Tides’ Takes – PGA Tournament Matchup Picks, Props & Outrights: Houston Open

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ScoresAndOdds analyst Timothy Buell gives free expert advice and betting picks for every PGA event

For the purpose of this column, I will be focusing mostly on H2H matchups and outright tournament winners!

Make sure to use our tools at ScoresAndOdds to find the best lines at your favorite legal sportsbook.  

Congratulations to Russell Henley, who took home his fourth PGA title and his first since 2017. He dominated the field for the most part, and despite not having a great Sunday, he was able to earn the win. 

I was unable to write an article last week due to an illness, but I’m back and ready to breakdown what should be a very exciting event this week at the Houston Open.

Houston Open – Course Breakdown

The event is played at Memorial Park Golf Course, which is just outside of downtown Houston. While the Houston Open has been on the schedule for the PGA for decades, it has only been played at this course over the last two years. We have very little history to go by.  Jason Kokrak and Carlos Ortiz were the last two winners here. 

Memorial Park Golf Course is a par 70 that measures around 7,400 yards, which features five par-3’s and three par 5-’s. 

The whole course is bermudagrass and the rough appears to be only around 2.5 inches thick. The greens average 7,000 square feet. 

This is a parkland municipal golf course, which was redesigned specifically for this event (it only cost $38 dollars to play)! The winning scores across the past two seasons have been -10 and -13.

This course is definitely more difficult than your average PGA course. This is a very long Par 70 golf course. 

There has been very little rain this year in Houston so this should play extremely firm and fast.  This is going to be a true test of all-around play this week. 

Distance is always an advantage, but accuracy is also vital for this course. We will want to find golfers that grind out a tough four days of golf.

I am not going to look for one or two specific data points to consider when choosing my betting card this week. I want solid, all-around golfers, who can get it done not only with the driver, but who also have a really solid short game as well.

Free PGA Betting Picks: Houston Open

While Scottie Scheffler is the best overall golfer in the field, there is simply no chance I am laying 6-1 for an outright ticket in a full field.

Finau, while not quite the caliber of golfer as Scheffler, is no slouch. Despite his missed cut last week at Mayakoba, Finau is the only golfer in the field other than Scheffler who has gained strokes on the field in all metrics. He ranks behind only Scheffler in ball striking and surprisingly rates out as a better approach player than him over their last 200 rounds played. 

Is Scottie a better player? Definitely. That being said, he is not three times as likely to win this event than Finau. With the weak field, and Scheffler being ice-cold with his putter, I think there is some pretty solid value with this number on Finau. 

I’m in a bit of a dilemma when it comes to making this pick. Pendrith’s ability to drive the ball and his approach play are truly elite, making this number look like quite a bargain. 

He has gained strokes in the ball striking category in 10-straight events. These weren’t just small gains either. Pendrith averaged 4.78 strokes gained ball striking during those 10 events, which are amazing numbers. 

His issues are around-the-green and putting metrics. If Pendrith isn’t on point with his approach game, his chipping and putter isn’t going to bail him out. This is why I like him as an outright ticket and not a head-to-head or top-20 pick. He is a boom-or-bust option. The ceiling is sky high and the floor is a trunk slam on Friday afternoon.  

If this course is going to play long, firm, and fast, then I want someone on my betting card who has the length to tame this course, while also having the short game to get up and down from tricky areas around the green. 

Burmester has made the cut in all three events so far this season and had a fourth-place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship. His around-the-green game is on point. Gaining in five of his last six measured events in that stat. The putter can fall flat at times, but I don’t anticipate this being a birdie fest so I don’t think the winner will have to be red hot with the putter necessarily to take home this title.  

Andrew Putnam is the shorter-hitting, more accurate version of Burmester. Playing out of the fairway should be a worthwhile tradeoff for giving up some yardage at this golf course.

Putnam has yet to miss a cut in six events this season and has made ten straight cuts overall.  He had a T2 finish at the ZOZO and a T12 at the Shriner’s Children’s Open. The way that the green complexes are at this course you will need to be on your game with chipping and putting and that’s exactly where Putnam excels. He has gained with the putter in his last eight measured events and has gained around the green in seven of those last eight events. 

Official PGA Betting Card