Mismatch and Underdog Bets for the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational: Can Bryson DeChambeau Rebound?

Mismatch and Underdog Bets for the 2019 Arnold Palmer Invitational: Can Bryson DeChambeau Rebound? article feature image

Orlando Ramirez, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Bryson DeChambeau

I’m not much of a longshot bettor when it comes to the PGA tour, so I tend to focus on head-to-head matchups instead.

The goal of this piece is to provide you with quick, actionable and easily digestible information, to help both of us make informed decisions on the head-to-head bets we place.

So, each week I’ll be using the golf metrics in the FantasyLabs Player Models, along with other metrics in search of potential mismatches along with other matchups I want to target for the upcoming tournament.

2019 Record: 12-12-1, -2.02 units. All odds as of 8:00 a.m. Wednesday. 

The Honda Classic was disappointing from a matchup standpoint, going 2-8-1 after going 7-1 at the WGC-Mexico Championship.

We had a push along with some losses by two or fewer strokes — sometimes those close ones will work in our favor, and sometimes they won’t. That’s just golf — and the roller coaster that is matchup betting.

This is a weird week, where the main mismatch involves an underdog, in fact, eight of my 13 matchups that made it to my card are at even or plus-money odds.

Anyway, let’s dive in!

The Mismatch

Cameron Champ over Kevin Kisner (+105)

After backtesting every metric in the FantasyLabs Trends tool, Champ is the superior course fit for Bay Hill compared to Kisner.

The top four metrics that backtested favorably for golfers involve greens in regulation (GIR), par-5 scoring, driving distance, and eagle-scoring. And, Champ has better metrics in all of them:

  • GIR: 71.9% vs. 64.7%
  • Driving Distance: 329.8 vs. 291.1
  • Adjusted strokes on par 5s: -5.6 vs. -3.9
  • Eagles per tournament: 0.6 vs. 0.4
  • Birdies per tournament: 14.5 vs. 12.0

Additionally, over the past 12 months, Champ has finished in the top 10 and top 25 in 23% and 39% of his rounds, compared to 14% and 23% for Kisner, per Data Golf. Over that same timeframe, Champ is averaging 4.80 birdies per round, which is nearly 1.5 more birdies per round than Kisner’s 3.35.

Champ appears to have far more upside than Kisner. I would bet this down to +100.

The Underdog

Bryson DeChambeau over Rickie Fowler (+105)

Before the WGC-Mexico Championship, DeChambeau had been on a heater, finishing in the top 15 in five of his 2019 events, including a win at Dubai Desert Classic.

I actually like Fowler a lot this week, but given how close him and Bryson are in their metrics, I’ll take the plus-money odds with DeChambeau.

Metrics over the past 75 weeks (DeChambeau vs. Fowler):

  • Long-Term Adjusted Round Score: 68.4 vs. 68.1
  • GIR: 69% vs. 69.7%
  • Driving Distance: 303.9 vs. 300.5
  • Birdies per tournament: 16.4 vs. 16.1
  • Adjusted strokes on par 5s: -5.8 vs. -4.8
  • Adjusted strokes on par 4s: -1.1 vs. -2.1

However, Bryson does have the edge Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green this season, where he ranks 18th, compared to 51st for Fowler.

Given how close this matchup is, I wouldn’t lay any juice or bet further down than the current +105 odds.

Full Head-to-Head Betting Card:

  • Cameron Champ over Kevin Kisner (+105)
  • Bryson DeChambeau over Rickie Fowler (+105)
  • Jason Day over Rickie Fowler (+115), would bet down to +110
  • Marc Leishman over Francesco Molinari (-105), wouldn’t bet past -115
  • Hideki Matsuyama over Francesco Molinari (-130), wouldn’t bet past -150
  • Justin Rose over Brooks Koepka (-140), wouldn’t bet past -140
  • Justin Rose over Rory McIlroy (+100), wouldn’t bet worse than even money
  • Zach Johnson over Byeong-Hun An (+105), would bet down to +105
  • Scott Piercy over Kevin Na (+105), wouldn’t bet worse than even money
  • Tyrrell Hatton over Rafael Cabrera-Bello (+105), would down to +105
  • Louis Oosthuizen over Lucas Glover (+100), wouldn’t bet worse than even money
  • Shane Lowry over Kiradech Aphibarnrat (-105), wouldn’t bet past -110
  • Hao-Tong Li over J.B. Holmes (-110), wouldn’t bet past -115
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