With just one week to go until the Masters, the PGA Tour is building up to the big event with a strong field for an established tournament that traces its history all the way back to 1946. The Houston Open can be a subdued affair in any regular season but, with a new schedule in place, we can look forward to a stronger entry in 2020.
The event has a new course and a new sponsor so let’s take a look at the early betting markets for this year’s revamped edition before giving our Houston Open predictions and golf betting picks.
Last season’s FedEx Cup winner is back in action from Thursday and he is way clear of the field. Dustin Johnson is a hot favorite at 7/1 with the USA bookmakers and sports betting websites as he makes his first start since finishing in a tie for 6th at the US Open.
DJ has been resting up since then after a positive Covid test but, if he can replicate his form from the end of 2019/20 then he’ll be tough to compete with across four days. Johnson claimed that FedEx trophy and ended the season with four finishes inside the top two and two wins.
England’s Tyrrell Hatton leads the chasing bunch this week at general odds of 16/1. His record, like the rest of the field, doesn’t compare with the favorite, but he has been solid with three titles in the last 12 months. Form is strong on both sides of the Atlantic and Hatton looks ready to battle for trophies in the US on a regular basis.
Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama and Tony Finau follow with all three available at 20/1 in places. Of the three, only Finau appears in the Power Rankings for the Houston Open with six top 15 finishes in his last nine starts.
Next up is the first former winner with 2017 Houston Open Champion Russell Henley available at 25/1. There’s plenty of interest in the 31-year-old this week following a tie for 3rd and a tie for 4th in his two most recent outings. Completing the list of chasers are Viktor Hovland, Scottie Scheffler, Sung-Jae Im and Adam Scott who are also at 25/1 in places.
All three will have their backers but Hovland stands out for us with strong relevant stats and a run of form that includes a 14-14 record in terms of cuts made.
Heading up the list of outsiders are two former Major winners in Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott who are both quoted at 40/1. Garcia made a winning return to the Tour recently and both men can offer value at those prices in Texas.
Now we come to the defending champion Lanto Griffin who is out at best odds of 50/1 for a successful return. Griffin won by one stroke from Scott Harrington and Mark Hubbard last year and he has shown some consistent form in the lead up to his first defense.
Other names to consider in the outside bunch include Doc Redman, Brian Harman, Shane Lowry, Jordan Spieth, Stewart Cink, Phil Mickelson, Charley Hoffman, Henrik Stenson and Brandt Snedeker. Spieth and Stenson are former runners up while Mickelson is the 2011 Houston Open champion and those names might be options for the top 10 finish betting markets when they become available.
Our Preview’s Houston Open Predictions & Picks with Course & Betting Trends
2020 sees a new venue for the Houston Open as the Memorial Park Golf Course takes over hosting duties from the Golf Club of Houston. The venue has previously held this event but it is a long time since Bob Charles last claimed the trophy on this turf in 1963.
A new design in 2019, Memorial Park can now stretch beyond 7,400 yards and its par 72 contains five par 5s and five par 3s. It is a similar set up to that of the Zozo Championship last month although this venue is significantly longer and will offer assistance to the Power Hitters in places. Notable holes include the monster, 625-yard eighth while the closing 503 yard par 4 18th will also play a key role this week.
Small, fast greens will mean that key stats could include Fairways Hit and GIR across the four days but, of course, this is very much an unknown quantity. That makes it an even tougher call but one man whose odds stood out for us was Viktor Hovland. At a new venue, current form and relevant rankings are the best indicators that you can use and Hovland is a strong contender in that respect.
The top 10 finish picks are similar with relevant stats in those key areas supporting their claims. With 36 of this week’s golfers also involved at the Masters, we can look for some pointers ahead of Augusta too but let’s seek out some profits down in Texas first with these Houston Open predictions and betting picks:
- Viktor Hovland to win @ best odds of +3000 (30/1) with Bookmaker. The next best price is 25/1 elsewhere.
- Top 10 Finish Picks: Hovland (best at +250), Scottie Scheffler (+225), Adam Scott (+325) and Russell Henley (+225). All those odds are with BetOnline. While Bovada also has odds on this top 10 market, they have shorter prices for all of these selections.
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.