The PGA TOUR makes a stop in Austin, Texas this week for the WGC Dell Match Play. Austin Country Club will be the host course and is a 7,140-yard par 71 with Bermuda grass greens. Unlike most weeks where standard stroke-play rules are in effect, this week will be a bracket-style, 64-man tournament.
Golfers will be split into 16 groups of four, where they will play each of the other three members of their group in pool play, which will stretch from Wednesday to Friday. The winner of each group moves on to the round of 16, which will take place on Saturday morning, followed by quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon.
The semifinals and finals will take place on Sunday.
Below I have outlined my two favorite bets for the week.
All betting odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Max Homa to Win (+2000)
Homa is coming off one of the quietest T6 performances you’ll ever see at THE PLAYERS Championship two weeks ago. He gained 4.6 strokes on approach and 7.6 strokes from tee-to-green over his four rounds. The T6 also marked the fourth time over his past five events where Homa’s finished inside the top-six, with three of those inside the top-three. He’s really got every facet of his game working right now, as he ranks No. 1 in this field in SG: Approach, fourth in SG: Putting and third in SG: Total over his past 24 rounds.
In his two career starts at the WGC Match Play, Homa has failed to make the round of 16. However, he’s clearly a far superior player now than he’s ever been before and is a massive threat to take down this event. Another reason to like Homa this week is due to the group he’s been placed in. He will be paired with Hideki Matsuyama, Kevin Kisner and rookie Justin Suh. Kisner has insane history at this event, but has been playing terrible of late, while Matsyuama has been battling a neck issue for months and has been very up and down of late.
If Homa wins his group, a date with Jordan Spieth likely awaits in the round of 16. Spieth has never really had a ton of success at Austin Country Club either, so I will take my chances there as well. Homa is firing on all cylinders right now and has the stone cold demeanor necessary to win an event like this, as he’s seemingly never rattled by anything.
Sign me up at 20/1.
Alex Noren to Win (+11000)
The most difficult part about Noren winning this week is going to be simply getting out of his group, as he has world No. 1 and defending champion Scottie Scheffler to deal with. This, however, is also part of the reason we are getting such a juicy number on DraftKings Sportsbook at 110/1. Noren has been no slouch himself at this event in the past, posting a pair of top-six finishes, while finishing no worse than 18th in his other two starts.
His career record at Austin Country Club is 11-5 and his 68.8% winning percentage is the third best in the field behind only Kevin Kisner and the aforementioned Scheffler. Noren has had a bit of a rough go of it of late, missing three of his past four cuts, but prior to that had posted a pair of top-fives at the Houston Open and on the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship (DP World Tour).
Despite his recent struggles with his ball-striking, Noren’s putting has remained strong, ranking 14th in the field in SG: Putting across his past 48 rounds. He also has positive splits on Bermuda greens.
There is something different about simply taking on one person head-to-head instead of a full field of 156, and Noren has shown to thrive in these situations over the years. If he could somehow beat Goliath (Scheffler) and make it out of his group, he absolutely has to be taken seriously as a threat to win this.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and customer (my username is Lan1228) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.