Texas Children’s Houston Open betting guide: 6 picks our gambling expert loves

Jason Day of Australia plays his shot from the ninth tee during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship on the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 15, 2024 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.

Our expert likes Jason Day's prospects this week.

Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Texas Children’s Houston Open, which gets underway Thursday in Houston, Texas. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

The two-week trend of the pre-tournament favorite winning the golf tournament ended abruptly as the Tour reverted back to what we have seen as more of the norm this season. Peter Malnati was around 300- or 400-to-1 to win the Valspar Championship last week, becoming the sixth player this season to cash at triple-digit pre-tournament odds. If you are thinking it will be the favorite again this week in Texas, you’ll have to pay a “Tiger Woods-like” price on Scottie Scheffler, currently listed at less than 3-1 to win the Texas Children’s Houston Open.

Memorial Park makes its fourth consecutive appearance as the site for this week’s event, the first of two stops in the Lone Star State, before we head down Magnolia Lane for the season’s first major championship. Memorial Park is a big-boy golf course that has been kind to bigger hitters and players that play well on difficult golf courses. Tony Finau is the defending champion on this par-70 track that measures over 7,400 yards.

The golf course features five par-3s, three par-5s, and 10 par-4s, six of which measure over 450 yards. The greens are larger than average, Bermudagrass surfaces, with tricky run-off areas around the edges that will require some crafty scrambling skills. A power game, distance off the tee and ball-striking will be step one, with putting and scrambling being step two. This is not a birdie-fest. The average winning score here at Memorial Park in the past three editions has been 13-under par, so Bogey Avoidance is more applicable here in my opinion versus anything measuring birdie-making prowess.

Scottie Scheffler’s insane betting odds shades of Tiger Woods’ prime
By: Jack Hirsh

Courses that I find similar enough to use as measuring sticks for Memorial Park are Olympia Fields (North), where they played the BMW Championship in 2020 and 2023, Silverado in Napa, Winged Foot (2020 U.S. Open), PGA National (Cognizant Classic), TPC Craig Ranch (Byron Nelson), Royal Liverpool, the site of last year’s British Open, and Southern Hills, site of the 2022 PGA Championship.

Note that wind can always be a factor this time of year in Texas. The forecast this week is calling for steady breezes throughout the four days of competition, ranging from around 15-20+ mph.

We kicked off this season on a nice run through the West Coast Swing but unfortunately, gave a lot of that back in what was a poor Florida Swing. Let’s see if the mid-section of the country can get us back on track in time for the Masters. I’ve made a six-pack of choices here for an outright win and a top-20 finish.

Jason Day (28-1)

The Australian has won in the state of Texas multiple times before, including last season’s Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch. He finished off the West Coast Swing with two top-10 finishes and was respectable in Florida with a 36th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational followed by a 35th at the Players. Day has the combination we are looking for, with the power game off the tee and the soft touch around the greens — and like most Australians, he’s a very good wind player as well. He was runner-up at Royal Liverpool last summer and has finished as high as seventh here at Memorial Park. Augusta National is on just about everyone’s mind right now and a comfortable, familiar environment in Texas is likely a good “happy place” for J-Day to start making his move.

Alex Noren (40-1)

Having spent many years playing on the DP World Tour and collegiately at Oklahoma State, Noren has shown an ability to play in the wind. He’s finished fourth here at Memorial Park, 12th at TPC Craig Ranch, has three top-10s at PGA National, took 17th at Winged Foot in the 2020 U.S. Open, and finished 23rd at last year’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. Over the last 36 rounds, Noren is No. 1 in this field for Bogey Avoidance. He ranks fifth for Scrambling and is second on the Par 4s measuring between 450-500 yards. Distance off the tee is not his strong suit, but he’s a very solid ball striker with an excellent short game.

Keith Mitchell (43-1)

After firing a 66 last Saturday at the Valspar Championship to become the 54-hole leader, I had a feeling Mitchell would fall back on Sunday and he did in a bad way, ending up tied for 17th after shooting a final-round 77. But one bad round is not going to deter me after he played the first three days of the tournament in 10 under par. Mitchell is one of the very best in the game off the tee. Over the last 36-rounds, he ranks sixth in this field for SG: Ball Striking, 22nd for Driving Distance, 33rd for SG: Approach, and third in Hole Proximity from 200+ yards. He took ninth here at Memorial Park last season and for the second straight week against a field lacking in star power, I thought 43-1 was plenty fair.

Keith Mitchell at the Valspar Championship. Getty Images

Billy Horschel (70-1)

The Tour veteran has been playing pretty well this year and has seen his best results on Bermudagrass courses, taking 18th at the Sony Open, ninth at PGA National, and 12th last week in Palm Harbor. Albeit on different golf courses than we are focusing on this week, Horschel has won twice and finished runner-up before in the state of Texas. Over the last 36 rounds, he ranks 27th in this field for SG: Ball Striking, sixth in Bogey Avoidance, and 21st in Scrambling.

K.H. Lee (100-1)

If Scheffler does not win this week, there is probably a decent chance that we will get yet another triple-digit winner in Houston. Lee has finished top-10 in two of his last three starts and was a back-to-back winner at the AT&T Byron Nelson in 2021 and 2022 at TPC Craig Ranch. He also finished 14th at Silverado in Napa at the 2023 Fortinet Championship. Last week at the Valspar Championship, Lee was second in the field for SG: Off the Tee and 13th in SG: Putting. Over the last 36 rounds, he is 24th in this field for Scrambling and eighth on the 450-500 yard Par 4s.

Joseph Bramlett (125-1)

Finishing 17th last week on the final stop of the Florida Swing, Bramlett was second in the field for both Driving Distance and SG: Around the Green. He was fifth for Greens in Regulation and 14th for SG: Approach. It was his best result so far this season. Looking at this week’s field, Bramlett is 13th in Scrambling over the last 36 rounds and 20th in Bogey Avoidance. He’s finished ninth here at Memorial Park, 12th in Napa, and seventh at TPC Craig Ranch. Coming off of last week’s excellent form and going to a place that seems to suit him, the timing looks right for another solid showing.

Who Chirp users like this week

To make your own Chirp picks and win amazing prizes, download the app here.

Exit mobile version