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2022 Houston Open: Value to be Found on Keith Mitchell, Adam Hadwin, Maverick McNealy

2022 Houston Open: Value to be Found on Keith Mitchell, Adam Hadwin, Maverick McNealy article feature image
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Pictured: Keith Mitchell. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

I have talked a lot this week about the Houston Open being an inferior betting board in most avenues of the market, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find value if we shop around.

The reason sports betting remains a profitable game for those that put in the research is because of the plethora of shops in the industry. The ability to have as many books at your disposal as possible will always be the golden ticket scenario since it allows you to pick and choose your spots. With that idea in mind, let’s talk about a few golfers who my model is more bullish on than others and see if that leads us to some valuable wagers.

If you aren’t doing so already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There I will provide my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom rankings for golf. That sheet is free and released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

Underpriced/Overlooked Golfers

Keith Mitchell

It is a unique case study involving Keith Mitchell since his recent form leaves a ton to be desired. However, the high-end totals for the week place him as a top-10 win equity option in my model because of his valuable returns in many of the key metrics I’m valuing this week.

We see that dichotomy front and center when looking at how sharp and square markets are reacting to Mitchell’s anticipated output for the event. It is one of those spots where the 30-year-old is going woefully under-owned in DFS contests, even though his movement in more sophisticated markets has him listed as the favorite against anyone priced near him on the board.

I noted this earlier in the week on a podcast, but there is only one golfer at 150/1 or less (Gary Woodland) who has as steep of a ceiling versus floor combination as Mitchell, according to my model. That’s typically worth monitoring when there is a ton of built-in popularity on a play, but the potential boom he brings to the table will make the American a valuable commodity for either showdown contests or more volatile markets, such as the first-round leader sector.

Mitchell ranks first in my sheet for weighted total driving, which was a 55/45 split of accuracy versus distance. Also, the long-term Bermuda intangibles that historically have shown him to like the surface placed him sixth for the week. There is still an up-and-down nature to consider when trying to pinpoint what to expect out of the 61st-ranked player in the world, but as I always say, gamers, especially of the DFS variety, are too conservative with their roster construction. Take some chances with your builds if you want to hit a big score and an option like Mitchell should provide upside if all works out on Thursday.

Adam Hadwin

I feel like Roberto ArguelloNick Bretwisch and I have beaten home the point on the Links and Locks podcast that Adam Hadwin is one of our favorite fade candidates most weeks, so I mention him as a potential leverage option in Houston, with the hopes that these words hold more credence than usual since who is not a golfer I typically target. 

Hadwin ranks in the top 20 of my model for weighted tee-to-green, a category I recalculated to mimic Memorial Park, and his 10th-place grade in strokes gained on Bermuda only further emphasizes the potential for him to find success. The Canadian is a quality wind player who should be able to score on these par-fives, and his complete encapsulation of birdie-making, combined with bogey avoidance metrics, will continue the surge we see in my database. 

Whether you want to use him as an under-the-radar Thursday option on a DFS site or find a head-to-head matchup involving him, the potential is there to find an advantage.

Maverick McNealy

Look, I say this as someone who likes Jason Day and Taylor Montgomery this week, but the same safety can be found in Maverick McNealy, even if the ownership or public intrigue won’t ring in quite the same fashion.

McNealy has produced two top-20 finishes at this course over the two years since the reconstruction and his four top-18 results this season should further add to that profile. My model places the American inside the top 15 in total scoring and strokes gained in windy conditions, and outside of the high-end returns I am getting from Aaron Wise in that $9,000 section on DraftKings, McNealy adequately holds his own compared to other golfers in that range.

If you can find him in a head-to-head matchup, you might be able to get some value since the industry is lower on him than his counterparts. I also don’t mind using him in round one contests since the leverage you can create should be notable.

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