AT&T Byron Nelson picks to win: Who a professional gambler is betting his money on
Who does the journalist, betting analyst or data guru like? Or the caddie? Or the old-school gambler? Gimme the facts, storylines and trends. Gimme that inside-the-ropes look. Gimme your gut feeling.
You bet, bettor.
Welcome to GOLF.com’s new gambling advice column, where we’ve assembled a panel of those aforementioned experts to make three “best bets.” A real-life professional bettor here will then heed that advice, add his acumen and wager his own cash. It’s not unlike what you do through texts and Google searches — except now it’s all in one place.
Our hope is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league, (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook or through free-to-play Chirp Golf, an app from our parent company that is available in the App Store and at Google Play.
Now, on to some facts, the expert picks, the bettor’s best bets and info on how to bet for free.
This week’s tournament: AT&T Byron Nelson, at TPC Craig Ranch, McKinney, Texas
TV: Thurs-Fri, 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. ET (Golf Channel), Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-3 p.m. ET (Golf Channel, 3 p.m.-6 p.m. (CBS)
Weather: (weather.com) Thurs: Partly cloudy, 72 degrees, 8 mph ENE wind; Friday, mostly sunny 75 degrees, 11 mph SE wind; Saturday, partly cloudy 78 degrees, 15 mph SE wind; Sunday, Scattered thunderstorms, 11 mph SSE wind
Defending champ: Sung Kang, 2019 (2020 event was canceled)
Top 10 in odds (via DraftKings): Bryson DeChambeau +800; Jon Rahm +800; Jordan Spieth +1100; Daniel Berger +1700; Scottie Scheffler +1900; Hideki Matsuyama +2000; Mathew Fitzpatrick +2100; Waill Zalatoris +2200; Brooks Koepka +2300; Marc Leishman, plus 3400.
Nick Piastowski, GOLF.com, @nickpia:
Bet 1: Bryson DeChambeau, top 5, +188. TPC Craig Ranch is going to play long, so this is an obvious choice.
Bet 2: Sam Burns, top 10, +350. I enjoyed this nugget from the PGA Tour’s Sean Martin — Burns won the second stage of the 2017 Q-School at TPC Craig Ranch by five shots, made 25 birdies or better and made just four bogeys.
Bet 3: Sung Kang, top 30, +350. Decent odds for the defending champion.
Jessica Marksbury, GOLF.com, @Jess_Marksbury:
Bet 1: Sergio Garcia, top 20, +163. Sergio has been a bit hot and cold this season, but as an honorary Texan by marriage, I have a good feeling about him this week.
Bet 2: Si Woo Kim, top Asian player, +300. Nice odds for a guy who not only won earlier this year, but has been playing pretty well recently. I’m sold!
Bet 3: Margin of victory, 1 stroke, +250. A brand-new venue should equate to a bunched leaderboard.
Brady Kannon, host, Vegas Stats and Information Network (VSiN), @lasvegasgolfer:
Bet 1: Bryson DeChambeau, top 5, +188. This course has wide open fairways and will allow the No. 1 player on Tour in Strokes Gained: Off The Tee to let loose. His length ought to be a big advantage over a relatively weak field. He is also familiar with the course being that he went to school and lives in the area.
Bet 2: Jon Rahm, top 5, +188. I don’t normally like to jump on the favorites, especially at such short prices, but this week I do believe there is a decided advantage for the No. 2 (Rahm) and No. 4 (DeChambeau) players in the world. They can tear apart this course from the tee as two of the best drivers of the golf ball in the world and should reach every par-5 in two, setting up plenty of eagle opportunities. Also, they both have had success on the Weiskopf redesign of Torrey Pines North, and Weiskopf is your designer this week at TPC Craig Ranch. If the putter gets hot for either one of them, they will absolutely be on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday.
Bet 3: Full tournament head-to-head matchup, Matt Kuchar (-135) over Keith Mitchell. Kuchar has been playing very well as of late and most notably, in the state of Texas, with a 12th at the Valero and a 3rd at the Match Play. Mitchell is coming off his best finish in over two years on Tour. He may be starting to round back into form but I believe Kuchar is ahead of him in that regard, and I feel Mitchell will come back down to Earth a bit this week.
Martin de Knijff, Metric Gaming, @mdkentrepreneur:
Bet 1: Scottie Scheffler, top 10, +190. This week will be about making tons of birdies and avoiding any big numbers — and few do that better than Scheffler. Scottie lives in Dallas and playing a tournament at home is always an advantage.
Bet 2: Daniel Berger, to win, +2000. Doesn’t have any weaknesses and is a birdie machine. If he putts OK he should be in the top 5 with an excellent chance to win.
Bet 3: Seamus Power, top 20, +700. Made the cut last week and shot a decent 70 on Sunday. This is a much better course fit, and the Irishman can make plenty of birdies. If the conditions are windy that’ll be an advantage.
Bet 1: Will Zalatoris, to win, +2200. Coming in as under the radar as he possibly could after an ultra-rare trunk slam in Charlotte. Dallas native knows the course as well as anyone. Needs a slightly above average tournament with the putter.
Bet 2: Scottie Scheffler, top 5, +450. There were some crazy stats dug up this week about those with experience around this course, like Scheffler’s blow-out win in the 7-9-year-old mixed event a decade ago. His longtime caddie, Scott McGuinness, was on the bag for a win in Houston with Matt Jones around that same year. Should probably make two bets each way with Scheffler and Zalatoris and might win 3 of 4.
Bet 3: Peter Uihlein, top 10, +700. Back to the well with Uihlein, who has been crushing it on the Korn Ferry Tour and making cuts on the PGA Tour. Should be freed up at a course he’s had success on in one of its few sanctioned events.
The “old-school” gambler:
Bet 1: Jordan Spieth, to win, +1100. Let’s not overthink this one.
Bet 2: Will Zalatoris, top 5, +400. I went heavy on him last week and the young man let me down. I’m sure he feels terribly guilty about that and is ready to make amends.
Bet 3: Luke List, top 10, +750. Fresh off a strong showing. This is as simple as riding the hot hand.
The pro bettor’s best bets
Erick Lindgren. Lindgren, the 2008 World Series of Poker Player of the Year, has won more than $10.5 million in poker tournament earnings and is an avid sports bettor. @EdogPoker:
Bet 1: Scottie Scheffler, to win, +1900. Love the Texas angle and the talent.
Bet 2: Peter Uihlein, top 5, +1400. Playing well weekly. If he can make it into the mix on the weekend, I like the way he handles himself in the wind.
Bet 3: Beau Hossler, top 10, +2500. Beau finally has his driver dialed in. One of the best putters on Tour just needs to sharpen his iron play.