Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. However, finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they select a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Cadence Bank Houston Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at Golf odds.
A tough Texas test stands out among the birdie-fests in the Fall Swing, and this week, Memorial Park Golf Course will see a top-heavy field on the PGA Tour. A glimpse at the scorecard reveals an interesting quirk and a good indication of what's in store. This par 70 includes an extra par 3 and par 5 and only 10 par 4s, half of which measure 490 yards or longer. All three par 5s are at least 575 yards, and the 237-yard 11th stands out among a tough slate of par 3s.
In its two years as host, Memorial Park has yielded just 20 scores better than 5-under for the week, including winning scores of 10-under and 13-under. Both champions closed strong with Sunday 65s, and we'll want to be mindful of strong closers for live bets. Distance will be key given the length across the course, and with an extra par 5 and a history of low scores, we have to factor in birdie-or-better rate.
For more info on Memorial Park Golf Course, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out Brandon Gdula's article.
At the Top
Scottie Scheffler (+550) - We don't advocate often for a favorite at this low a number, but this week, it is worth calling out just how much Scheffler stands out in this field. He played his college golf in Texas and sure looked comfortable there last season. He was T2 at this event, 1st at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, T15 at the AT&T Byron Nelson, and 2nd at Colonial. Scheffler is the prime candidate for a live bet at a better number than the 11/5 on offer. Last season, he stormed from way back en route to wins at Phoenix and Bay Hill. The two optimal strategies this week are either to dump most of your bankroll into the safest bet and avoid the rest of this thin field, or retain some bankroll for a live bet on Scottie going into the weekend.
Taylor Montgomery (+2700) - The cutoff in this field is either Hideki Matsuyama or Russell Henley (+2200 each) before things get really dicey, and the only golfer with a case to be near them is Montgomery. The rookie has finished inside the top 15 in each of his five starts this season, and he's done it exactly how we want to attack this course. He ranks 5th on Tour in birdie or better percentage and 25th in driving distance. While this price is a bit steep for an otherwise unproven rookie, we've seen so many players over the last couple of years catapult to stardom early in their careers (see Scheffler, Scottie) that it's worth jumping on the bandwagon sooner rather than later.
Sahith Theegala (+4100) - Theegala played some of his best golf at tough courses last year. TPC Scottsdale has gettable spots but is generally a true all-around test, and Theegala was in the mix all weekend before getting sniped by Scheffler and finishing T3. He posted top-10s at the Valspar and Memorial, as well, two more courses that require a well-rounded game. A couple of years ago, we showed how TPC Scottsdale and Silverado Resort & Spa were correlated, and would you know the nice folks at datagolf ranks them as the two most similar regular rotation courses to Memorial Park. Theegala started the season with a T6 at the Fortinet Championship, and at 41/1, we'll grab him this week to continue the trend.
Dean Burmester (+6000) - A couple of solid starts to the season put Burmeister back on our radar. He was 4th when we backed him at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and respectable top-40 finishes in Vegas and Mexico were buoyed by one electric round in each event, with a second-round 65 at the Shriners Children Open and a third-round 64 at Mayakoba. In his three events composing 12 rounds, he's shot even-par once and under par every other round. Burmeister sits T11 in birdie or better percentage overall and 13th in par 5 birdies or better, setting the South African up for a strong finish this week, and if he can't quite conquer Scheffler we'll back him to find a Top-10 Finish (+550).
Brendan Steele (+8000) - Steele makes his debut at Memorial Park, and if we are following the Scottsdale and Silverado theme (we are!) then it's fitting we close with Steele, an irrationally popular name in this space due to his tendency to repeatedly compete at certain courses and flop almost everywhere else. So yeah, the two-time winner of the erstwhile Safeway Open in Napa and owner of four top-6 finishes at the WMPO will make our card at 80/1. Top it off that he's always a solid driver, ranking 6th last year in strokes gained: off the tee and 31st in limited action this year. All that being said, Steele is winless since repeating at Silverado in 2016 and 2017, and Scheffler is already penciled in, so forgive another hedge and take a solid return on another Top-10 Finish (+800).