GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the AT&T Byron Nelson

An unfamiliar course ramps up the variance this week for the AT&T Byron Nelson. With a top-heavy field, we look for birdie-makers who can go low in what we expect to be friendly scoring conditions at TPC Craig Ranch. Here's who we like this week.

Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.

Below, we will cover the best bets for the AT&T Byron Nelson based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

For the third time this season, we've tapped back-to-back winners! We had plenty of information to work with given the long history at those courses, as well as solid fields that offered at least some value on the board. So we head now to Dallas and find that we are back to square one, with no history at TPC Craig Ranch and an extremely top heavy field with a few favorites soaking up a ton of the win equity.

We'll soldier on, but even on the heels of 70/1 and 17/1 winners, this is not the spot to bump up our units. TPC Craig Ranch is plenty long at 7,468 yards, and with four golden opportunities on the par 5s, we expect the field to go low this week. Easy scoring conditions ramps up the variance, as the top golfers are certainly the most capable of anyone but even they can only make so many birdies.

Without a doubt the back of the field stands a better chance to keep pace in easy conditions than hard, and so we'll eye one name at the top of the market and then sprinkle the rest of our bankroll further down the board. Our unifying theme for the AT&T Byron Nelson will be birdie makers, a characteristic that often coincides with performance on par 5s.

For more info on TPC Craig Ranch along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.

At the Top

Daniel Berger (+1400) - You can be forgiven if Bryson DeChambeau (+700) is just too hard to pass up this week, but he won't make our card at just absurdly low odds and neither will second man up Jon Rahm (+850). With the career Grand Slam at stake next week and little doubt of his form, Jordan Spieth (+1000) just misses the cut at still a number we have a hard time clicking. And so it falls to Berger, undeniably a class below the top three but certainly among the world's top players over the past 12-18 months. Berger won in Texas last year coming out of the pandemic layoff, and with another victory already in 2021 we know he can be counted on to close. He ranks 6th in birdie or better percentage on the season and 26th in par 5 birdies or better.

Value Spots

Ryan Palmer (+3400) - Palmer is 4th in par 5 scoring average this season, 7th in par 5 birdies or better, and 11th in birdies or better percentage overall. He has played about as well as he ever has over the last 18 months, as the Tour gets more and more loaded with young talent and the prior generation still going strong, not to mention oldies like Stewart Cink turning back the clock and winning twice this season. Through it all, Palmer has stayed steady and even cracked the top 25 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He is a Texas native and has always favored courses in his home state, and now at a newbie he gets a shot at his first solo victory since 2010.

Sergio Garcia (+3400) - Garcia has been one of the most volatile players in the world for most of his career, and we don't mind consecutive missed cuts at The Masters and the RBC Heritage his last two times out. That he won in Mississippi off two consecutive MC's is interesting if not predictive, and more attractive is his overall form that might not be apparent if we just look at his recent PGA events. Since the beginning of the year, his official finishes are T11, T47, MC, T32, T9, MC, and MC. But that misses the T5 in Dubai, the T12 in Saudi Arabia, and the run to the quarterfinals at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play. He is prone to the occasional self-sabotage, but he is top notch on par 5s this season and ranks third in par 5 scoring average and fourth in par 5 birdies or better percentage. Given his volatility, he also makes for a good First Round Leader (+4100).

Long Shots

Harris English (+5500) - The very recent form is damaging enough to give us English at a great price this week, and even though he's failed to crack the top 20 since winning the Tournament of Champions, we can still get behind his 12-month form. English was in the mix week-in and week-out after the return to action last summer, and after finally getting over the hill and picking up the win in Hawaii, we can forgive him for taking his foot off the gas. For all his troubles, he is still 5th on the entire Tour in par 5 scoring average, 6th in par 5 birdies or better, and 17th in overall birdie or better percentage.

Carlos Ortiz (+6000) - A winner in Texas at the Houston Open this past fall, Ortiz continued to play well through early February but has fallen off since, with four missed cuts and a T65 at the Wells Fargo surrounding a fluky T15 finish at the WGC-Workday Championship at The Concession that was buoyed by an outlier chipping performance. But those fields and courses were really not in Ortiz's wheelhouse, with the missed cuts coming at Riviera CC, TPC Sawgrass, Augusta National, and Harbour Town GL. The T65 came last week at Quail Hollow, but finally back at a track with four reachable par 5s and a more friendly scoring environment, we can look to Ortiz as one of the more talented golfers in the middle third of the field. He's 25th in par 5 scoring average, 31st in par 5 birdies or better, and 34th in overall birdie or better percentage.

Harry Higgs (+27000) - Our one moon shot is the lovable Higgs, who hasn't been able to putt through a full tournament but who at least meets the birdie-maker qualifications. Like many aggressive players, Higgs makes his fair share of bogeys as well, and ultimately that is what keeps him on the fringes of the PGA Tour. He ranks 28th in birdie or better percentage overall and 51st in par 5 birdies or better, and a runner up to Cink at the Safeway Open to start the seasons shows what he can do if the game clicks. He led the field in strokes gained on par 5s that week, gaining 7.6 strokes on the field where only one other player was within 3.0 strokes in that stat, according to Fantasy National Golf Club.