After visits to Japan, Bermuda and Mexico, the PGA Tour is back in the United States as we look ahead to the 2021 Houston Open. It’s one of the oldest golf tournaments on the US circuit and, while it hasn’t quite got the field to match its history, we should be in for another entertaining four days.
Houston’s Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course provides the setting in 2021 so let’s see what’s in store from a betting perspective with this preview, including predictions and picks.
The season has started slowly for most of the world’s top ten and there are a number of high-profile absentees once again. That leaves one of golf’s rising stars as the favorite with Sam Burns leading the way at 16/1.
Burns gave us a nice profit in the tournament winner market as he claimed victory in the Sanderson Farms Championship and he had a good overall outing in this tournament 12 months ago. He eventually finished in a tie for 7th but Burns would have been disappointed having held the lead after the second and third rounds.
Behind the favorite, Scottie Scheffler slots in at a top price of 18/1. In contrast to Sam Burns, he ended last year’s tournament strongly with a 65 but that was only enough to tie for 32nd. Scheffler is in good touch following his solo fourth in Mexico last week.
Behind the top two, Sungjae Im is on offer at 22/1, followed by Matthew Wolff, Cameron Smith and Tony Finau who can all be found at 25/1. Im is back after a rare break from the course and it is worth noting that all 12 of his rounds this season have been under par.
Wolff is also in good touch with two Top Five finishes in three attempts while Finau could have the power to make an impression on this long course.
Other names from within the chasers include Tyrrell Hatton at 28/1 plus Brooks Koepka and Joaquin Niemann at 30/1. Niemann joined Matthew Wolff in a tie for fifth on Sunday while both Koepka and Hatton finished inside the top seven at last year’s Houston Open.
This Houston Open 2021 preview starts off the list of outsiders with Talor Gooch and Adam Scott who are both 33/1 with the main USA-friendly online sportsbooks and betting sites. Gooch ended his challenge in Mexico with a solo fourth and, in four starts so far this season, he hasn’t finished outside of the top 11.
Next up is our defending champion, Carlos Ortiz, who is on offer at best odds of 35/1. Ortiz held off to beat Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama by two shots 12 months ago and a runner-up slot in his native Mexico last Sunday suggests he may be primed for a successful defense.
Moving through the outside bunch, Patrick Reed, Maverick McNealy and Russell Henley can all be claimed at 40/1 in places. Of those names, McNealy is in good touch with a tie for 11th last week.
At 45/1, Marc Leishman is attracting some interest but the Australian is making his debut in this event. Behind Leishman, other names to consider from among the outsiders include Cameron Tringale at 50/1, Jason Kokrak at 50/1, Seamus Power at 55/1, Max Homa at 60/1 and Gary Woodland at 90/1.
Our Preview’s Houston Open 2021 Course & Betting Trends With Concluding Predictions & Picks
It may not sound particularly testing but the Memorial Park Municipal Golf Course in Houston has many challenges lying in wait. Firstly, while this is a par 70, there is considerable length to negotiate at 7,432 yards. There can certainly be some reward for the distance hitters in places but there are just three Par 5s along with five Par 3s.
In 2020, Memorial Park revealed some telling stats that this year’s players will need to be conscious of. Across all of the courses on Tour, the venue for the Houston Open finished inside the top ten most challenging for Scrambling, Fairways Hit, Proximity to the Hole and Par 5 Scoring.
The entire field averaged at just 11.16 for Greens in Regulation last year and that’s the 18th lowest for the season.
In short, accuracy should win out over power across the four rounds. That leaves us with a number of strong contenders but the player we keep coming back to is Scottie Scheffler.
There are certainly no concerns over form with Scheffler finishing in fourth place on Sunday. It was his best finish for some time but he has the stats to match the challenges on this course and he’s clearly showing some good touch.
Scottie Scheffler for the win is the main pick of this preview and there are three additional top 10 finish picks to add to your betslip for this year’s Houston Open:
- First of the betting predictions is to back Scottie Scheffler to win @ +1800 (18/1) with Bovada, BetOnline or Intertops.
- Top 10 Finish Picks: Scheffler (+225), Tony Finau (+280), Carlos Ortiz (+375) and Cameron Tringale (+550). All those odds are with BetOnline. At time of writing Bovada and Intertops did not have odds for the top 10, but they will publish them shortly.
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.