After a thrilling finish to the Abu Dhabi Championship at the weekend, we stay in the UAE this week for another familiar event on the circuit, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
It’s interesting to note that the last two winners of this event, Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett, have gone on to win the US Masters in the same year so that could be a good indicator moving forward to April.
For now, let’s just see if we can identify some profits for this week and after getting a return at +135 on Paul Casey in the Top Ten markets for Abu Dhabi, we are off and running for 2018.
Last week was also notable for four solid rounds from Rory McIlroy who starts as clear favorite at around +450 to take the honours in Dubai. Rory returned a -18 total to secure a tie for third on Sunday and it looks like being a far more productive year for the Northern Irishman.
Rory should deliver more profits in 2018 but closing in as second favorite is defending champion Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard has been quiet at the start of the year but he has just enjoyed his best 12 months and some indirect trends are in his favor.
We’ve already seen Tommy Fleetwood complete a successful defence in Abu Dhabi and Sergio may also take comfort from the fact that Spanish golfers have won four out of the last eight renewals here.
Tommy Fleetwood carried a mid-range price pre-tournament last week but that figure has more than halved to around 10/1 for the Desert Classic. The Englishman said he was inspired by seeing the trophy last week, believing it to be his and that should be the catalyst for another productive year.
Most bookies have Fleetwood at the same odds as Henrik Stenson, who finished as runner up behind Garcia last year and then we have a gap to some mid-price options.
Matthew Fitzpatrick, at 16/1, is several points behind the leading pack but is another golfer who started 2018 in a positive way after a profitable 2017. Fitzpatrick claimed the European Masters in September and after a tie for third with McIlroy at the weekend, is one to watch this week.
One of our own favorites is 22/1 shot Tyrrell Hatton, but after a subdued 15th place finish in Abu Dhabi, we’ll wait for the Alfred Dunhill champion to improve before committing any money. There are, however, a number of golfers who do interest us from the outside pack and they include Ross Fisher, who was outdone by Fleetwood at the death on Sunday.
In addition, Thomas Pieters, Bernd Wiesberger and Martin Kaymer all looked threatening at various stages last week and are distant options that could be considered for Top Ten finishes at the very least.
Our Preview’s 2018 Dubai Desert Classic Course Trends, Predictions & Betting Picks
We are back at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai which first hosted this event at its inception in 1989. It is a par 72 course with no great distance at just over 7,300 yards but unlike many tournaments in the modern era, Power Hitting has been a key stat in recent renewals.
Multiple winners certainly aren’t rare with McIlroy completing his second victory in 2015 and Stephen Gallagher claiming back to back titles in 2013 and 2014. Those stats would encourage backers of our two favorites – Rory and Sergio – and it’s certainly worth noting that the Northern Irishman ranked first for Driving Distance when he took that 2015 title.
Weather, and the draw can be a factor with wind tending to affect an exposed desert course later in the day so it may be worth looking at tee times but based on what we know so far, it really is tempting to for our preview’s Dubai Desert Classic predictions to come down on the side of McIlroy.
If you read these previews on a regular basis then you’ll know that we rarely take the favorite, particularly at what looks to be a short price but he looks primed for a comeback year and form, plus the stats are in his favor.
To balance that we will take some outsiders in the Top Ten Markets with Martin Kaymer and Bernd Wiesberger although, based on last week’s results, you could also add Tommy Fleetwood to that list as a shorter option.
Best Picks for Dubai Desert Classic 2018
As always, we are aiming to get the better of the top United States’ sports betting websites and here are the Dubai Desert Classic betting predictions that we hope will do that job:
- Rory McIlroy to win: +450 With Intertops, Bovada or Bookmaker.
- Tommy Fleetwood for a Top Ten Finish: -110 Bovada.
- Bernd Wiesberger for a Top Ten Finish: +275 Bovada.
- Martin Kaymer for a Top Ten Finish: +400 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.