2023 Mexico Open Expert Betting Picks, Updated Odds: Tony Finau, Not Jon Rahm, Is the Best Bet at Vidanta

2023 Mexico Open Expert Betting Picks, Updated Odds: Tony Finau, Not Jon Rahm, Is the Best Bet at Vidanta article feature image

David Cannon/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau.

Click arrow to expand 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta odds via BetMGM
Jon Rahm+250
Tony Finau+750
Wyndham Clark+1800
Gary Woodland+2500
Nicolai Hojgaard+2800
Patrick Rodgers+2800
Byeong Hun An+3500
Beau Hossler+4000
Maverick McNealy+4000
Stephan Jaeger+4000
Aaron Rai+4500
Alex Noren+4500
Emiliano Grillo+5000
S.H. Kim+5000
Taylor Pendrith+5000
Ben Martin+5500
Alex Smalley+5500
Brandon Wu+5500
Joseph Bramlett+6000
Robby Shelton+6000
Andrew Putnam+6600
Lee Hodges+6600
Luke List+6600
Matt Wallace+6600
Will Gordon+6600
Garrick Higgo+6600
Harry Hall+6600
Chez Reavie+8000
David Lipsky+8000
Lanto Griffin+8000
M.J. Daffue+8000
Mark Hubbard+8000
Patton Kizzire+8000
Dylan Wu+9000
Nate Lashley+9000
Akshay Bhatia+10000
Andrew Novak+10000
Charley Hoffman+10000
Eric Cole+10000
Michael Kim+10000
Vincent Norrman+10000
Austin Eckroat+12500
Cameron Champ+12500
Doug Ghim+12500
Erik van Rooyen+12500
Francesco Molinari+12500
Greyson Sigg+12500
Henrik Norlander+12500
Jimmy Walker+12500
Kevin Streelman+12500
Peter Malnati+12500
Adam Long+15000
Alejandro Tosti+15000
Augusto Nunez+15000
Dylan Frittelli+15000
Harry Higgs+15000
Kevin Chappell+15000
Matthias Schwab+15000
Ryan Gerard+15000
Scott Piercy+15000
Sean O'Hair+15000
Aaron Baddeley+17500
Ben Taylor+17500
Brent Grant+17500
Carl Yuan+17500
Doc Redman+17500
Lucas Glover+17500
Martin Trainer+17500
Matti Schmid+17500
Austin Smotherman+20000
Brandon Matthews+20000
Brice Garnett+20000
Callum Tarren+20000
Cameron Percy+20000
Carson Young+20000
Hank Lebioda+20000
Kevin Tway+20000
Nico Echavarria+20000
Tano Goya+20000
Seung-Yul Noh+22500
Chris Stroud+25000
Cody Gribble+25000
James Hahn+25000
Martin Laird+25000
Satoshi Kodaira+25000
Zecheng Dou+25000
Austin Cook+30000
Jonathan Byrd+30000
Kevin Roy+30000
Paul Haley+30000
Ryan Armour+30000
Ryan Moore+30000
Grayson Murray+35000
Harrison Endycott+35000
Michael Gligic+35000
Trevor Werbylo+35000
Tyson Alexander+35000
Bill Haas+40000
Cristobal Del Solar+40000
Fabian Gomez+40000
Kelly Kraft+40000
Kyle Westmoreland+40000
Scott Harrington+40000
Alvaro Ortiz+50000
Brian Stuard+50000
Camilo Villegas+50000
D.J. Trahan+50000
Geoff Ogilvy+50000
Jose De Jesus Rodriguez+50000
Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira+50000
Max McGreevy+50000
Richy Werenski+50000
Ricky Barnes+50000
Scott Brown+50000
Sung Kang+50000
Trevor Cone+50000
Wesley Bryan+50000
William McGirt+50000
Kyle Reifers+60000
Derek Ernst+75000
Derek Lamely+75000
Greg Chalmers+75000
Jonas Blixt+75000
Kyle Stanley+75000
Nick Watney+75000
R. Pereda+75000
Sebastian Vazquez+75000
Arjun Atwal+100000
Ben Crane+100000
Boo Weekley+100000
Brian Davis+100000
D.A. Points+100000
George McNeill+100000
J. B. Holmes+100000
Jose Cristobal Islas+100000
Kevin Stadler+100000
Omar Morales+100000
R. Lebrija+100000
S. Jurgensen+100000
Richard S. Johnson+100000
Ted Potter Jr+100000
Tommy Gainey+100000
Zach Bauchou+200000

Entering this week’s 2023 Mexico Open at Vidanta, there exists a clear and present scenario for bettors: To Rahm or not to Rahm.

That indeed is the question.

First, the facts. Last year at the inaugural edition of this tournament as a PGA Tour event, Rahm hadn’t won in almost a full year, opened a +450 favorite and triumphed by a stroke. This year, he’s already won four titles, including the Masters, and opens as a +280 favorite in a field that features just eight other top-100 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Now, the recency biases.

The first one is easy, as outlined above. Rahm wasn’t playing nearly as well going into last year’s edition of this event, but he wound up winning. So it stands to reason that when he’s playing better than anyone else in the world, recency bias suggests we should like him again.

The second one stems from last week’s Zurich Classic. Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay were a similarly short favorite, also as the defending champion. I bought in, too, thinking two superstars should maximize the talent differential, but they inexplicably made three bogeys in the opening four-ball round and played catchup throughout the week, eventually finishing T-4.

All of which plays into this recency bias: It ain’t worth chasing such a short favorite. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

I won’t be chasing Rahm’s short number this week – at least not in the outright markets – but there’s some rationale behind not looking too far down the board for a play. Let’s get right to the picks.

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2023 Mexico Open Picks

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Outright Winner
OAD Picks
First-Round Leader
Matchup Man

Outright Winner (short odds)

One player to win the tournament

Tony Finau (+850)

It’s been a strange year for Finau. From an analytical perspective, he’s been tremendous. He has gained strokes with his irons in all 10 starts so far, picking up at least three-quarters of a stroke per round every single time. That’s not the only thing he’s doing well, either. Finau trails only Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Cantlay in Strokes Gained: Total, which is the truest measurement of just how well a player has fared.

And yet, for those who haven’t been poring over the statistics, it wouldn’t be unwise to maintain that this has been a rather ordinary campaign for Finau to this point, as an opening T-7 at the limited-field Sentry TOC remains his best finish and just one of two top-10s.

What we’ve found is that Finau’s floor remains incredibly high, with no result worse than the T-31 he posted at the RBC Heritage two weeks ago. We’re still waiting for that week where he really pops and there’s one significant sign that it could be this one.

Finau’s last three victories have come against somewhat inferior fields at the 3M Open, Rocket Mortgage Classic and Houston Open. There’s reason to believe that he receives an additional dose of confidence when he looks around the practice range and doesn’t see anyone better than him, though that means he’ll have to keep his eyes averted from Rahm this week.

I don’t love the number – truthfully, I’d rather chase a few of the longer-priced players I’ve listed below – but if you do want to play someone near the top of the board, getting the no-doubt-about-it, second-best player in the field, one who should be motivated to feast on some chum in the water this week almost feels like some value at three times the price of the favorite.

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Outright Winner (Long odds)

One player to win the tournament

Akshay Bhatia (+11000)

For a kid from Wake Forest, N.C., Bhatia sure loves him some warm-weather resort courses. Earlier this year, he finished T-4 and T-7 in back-to-back Bahamas-based events on the Korn Ferry Tour, then claimed membership privileges on the PGA Tour with a runner-up finish at the Puerto Rico Open.

We know the 21-year-old owns an immense amount of talent, which means this number should give us vibes of Davis Riley or Sahith Theegala over the past year when we were getting an up-and-comer at a price we knew wouldn’t last too long.

With such a weak field, there aren’t too many bargains available this week, but at the same price as forty-somethings Kevin Streelman and Francesco Molinari, I’d rather take a shot on a big week for a young stud.

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Other OADers

Potential selections for one-and-done pools

Wyndham Clark (+1800)

It’s hard not to like Clark this week, as he’s been trending in the right direction for months, but it’s conversely difficult to like his odds, ranking third-shortest in the field despite still seeking his initial PGA Tour victory. All of which makes him a perfect OAD target if you want to have some type of investment. On a long golf course, I’ll be looking to play some bigger hitters and Clark, who ranks 11th in driving distance this season, certainly qualifies.

Taylor Pendrith (+4000)

On my personal list of disappointing players so far this year, Pendrith ranks right up there, though only because I had such high expectations for him. A guy who hits it a long way and does everything else pretty well, the Canadian has struggled mightily, with nothing better than a 69th-place finish in his last five starts.

As a result, this number doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense – I might’ve been a bit interested at something closer to 70-1 – but if you’re saving or have already used the first 3-4 names on this board, then the pickings are slim and you could do worse than what should be a low-ownership play on Pendrith.

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One player to finish top-five

Nicolai Hojgaard (+550 for top-five)

Prior to this year, it was largely believed that Nicolai’s twin brother Rasmus owned the higher ceiling, but the gap has clearly narrowed. In seven worldwide starts, Nicolai owns four finishes of 13th or better, including a pair of top-fives in his last four. He’s certainly not sneaking up on anyone these days, even in PGA Tour fields, but he owns a ton of talent, which is showing on a weekly basis these days.

Looking at SG on all shots hit this week, the Hojgaard / Olesen team was the most lopsided:

Hojgaard gained 7.6 strokes on the week, while Olesen lost 10.5.

— data golf (@DataGolf) April 23, 2023


One player to finish top-10

Will Gordon (+550 for top-10)

The results haven’t quite been there yet, but Gordon has gained strokes with his approach play in seven of his last eight starts. A share of third place back in the fall portion of the schedule at Mayakoba should at least offer a nice correlation for this one, as Gordon should similarly be a candidate for OADs and DFS, as well.


One player to finish top-20

Cameron Percy (+450 for top-20)

I mentioned the Strokes Gained: Total stat above in relation to Finau, as it offers an undeniable measuring stick of a player’s performance. In fields such as this one, I like perusing the list to see which players might be due for a spike week.

It should come as little surprise that Rahm, Finau and Clark – the top three on the odds board – are the top three in this field on the SG ranking this season. It will, however, come as a surprise that Percy ranks fourth on this list.

The results are hardly overwhelming, but Percy does own a pair of top-20s in his last four starts. If this was a 7,000-yard track instead of something 450 yards longer, I’d be even more bullish on the Aussie, but I think top-20 is still a very realistic goal.


One player to finish top-30

M.J. Daffue

Once known as a guy who consistently crushed Monday qualifiers, the South African now owns a full-time card and has been playing well, without much fanfare. He’s finished top-30 in four of his last five individual starts and added another one in last week’s team event at the Zurich Classic. Turning into a nice floor play, especially in fields such as this one.


One player to finish top-40

Brandon Matthews

I’ve been waiting for Matthews to take off, but his raw power as one of the game’s longest hitters (he ranks second on the PGA Tour in driving distance this season) has yet to equate to many big-time results.

That said, it’s perhaps slowly starting to get there, as he finished top-40 in two of his last three starts and was T-7 alongside Sean O’Hair at the Zurich last week. Maybe that will help get Matthews on track.

I still think he owns a tremendous amount of talent and wouldn’t be surprised if he puts it all together one week and seriously contends. In fact, at 300-1, I don’t mind taking a small shot on that happening this week.

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DFS Free Bingo Square

A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.

Gary Woodland

Well, here we are in late April and I’m recommending a player with just two top-30 finishes in nine starts this year as my “safe” play in DFS, which should tell you everything you need to know about this week’s event.

Granted, Rahm, Finau, even Clark fit the “safe” definition better than Woodland, but his usual combo of driving distance and approach accuracy should make him an intriguing roster play if you don’t want to spend up for what’s certain to be some high-ownership plays at the top.

DFS Mid-Tier

A medium-priced option for DFS lineups

Patton Kizzire

This might not be the most exciting addition to your lineup, but four consecutive made cuts and a history of playing well on coastal resort courses make Kizzire a solid mid-tier play, at least for cash game contests.

DFS ‘Dog

A lower-priced option for DFS lineups

Martin Trainer

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Trainer seemingly came out of nowhere to win the Puerto Rico Open four years ago, then apparently went right back to where he was, piling up MC after MC.

The big hitter is starting to play some much better golf lately, though, to the point where he should at least be back on our radar screens. I’ll put him in the same category as Matthews this week, with a bit higher floor. He’s hardly my favorite play, but we’ve seen the ceiling and 180-1 isn’t asking too much for a sprinkle on an outright.

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First-Round Leader

One player to post the lowest score Thursday.

Jon Rahm (+1200 for FRL)

I’m usually a fan of chasing variance for FRL wagers and going after a long shot, but my pod partner Ben Everill will often take the opposite route of suggesting the outright fave as a Round 1, play and I can at least see the strategy here. It makes even more sense this week since we can get Rahm at a bigger number for Thursday than for all four rounds and he just so happens to lead the PGA Tour in Round 1 scoring average this season at 67.60, which includes a pair of 64s and three 65s.

It might be asking too much for the world’s best player to race out to an early lead, yet fail to close it out, but it’s hardly out of the realm of possibility. Rahm opened at +1200 at DraftKings to be the leader after play on Thursday.

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Matchup Man

One player who should beat comparable players.

Erik Van Rooyen (+10000)

As we descend into the triple-digit area of the outright board, there exist some potential matchup opportunities which look appealing. I don’t mind fading the likes of Cameron Champ or Charley Hoffman, each of whom is priced the same as EVR.

Following a sixth-place finish at The American Express earlier this year, I thought Van Rooyen was due to return to his previous top-50 status and while that hasn’t happened, there are still some signs and I remain optimistic that better results are coming.

Also Receiving Votes

Other players who should provide value

Ben Martin (+5000), Garrick Higgo (+5000), Mark Hubbard (+7000), Callum Tarren (+15000), Kevin Tway (+18000), Carson Young (+25000)

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