2019 Honda Classic Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
Golf specialist Rob Taylor (@RobTaylorSport) previews the Honda Classic and provides us with his best bets for this week’s event.
- Profit & Loss: +6.5 pts
2019 Honda Classic Betting Preview, Odds & Tips
- Date: Thursday 28th February – Sunday 3rd
- Venue: Champions Course, PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
- Channel: Sky Sports Golf
There’s no escaping that last week’s picks didn’t go the way I planned, but when the two favourites romp home first and second, it’s a small consolation. Fleetwood and Matsuyama played well in patches, with the Englishman giving us hope of an each way return in round four. However, Rahm’s and Leishman’s performances were a huge surprise, so we’ll move swiftly on to this week, and a beauty of an event.
The Honda Classic sees us leave the West coast and kick start the Florida swing. Over the next few weeks, due to a tweak to the scheduling, we have the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, The Players Championship at Sawgrass and the Valspar at Innisbrook, all back to back in the sunshine state.
Defending champion Justin Thomas once again tops the market, with Rickie Fowler, Brooks Koepka, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia all in the field.
Recent winners include; Justin Thomas -8, Rickie Fowler -12, Adam Scott -9, Padraig Harrington -6 and Russell Henley -8.
Key Stats & Facts
PGA National is billed as one the toughest tests on tour, a 7,125 yard par 70, with water hazards and Bermuda greens dominating. It’s a Jack Nicklaus re-design and famed for the Bear Trap, with holes 15-17 often hosting the deciding drama of the tournament.
Come through those holes unscathed and you could be in a position to win. Similar to the challenge that players face at a US Open, patience and avoiding costly mistakes will be crucial this week.
This course is a ball striker’s paradise where form with the driver and on point iron play is essential to give you a sniff at birdies. The wind normally adds to the scoring difficulty here at the Honda Classic, but conditions are set to be calm for the first three days.
Betting Odds – the top 10 in the market (Bet365)
- Justin Thomas 5/1
- Rickie Fowler 11/1
- Brooks Koepka 14/1
- Adam Scott 14/1
- Sergio Garcia 16/1
- Gary Woodland 18/1
- Webb Simpson 25/1
- Cameron Smith 25/1
- Billy Horschel 35/1
- Daniel Berger 35/1
It’s no surprise to see Justin Thomas at such a short price this week. He’s the defending champion and continuing his excellent run of form. 5/1 favourites aren’t for me though, so I’m going for four players in the middle of the pack who I believe have the right skill set and temperament to tackle this true test.
Webb Simpson 25/1: A former US Open winner, Simpson has had a real resurgence over the past 18 months or so. Winner at last year’s Players Championship and securing a whole host of top 10’s, his game is really shining at the moment. His stats make for nice reading this season too. He sits 3rd in strokes gained approach, 9th in par 4 performance and 5th in bogey avoidance. Webb was 5th here last year, so looks a great fit for this challenge this week.
Cameron Smith 25/1: Smith is a player getting famed for success on tough challenges. When the wind blows and the course is difficult he seems to thrive. A 4th place at the 2015 US Open really brought him to the forefront, and his performances this season have catapulted him to the top ten in the betting this week. Recent finishes include a very impressive 6th in Mexico last week, 9th at the Farmers and 15th in Phoenix. Smith also sits 12th in strokes gained approach, 8th in strokes gained total, 18th in par 4 scoring and 20th in putting. Although it’s his debut here at the Honda, I expect him to be excited about the test.
Byeong Hun An 50/1: The Korean just loves Jack Nicklaus designed courses, his performances on them is very impressive. An was 5th here in on debut last year and followed that up with other top 5s at Memorial and the Canadian Open, two other Nicklaus influences.
His recent form is best described as simmering; 13th at last autumn’s CIMB Classic, 6th in the World Cup of Golf, 20th at Phoenix and 45th at Mexico last week, which included a 3rd round 64. An also sits 23rd in strokes gained tee to green, 1st in stokes gained around the green and 18th in birdie average. He looks to have a good chance at contending this week.
Russell Knox 60/1: Knox’s best results have come on short, soft, technical tests. PGA National is certainly that. Knox finished 18th at the Desert Classic, 10th in Phoenix and 14th at Pebble Beach, so his game is in decent nick, especially with his iron play. He sits 8th in proximity to the hole Having also come close to winning here in 2014 and 2015 when he finished 2nd and 3rd respectively, Knox, a Florida resident will feel at home on these Bermuda greens. Knox finished 12th in last year’s US Open, so he certainly has the patience to excel once again at PGA National.