GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Houston Open

Brian Harman has been consistent for the past few months without breaking through for a win. Who else is knocking on the door and makes for a good bet at the Houston Open?

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But 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 ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the Houston Open based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

With a weaker than normal field and just one of the top 40 golfers in the world teeing it up in Houston this week, bettors face a unique proposition -- either pay the premium for a golfer who shouldn't rightly be offered at such short odds on any PGA Tour event, or find those still available at long shot odds despite being closer to the mid-range than the books are giving them credit for.

This PGA Tour stop will move to Memorial Park next year, making this the final hurrah for The Golf Club of Houston. Let's see who stands a chance to send it out with a bang.

For more info on GC of Houston along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Brian Harman (+2200) - Harman has been one of the best golfers on Tour so far this swing season, with finishes of T18, T14, and T3 his last three events. The quality has lasted longer than just the fall, though, as he posted top 10s in three of his final seven starts of the 2018-19 season. While the event is no longer the lead-in to Augusta, GC of Houston has long staked its reputation on serving as an appetizer for the year's first major. Left-handers Phil Mickelson and Bubba Watson have fared well at Augusta, and Phil has a win in Houston while Bubba had a runner up way back in 2007. Harman's current form is enough to forgive past performance at both venues and bet on a breakout to cap off a rock solid four months.

Scottie Scheffler (+2200) - As far as true ball-strikers go, the 23-year-old Texan may be the best of the bunch behind favorite Henrik Stenson (+850). Scheffler was the leading money winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, and throwing out a weekend to forget at TPC Summerlin has almost been Harman's match in swing season form. He started his rookie season with a T7 at the Greenbrier and T16 at the Sanderson Farms Championship, and was in striking distance after back-to-back 67s to start the Shriners. He no doubt feels the pressure to get a win and this may be his last best opportunity until the Tour returns to Texas in the spring.

Value Spots

Harris English (+4000) - Like Harman and Scheffler, English has shown bright in the fall, with finishes of T3, T6, and T33 to start the 2019-20 season. English is offered at nearly double the price of our first two selections and while it's been almost six years since his last Tour win he has a much larger body of work than Scheffler and it's not like Harman is contending every week. English has been bombing it off the tee, and while we'd prefer the approach game be firing rather than off the tee, he's been hitting it rock solid for a long enough stretch that another solid result is firmly in play.

Kyle Stanley (+4500) - All the ball-striking with none of the high finishes, Stanley is due for an overcorrection with his putter that should catapult him to the top of the leaderboard if he keeps up the performance with his irons. He's gained strokes tee to green, and specifically with his approaches, in 12 of his last 14 events and had decent finishes to close out the summer despite faltering to start this season. Stanley posted three top 25s in his final five events of the season, so a win wouldn't exactly come out of nowhere. Unlike most of the golfers in this range, he's shown he can close the door when in contention, and he's shown well at GC of Houston with finishes of T8 and T19 his last two trips, in 2017 and 2016 respectively.

Long Shots

Matt Every (+8000) - Every showed signs of life with a T18 at the Shriners last week, gaining 9.1 strokes with his approaches and losing on the greens. If he is able to maintain the ball-striking, a return to bermuda greens should portend big things. He was eighth in the last edition of the Houston Open in April 2018, and he is the type of golfer who performs best on courses he's demonstrated some comfort on in the past. The two wins at Bay Hill obviously stand out, but he has multiple top 20s at the Wyndham Championship (3), the RBC Heritage (3), and the Sony Open (2).

Johnson Wagner (+10000) - Wagner pops in the course history department, specifically a T13 in 2016 and runner up in 2015. He is a short game specialist who rolls it well on bermuda, and while we typically veer toward ball-strikers there is something to be said for consistency with the short stick. Wagner has demonstrated he can score on this course.

Zack Sucher (+10000) - Another swing season star, Sucher gets none of the respect of his colleagues at the top of the market despite T24 and T18 finishes this fall and a high profile runner up last summer at the Travelers Championship. A solid ball-striking resume that doesn't lean too heavily on either off the tee or approach gives Sucher a fighter's chance in this type of field. The difference in Connecticut was the putter, but it's encouraging to see that if he rolls it he can contend.