he may continue his mini resurgence in Italy this week though on a track that should suit.

Pick #2: Lorenzo Gagli ew @ 100/1 (general) Five Italians on the radar this week for their National Open but only one really stands out for me in terms of value. Francesco rightly leads the market but shouldn't be touched at the price wile Eduardo is just back from long term injury. Manassero is tempting and could possibly drift out to 33s before the off while Andrea Pavan will no doubt be mentioned in a few previews but only because he is indeed Italian. I tipped Gagli at 150.0 on my Unibet colum last week and he gave us at least a run for our money. I mentioned he is a "GIR machine" when on form and he was tied 4th at last year's Italian Open after two rounds. Gagli eventually finished 17th at the KLM last week and I think he could find himself in the winners circle soon at a big price. He may turn out to be the one the home crowd are cheering on final day Sunday.

Pick #3: Graeme Storm ew @ 100/1 (general) European Tour winner Storm led the KLM Open by five shots half way through round three last week and every facet of his game looked in great shape. He didn't card one bogey in that spell and I'm amazed at the triple figure quote for the Italian Open on a course where he recorded a T7 only two years ago.

Pick #4: Scott Jamieson ew @ 110/1 (Bet365) Like Storm, Jamieson's price is simply far too big. A fourth place finish recorded in Holland for a man that's finished third three times already in a short European Tour career. With a top 10 at the Lyoness Open a few weeks back, Jamieson combines big hitting with a good putting stroke and on a track with over the average width landing areas we could see the Scott continue his good current form and look to add to the recent Scottish successes of Ramsey and Lawrie.

Pick #5: Jose Manuel Lara @ 175/1 (Skybet) A strange sleeper pick this week but then again so was Curtis! Lara is a bit of an enigma in the game. He missed the cut last week but carded a second round 68 in the process. In the 2010 Italian Open here, he opened with a 76 and then shot three rounds in the sixties to finish in the top 25. He also closed with a 66 last year and looks a great price to get it going again this week.

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Bryan Nicholson is the pioneer of the progressive form and course fit ratings for golf betting, with the associated progressive form model and course fit profiling model. Bryan is the author of the increasingly popular annual course fit profiling manual and #1 golf betting book Angles & Edges and runs the Sharp Sports Bettors Blog.

What is expected Strokes Gained Course Fit ?

Bryan also pioneered the concept of Expected Strokes Gained Course Fit (xSGF) in golf betting. xSGF can be predicted using my model below. For prospective golf betting tips it projects ahead of time how many shots a player is expected to pick up per round on average on a particular golf course. It's weighed against a neutral golf course of the same rating. For example: Sam Horsfield at Celtic Manor vs TPC Southwind. This number will also portray ability level in terms of strokes gained total. Click "find out more" under the course fit golf betting model for info.

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What is Progressive Form in Golf Betting?

Progressive form in golf betting differs from current form in that players are showing a trend in the right direction in their recent scoring. Trending form has a high predictive value in golf betting and can also catch players under the radar at an inflated price vs their true betting odds. For example - a player shows form of T40 - 24 - 24, but last week he was in the leading PGA Tour group on Sunday with Tiger Woods and had a bad round due to nerves. His finishing position may not fully capture his actual form... See more with our calculators and betting tools

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Ross McGowan 400/80 to 1 (place), Tony Finau 50/1, Cam Champ 125/1, Cam Davis 125/1, Matt Jones 80/1 and FRL, Max Homa 60/1, Dean Burmester 55/1, Sam Burns 80/1, KH Lee 200/1, Sergio Garcia 70/1 (FRL), Thorbjorn Olesen 45/1 (FRL), Stewart Cink 150/1, Lucas Herbert 175/1 and 60/1

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