The PGA Tour offers something a little different this week with the only Matchplay tournament currently on its schedules. The WGC Dell Matchplay event from Austin, Texas has been on the calendar since 1999 and there is an exceptionally strong field as it returns after last season’s enforced break.
Sixty four of the world’s top 69 golfers initially committed to the 2021 edition of the WGC Dell Matchplay so we’re expecting four days of top class action. Last week at the Honda Classic we landed a long-range top 10 finish winner as Adam Hadwin claimed a single digit finish. So let’s see if we can carry that momentum forward with our predictions and picks for this WGC Dell preview.
Early outright betting markets are going with form and we have two very strong joint favorites. Bryson DeChambeau and Justin Thomas have both won significant tournaments this month and they are locked together at around 12/1 with the major American-friendly sportsbooks. Thomas was a losing semi-finalist in 2018 and, while DeChambeau does not have a great record in this event, he has the game to succeed on this risk and reward course.
Just behind the market leaders is World Number One Dustin Johnson who won here in 2017. DJ is out of form by his recent standards and will start the WGC Matchplay in a tough group. Jon Rahm was the losing finalist to Johnson four years ago and is also at 14/1. The big hitting Spaniard is always a threat but possibly his patchy touch with the putter will ultimately be the downfall.
It remains tight towards the top of the outright winner market with Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa both listed at 18/1 in places. Rory is a former champion, having won this tournament in 2015 but he is another player whose form takes interest away from those odds.
There is, in contrast, something of a buzz around Patrick Reed at an industry best of 25/1. Reed is another recent winner on Tour and he leads the Power Rankings this week thanks to strong stats in Strokes Gained: Putting and Putting: Birdies or Better.
Xander Schauffele, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland are also on offer at 25/1. Of those names, Casey is a two-time runner up but we have to go back to 2009 and 2010 for those second placed finishes. Schauffele is also attracting interest and has a good draw from the groups through the knockouts.
Tony Finau heads the list of outsiders at 30/1. He has got the power for the course and has returned a number of single digit finishes this year. Sungjae Im, Webb Simpson and Daniel Berger are all getting attention at 33/1 while Sergio Garcia and Matthew Fitzpatrick are two form men who could deliver at a tempting 40/1.
It is a quality field with value right through the market but we feel that the winner of the 2021 WGC Dell Matchplay will be one of the more fancied players in the bookies’ odds.
Our WGC Dell Matchplay Preview’s Course & Betting Trends with Prediction & Picks Verdict
Firstly, it is important to understand the format of the WGC Dell Matchplay. The tournament runs from Wednesday through to Sunday and the field consists of 64 players. The initial stages feature a round robin format which takes place over the opening three days. Those 64 golfers will be split into 16 groups of four and, within that section, every golfer will play each other once.
At the end of that sequence, only the top player in each group will progress to the next phase. The last 16 is played on a straight knockout basis, starting on Saturday and ending with the final on Sunday.
As for the course, the Austin Country Club in Texas has played host to this event since 2016. It is a par 71 at a shade over 7,100 yards but we have seen some power hitters succeed despite its modest distance. That is partly due to the fact that there are some short par-4s with five of them coming in at less than 400 yards.
Water is in play on seven holes and accuracy does, therefore, hold a key. However, the chance for risk and reward is a constant that could make a difference across the tournament. The nature of this matchplay format means that the winner will have played a minimum of seven rounds, excluding any sudden death holes. The WGC Dell is something of a test of endurance so fitness is also likely to have a say.
Naturally, it could all come down to a battle with a flatstick at the end of the day. That’s why there is so much interest in Patrick Reed who leads the Tour in those relevant putting stats. This preview is tempted by Reed but feel that the course is set up for Bryson DeChambeau who also has the form to convert.
We don’t like picking favorites but Bryson is hard to ignore and a best price of +1400 (14/1) offers reasonable value. Because there are no top 10 finish or other prop markets this week, you could switch to Reed at +2500 (25/1) or you could even take both him and DeChambeau separately to claim an overall profit if either man comes through. However we will stick with the one selection:
- Take Bryson DeChambeau to win @ best betting odds of +1400 (14/1) with BetOnline. He is 12/1 with Bovada, Bookmaker and Intertops.
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.