Hey guys I’m back for The Honda Classic and what a week it was last week at the Genesis. We nailed our first winner of the season as Dustin Johnson torched the field at 9-1 odds, taking over the #1 ranking from Jason Day. My other picks of Paul Casey (39th), JB Holmes (34th) and Scott Piercy (missed cut by 1 shot) were okay, but fell short of my expectations. Picking the winner isn’t all that easy with just four picks each week so I’m glad to get on the board early. We’ll try to repeat that here this week. Let’s get into the odds and preview for The Honda Classic.
Odds for The Honda Classic:
- Adam Scott: 12-1
- Sergio Garcia, Rickie Fowler: 16-1
- Justin Thomas: 18-1
- Louis Oosthuizen: 28-1
- Russell Knox: 30-1
- Tyrrell Hatton, Daniel Berger, Gary Woodland, Paul Casey: 33-1
- Zach Johnson: 35-1
- Brendan Steele, Branden Grace, Thomas Pieters: 40-1
- Kevin Kisner, Charles Howell III,: 45-1
- Brooks Koepka, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Henley, Danny Willett, Francesco Molinari, Jimmy Walker, Rafael Cabrera Bello: 50-1
The Honda Classic will take place at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida as the California west coast swing has officially come to and end and the Masters countdown begins. PGA National, designed by Jack Nicklaus, is a brutal course that consistently ranks inside the top ten in terms of difficulty each year. It’s a long Par 70 course, which means there are only two Par 5’s and four Par 3’s on the scorecard so make sure to take that into consideration when making your picks this week. The winner here is typically below -10 and that trend will most likely happen again this year as they’re calling for a decent chance for some rain/wind in the early rounds. Avoiding big numbers is necessary this week to win so I’m going to be taking a look at bogey avoidance more than usual.
Let’s get to my favorite betting picks for the 2017 Honda Classic:
Rickie Fowler (16-1): This was a tough choice as I can easily see one the top four favorites winning this tournament. Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas all warrant your attention as they all are playing solid golf right now and have played well here in the past. However, Fowler is my favorite play at the top and I think he gets it done this week. At 16-1 you’re really getting a lot of value there as well. Fowler has been quiet this season, but has still played well. He leads the PGA Tour in bogey avoidance, which I’m weighing more heavily this week with PGA National being one of the tougher tracks these guys play. Fowler should avoid the big numbers and be near the top of the leader board. He’s also 1st on tour in scrambling, 2nd in SG: around the green and 14th in GIR%, which tells me he’s a complete player right now from the tee box to the green.
He’s also played well here in the past. His last five starts here are 7th, 13th, 24th, 41st and 6th place last season. He also comes in with solid current form, only missing one cut in his last 13 starts on tour and a fourth place finish in his last start at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February. I think Fowler gets in done this week and at 16-1 you’re getting an awesome return.
Charles Howell III (45-1): Charles is playing some of the best golf in a long while for him as he put together another solid finish at the Genesis Open finishing in 15th place. Here are his last six tournament finishes on the PGA Tour: 15th, 7th, 13th, 12th, 2nd, 15th. Read those again. The dude is playing lights out right now. You can argue there aren’t many players in the world right now who are playing at this level of consistency and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out and gets in the winner’s circle. Howell is striking the ball extremely well right now as he led the field in ball striking last week at the Genesis and checks the boxes in several key stats on tour. He ranks 12th in GIR%, 4th in bogey avoidance, 3rd in Par 3 scoring and 3rd in Par 4 scoring. Basically, he’s near the top in tons of stat categories which is no surprise given how his season has gone so far.
His recent form is incredible and fits nicely with how he’s played at this event in the past. He did miss the cut last season, but before that he had made six consecutive cuts here with a 10th place finish in 2011. He’s playing much better now than he has in the recent past and I think he puts together another nice finish.
Brendan Steele (40-1): Steele is a great mid-tier pick this week that certainly has a chance to win. Steele checks all the boxes in terms of course history, recent form and important statistics. He’s made the cut in all six of his appearances and has finished 14th and 11th in his last two years here. He also comes in playing some extremely impressive golf with 12 consecutive cuts made with a win and two top-6’s. Steele is a great striker of the golf ball and ranks 8th in SG: approach, 19th in GIR %, 6th in bogey avoidance, 14th in par 4 scoring. At 40-1, I can see him getting his 3rd career PGA Tour victory.
Long Shot Value Pick:
Luke Donald (66-1): The former world number 1 (yes he actually was ranked #1 in the world if you had forgotten), is playing well right now with back-to-back top 25’s. Donald’s course history is the major draw this week as he’s had a great deal of success here, making it to the weekend on all six of his appearances. He’s also been inside the top 10 in four of his last five trips here, which is really quite impressive. Donald ranks 21st in Par 3 scoring, which should certainly help him this week with four Par 3’s and only two Par 5’s. Donald is a long shot this week to win, but he’s finally playing well again and he’s on a course he’s obviously comfortable with. Wouldn’t shock me to see him have a chance on the weekend.
Other favorite bets on the week: Adam Scott (12-1) Justin Thomas (18-1) Billy Horschel (80-1) Jhonattan Vegas (80-1) Jason Dufner (60-1)
Make sure you check out Geoff’s DraftKings Honda Classic Picks article and Alex’s Honda Classic Sleeper Picks article for their favorite DraftKings plays of the week. Good luck this week and make sure to follow me on Twitter! @Keagan28