Humana Challenge tips, picks and trading guide

The PGA Tour heads to the desert terrain of the Californian valleys this week. The Humana Challenge pro-am takes centre stage across three courses - La Quinta, Palmer Private and Niclaus Private at PGA West. Expect birdies to be flying with pin positions set up to be amateur-friendly and with little trouble awaiting from the tees.(Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks for more insight throughout the week)

Nicspicks' Humana Challenge man to beat: Webb Simpson 14/1

Humana Challenge market #negatives: H. English 20/1, R.Fowler 25/1, R.Palmer 40/1 (underpriced IMO)

Likely to be tipped / backed: R.Palmer 40/1, C Hoffman 66/1, J. Kokrak 80/1, K. Na 80/1

The courses - La Quinta, Palmer Private, Niclaus Private

All three courses play around the 7,000 yard mark to a par of 72.

Key features: Framed by Santa Rosa mountains. Elevated tees in places. Benign conditions. Accessible pins.

Premium on: Pitching and putting. Players aggressive from approaches and / or who excel with the flat stick will come to the fore

Notes: Players (amateurs and pros) will rotate over the three courses before pros finish up at the Palmer Private on Sunday

Humana Challenge shortlist (made the final cut)

Tip #1: Kevin Na 66/80 to 1

Course form: mc-30-5-8; Current form: 8-36-mc-mc-3

Key stats: strokes gained putting - 17th; 1st in putting from 10-15'

Other: Hit a weekend 64-64 to finish T3 at Cordevalle, California. Closed with a 65 in Mayakoba and hit progressive rounds for a -10 (T8) last week to show injury problems are behind him. Resides in Nevada and used to desert terrain. Hot head will enjoy more relaxed atmosphere of a pro-am.

Tip #2: Jason Kokrak 80/1

Course form: 8-mc Current form: 20-10-mc-12

Key stats: Scoring av. 3rd; Par 4 performance - 14th

Other: Is a combined -27 under par in 2014 (season) with 10/14 rounds in the sixties. Impressed while in contention in Houston last year. 6/8 rounds sub 70 at Humana.

Tip #3: John Peterson 80/1

Course form: n/a Current form: 20-mc-mc-21

Key stats: 1st in GIR%, ball striking and scoring av. on Webdotcom in 2013

Other: a look at Peterson's stats and finishes on the webdotcom last year combined with his attitude (see below) say he is a real one to watch in 2014.

He said: (on Sunday) "Hit it the best I did all week....shot the worst score....whatever....on to the next one"

Tip #4: Patrick Reed 135/1

Course form: mc-22 Current form: 16-40 #simmering

Key stats: (2013) Strokes gained putting - 34th; Total Birdies - 33rd

Other: Looked to be bubbling under the surface at Kapalua and hit a 3rd round -6. Birdie machine who Monday qualified 6 times in 2012 for main tour, meaning he can go low. Often. Proved as much on our screens in 2013 most notably in his maiden win at Wyndham.

#Nappyfactor Famous for having his wife on the bag. She's now taking a break until the birth of their girl but performances of new dads or dads-to-be have been giving credence to this theory of late.

Tip #5: B. Harman 175/150 to 1

Course form: mc-54 Current form: 32-mc-10-48-7 #simmering

Key stats: 18th in strokes gained putting; 12th in par 4 birdie or better

Other: 4 rounds in the sixties at Sony and rounding into form

Tip #6: J. Leonard 150/1

Course form: 37-54-13 Current form: 32-6-65

Key stats: (2013) 18th in approaches fron 50-125yds; 32nd in SGP

Other: 4 top tens at the Humana (including a win) since 2002

Best of the rest (from shortlist): R. Goosen, A. Baddeley, G. Ogilvy. B. Davis

Finalised staking plan (prices from time of spreadsheet entry)
0.75u ew Kevin Na @ 66/1(PP 1-6)
0.5u ew J. Kokrak @ 80/1 (general)
0.5u ew J. Peterson @ 80/1 (PP 1-6)
0.75u ew Patrick Reed @ 135/1 (Stans)
0.75u ew B. Harman @ 150/1 (PP 1-6)
1.25u J. Leonard top ten finish @ 14/1(Betfred)

Trading Zone

#Backtolay pointer: See the Humana Challenge market here

I've dutched five of the above at combined odds of around 25/1 with lay targets of 11.0 (to cover outlay) and 5.0 (to green up) if things go well.

Potential Pre tournament Steamer: Kevin Na

Long odds eye catchers:

Geoff Ogilvy (280.0); Patrick Reed (130.0); Brian Harman (180.0) - Lay targets 12.0-16.0
Winning golf betting tips? If you'd like to support me with a beer or 2 from your winnings, I'd love if you Buy me a beer here, through the image, or revolut me @Bryannich

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 annual course fit profiling manual and #1 golf betting book Angles & Edges.

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