Sobel’s Round 1 Matchup Preview: Weather Playing A Role at Byron Nelson

Sobel’s Round 1 Matchup Preview: Weather Playing A Role at Byron Nelson article feature image

Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Marc Leishman

  • The 2019 Byron Nelson takes place this weekend at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas, Tx.
  • Jason Sobel thinks the weather is opening up a couple of good first-round matchup betting opportunities.

Rain in the morning, decent winds in the afternoon.

The opening round of the AT&T Byron Nelson should see a few different seasons, according to the forecast.

My plays for Thursday include one weather-related matchup, one value pick and one injury hunch. Let’s get to ‘em.

Jordan Spieth over Hideki Matsuyama (+145)

I know, I know: It’s been a horrible season by Spieth’s standards, while seemingly everyone is on Matsuyama this week.

Believe it or not, though, Spieth has been the far superior Thursday player, ranking 38th in first-round scoring average (he moves up to third in the second round, before toiling outside the top-200 for both weekend rounds), while Matsuyama tends to ease his way into tourneys, at 115th in the same category at nearly a full stroke higher per round.

With that in mind, plus home-cooking and plus-money, Spieth is a smash play in this one.

Marc Leishman over Patrick Reed (-125)

This is less of a Reed fade than a Leishman hammer. Anytime the wind is blowing and the course is playing even a little bit links-y, Leishman is one of the first names on my list. Expect him to have some good vibes after his runner-up finish here a year ago, which should lead to a solid start.

Hudson Swafford over Pat Perez (+120)

This one is admittedly a total shot in the dark. Swafford has missed the cut in four of his last five starts, while Perez is fresh off a T-8 last week. So why make the play?

I’m banking on Perez, off an Achilles injury, to possibly feel some after effects after four rounds on a tough track. Swafford opened with an 70 here last year, but posted a 64 the next day. Here’s hoping we get that Hud on Thursday instead.