We travel to Texas this week as the Houston Open returns after not being on the schedule last season. This event was always right before the Masters, but now it is part of the swing season. That means we aren’t going to see the strength of field we are used to and it opens the door for a newcomer to grab a win.
The Houston Open is held at the Golf Club of Houston based in Humble, TX. The course is a Par 72 measuring out at around 7,450 yards, but like many courses in Texas, the wind can cause it to play much shorter or feel even longer. The course has a traditional par 72 layout of four par 5’s, four par 3’s and 10 par 4’s with a nice mix of hole layouts for the players. The greens make a switch back to Bermuda so that is something to keep in mind as well when evaluating players this week.
For additional info about the course and some guys to consider in your lineups, make sure to read the DFS Houston Open Preview, which can help you build teams. But let’s take a look at what we have on the betting side of things.
** When betting futures one of the most important aspects is making sure you shop around for the best number available to you. Over time this can make a massive difference in the results so make sure to stay tuned for all the resources available to help you find the most value when looking across the markets**
Futures / Outrights Winners
Scottie Scheffler 25-1
Scheffler opened at 33-1 in some places and immediately got bet down across most markets. He has opened the swing season with a seventh-place finish at Greenbrier and followed it up with another top 20 at Sanderson Farms. Last week, he was off with the irons in route to a disappointing 74th-place finish, but that’s nothing to be concerned about long term. He gets four par 5’s to attack here in Houston and if the putter cooperates, he should be poised to be in position come Sunday.
Scheffler is a Texas guy who has already proven that he is an elite ball striker and a threat to get his first victory whenever he tees it up. This field is incredibly weak so Scheffler has to be considered one of the favorites. I have no problem backing him at these short odds, and with the lack of win equity in the field, it is easy to see why Scheffler is towards the top of the market.
Shawn Stefani 150-1
Obviously when we are looking to splash on a guy 150-1, we aren’t too confident in taking it down. Stefani is a Texas guy who is has a handful of top-end finishes on tour without breaking through for a win just yet. He was fifth in 2014 at this course and has played in this event for the last seven years. Other than the top five, the results haven’t been inspiring, which is part of the reason the number sits where it does.
Stefani recently has been making cuts without making much noise. He has made six of his last seven cuts, but hasn’t been able to put together a quality ball striking week with a hot putter. That is what you need when looking for an outright, and a switch to Bermuda could help in that department. Stefani’s strength is the iron game and if he can dial those in, there is easily enough value to justify a lotto ticket on a price this long. Add in the weak field and we have a situation where win equity is way more dispersed than usual.
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Brendan Steele Top 10 +650
Steele had an awful 2018-2019 season where he really wasn’t in contention at all and had trouble finding the weekend. He seems to be trending back in the right direction as he has made seven of the last eight cuts and finished 29th last week at Shriners. The high finishes still haven’t materialized, but there is no doubt Steele is closer to regaining the form we saw in years past.
More importantly than the results is the strokes-gained data, which also shows that Steele is starting to find the form. He is always strong off the tee, but the irons and around-green game are trending in the right direction, which we need if Steele is going to get in the mix. This field is so terrible that it is wide open for guys like Steele. Historically, he has done a lot of damage during swing season. Both his wins have come at Safeway which is an October tournament so maybe the calendar change for the Houston Open will be more to Steele’s liking. Odds-wise, +650 for a top 10 is more than reasonable against this field, even for a guy who hasn’t shown that type of upside in a long time.
Harris English -110 vs Sebastian Munoz
Harris English has been one of the most surprising guys during swing season. Through his first three starts of the season, he has a third, a sixth and a 33rd-place finish, all while gaining a ton of strokes with the ball striking. Dating back to last year, English has gained in ten straight tournaments off the tee and that will be important here to set up those approaches.
Munoz hasn’t exactly been slacking during swing season as he broke through for his first PGA tour victory of his career. He has followed up the win with a 33rd and a missed cut(On the number), and the stats show the irons have cooled off a bit. He still is a talented player who is dangerous to any weak field when his putting is on. Still, it remains to be seen where his season will ultimately end up despite already having it being a success due to the breakthrough win.
With Munoz’s irons cooling off a bit, I think this is a spot where he could get into trouble, especially if he isn’t strong off the tee. At Shriners, that is exactly what happened as he lost 2.4 strokes off the tee in just two rounds. And with all the danger lurking, it could be a problem here. On the other side, English’s ability to gain strokes driving the ball is as consistent as we can find and I feel confident he can keep this great start to the season going. At a straight toss up line, I lean to English over a guy who already accomplished what he set out to do this PGA tour season.
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Good luck everyone!
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