The PGA Tour takes a departure with a rare Matchplay tournament. The WGC Dell Technologies Matchplay 2022 is the biggest event on the golfing calendar this week with the world number one, and the majority of players from within the top ten, in attendance.
The Austin Country Club down in Texas is the venue for an event that has been on the calendar since 1999. With a group stage followed by a series of knockout rounds, there’s a lot of golf to assess over the next five days.
Last week at the Valspar Championship, we claimed a long-odds top 10 finish winner as Canada’s Adam Hadwin tied for seventh. It has been a reasonable run for us so let’s see if we can keep it going this week. Here is our WGC Dell Matchplay preview with betting predictions and picks.
Jon Rahm is clinging on to his status as the number one ranked golfer and he starts as one of two joint favorites for this matchplay event. Rahm, along with Justin Thomas, can be backed at best industry odds of 14/1 in most places.
Rahm has yet to win the event but he did finish as runner up to Dustin Johnson in 2017. His suspect putting can often let him down in matchplay golf but he’ll clearly be one to watch. Thomas is one of the form golfers in tournament play and his tie for third at the Valspar Championship on Sunday continued a run of top five finishes.
Each of the top five in the world rankings are making an appearance this week. Behind the two market leaders, Viktor Hovland is the third favorite at a general 16/1, followed by Collin Morikawa at 18/1. Morikawa is struggling to find the touch that won him two Major titles but Hovland has been in great form and is knocking on the door of Jon Rahm’s number one ranking.
Last year’s runner up is next at a best of 20/1, Scottie Scheffler lost out to Billy Horschel in 2021 and he has two tournament wins in his last four starts.
Other players to consider from this section include Dustin Johnson at 22/1, Patrick Cantlay at 22/1 and Xander Schauffele at 25/1. Johnson was the WGC Matchplay champion in 2017, edging out Jon Rahm by one shot and it’s worth remembering that he won all five of his matches at last year’s Ryder Cup.
The reigning WGC Matchplay champion Billy Horschel is firmly among the outside pack at a general 33/1. He is scheduled to meet Scottie Scheffler again and a loss of form and illness means there is less interest in Horschel this year.
At shorter odds, Daniel Berger and Brooks Koepka are both on offer at 28/1. Berger is attracting interest on the back of being placed second in the Power Rankings. He comes into this event with strong, relevant Tour stats including Scrambling and Strokes Gained: Tee to Green, but he is yet to get out of the Group Stage in four attempts.
Elsewhere, Tyrrell Hatton, Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen and Paul Casey can all be found at best odds of 35/1. Of those names, Casey is the most consistent and has two consecutive runners up finishes in this event. You have to go back to 2010 for the last of those but Casey can generally be relied upon to make the knockouts.
Oosthuizen has also finished second in the WGC Matchplay, to Jason Day in 2016, and all four could pose a threat this year.
Other names to consider from within the outsiders include Shane Lowry at 40/1, Matthew Fitzpatrick at 40/1, Russell Henley at 50/1, Abraham Ancer at 60/1, Kevin Kisner at 66/1, Tony Finau at 70/1 and Patrick Reed at 70/1. Had this been regular tournament play, some of those odds would have been shorter but there are perceived weaknesses in the matchplay format.
If there is to be a shock from among the outsiders, Shane Lowry might just be the man to provide it. The 2019 Open Champion is consistent with seven consecutive top 25 finishes including five top 15s.
Our Preview’s WGC Dell Matchplay Predictions, Course & Betting Trends & Picks Verdict
The Austin Country Club has been the permanent venue for the WGC Matchplay since 2016. It is a par 71 with modest distance at a fraction Over 7108 yards. In terms of the format, there are 64 players here and they are split into 16 groups of four.
After a round robin section, the top player in each group will proceed to the knockouts. From the Round of 16 all the way up to Sunday’s final, knockouts are played over 18 holes with the option for a sudden death playoff if necessary.
The course holds various challenges but Matchplay golf can often just come down to Scrambling and a battle with the putter. Form with the flatstick will generally dictate matters and the player that fits the bill better than most is Viktor Hovland.
He is so close to claiming the world number one slot and his run of success since the start of the new season puts him in the frame.
Our usual side bets are absent this week but there are separate To Reach the Final and to Reach the Semi Final markets. Another man in great touch is Scottie Scheffler and we’ll back him to run Hovland close. So these are our WGC Dell Matchplay predictions and betting picks for this week’s golf preview:
- Viktor Hovland to win at a big-looking +2200 (22/1) with BetOnline.
- Scottie Scheffler to reach the final (top 2 finish) at +800 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.