After a fun change of pace at the Zurich Classic, the PGA Tour heads to Vidanta for the Mexico Open. This course has never been used on the PGA tour and with a weaker field than we’re used to, there are plenty of opportunities for sports bettors to find value.
John Rahm comes in as the heavy favorite for this weekend’s event, but the odds are so short it’s hard to really justify backing him. Sure, he blows most of the field out of the water on paper, but at +400 before the first tee-time has even happened, you’re paying a premium for the former world #1.
Another golfer you may want to pivot away from is Patrick Reed. That sounds pretty obvious, but for some reason, he’s +3500 to win the entire event. He’s a nine-time PGA champion, but he only has one top-10 finish this year and although he did well at the Masters, is outside the top-200 in off-the-tee metrics, ranks 198th in strokes gained on approach, and 201st in strokes gained tee-to-green. So, why is he priced so highly?
Reed came 2nd at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship in 2021 on what looks to be a similar course, and more prominently won the WGC Mexico Open in 2020. It’s simply a case of a notable name having had previous success in this country holding more weight than it should because there’s nothing else to go off.
So which Golfers should you be looking for?
Where to find value
There are a few really intriguing names here depending on how you view the field. I’ll be saving most of these for tomorrow’s deep value article which has produced two winning bets in as many weeks, but the key here I think is to look for Golfers who have:
A) Had success on similar courses
B) Are on a bit of a hot streak recently
C) Are reasonably long off the tee
D) Are a neutral putter. Slower greens means those who struggle may find it easier, so as long as you’re not dropping shots on the green, you’ll be doing just fine.
To win: +2500
Munoz is a homing missile who has made six consecutive cuts. His shots gained on approach have dropped over the last few weeks, but in a weakened field, his ability to pin-seek could be the difference. He’s gained over 4 shots in total on the field in 4 of his last six events and the only thing holding him back? You guessed it, the putter.
To win: +3000
If you still want a known entity, this could be a ‘wise’ decision. Wise has three top-26 finishes at courses with similar profiles and given that there are five par-3’s lined up, the fact he ranks 6th in par-3 scoring is encouraging. He’s been a monster off the tee over his last five events and his one weakness is the putter. This could be the one course that negates that weakness and allows him to really extend his legs and start showing what he can do.
To win: +15000
I’ve been bullish on Duncan for 2 weeks now and his brilliant Sunday at the RBC Heritage still stands out. He’s been really hot recently, rallying to three top-25’s in his last eight events. He ranks 9th in approach putting and inside the top-30 on approaches from 175-125. On a longer course, that’s important.
I think we’re due for a surprise victor this week. It’s easy to look to John Rahm or even someone like Kevin Na who will quietly pace his way to a strong finish, but this field is filled with raw Korn Ferry Tour talent looking to breakout. On a new course where people are likely betting off reputation alone, this is the perfect time to go sharp and dive deep into the data to find those hidden gems.
Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire