And then there were two.
The PGA Tour is down to two weeks before putting things on pause (well, except for a couple of silly season events) until the Tournament of Champions on Maui the first week of January.
But before we head to Hawaii, we’re going to wrap everything up with a few winners (we hope) in the last two full-field events. This week’s tournament, the Cadence Bank Houston Open, is one of the oldest stops on the Tour.
In fact, to show you its age, Byron Nelson won the inaugural event in 1946 when it was played at River Oaks Country Club.
This year the tournament will be held at Memorial Park Golf Course, right in the heart of Houston.
We’re going to have a new champion as the defending champ, Jason Kokrak, has left for (much) greener pastures on the LIV Tour. But we digress.
The final two weeks will see a few more stars take a break from their vacation plans to play in this week’s event as well as next week’s RSM Classic in South Carolina. One of the main reason’s next week’s event will be popular with the stars is it will be a home event for more than a handful of Tour players who reside in the area.
And a few of those stars will be front and center this week in the odds, and there will be a little extra incentive on the line for at least one player.
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Odds to Win the Houston Open (DraftKings)
|Russell Henley|| +2500
|Alex Noren|| +5000
|Si Woo Kim||+5000
As always, shop around the sports betting industry for the best odds on your plays.
Expert Analysis: Starting at the Top with Scheffler
Let’s face it: Scottie Scheffler is the class of the field this week. At +550, he’s the favorite and with his track record over the last year, he should be.
But we’re going to add a little more incentive to this week’s play: With a victory this week Scheffler will again move to No. 1 in the world as he would pass Rory McIlroy, whose recent win moved him to the top spot.
The way the sun and stars and moon are lining up, we like Scheffler’s chances.
We know, we aren’t exactly going out on a limb here. Take into consideration Scheffler finished T-2 here last year. Not bad. But add in the fact he’s coming off a T-3 last week in Mayakoba following a blistering final-round 62 and his game is on form.
Oh, there’s more.
He’s also Texas through-and-through (a former member of the University of Texas golf team), and he’d love nothing more than winning in front of the home fans.
He’s only played two events in the early going of the wraparound season, and he’s finished T-45 in the CJ Cup and T-3 last week.
Scheffler’s coming off a four-win 2021-2022 season where he won more than his share of awards and accolades. He didn’t win last season until the WM Phoenix Open in February.
A win this week would show he hasn’t slowed down at all, and will also show the drive to stay on top hasn’t wavered.
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A Little Further Down the List
For some reason, we’re getting unbelievable value on Russell Henley this week at +2500. He’s coming off an impressive victory last week at Mayakoba, where he started off red-hot and cruised to the win.
How hot was he? Well, he opened with rounds of 63, 63, and 65 to lead by six heading into the final round. He finished with a 70 and a four-shot win.
One more fact for bettors: Henley was T-7 here last year despite a second round when he was two-over-par. With his win last week, he vaulted up 155 spots in the FedEx Cup rankings to No. 6. He’s also moved to No. 33 in the world golf rankings.
With four PGA Tour victories on his resume (this past week was the first win in six years), he’s still not a household name. But he keeps plugging along, playing well, cashing paychecks and making a name for himself.
With his current game, Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams certainly could be in his future. Keep an eye on Henley, and put down a couple of bucks on him at the betting window.
Around the Prop Scene
We’re 3-for-4 in our last two events when it comes to prop bets. This week there are a couple of options out there that pique our curiosity once again.
We’re going to ride another golfer who is heating up. He’s not red-hot but he’s playing well enough to be on our radar. Check out Joel Dahmen to finish in the top 10 at +400.
Once again, we’re backing a golfer who isn’t a household name, but one who has two things going for him: He’s coming off a T-3 at last week’s Mayakoba event, and he was T-5 right here last year.
Good vibes coming in off a solid finish plus good vibes returning to the scene of a solid week can often lead to another great week.
One more to put on your list of possibilities: Look at Kevin Tway to have a top-20 finish.
We know we’re going way, way out on a limb, but at +1000 it’s great value for someone who was solo second here last year. But, and here’s the caveat: He is 0-for-5 in making cuts this season. The bright spot is he was five-under-par and three-under-par in his last two events, and just missed making the weekend.
While that doesn’t pay the bills, it’s certainly showing he’s capable of playing good golf. Add in the fact, like a couple of the others, he’s returning to a site where he’s had success. We like the fact he doesn’t have to win, but just up his game some and get into the top 20.
Also read: Longshots who can win Majors in 2023