It is just one week to golf’s second major of 2021 and the world’s top players are taking different approaches to preparation for the PGA Championship. Some will be in attendance this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson to get some much-needed practice. Others will take a break from the course as they look to be mentally and physically in the right place.
It leaves us with a mixed field as we head to the AT&T Byron Nelson 2021, which tees off this Thursday. TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas is a brand new location for the 2021 edition so let’s see what the sportsbooks make of it all.
Three golfers are available at 8/1 in places with Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth leading the outright betting. Rahm is the clear favorite with some sportsbooks and he also leads the power rankings with some strong, relevant stats. A missed cut at Quail Hollow is the only concern but that setback ended a long run of 22 tournaments where the Spaniard made it through to the weekend.
DeChambeau is eager for some match practice although he made it back into the top 10 on Sunday. A strong finish saw The Scientist reclaim his number one spot in the FedEx race.
Spieth ended his long winless run at TPC San Antonio and should be nicely rested having taken a break since his tie for third at The Masters.
There’s a considerable gap behind the three favorites to Daniel Berger and Hideki Matsuyama who are both available at 18/1. Matsuyama also returns for the first time since Augusta where he became the first Japanese golfer to claim a Major. Berger is a consistent performer with six top 20 finishes and could convert in a field where many big names are absent.
Moving through the field, Matt Fitzpatrick is at 20/1 while Scottie Scheffler and Brooks Koepka are both quoted at 22/1. Koepka has the quality but continues to be dogged by injury concerns. Scheffler is attracting interest in the markets with putting form his only real issue.
Others to mention in this section include Will Zalatoris and Marc Leishman who are both quoted at 25/1. Leishman was a runner up in the Byron Nelson while, for Texan resident Zalatoris, this is very much a home course.
Sam Burns is a recent Tour winner and there could be value in his 33/1 odds as he heads up the outside bunch. Victory at Copperhead marked a breakthrough and that’s an interesting price.
Ryan Palmer, who lost out in a Byron Nelson playoff to Keegan Bradley back in 2011, is listed at 40/1. Palmer is on a streak of 14 made cuts and that return includes four finishes inside the top 10.
Finally, we come to our first former champion in this event with Sergio Garcia listed at an industry best of 45/1. Garcia is, in fact, a two-time winner in 2004 and 2016 but he’s missed two consecutive cuts since The Masters.
Other long-odds golfers who may be worth considering this week include Harris English at 60/1, Jason Day at 60/1, Matt Kuchar at 70/1 and Luke List at 80/1. From that bunch, Day is another former champion but we have to go back to 2010 when the Australian won the Byron Nelson by two shots.
Our Preview’s AT&T Byron Nelson Predictions & Picks with Course & Betting Trends
The very first edition of this tournament was held in 1944 as the Texas Victory Open. It was won by the great Byron Nelson and the competition would eventually be named in his honor. Following several changes in sponsor, the current backers came on board in 2015 and it’s been known as the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic ever since.
The tournament switches venue almost as frequently as it changes its name and 2021 takes the competition to TPC Craig Ranch for the first time. The bare numbers tell us that this is a par 72 course and it has significant length at just over 7,400 yards. The par 5s should be reachable in two, so there will be some benefit for the distance hitters in places.
While the venue is something of an unknown quantity, Greens in Regulation is expected to be a key stat and scoring should be low over the four days.
If he can get his putting together, Scottie Scheffler will be a major threat this week. He leads the Tour in total driving and ranks highly for Greens in Regulation and Birdies or Better. For the first of our betting predictions, put faith in Scottie to find form with the flatstick and we pick him as the outright winner at a good price. We’ll look to get back among the profits down in Texas with some additional top 10 finish wagers. These are the picks:
- Scottie Scheffler to win @ +2000 (20/1) with Bovada or Intertops. Next best is 18/1 with BetOnline.
- Top 10 Finishes (all odds with BetOnline): Scheffler (+200), Sam Burns (+300), Ryan Palmer (+350) and Harris English (+350).
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.