European Tour Betting Preview: DP World Tour Championship
The European Tour Race to Dubai wraps up this week with Bernd Wiesberger in first place, looking to win the R2D for the first time. Last week, Tommy Fleetwood won in South Africa to jump into second place with Jon Rahm, Shane Lowry, and Matthew Fitzpatrick rounding out the top-5 of players who are in the running to win the grand prize. The field is limited to 50 players, but it is one of the best fields all year.
At 7,677 yards, this is a LONG course, so driving distance will be key, plus the rough isn’t much of an issue here, so players will be able to bomb away to their heart’s content. The par-5s on this course are where a lot of the length comes, with all four playing over 570 yards, including the two on the back playing over 620 yards. Looking at the list of winners here, we have great drivers of the ball in Rahm, Rory McIlroy, and Lee Westwood, so I will want bombers -- leaning towards the guys who are accurate and long, but that isn’t super important. Some of the other winners here are good long iron/fairway wood players in Willett, Henrik Stenson, and Fitzpatrick, who may be giving up some distance off the tee, but are trustworthy with long second shots to play these par-5s well and score. So I’ll be looking at SG:Off-the-Tee and Par-5 scoring this week.
Matt Wallace - Wallace likes playing in Dubai. In his last two starts there (Omega Dubai Desert Classic early this year and the DP World Tour Championship last year), he has finished runner-up each time. He is also a guy who wins tournaments, having won 3 times last year, but so far this year he’s had a number of near-misses (two runner-ups and three third-place finishes), so he may be due for a victory --similar to Tommy last week. Lastly, this course should suit him well as he hits it long (averaging 305 yards off the tee). While Wallace is not that accurate, it clearly didn’t hurt him last year, and players can score from the rough on this course. Last year, he finished 11th in SG:Off-the-Tee at this event despite finishing middle of the pack in Driving Accuracy, so he knows where he wants to hit the ball off the tee. In a short field, his odds are just too long -- as he’s a top-30 player in the world. For some reason, Wallace has twice the odds of the player one spot ahead of him in OWGR (Tyrrell Hatton), which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me given his result last year at this event and overall quality play this year, despite no victories.
Bets: To Win (+4100), Top-5 (+700)
Thomas Pieters - I’ve been betting Pieters a lot the last few months, since the guy has been playing well and is supremely talented. Right ff the bat for Pieters, he is a bomber and a great par-5 player. He ranks 24th on the year in SG:Off-the-Tee and is 7th in Driving Distance. Pieters won the Czech Masters back in August at a course that was similarly set up in terms of allowing players to hit the ball wherever they want off the tee with minimal penalty for being wayward. That right there puts him at the front of my mind for this course as someone a little deeper on the odds board. A couple weeks ago at the Turkish Open, Pieters finished 4th in SG:Tee-to-Green despite finishing 17th for the week. His putter just failed him, but he hit the ball amazingly well with the three players above him in SG:Tee-to-Green all making it into the playoff for that event. Last week, Pieters finished 30th, but he hit the ball well again, finishing second in SG:Approach and eighth in SG:Tee-to-Green. So he has been hitting the ball lights out and just can’t get anything working on the greens. If he can be just an average putter and continues the elite ball-striking, he should find himself in the mix. Last year, Pieters had his best finish at this event, finishing 12th. He drove the ball well then, finishing eighth in SG:Off-the-Tee.
Bets: To Win (+4100), Top-5 (+850)
Victor Perez - Perez has never played in this event, but he is coming in scorching hot. He lost in the playoff at the Turkish Airlines Open a couple weeks back and finished T4 in China at the WGC-HSBC. He also won the Alfred Dunhill links earlier this fall, and this run of stellar play has him knocking on the Top-50 of the World and eyeing a Ryder Cup spot in Wisconsin next year. At the Turkish Airlines Open, he led the field in SG:Approach, and on the season, he is 6th in SG:Off-the-Tee and 21st in Par-5 scoring. This course should suit him well, and I think he’s a little forgotten because he hasn’t played here before.
Bets: To Win (+4500), Top-10 (+430)
Rory is currently +440 to win, and I would never advise betting that. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a stake in Rory this weekend -- the guy is on fire, and there’s a really good chance he’ll be right there on Sunday, so there are a couple ways to do that. You could bet him in matchups, play him in FanDuel DFS, or parlay him with someone in the RSM Classic at Sea Island this weekend. My RSM/Dubai parlay play is Rory/Billy Horschel. I don’t need to run through Rory’s case for winning this week, so here’s the case for Horschel. He finished 8th in Mexico at the Mayakoba Classic, preceding that he played the WGC-HSBC and the Zozo where he finished 24th and 6th, respectively. So he’s coming in with good form, on a course that he’s played well at before (second in 2016), and on Bermuda greens -- his favorite putting surface. If you want some action on Rory, I suggest throwing him in some parlays for bigger potential returns -- and Rory/Horschel is my favorite parlay.
Rory/Horschel Parlay: +9080