2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open Updated Odds, Expert Picks & Preview: Find Value with Taylor Pendrith, Keith Mitchell & More at Memorial Park
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images. Pictured: Taylor Pendrith
- The PGA TOUR returns to Texas for the Cadence Bank Houston Open at Memorial Park Golf Course.
- Jason Sobel sees value all across the betting board with his picks this week.
- Check out his best bets for a variety of betting markets along with his analysis below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 Cadence Bank Houston Open odds via BetMGM
|Si Woo Kim||+5000|
|Byeong Hun An||+15000|
|Erik van Rooyen||+15000|
|Paul Haley II||+30000|
What a difference a few years can make.
It wasn’t so long ago when the Houston Open was sponsored by Shell (through 2017), contested at Golf Club at Houston (through 2019) and mirrored some subtle characteristics of Augusta National, which made sense because it was held one week before the year’s first major championship in April.
Since then, this tournament has seen a rotating list of title sponsors — this year becoming the Cadence Bank Houston Open for the first time — while moving to Memorial Park GC and taking place during the fall portion of the schedule.
Those aren’t the only things which have changed, though.
Two years ago, Carlos Ortiz won this event, joined by Dustin Johnson, Talor Gooch and Brooks Koepka in the top-five on the final leaderboard. Last year, Jason Kokrak was the champion, with the likes of Cameron Tringale, Cameron Smith, Matthew Wolff and Marc Leishman not too far behind.
Just in case you clicked this preview without any prior knowledge of what’s been taking place in the world of professional golf over the past 6-8 months, let’s just say we shouldn’t expect to see any of those guys in contention again this week.
There’s more to this history lesson than simply pointing out the obvious in that the LIV Golf regulars won’t be teeing it up this week. Due to all of these changes over the past handful of years, I would advise not getting bogged down in the past results of this event before making your bets.
Then again, we shouldn’t completely ignore them, either.
An old-school venue which was redesigned in recent years, Memorial Park will play to more than 7,400 yards on the scorecard this week. That sounds manageable enough, but let’s remember: Not all “mid-length” courses are created equally.
This one is a par-70 featuring five par-3 holes and if you want to delve into par-3 scoring data over the past few seasons, well, I suppose that makes a little sense. (FWIW, Matthew NeSmith is the top player in this week’s field for par-3 scoring average on this season’s list; Stephen Jaeger from last season.) Even so, the differential in scoring between the top par-3 performers and the field average (about a 0.10 difference) is so negligible that I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.
Instead, I see eight holes of at least 490 yards on the scorecard and want to identify those who drive the ball better than most of their peers.
Not necessarily longer, not necessarily straighter, but a combination of the two, using strokes gained off the tee and total driving numbers over the past few seasons.
As we get into the picks, I’ll be paying special attention to those who excel in this area.
One player to win the tournament
Taylor Pendrith (+5000)
It’s certainly possible that one of the top players in this field — Scottie Scheffler (+550), Sam Burns (+1200), Tony Finau (+1600) and to an extent, Aaron Wise (+1600) — will claim this title, as a 19th hole bar bet of, “Would you take these four or the field?” potentially has some merit.
Yes, the oddsmakers have correctly identified the cream of this crop and while a full fade of these players feels a bit foolish, there exists plenty of value for those who own enough willpower.
I’ll start my card with one of the more underrated drivers around in Pendrith, who currently ranks 11th in total driving. The sturdy Canadian was on a serious roll last summer before being named to the International team for the Presidents Cup, returning from a four-month injury layoff to post five results of 13th or better in his final six starts of the season.
That momentum has quelled a bit here in the fall, with finishes outside the top-40 in each of his starts, but he’s a player I like over the long-term and one with an ability to go low.
This should be a week more for sprinkling outrights as opposed to the single-basket strategy and I’ll start my sprinkle with Pendrith’s potential.
Potential selections for one-and-done pools
Keith Mitchell (+5000)
Only seven names from last season’s top-20 in strokes gained off the tee are currently repeating on this season’s list. Four of them are veritable superstars in Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Matt Fitzpatrick and Patrick Cantlay. One of them is the first name I mentioned above in Pendrith. Another is Hayden Buckley, a guy I really wish was playing this week, because he’s running hot and fits the profile.
The last is Mitchell, who finished fourth in this category last season and is already sixth this season. As longtime readers of this column already know, Mitchell also happens to be one of my favorite plays on a regular basis. Anyone who drives it this well owns massive potential, as evidenced by those names surrounding him on that list.
Throw in the fact that he’s among the most confident players, having worked so hard on the mental aspect of his game these past few years, and I think it’s only a matter of time before he wins his next title.
While the recent results aren’t so promising, they are keeping his outright number longer — and likely keeping your OAD competition looking elsewhere this week.
Trey Mullinax (+13000)
Surprise, surprise. I’m looking at another guy who wields a mighty driver as a potential title contender this week.
Like Mitchell, Mullinax's potential might rest more in the long-term than the short-term — and that’s because, like Mitchell, his recent results leave plenty to be desired.
Again, though, that’s simply keeping the public away. This feels like a good time to jump back in.
Brendan Steele (+10000)
That’s right — one more whose driver is a main weapon.
Steele is a noted course horse, the type of player who tends to play his best golf on the same tracks each year, so a maiden voyage to Memorial Park could have more unknowns than it would for others, but this is about more than just driving it well.
According to the Data Golf website, the course which correlates best to Memorial Park is Southern Hills, which of course hosted the PGA Championship earlier this year. Steele is the only player to have finished in the top-10 at that event who is playing in this one.
One player to finish top-five
Sahith Theegala (+700)
I know I keep preaching the talents of Theegala, but I’ll gladly eat my words if this isn’t an even bigger breakthrough season than the last one was for him. In four starts so far, he already has one top-five finish and was one spot outside of cashing another top-five ticket, too.
His price is still palatable enough that while we might not be getting a bargain, we certainly aren’t overpaying, either. With a potentially high ceiling, yet low-ish floor, I still think the best way to squeeze value out of Sahith is to attack against bigger fields where his number is depressed, especially on the West Coast.
But I don’t want to sit on my hands and wait until Palm Springs or Torrey Pines or Phoenix and watch him win one before then, so I’ll have some equity this week.
One player to finish top-10
Sepp Straka (+650)
I don’t get it. In the past eight months, Straka owns a win and two runner-up finishes; those pair of second-places each coming within his last seven starts.
And yet, his outright number this week is the same as Greyson Sigg, Justin Lower and Adam Schenk — all nice players, but not nearly as accomplished as the Ox.
Throw in the fact that he was T-4 in Houston (granted, on a different course) three years ago and T-5 (at Memorial Park) two years ago and I believe he is extremely undervalued this week.
One player to finish top-20
Emiliano Grillo (+190)
Ahh, it’ll be so nice to return to some semblance of normalcy in the continental U.S. this week. Nothing against the sublime locales of Bermuda and Mayakoba, but a lack of strokes gained data at either one doesn’t exactly help the prognostication process.
Instead of analyzing the numbers, we have to use the ol’ eyeball test coming off these events. What I did see this past weekend was Grillo – who was one of my favorite plays in the Mayakoba preview – post a final-round 6-under 65, which should portend good things for this week, as well.
One player to finish top-30
Yikes. Three MCs in a row don’t exactly inspire confidence, but Tarren has shown an ability to bounce back fairly quickly. Here’s what he’s done in his next start after an MC in his previous six attempts before this current stretch: 13th-MC-22nd-6th-31st-7th.
The point is, he seems like the type of player with a short memory. Armed with plenty of talent, I’ll buy low here.
One player to finish top-40
One week after giving y’all a no-sweat top-40 in David Lingmerth, who finished T-8 at Mayakoba, I’m feeling especially indomitable in this particular market — so much so that I’ll look to a guy way at the bottom of the board for some value this week.
In looking at the total driving stats from this year’s Korn Ferry grads, I really wish Kevin Yu would’ve decided to play this event and I like Davis Thompson, though I’ll save him for the homecoming next week.
Instead, I’ll go with Grant, who is 500/1 outright (or bigger) in most books, but tends to do some damage with his big stick, ranking sixth on the KFT in driving last season and already 45th on the PGA Tour this season, despite making just one cut so far in five starts.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups
You could easily go with Scheffler here, who’s fresh off a T-3 at Mayakoba and seems intent on reclaiming the No. 1 world ranking. While his +550 number is almost impossible to chase, you can certainly start off DFS lineups with the most expensive player in the field and build around him.
Instead, though, I like the minimal discount on Burns, for a reason I’ve brought up on many occasions over the past year. Quite frankly, I don’t think there’s much separating these two good friends.
Don’t get me wrong: Scheffler is more accomplished and a Green Jacket more heavily outweighs any of Burns’ accomplishments by a country mile, but when we analyze potential, I don’t think there’s a huge differential between them.
Would it really surprise you if Burns had the results that Scheffler enjoyed last season and Scheffler had a campaign which more mirrored that of Burns? It shouldn’t. They’re not only similar players, I think they’re of similar talent levels, as well.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that Burns is the definitive better play this week, only that those who pick him are getting a bargain over a Scheffler play.
A lower-priced option for DFS lineups
Dylan Frittelli (+13000)
I’ll be honest here: I’ve never quite been able to figure out Frittelli. He won the John Deere Classic back in 2019 and since then, his best PGA Tour results are a pair of fifth-place finishes — at the Masters and the Open Championship.
So … what are we to glean from this info? Maybe he plays his best golf in tougher events. Maybe he needs a little extra motivation to play his best golf. Or maybe he’s a really good player who just hasn’t quite hit his peak yet.
I’ve long believed the latter and still think that if Frittelli is a stock, I’m buying low right now. He’s starting to trend in the right direction and this course should fit his game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his outright price in double-digits against better fields in coming months, so I think we’re getting a deal now, both in the betting markets and DFS.
One player to post the low round Thursday
Last season, Clark played 29 individual events and broke 70 in the opening round on 16 of those occasions, including a season-best 63 at the RBC Canadian Open, which took FRL honors at that one.
For a guy whose two best clubs in the bag are driver and putter, it stands to reason that a decent day striking the irons could result in another low one to start.
One player who should beat comparable players
Dean Burmester (+6500)
I will readily admit that I haven’t been nearly as high on the longtime DP World Tour veteran in the early part of his rookie season on the PGA circuit as many other experts across the industry. Their faith was rewarded handsomely with a fourth-place finish at the Sanderson Farms, but results of T-37 and T-32 since then weren’t too exciting.
This is the week I had pegged for Burmy all along, one where his driving prowess should come in handy. I’ve listed him here for matchups, due to a seemingly higher floor than most others around his number, but I don’t mind an outright sprinkle or top-10/DFS plays, either.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value
Tony Finau (+1600), Patrick Rodgers (+6500), Lee Hodges (+8000), Cameron Champ (+10000), Luke List (+10000), Brandon Wu (+10000), Paul Haley II (+25000)