Mismatches and Underdog Bets for the 2019 Honda Classic: Bet on Webb Simpson
Brian Spurlock, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Webb Simpson
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 in search of potential mismatches I want to target for the upcoming tournament.
Let’s dive in!
2019 Record: 10-4, +4.41 units. All odds as of 11:00 a.m. Wednesday.
This year’s Honda Classic features a rather weak field, and while there are plenty of head-to-heads I’m interested in, there aren’t many mismatches that stand out to me — except for one.
Webb Simpson over Daniel Berger (-155)
Simpson’s 68.3 Long-Term Adjusted Round Score (LT Adj Rd Score) is superior to Berger’s 69.2 by 0.9 strokes. And, after backtesting every metric in the FantasyLabs Trends tool, bogey avoidance stood out as one of the most important stats this week, and Simpson is an elite bogey avoider, sporting a 63.6% scrambling rate and averaging just 7.7 bogeys per tournament.
Meanwhile, Berger is averaging 8.9 bogeys per tournament, and he struggles on par 4s, averaging +0.8 adjusted strokes on them over the past 75 weeks.
His par-4 metrics pale in comparison to Simpson’s -2.0 adjusted strokes, a mark that trails only Justin Thomas in this field.
Additionally, Simpson is a cut-making and top-25 machine, making the cut in 91% of his starts over the past 12 months and finishing in the top 25 in 73% of those starts in the timeframe. Berger checks in at 71% of cuts made and 35% top-25 rate, respectively.
I wouldn’t bet this past -165.
Scott Piercy over Jason Kokrak (+105)
A matchup like this is the perfect time to take the underdog because Piercy and Kokrak’s metrics are nearly identical over the past 75 weeks:
- LT Adj Rd Score: 69.7 vs. 69.5
- Greens in regulation: 70.2% vs. 70.7%
- Bogey per tournament: 8.6 vs. 8.6
- Birdies per tournament: 13.1 vs. 14.4
- Adjusted strokes on par 4s: -0.4 vs. -0.6
- Adjusted strokes on par 5s: -4.1 vs. -4.1
Kokrak has a slight edge in birdies per tournament, but the Honda Classic is the exact opposite of a birdie-fest.
I like the Piercy side given the plus-money odds and he boasts better odds to win than Kokrak, along with higher top-20 odds.
I’d bet this down to +100.
Chris Kirk over Martin Kaymer (+105)
Since bogey avoidance is crucial at PGA National, targeting Kirk against Kaymer at plus-money odds seems like a +EV move.
Kirk is one of the best scramblers in the field, posting a top-seven scrambling rate as he’s avoided bogey or worse on 62.3% of holes over the past 75 weeks.
Kaymer on the hand is one of the worst scramblers, possessing a 44.5% scrambling rate, which is the fourth-worst mark in the field.
Further, Kirk has superior metrics to Kaymer just about everywhere else:
- LT Adj Rd Score: 69.7 vs. 70.4
- Birdies per tournament: 13.1 vs. 11.6
- Adjusted strokes on par 4s: -0.3 vs. 1.5
- Adjusted strokes on par 5s: -4.1 vs. -3.5
While Kirk is off to a rough start to the 2019 season, making just one of five cuts, he has shown success at PGA National in the past. It’s also important to remember that Kirk doesn’t need to make the cut to win this bet, he just needs to beat Kaymer.
I’d bet this down to +100
Full Head-to-Head Betting Card:
- Webb Simpson over Daniel Berger (-155)
- Scott Piercy over Jason Kokrak (+105)
- Chris Kirk over Martin Kaymer (+105)
- Justin Thomas over Rickie Fowler (-150), wouldn’t bet past -150
- Gary Woodland over Sergio Garcia (-115), wouldn’t bet past -115
- Adam Scott over Sergio Garcia (+110), would bet down to +105
- Gary Woodland over Adam Scott (-125), wouldn’t bet past -125
- Matt Wallace over Charl Schwartzel (-130), wouldn’t bet past -135
- Dylan Frittelli over Sung-jae Im (+100), wouldn’t bet worse than even money
- Harold Varner over Patton Kizzire (-130), wouldn’t bet past -135
- Trey Mullinax over Bud Cauley (+100), wouldn’t bet worse than even money