Our 14 Favorite Betting Picks for the 2021 WGC-Dell Match Play
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images. Pictured: Victor Perez
- Need betting picks for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, which begins Wednesday at Austin Country Club? We've got you covered.
- From outrights to matchups and finishing position bets, check out our staff's favorite Match Play bets below.
The 2021 WGC-Dell Match Play is made for March. Just like the NCAA Tournament, the WGC Match Play features 64 entrants and a format that is ripe for madness. That means it is also a ton of fun to bet.
Here are our favorite outright bets for the 2021 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club:
Sergio Garcia (+4500)
There are plenty of things working in Sergio’s favor this week. He’s in form, having grabbed the opening-round lead at THE PLAYERS two weeks ago before finishing in a share of ninth place. He’s experienced, making his 18th career start in this event, plus being the Ryder Cup all-time leader in points. And he’s also playing a home game, having moved years ago to the Austin area.
I’ve always believed that unlike most other players, for whom results dictate happiness, Sergio’s level of happiness often dictates his results – and sleeping in his own bed this week should have him in the proper spirits to get through a tough opening group, while leaving some gas in the tank for this weekend.
Matthew Fitzpatrick (+4000)
We should know how this bet is going to go right away. Fitzpatrick opens up against Jordan Spieth and whoever wins that match has an excellent chance of getting through this group over Matthew Wolff and Corey Conners.
Wolff is a guy we love to see right now. He’s been injured and completely out of form this year. As for Conners, if players remember not to concede four-footers to him, he’ll likely give you a hole or two during the match.
Dustin Johnson (+1400)
This is just too good of a number to pass up on the No. 1 player in the world at an event that he won in 2017 on this course. Sure, DJ has been a little off of late, but he never plays well at TPC Sawgrass and plenty of players struggled at The Concession. But don’t forget he won in Saudi Arabia in February so it’s not like the form is a huge worry.
DJ now comes into the Match Play with a light group, where he is even money on DraftKings to come out and make it to the Sweet 16. We just don’t get DJ at these types of numbers and if he comes out closer to the player in Saudi than he was in Florida a few weeks ago, he can dominate this event from beginning to end.
Jordan Spieth (+2500)
I typically never back Jordan Spieth, but it just makes too much sense this week. The former Texas Longhorn and Dallas resident should feel comfortable in his home state. He also comes into the WGC Match Play in terrific form and while not quite there just yet, is starting to look more like the elite player he once was.
Spieth could always roll the rock and make putts. When he was struggling, it was due to his erratic off-the-tee game and poor iron play. In his past five starts he has been roughly average off of the tee (which is perfectly fine for him) and excellent on approach — gaining 4.5 strokes on the field.
Spieth has had some success in match play events in the past and everyone remembers how great he was at the 2014 Ryder Cup. It would seem fitting if he made his return to the winner’s circle for the first time since the 2017 Open Championship at the WGC Match Play in his home state of Texas.
Jon Rahm (+1400)
As it stands there are three co favorites on DraftKings, with DJ, Bryson DeChambeau and Rahm all sitting at 14/1. To my eye, Rahm has by far the easiest path to the finals.
Assuming he gets by his group, which consists of Ryan Palmer, Shane Lowry and Sebastian Munoz, he would likely have a date with Daniel Berger in the Round of 16, who as of now is still nursing a rib injury that caused him to WD from the Honda Classic last week. If Berger doesn’t make it out of group play, Rahm would have to deal with one of Erik van Rooyen, Harris English or Brendon Todd, all three of which he should dispose of rather easily. In the elite eight he’d potentially match up with either McIlroy or Schauffele, both of whom are all out of sorts at the moment.
The bottom line is both DJ and DeChambeau have much tougher paths to the finals, having to deal with each other, as well as potentially the red hot Morikawa, Finau or Hovland.
Rahm was in contention at THE PLAYERS before a final round 73 torpedoed his chances. His game has looked as strong as ever though, as he gained over two strokes tee-to-green in three of his four rounds at Sawgrass. Rahm ranks ninth on approach in this field over his past four rounds as well.
When you combine his recent form, his potential path to the final four and a larger than normal 14/1 number, he checks all the boxes for me this week.
Victor Perez (+12500)
The last two winners of this event were Kevin Kisner at 60/1 and Bubba Watson at 50/1, so there’s some rationale for digging beneath the favorites. That said, I wouldn’t go much deeper than those prices for an outright — my favorites in that range are Jason Day and Abraham Ancer — but there’s definitely value in just betting players to advance past the group stage and even into the quarterfinals.
Following a week at THE PLAYERS when he made the cut on the number Saturday morning, then climbed the leaderboard on the weekend to finish T-9, I think the underrated Perez can make some noise this week. I’ve got him advancing from his group and even winning a Round of 16 match, too.
Victor Perez (+12500)
We haven’t seen someone come from out of nowhere to win this event at Austin Country Club yet but I’ll still take a chance with Victor Perez at this price.
My strategy is to dodge the super high-end players and instead find a player with a manageable draw. Perez was placed with Sungjae Im, Marc Leishman and Russell Henley, so he’s in a wide-open grouping.
Im has put up some decent results, but his approach game has been shaky of late. The South Korean has lost strokes with his approach in four of his last five starts. Meanwhile, Leishman doesn’t have a top-30 finish in the past couple of months and, sure, Henley finished third last week but he gained eight strokes with the putter to get there.
Henley is the one that concerns me the most, but without a DJ or Bryson to get through, I think Perez at triple digits is definitely worth a stab.
Max Homa (+9000)
There is an argument to be made that Max Homa has been one of the best golfers on TOUR in 2021. Homa just recently concluded a stretch of eight-straight tournaments with his only missed cut coming in his last start at THE PLAYERS. The other seven events saw him post six top-25 finishes including a win and two more top-10s. He finally took a week off and will go into the WGC Matchplay finally refreshed.
I really like Homa’s chances to make it out of his group with a potential matchup with another young player in the Sweet 16, making his value look quite a bit better than the number DK has saddled him with this week.
We don’t have any history on Homa in match play tournaments, but the same can be said for his group favorite in Collin Morikawa and if I’m digging deep, it’ll be to look for the best spots for players to make it out of their group and hope they can get hot from there. Homa certainly fits that bill.
Jason Day (+5000)
While Jason Day may not be a total sleeper, I believe he is mispriced. In his career, he has an overall singles Match Play record of 24-14 which is good for the fourth-best winning percentage in the field (minimum of two starts).
Day won this event in 2016 which was the first time the WGC Match Play was hosted by Austin Country Club. While he isn’t playing at the level he was back in 2016, he is showing signs that his overall game is trending in the right direction.
In his most recent start at THE PLAYERS Championship, Day gained 11.2 strokes tee to green which was tied for second best in the field, only trailing the eventual winner Justin Thomas. Inexplicably, what failed him at TPC Sawgrass was the putter, which has arguably been his most reliable club throughout his impressive career.
He gained strokes putting in all three of the events leading up to THE PLAYERS so the horrendous putting performance (-7.7 strokes) is likely an outlier. He got a tough draw being placed in a group with Scottie Scheffler and Xander Schauffele which may cause him to go under the radar this week.
Corey Conners (+5500)
Making it out of group play is the most essential part of this tournament and Conners finds himself in one of easier sets in this field. Matthew Wolff has been in horrendous form while also nursing a wrist injury. Jordan Spieth has seemed to have resurrected his career over the past month or so, but he still remains somewhat of an unknown, while the Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick has not been good at this event in the past.
Enter Conners, who followed up his solo third at the API, with a solo seventh-place finish at the PLAYERS. The Canadien has been one of the hottest ball-strikers on TOUR of late, sitting fourth in this loaded field in SG: Ball-Striking.
It’s been his approach play that’s carried him, as he’s now gained two or more strokes with his irons in four of his last eight rounds. In addition to his tee-to-green prowess, the biggest improvement in Conners’ game recently has come with his flat stick, as he sits seventh in this field in SG: Putting across his past eight rounds as well.
Assuming he wins his group, he would most likely meet Justin Thomas in the Round of 16, who might be on somewhat of a letdown after his heroics at the PLAYERS. Conners is on fire right now and I like the number we’re getting on him here.
Justin Thomas (+130) to win Group 2
My Action Network pod partner Justin Ray of the 15th Club tweeted Monday that only five players advanced through the group stage in each of the last two editions of this event — and three of them are in Group 2.
It’s true that Kevin Kisner, Louis Oosthuizen and Matt Kuchar have enjoyed some success at Austin CC, but this stat is also true: Thomas owns as many top-three finishes this year as those other three own top-10s — combined. I’m not one to dismiss course history, but I’ll usually defer to form first. Fresh off that win at THE PLAYERS, I expect JT to roll through this group.
Ian Poulter (+400) to win Group 11
When I think of match play, Ian Poulter is one of the first names that comes to mind. He has thrived in this style of golf across his career whether it be in this event or Ryder Cups.
While he isn’t the player he once was, he still has the bulldog mentality it takes to be successful in a one on one match. Poulter will get his first test out of the gates with a struggling Rory McIlroy, which with a win can give him the momentum he needs to get going and make it out of this group at long odds.
Sergio Garcia (+230) to win Group 8
As frustrating as backing Sergio can be at times, there’s no denying he is playing some great golf right now. The Spaniard got himself into contention at THE PLAYERS Championship by way of a dazzling iron performance; gaining 8.3 strokes on approach.
Sergio also comes into the event with a great deal of match play familiarity having played in many Ryder Cups. He has compiled an impressive career record of 38-29-4 in singles matchups and has the experience advantage over the group favorite Tyrrell Hatton in regards to the tournament format.
Garcia is a golfer in great form with a great chance to come out of this group at an underdog price.
Tyrrell Hatton (+185) to win Group 8
Hatton is by far the best player in this group and despite the recent strong play from both Garcia and Lee Westwood, he should escape relatively unscathed here. Westwood figures to be somewhat burnt out, as the 47-year old will now be playing his fifth consecutive event after two gut-wrenching runner-up finishes at both the API and PLAYERS. Despite Garcia’s elite recent ball-striking numbers, I will never trust him in a big spot at this stage of his career.
Hatton has been in cruise control of late, but I do think he is one of the bigger favorite’s in this entire field to come out of his group, and at +185 it feels like there’s serious value here.