2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Golf Betting Odds & Picks

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One of the most unique events on the PGA Tour is coming up this week with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. Just about every other event on the PGA Tour calendar is a traditional stroke play event, but not this one, as the top 64 in the Official World Golf Ranking get together at Austin Country Club and play a series of head-to-head matches for a shot at $1.745 million for the win or a piece of the $10.25 million prize pool.

This year’s field includes the last six champions of this event and is a star-studded field, as you would expect with the WGC distinction and the big purse. Five players in the top 64 have opted to skip the event or are sitting out due to other reasons, so #69 Luke List is the lowest ranked player in this very nice field.

The Format

Players are separated into four different pools based on the Official World Golf Ranking. One player is then selected from each pool to make up the round robin matches. Players that pick up enough points in their round robin groups move on in the tournament until we get down to the Final Four, when a third-place match and a championship match take place on Sunday.

Bear in mind that this tournament starts on Wednesday and those that make the final 16 will have to play two matches on Saturday and Sunday if they advance all the way to the championship round or third-place round. That is a lot of golf in a short amount of time, so that’s why some players do opt to skip this event.

The Field

Here are the groups for the round robin play:

Group 1
(1) Dustin Johnson
(24) Hideki Matsuyama
(40) Branden Grace
(55) Chez Reavie

Group 2
(2) Justin Rose
(22) Gary Woodland
(34) Eddie Pepperell
(53) Emiliano Grillo

Group 3
(3) Brooks Koepka
(27) Alex Noren
(36) Haotong Li
(60) Tom Lewis

Group 4
(4) Rory McIlroy
(32) Matthew Fitzpatrick
(47) Justin Harding
(64) Luke List

Group 5
(5) Justin Thomas
(31) Keegan Bradley
(33) Matthew Wallace
(50) Lucas Bjerregaard

Group 6
(6) Bryson DeChambeau
(17) Marc Leishman
(39) Kiradech Aphibarnrat
(59) Russell Knox

Group 7
(7) Francesco Molinari
(21) Webb Simpson
(45) Thorbjorn Olesen
(63) Satoshi Kodaira

Group 8
(8) Jon Rahm
(23) Matt Kuchar
(43) J.B. Holmes
(54) Si Woo Kim

Group 9
(9) Xander Schauffele
(29) Rafa Cabrera Bello
(35) Tyrrell Hatton
(62) Lee Westwood

Group 10
(10) Paul Casey
(25) Cameron Smith
(42) Charles Howell III
(58) Abraham Ancer

Group 11
(11) Tommy Fleetwood
(19) Louis Oosthuizen
(41) Kyle Stanley
(49) Byeong Hun An

Group 12
(12) Jason Day
(20) Phil Mickelson
(37) Henrik Stenson
(52) Jim Furyk

Group 13
(13) Tiger Woods
(18) Patrick Cantlay
(44) Brandt Snedeker
(61) Aaron Wise

Group 14
(14) Tony Finau
(30) Ian Poulter
(48) Kevin Kisner
(56) Keith Mitchell

Group 15
(15) Bubba Watson
(28) Jordan Spieth
(38) Billy Horschel
(57) Kevin Na

Group 16
(16) Patrick Reed
(26) Sergio Garcia
(46) Shane Lowry
(51) Andrew Putnam

Rory McIlroy, who won back in 2015, is the favorite at +870 per the odds at 5Dimes Sportsbook. Dustin Johnson, who won in 2017, is the second favorite at +1080. Because of the strength of this field, we do have some depressed odds, with a lot of players in the 15 to 30/1 range.

Other players not in this field are participating in an alternate event in Punta Cana, including tournament favorite Sungjae Im.

Strategy

We talk a lot about taking futures in these golf articles and our BangTheBook.com segments, but the best way to bet the match play is to actually watch it and then make daily plays in the head-to-head matchups. Some players are more comfortable with the match play format, so that can be a betting angle, but you’ll also have guys that don’t swing it well the day before, but the golf gods are on their sides and they pick up a win. Other times, we’ll see a guy just not make putts, but give himself a good chance on most holes. Maybe you want to back him the next day.

Bubba Watson won last year as the 35th seed. It is a bit surprising to see Bubba win an event like this because of the consistency it requires over five days. He’s a great player, but also a guy that has a penchant for spraying it around and having to be creative. Matt Kuchar won in 2013 as the 21st seed. Hunter Mahan also won in 2012 as the 21st seed. Outside of those three players, every winner since 2007 has been a top-10 seed. It makes sense, as consistency is the name of the game for having a high spot in the OWGR.

The #1 seed has won four times. Tiger did it twice. DJ and Rory did it in 2017 and 2015, respectively. Jason Day won as the #2 seed in 2016. No other top-five seeds have won.

The Course

Austin Country Club is a ball strikers course through and through. We don’t have nearly as many hazards as we’ve seen on many of the recent PGA Tour courses, so this is a course where it’s really about letting it rip and making putts. The putting surfaces are quite large and many are well-sloped, so this is a course where you want to set yourself up for the best chance possible to get aggressive at the hole.

Keep in mind that this format is different, so it allows players to bounce back from bad holes. That’s why Austin Country Club is a great venue for this tournament. Players can be aggressive with these holes and there are a lot of holes that require that type of approach. This course has only been used for the Dell Match Play since 2016 and it is no surprise that Day, DJ, and Bubba are the three winners. They are all great ball strikers willing to play an aggressive game.

Handicapping the Field

DJ, while the second favorite, is only 14-12 in his WGC Match Play career, but he did win here in 2017 and that makes him tough to fade. You would think #2 seed Justin Rose would play well in events like this, given his Ryder Cup history, but he is only 10-11-1 in this event.

Two guys to have firmly on your radar this week are Brooks Koepka and Alex Noren. Koepka made a run at winning this thing in 2016. He missed last year with an injury, but he is 8-4 in his 12 matches in the WGC Match Play and has decent value at 18/1. Alex Noren is another. Noren is 10-2 in his 12 matches at Austin Country Club and finished third last year. He is priced way down the board at 80/1.

Rory is in Group 4 and a very deserving favorite. He is 24-11-2 in his WGC Match Play career. Keep in mind, though, that his only win did not come at Austin. It came at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. Justin Thomas is only 6-7 in this event, but he did have some significant Ryder Cup success last year to better prepare him for match play events. Another guy looking to build off of Ryder Cup success is Francesco Molinari, who is stunningly just 4-11 in this event.

Matt Kuchar, who won in 2013, is 24-9-3 in this event. Paul Casey, who finally got that elusive win last week at the Valspar, is 25-14-1 in this event, but a lot of his success came back in 2009 and 2010. Ian Poulter is 27-15.

Fade Candidates

As far as individual matches go, look to fade Keegan Bradley. Bradley is 1-7-2 in the Match Play event and his only win came back in 2012. There are also several guys in this event for the first time, including Bryson DeChambeau, Matt Wallace, Lucas Bjerregaard, Keith Mitchell, Andrew Putnam, and Eddie Pepperell. It is a different type of format, so you want to be careful with guys like that this week.

Matthew Fitzpatrick is 4-5, but hasn’t made it out of group play as of yet and all of his starts have been at Austin. Webb Simpson is 8-8-1, but hasn’t played well in recent years and not at all at Austin.

Picks

Alex Noren at 80/1 is exceptional value for a guy that plays well in this format and has played well at Austin Country Club. Tommy Fleetwood has one bad round per tournament it seems and he could benefit greatly from this format at 22/1. Xander Schauffele always steps up when the lights are the brightest, so 33/1 makes some sense here.

Odds as of March 26, 10 a.m. ET:

Rory McIlroy +870
Dustin Johnson +1080
Justin Thomas +1450
Jon Rahm +1530
Justin Rose +1800
Brooks Koepka +1800
Jason Day +2200
Tommy Fleetwood +2200
Tiger Woods +2425
Francesco Molinari +2500
Paul Casey +2500
Bryson DeChambeau +2500
Bubba Watson +3000
Ian Poulter +3300
Tony Finau +3300
Xander Schauffele +3300
Louis Oosthuizen +3500
Sergio Garcia +3500
Patrick Reed +4000
Hideki Matsuyama +4000
Marc Leishman +4500
Matt Kuchar +5000
Patrick Cantlay +5000
Webb Simpson +5000
Cameron Smith +5000
Jordan Spieth +5000
Phil Mickelson +5500
Gary Woodland +5500
Rafa Cabrera-Bello +6000
Kevin Kisner +6000
Henrik Stenson +6600
Charles Howell III +7000
Keegan Bradley +7000
Billy Horschel +7000
Matthew Fitzpatrick +7500
Matt Wallace +8000
Byeong Hun An +8000
Alex Noren +8000
Brandt Snedeker +8500
Jim Furyk +9000
Eddie Pepperell +10000
Luke List +10000
Kiradech Aphibarnrat +10000
Lee Westwood +10000
Tyrrell Hatton +10000
Branden Grace +10000
Si Woo Kim +11000
Russell Knox +11000
Haotong Li +11000
Keith Mitchell +11000
Emiliano Grillo +12500
Abraham Ancer +12500
J.B. Holmes +13500
Shane Lowry +13500
Thorbjorn Olesen +14000
Lucas Bjerregaard +14500
Justin Harding +15000
Kevin Na +15000
Aaron Wise +15000
Andrew Putnam +17500
Chez Reavie +17500
Tom Lewis +20000
Kyle Stanley +20000
Satoshi Kodaira +25000