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Houston Open: Best bets

Finau aims to 'spark something' at Houston Open
Damon Hack shares what he learned catching up with Tony Finau at Memorial Park Golf Course ahead of the 2024 Houston Open, where the 34-year-old reflected on his season so far and mentality for the week.

The Texas Children’s Houston Open. Headlined by World No.1 Scottie Scheffler. I could probably end the article there and tell you to bet him and sound like a great bettor. However, with Scheffler going off at +300, it’s a tough pill for me to swallow. Not because I don’t think he will win, but because this is the lowest odds a golfer has been since Jon Rahm last year at the Mexico Open. Even then, it doesn’t happen that often. Think prime Tiger Woods.

The problem fading Scheffler is his putter is hot now and the field isn’t great. Let’s call it top-heavy; with Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Tony Finau, Sahith Theegala, and Will Zalatoris. Even calling those guys “the top” is difficult. Theegala and Zalatoris only have two wins between the two of them.

For me the pricing is tough. Sure, this course won’t be penal off the tee. Sure, Scottie will have to lose at some point. I mean, he isn’t prime Tiger, is he? However, +1200 for Clark? The field is weaker, but he was like +5000 at Arnold Palmer and +3500 at The Players. The golfers who makes the most sense would probably be Theegala at +2000 or Finau at +2500.

I haven’t decided if I’m betting this tournament in the outright market. I love laying a unit for high return on golfers, but I hate losing money. Maybe I will parlay Scheffler with some Premier League action and call it a day. Or I’ll spray a bunch of long shots. I’ll be sure to make my decision known on my account.

Until then, enjoy my favorite bets of the week.

Key Metrics:

  • Driving Distance
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • SG: Putting
  • Par 5 Scoring
  • Sand Saves
  • SG: Around the Green
  • SG: Total

Texas Houston Open Best Bets

Wyndham Clark Top 20 (-133)

If you are feeling frisky and don’t want to take a play with juice, I’d bet Clark either to win at +1400 or to finish inside the Top 5 at +280. I’m keeping it safe this week and taking him to finish inside the Top 20 (-133).

The line is juicy, but he’s worth every penny. Clark has finished runner-up in back-to-back events at other difficult courses. Both courses were less of a course fit than Memorial Park will be.

The 7,435-yard par 70 course is long and mean with big ole greens. Driving distance, accuracy with long irons, and strong lag putting will be vital. Clark does all of those well. It’s also fair to say, Clark is easily the second-best golfer in the field.

Sahith Theegala Top 20 +110 – 2 Units

I don’t usually drop multi-unit bets on placement bets and certainly not on high-volatility golfers such as Theegala. However, there’s so much to like about Theegala this week.

For starters, the man has been playing good golf. He’s fourth in SG: Tot in the last 24 rounds. He’s been rolling the rock like a beast as well.

Theegala lives in Houston and will have a massive advantage in the metric we call Strokes Gained: Homelife. Imagine, he will be able to sleep in his own bed and ball out all day with a good night’s rest.

Parlay: Scottie Scheffler Top 10 + Sheffield United vs. Fulham Over 2.5 Goals (+136)

Scheffler is winning this week. Why not find a way to get as much money on him to finish inside the Top 10? In just about any model you make Scheffler will be firmly inside the Top 10. He’s first in SG: Tot and now with the new mallet putter, Scheffler is dangerous.

Scheffler is coming off back-to-back wins. Both wins came after he switched putters. He gained 4.3 strokes at the Arnold Palmer and 1.2 strokes at The Players. He is entering deadly territory.

The second leg is the over in the Sheffield United Premier League soccer match. I am an EPL capper, so I came with a little spice. Sheffield United and Fulham both are seeing over 2.5 goals hit in over 65% of the matches they have played this season.

Fulham if they wanted could score three themselves with Sheffield United being one of the worst defensive units in the EPL.

It could be “Scottie Week” here in Texas. Should the Texas native win his third event in a row, I’m more than happy to get a ton of action on him in the placement market.