PGA Tour Picks: AT&T Byron Nelson Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
I'll just be honest and say I really didn't know anything about Max Homa until he won his first PGA Tour event on Sunday, shooting a final-round 67 to take the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. I remember his name from a stellar college career at Cal (he won the NCAA title in 2013), but he has since bounced between the Web.com Tour and PGA Tour - he earned his PGA Tour card back for this season in the 2018 Web.com Tour Final.
As recently as Sept. 1, 2018, Homa was ranked No. 1,282 in the world. He entered last week at No. 417. Two seasons ago, he made only two cuts in 17 tournaments. Last week was Homa's 68th career start on Tour and the win got him into the PGA Championship next week at Bethpage Black, not to mention the 2020 Masters. The only other major Homa has played was the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, a month after his NCAA title. He also got a check for $1,422,000, or about more than $450,000 than he had made in his previous 67 starts.
Rory McIlroy entered Sunday with a chance to win the tournament a third time as he was just two shots back but shot a 73 and finished T8. Joel Dahman, another relative unknown, finished second, three back of Homa. My winning pick was Phil Mickelson, who has done everything but win at Quail Hollow. He'll have to wait another year after shooting 71-76 and missing the cut.
This week, the Tour heads to the Dallas area for the AT&T Byron Nelson. Now that the PGA Championship is next week instead of in August as in previous years, the field is rather weak as most guys don't like to play the week before a major. Plus, why go from Charlotte to Dallas and then have to fly back up to New York next week for the PGA?
The Byron Nelson has been around since 1944 when Nelson, a Dallas native, won the first. It has moved around courses, though, and it's going to be tough to handicap it because it has been played at Trinity Forest Golf Club only since last year. That's a former landfill site and there's not a single tree on the course. It's a par 71 measuring 7,371 yards and also has an unusual double green on No. 3 and 11 that's a combined 35,000 square feet.
It's clearly not a very tough course because unknown Aaron Wise won last year by shooting at tournament-record 23-under 261 - all four rounds in the 60s. He beat out Aussie Marc Leishman by three shots. In all, 14 golfers last year broke 70 in every round. The cut was at 3 under. No player has repeated here since Tom Watson won three in a row from 1978-80.
Arguably the most famous face in this week's tournament is a guy not technically eligible to win: Current CBS NFL analyst and former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, who is on a sponsor exemption. Romo is the +100000 long shot to actually finish first.
Golf Odds: AT&T Byron Nelson Favorites
Brooks Koepka might have his mind more on defending his PGA Championship win from last year next week, but he's your clear +650 favorite at Bovada . He presumably doesn't know this course well since he didn't play in 2018.
Hideki Matsuyama is +1600 with Dallas native Jordan Spieth at +1800. Matsuyama is having a disappointing season and was 16th last year. Spieth is having a horrible year with as many Top 20 finishes as I have: zero. He was 21st last year.
Henrik Stenson is +2200 and Wise +2500 - Wise hasn't won since and isn't playing very well. Stenson didn't play in 2018 and isn't having a great 2019, either, partly due to injury.
Golf Odds: AT&T Byron Nelson Picks
For a Top 10, we like Koepka, who lost in a Nelson playoff in 2016 at a different course, Leishman (+280) and Kevin Na (+325). Head-to-head, go Na (-110) over Branden Grace (-120), Koepka (-155) over Matsuyama (+120), Patrick Reed (-115) over Keith Mitchell (-115), and Spieth (-115) over Wise (-115).
Our winner is Na at +4000. He had a sixth-place finish last year and placed Top 10 at Harbour Town in his last Tour start so he's rested and playing well.
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