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 Valero Texas Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds.
The prelude to the Masters once again runs through Texas, with a handful of Match Play participants hanging around before heading to Augusta and a slew of hopefuls looking to punch their ticket with a win. Among those is sentimental favorite Rickie Fowler (+1600), who by no small chance just so happens to be among the outright favorites. Rickie won't make our card at that price, but if he's in the hunt come Sunday, it will be hard not to pull for him this week.
Driver is not quite as important at TPC San Antonio as it is at the average PGA Tour stop. According to datagolf's course fit tool, driving distance and driving accuracy are the least important skills at this course, and with recent winners like J.J. Spaun (+3200) and Jordan Spieth, that theme tracks. Many of the best golfers skipping this event to rest up for The Masters may also play a role in that, but we'll trust the stats and focus on golfers who excel on approach and around the greens.
At The Top
Alexander Noren (+4400) - Noren is already in the field for The Masters by virtue of his world ranking, but he's here to straighten out his form before the year's first major championship. After finishing T4 at the Houston Open in the fall and T5 in Abu Dhabi in January, Noren had three missed cuts and a T61 in the four elevated events before escaping group play last week with just a half-point. The difference this week is the course fit. Noren's short game (23rd in strokes gained: around the green, 43rd in strokes gained: putting) can take center stage this week, and his deficiencies with the driver will not hinder him nearly as much as they did at Scottsdale, Riviera, or Bay Hill. A former top-10 player in the world at just a middle-of-the-pack number is well worth the price at an event where we have very little win equity at the top of the board.
Ben Griffin (+4800) - Like Noren, Griffin's skillset fits the bill this week. He ranks 9th in strokes gained: around the green and 58th in strokes gained: putting -- though notably he started the season poorly and has gained in five straight and seven of nine events since January. He's been solid across the board aside from a dreadful driving week at Pebble Beach and a poor approach weekend at Copperhead. He hasn't quite put it all together all season, although we don't have shot-specific data for his best finish, T3 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. But he's right on the cusp and has been consistent throughout, with the aforementioned Pebble Beach his only missed cut since the first event of the season at Silverado. A victory here is a life-changer -- he can win his way into The Masters.
Brendon Todd (+4800) - Todd is another short-game wizard, ranking 12th around the green and 27th in putting. He does bring an accurate -- if not a powerful -- driver and just an average approach game. He also needs to win to earn his way back to Augusta, having played there in 2020 and 2021 before failing to qualify last year. He's had an up-and-down season, with 3 top 10s and 5 missed cuts in 13 events. He was also T8 at this event last year. With a weaker field and a course that suits his strengths and mitigates his weakness, Todd is a great option this week for both outright and a Top-10 Finish (+500).
Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+5500) - Bezuidenhout has made Augusta each of the last three seasons but is on the outside looking in at the moment. His T13 at THE PLAYERS was the highlight of his PGA season thus far, gaining season highs in strokes putting and approaches. He's gained around the greens in all but one stroke-play event this season and ranks fifth in the stat for the campaign. His driving is such a hindrance that it basically disqualifies him from consideration at most regular PGA Tour stops -- he ranks 181st out of 209 qualified golfers in strokes gained: off the tee. But that won't matter quite as much at the Texas Open, and Bezuidenhout has precious few opportunities to capitalize at courses such as this.
Zac Blair (+21000) - Blair is worth a dart at a huge number this week. He sits 14th around the green this season and has gained in all but two events. He rode a hot putter to T12 and T10 finishes at the Fortinet Championship and the Valspar Championship, respectively, and he putted well at San Antonio. Long shots have history here, and three of the last four winners -- Spaun, then-Monday-qualifier Corey Conners (+2400 this week) and Andrew Landry (+42000 this week) -- all were available pre-tournament for odds well beyond 100/1 when they won. While that trend won't last forever, Blair fits the course and the profile we're looking for as he's an inconsistent golfer who is always good around the green and shows flashes a couple of times a year.