Gdula's Golf Simulations and Betting Picks: Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open

Volatility is the name of the game in golf, and picking winners isn't easy. With fields of 150-plus golfers sometimes being separated by how a putt or two falls each week, predicting golf can be absurdly tough.

We'll never be able to capture everything that goes into a golfer's expectations for a week, but we can try to account for that by simulating out the weekend and seeing what happens.

The Process

Over the years, I have made plenty of tweaks to my original golf model, which uses a combination of the OWGR's field strength numbers and datagolf's field strength numbers to adjust each golfer's score relative to the field (on the PGA Tour, the European Tour, and the Korn Ferry Tour).

The ultimate goal is to place a score from the Waste Management Open, the BMW International Open, and the Knoxville Open on level playing fields. This adjusted strokes metric lets me see how golfers are performing across all tours. From there, a golfer's adjusted stroke data is combined with their round-to-round variance to see how the field is likely to perform when playing out the event thousands of times.

In addition to that long-term adjusted form, I factor in course-level adjustments for course fit.

I run a second model that uses more granular strokes gained data, which allows me to adjust for course fit easily. The results are averaged out.

I let the data do the talking and don't make many tweaks -- if any. Golfers with a small sample get regressed to a low-end PGA Tour player to round out their samples. Data points are weighted more heavily toward recent performance.

Here are the most likely winners for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open, according to the models, as well as their FanDuel Sportsbook win odds.

Golfer FanDuel
Salary Win% Top-
10% Made
Cut% FanDuel
Odds Cameron Smith$11,6005.3%28.2%78.5%+2300 Sam Burns$12,0004.2%26.0%76.7%+1800 Scottie Scheffler$11,8003.9%25.2%76.5%+1800 Sungjae Im$11,9003.6%24.7%76.0%+2400 Tony Finau$11,7003.1%21.8%74.3%+2500 Tyrrell Hatton$11,0002.7%19.4%71.8%+3100 Talor Gooch$11,2002.4%18.3%71.1%+3000 Cameron Tringale$9,9002.2%17.5%70.4%+4700 Brooks Koepka$11,4002.1%17.7%70.6%+3000 Shane Lowry$10,1002.1%16.6%69.9%+4600 Patrick Reed$10,9002.1%15.5%68.7%+3600 Joaquin Niemann$10,8002.1%17.6%71.0%+3000 Adam Scott$10,6002.0%16.3%69.1%+3600 Aaron Wise$10,7001.9%16.9%70.0%+3300 Christiaan Bezuidenhout$9,7001.8%14.8%67.5%+6000 Marc Leishman$10,3001.8%13.3%65.2%+4100 Russell Henley$9,8001.7%15.0%68.2%+4700 Jason Kokrak$10,2001.7%14.1%66.7%+4500 Maverick McNealy$10,4001.6%15.6%68.4%+3600 Charley Hoffman$8,9001.6%13.1%65.6%+10000 Seamus Power$9,8001.5%14.0%66.8%+6000 Ian Poulter$9,5001.5%13.8%66.9%+7500 Harold Varner III$9,6001.5%14.3%67.0%+7000 Kevin Streelman$9,3001.4%12.3%64.8%+7500 Max Homa$10,0001.4%12.2%64.5%+4700 Taylor Moore$8,4001.3%12.4%65.1%+12000 Carlos Ortiz$10,5001.3%12.5%64.6%+3400 Brian Harman$8,9001.2%12.1%65.1%+10000 Jhonattan Vegas$8,8001.1%11.7%63.0%+10000 Lanto Griffin$9,9001.1%10.3%61.9%+4500 Emiliano Grillo$9,1001.0%10.0%61.4%+10000 Chad Ramey$9,2001.0%10.8%62.7%+9000 Erik van Rooyen$9,4001.0%10.2%60.8%+8000 Branden Grace$9,5000.9%10.2%61.1%+9000 Gary Woodland$9,0000.9%9.8%61.1%+9000 Stewart Cink$8,0000.9%8.5%58.3%+15000 Ryan Palmer$8,7000.8%9.4%60.5%+12000 Cameron Davis$8,8000.8%7.7%57.3%+10000 Mackenzie Hughes$9,6000.8%9.7%61.7%+6000 Joel Dahmen$9,0000.8%8.9%58.7%+9000 Pat Perez$8,3000.8%7.9%58.4%+15000 C.T. Pan$9,1000.8%8.4%58.7%+9000 Jason Day$9,4000.8%9.2%59.3%+7500 Guillermo Mito Pereira$9,7000.8%9.2%60.4%+8000 Luke List$8,4000.7%9.2%60.1%+15000 Matthew Wolff$11,3000.7%9.5%60.3%+2900 Stephan Jaeger$8,3000.7%7.7%57.7%+15000 Tom Hoge$8,2000.7%7.8%57.8%+15000 Sebastian Munoz$9,2000.7%7.8%57.6%+9000 Russell Knox$9,0000.6%7.4%56.6%+9000 Lee Westwood$8,9000.6%6.8%56.0%+10000 Chez Reavie$8,5000.6%8.1%58.3%+12000 Harry Higgs$8,4000.6%7.1%56.0%+15000 Henrik Norlander$8,5000.6%6.7%55.4%+12000 Kyle Stanley$8,0000.5%7.2%56.7%+17000 James Hahn$7,9000.5%6.4%54.8%+17000 Martin Laird$8,5000.5%8.3%58.6%+12000 Aaron Rai$8,6000.5%7.2%56.4%+12000 Brian Stuard$8,2000.5%6.2%54.7%+15000 Matthias Schwab$8,8000.5%8.0%58.4%+10000 Hank Lebioda$7,3000.5%6.0%53.6%+23000 Danny Willett$8,7000.5%6.1%54.1%+12000 Zach Johnson$7,2000.5%5.7%53.2%+29000

The model is pretty big on Cameron Smith (+2300) this week, which makes sense given last year's emphasis on strokes gained: around the green at Memorial Park. I've bet him already.

The model sees Sam Burns (+1800) and Scottie Scheffler (+1800) as overvalued despite sitting top-three in win odds.

It isn't actually until Shane Lowry (+4600) that we see another even value opportunity. Cameron Tringale (+4700) also fits there, as does Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+6000), Seamus Power (+6000), Harold Varner (+7000), Ian Poulter (+7500), and Kevin Streelman (+7500).

Longshot value belongs to Charley Hoffman (+10000), Brian Harman (+10000), Jhonattan Vegas (+10000), and Emiliano Grillo (+10000).

I'm in on Smith, Lowry, Tringale, Bezuidenhout, and Hoffman. I'm also considering going against the model's recommendations with Tony Finau (+2500) and Tyrrell Hatton (+3100).