We have a very unique event on the PGA TOUR schedule this week, but it’s a fantastic one for betting. The WGC Dell Technologies Match Play is on the docket this week and will be held at Austin Country Club in Austin, Texas. The event features 16 “pods,” which will see four players square off in a round-robin format before reformatting to a bracket-style, win and advance type of event. This means we’ll be able to bet on group winners and individual matchups on each of the first three days of the event.
We’ll also have outright betting available for this event, and DraftKings Sportsbook already has outright and top-four placing odds available. The last four winners of this event have been an eclectic group. Dustin Johnson won as the favorite in 2017, but since then, we have seen longer shots take home the title. Bubba Watson won with pre-event odds around +5000, while both Kevin Kisner (+6000) and Billy Horschel (+8000) were available at even longer odds than that. While you’d think youth may be an advantage in a longer event, all four of the last winners have been 30-plus years of age or greater.
The event will be played at Austin Country Club for the fifth year in a row, and the shorter Par 71 (7,108 yards) has tended to be a fun venue for match play. There’s plenty of risk-reward types of holes (including a driveable par 4 down the stretch), and the venue rewards good iron shots with legit birdie opportunities. Power can help but isn't the dominate factor this week, which means we should have plenty of long shots in the mix again.
For a full course preview, key statistics breakdown and additional players to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook, refer to the DraftKings Preview on DraftKings Playbook. Here are the bets we should be considering this week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
This will be Henley’s fourth time playing the WGC Match Play since it moved to the pod format in 2015. Henley has a really interesting history at this stop. He’s never won his pod, but he’s also never lost a match by more than one hole. That means, in all of Henley’s previous nine matches, he’s either won or come to the 18th hole with a chance to win or tie.
This season has seen some superb play from Henley, who is coming off back-to-back T13 finishes on the Florida swing, including a PLAYERS showing which saw him gain +11.5 strokes on Approach. He’s already come excruciatingly close to winning this year (playoff loss at Sony Open) and has a weaker pod — which includes Joaquin Niemann, Maverick McNealy and Kevin Na. Henley is playing some of the best golf of his life and has been stronger than his previous record indicates at this event, making him a perfect back as an outright this week.
Homa may have a slightly tougher draw than Henley, but his odds also reflect that, making him a solid value. He’ll need to deal with Dustin Johnson this week, but he also gets the out of form Matthew Wolff and Mackenzie Hughes to finish his pod. Homa won two of his three matches at this event last year, grabbing a win over Collin Morikawa in the process. He’s grabbed two wins over the last 13 months on the PGA TOUR and has gained +2.0 strokes or more on Approach in his last three starts.
In short, he’s outplayed Dustin Johnson in the short term and will likely have a good chance of toppling the 2017 champion and taking this group if his form continues. If he does that, he’s shown to have the killer instinct to advance in a high-pressure event like this. He’s a great top-four and outright play for me and is available at similar odds to what we saw the last two winners of this event go off at, pre-event.
The beauty of match play is we don’t just have outright and placing odds available to us, but we also have the pod stage to bet on. Long shots dominated the pods last year and there are a couple of names I like for upsets this year, as well.
Patrick Reed has had a miserable start to 2022 but showed better form at THE PLAYERS, gaining +9.0 strokes putting and +1.7 strokes on Approach, as well. Reed’s off-the-tee issues won’t be as big a factor on the shorter Austin layout, and he’s never posted a losing pod stage record since the event moved to Austin. Jon Rahm will certainly be a tough out, but he hasn’t been playing his best golf of late either. He may not be playing consistent enough to grab a win, but there’s value in taking Reed at +300 to at least pull the pod-stage upset this week.
Keith Mitchell also has a tough top seed in Patrick Cantlay to overcome, but he has been playing some great golf of late and looks like a great underdog to back. Mitchell has been dominating off the tee this year and posted top-15 finishes in four of his last five events. He’s also typically done his best work on courses with Bermuda greens (which are in play this week) and may be catching Cantlay and second seed Sungjae Im at the correct time — neither have posted anything close to a top-10 finish in their last two starts. This event is big for a lower-ranked player like Mitchell who’s in a winnable group.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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