We are just one week away from the second Major of 2019 so we can look forward to a stronger field than usual at the AT&T Byron Nelson. The event dates back to 1944 when it began life as the Texas Victory Open and it’s been a regular feature on the Tour ever since.
Last year saw a change of venue and a three-shot win for Aaron Wise so let’s get straight on and see what 2019 has in store.
There is a strong entry and it is led by clear favorite with the US betting firms, Brooks Koepka (+750 with Bovada, whose odds we quote throughout this AT&T Byron Nelson preview). Brooks was a runner up at the Byron Nelson in 2016 but skipped the event last year when it made its debut at Trinity Forest.
Koepka is in good form and has two runners up slots this season when we’ve backed him for the win. Stats show the reigning PGA and US Open Champion to be a serious contender but the 29-year-old is at short odds this week.
At the head of a relatively distant chasing pack in the betting is Hideki Matsuyama (+1600). The Japanese enjoyed a serious patch of form a couple of years back but has rarely threatened the top of the leaderboard in recent months. Hideki was tied for 16th here last year and isn’t suggesting any value this week.
In contrast, 2018 Byron Nelson runner up Marc Leishman (+2800) is worth a closer look. Australians have a good record in this event and, more importantly, Leishman leads the power rankings this week with five top 10 finishes this season.
Next we come to Jordan Spieth (+2000 or 20/1) who is closing in on two years without a tournament victory of any kind. The 2017 Open Champion is getting support in the betting markets but he is nowhere in those Power Rankings.
Then there is the defending champion Aaron Wise (22/1) to consider, while Henrik Stenson (25/1) also features at the back of the mid-range prices.
The list of outsiders this week is led by Patrick Reed (28/1) who is at a similar win price as Branden Grace (33/1) and Keith Mitchell (28/1). It has been a season to remember for Mitchell so far and his tie for third here last year suggests a top 10 option at the very least.
Moving through the field, Ryan Moore (40/1) was a runner up at the Byron Nelson in 2008 while, if we skip forward, Ryan Palmer (50/1) also has a second place finish in 2011.
A competitive European contingent features Alex Noren (66/1), Thomas Pieters (50/1) and Thorbjorn Olesen (50/1) while you can also run the rule over Pat Perez (66/1), Daniel Berger (80/1), Russell Knox (66/1) and Jimmy Walker (90/1).
Our Preview’s AT&T Byron Nelson Course & Betting Trends with Picks & Predictions Conclusion
In 2018, the AT&T Byron Nelson switched venues to the Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Texas. It is a par 71 and a relatively lengthy one at 7,380 yards but a scoring average of 69.415 last year suggested few terrors for the 156-man field.
That recent history might leave us with few trends but 2018 winner Aaron Wise produced some interesting stats. Over the four rounds, Wise missed only six fairways and he hit Greens in Regulation on 66 of 72 holes. Those are exceptional numbers and while 2019’s champion may not need to match them, they do give us an indicator as to what is needed across four days.
We mentioned that Australians have good records here: Adam Scott, Jason Day and Steven Bowditch have all lifted the trophy since 2008 while Day and Marc Leishman have recorded recent runners up slots. Leishman is the only serious contender from Down Under but his credentials are good enough for us to make him a confirmed top 10 finisher pick.
As for a winner, 2019 is the year for comebacks and if Tiger Woods can do it then so can Jordan Spieth. His form isn’t there and his putting is a big concern but it has to be a confidence issue and if Spieth can roll in a few early, he can make a mark in a field where many big names are sitting it out. Our AT&T Byron Nelson predictions are:
- Jordan Spieth to win @ best odds of +2000 (20/1) with Bovada. He is 16/1 or 18/1 with the other sportsbooks.
- Spieth (+160), Marc Leishman (+280) and Ryan Moore (+325) for top 10 finishes (all with Bovada).
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.