Today is the second round of the AT&T Byron Nelson. This tournament is played in Texas and it is unique because last year was the first year at this course. This is significant from a betting perspective because there is limited course history, thus we must make our predictions based on form, and the first round results. Golf is always a sport I love to bet because head to head round matchups are often favorable odds and all are draw no bets. You can also find little edges to help you find an optimal matchup and find value in a particular player. In head to head golf betting it is important to look for outliers that occurred the day before because, in golf, things always find a way to average themselves out. You will read some more about this in today’s selections. All of these bets are draw no bet:
Alex Noren vs. Kevin Tway
Alex Noren @ (1.86/-115)
Rd 1: Alex Noren -1 & Kevin Tway -1
This bet comes down to outliers and betting against Kevin Tway. When taking a look at Tway, everything about him says he is in bad form right now. In 6 out of his last 7 tournaments he has missed the cut and yesterday in the first round he birdied the last four holes while making a few long putts to make his round seem good. However, which Tway will show up today, the player who struggled for the first 14 holes and has been missing cuts? Or the player who made straight four birdies to finish his day? I’ll side with the first option.
Alex Noren, on the other hand, has had a difficult start to his year but appears to be improving. Historically, Noren is a great ball-striker, a great putter, and a player who makes very few mistakes. Very early on in the year, he was terrible, but he appears to be slowly regaining his form. Yesterday he drove the ball well hitting 93% of fairways and really only had two bad holes. Looking at hole by hole stats, he gave himself many more opportunities than Kevin Tway and Noren also missed a lot of short putts. He is striking the ball better than Tway it appears, if he can limit mistakes on the green, he should have an edge over Tway.
Brooks Koepka vs. Keith Mitchell
Brooks Koepka @ (1.60/-167)
Rd 1: Brooks Koepka -6 & Keith Mitchell -5
The odds are low on Koepka, but considering this is a draw no bet, it is honestly good value. Brooks Koepka is a world-class player who I simply will not bet against. He had a total of 8 birdies in his first round and it appears like he will be in contention to win the tournament this weekend. Koepka is currently the favorite to win the tournament and he will be motivated to climb closer to the top in the 2nd round. I could go on all day about Koepka’s amazing play, but this bet is also a bet against Keith Mitchell.
Keith Mitchell is a player who actually won a tournament earlier this year. However, what this bet comes down to is how Koepka beat him in round 1, despite Keith Mitchell being one of the best putters in round one. I bring this up because, in reality, Keith Mitchell is statistically one of the worst putters in golf looking at past history. If you bet golf often, you will find success in betting against statistical outliers a day after they happen. For instance, do we really think Keith Mitchell can putt like he did today considering his past history? I’d be willing to bet no on that.
Russell Knox vs. JJ Spaun
JJ Spaun @ (1.80/-125)
Rd 1: JJ Spaun -5 & Russell Knox -3
Speaking of outliers, Russell Knox is another example. He is a player that is not great putting yet he ranked near the top of the field in putting in round one. Also despite being a mediocre player off the tee, he somehow managed to hit every single fairway. The thing you will find betting against Russell Knox are two scenarios: he will burn you with elite iron play if he finds the fairway, or you will easily win your bet as he tends to lose his control at times during his round. He’s talented but inconsistent, and we’re betting against him today as the first round statistics seem to be a bit unusual.
In regards to JJ Spaun, he played terrific in round one. He only had one bogey on his card and played a nearly flawless round of golf. For this head to head matchup, I simply feel more comfortable betting on a player that is in my opinion, less likely to fall apart and has had success in this venue before. As previously mentioned, this tournament has only been played at this golf course once, 2018 being the first year. It is worth mentioning Spaun finished tied for 3rd place last year and it appears he is feeling right at home again this year. Fair odds at 1.80