We enjoyed some drama at last week’s WGC Mexico and from a betting point of view, it was interesting to note that two of the biggest favorites came to the fore. Dustin Johnson eventually eased home ahead of Rory McIlroy so there were no shocks down Mexico way.
We took a return ourselves with Paul Casey finishing inside the top 10 so let’s see if we can hunt down some bigger profits. This week we are at the PGA National in Florida for the 2019 Honda Classic and while DJ sits this one out, we still have a strong field.
In the absence of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas (+500) has a big lead at the top of the Honda Classic outright betting odds markets this week. That isn’t a great surprise considering he is the highest ranked player here and Thomas is also the defending champion, having taken out the Honda Classic in a playoff with Luke List in 2018.
In winning here 12 months ago, Justin led in a number of relevant stats for this course including strokes gained: Tee to Green. This season he leads the Tour in the same category and that could be vital once again.
Behind the favorite, 2017’s Honda Classic Champion leads the chasing pack. Rickie Fowler (+1000) won two years ago by a more comfortable margin of four strokes and while he returned a disappointing 36th at the weekend, overall form has improved.
Brooks Koepka (+1200) makes an overdue return to the Tour and is tied with Fowler in places while 2016’s Champion Adam Scott (+1400) is also highly rated by the USA sports gambling sites. Sergio Garcia (+1600) was a runner up to Scott in that year and a tie for sixth in Mexico suggests he is finally edging back to his best.
Also worth a look in this chasing pack is Gary Woodland (+1800) who was runner up to Fowler in 2017 and is third in the FedEx standings despite lacking a win so far this season.
Webb Simpson (+2000) was one of our top 10 suggestions last time out and while he disappointed in Mexico, he is a notable fifth in the Power Rankings this week. Simpson was fifth in the Honda Classic 12 months ago and is one to watch again.
Elsewhere, last year’s runner up Luke List (40/1) has done little to suggest a follow up performance. He has yet to record a PGA Tour win but that solo second last year may revive some interest. More likely options from the long prices could include Daniel Berger (33/1), Zach Johnson (66/1) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (50/1) who is at big odds despite a single digit finish on Sunday.
Our Preview’s Honda Classic 2019 Course & Betting Trends with Predictions & Picks Verdict
We are back at a very familiar venue down in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The Champion Course at the PGA National is a par 70 and might look straightforward at 7140 yards but scoring is much higher when compared to many events on Tour. Last year, Justin Thomas and Luke List tied at -8 and that is not untypical of winning numbers here.
Accuracy is key and there are no easy holes. The Bear Trap, as it’s known, is the long three-hole stretch from 15 and it has been the decider in this golf tournament on many occasions. When Thomas won 12 months ago, he led the field in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green and scrambling and those are likely to be key stats once again.
Multiple winners are actually very rare in the history of the Honda Classic. Only Europe’s new Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington has completed a double since the turn of the century but Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler certainly have the quality to go against that trend.
We have seen in recent weeks that quality is coming through over surprise, long-priced winners and that has also been the case in recent renewals of the Honda Classic. With the exception of Fowler, the majority of champions are Major winners and we don’t think that’s a coincidence.
With all of those stats and trends in mind, our 2019 Honda Classic prediction and betting tip is Brooks Koepka this week. He has that combination of distance and accuracy and as a multiple Major winner, the obvious class is there too. Our one concern is an extended break from the course but we are backing Brooks plus a trio of top 10 finish picks as we look for a profitable four days in Florida. In summary, and at best odds:
- Brooks Koepka to win at +1200 with Bovada, Intertops or BetOnline.
- Webb Simpson (+200 with Bovada or Intertops), Gary Woodland (+175 Bovada, +135 Intertops) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (+400 with Bovada or Intertops) for top 10 finishes.
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.