2023 Sony Open Odds, Expert Picks: Our Best Bets for Corey Conners, Maverick McNealy, More
Getty Images. Pictured: Corey Conners (left) and Billy Horschel.
- The PGA TOUR heads to Honolulu this week for the Sony Open in Hawaii.
- Our experts have a handful of best bets for the first full-field event of the calendar year, including a play on Corey Conners.
- Find their picks and analysis for the tournament below.
Click arrow to expand 2023 Sony Open odds via bet365
|Si Woo Kim||+4000|
|Paul Haley II||+30000|
We’re hopping islands and moving from Maui to Honolulu, where we’ll take a look at 2023 Sony Open odds.
Golf bettors should get used to seeing Tom Kim toward the top of odds boards in 2023. That’s where he stands in the PGA Tour’s first full-field event of the year.
Check out our full breakdown with Sony Open picks below.
Favorite We’re Backing
Jason Sobel: Corey Conners
Chris Murphy: Tom Kim
Matt Vincenzi: Corey Conners
Spencer Aguiar: Sungjae Im
Nick Bretwisch: Keegan Bradley
Best Long Shot
Jason Sobel: Kurt Kitayama
Chris Murphy: Robby Shelton
Matt Vincenzi: Chez Reavie
Spencer Aguiar: Greyson Sigg
Nick Bretwisch: Alex Smalley
Jason Sobel: Taylor Montgomery
Chris Murphy: Taylor Montgomery
Matt Vincenzi: Taylor Montgomery
Spencer Aguiar: Kurt Kitayama
Nick Bretwisch: Cam Davis
Contrarian Player To Target
Jason Sobel: Cam Davis
Chris Murphy: Si Woo Kim
Matt Vincenzi: Adam Scott
Spencer Aguiar: Justin Suh
Nick Bretwisch: Billy Horschel
Trend That Guides Your Betting Strategy
Jason Sobel: Glad you asked. This is one of my favorite trend weeks of the year, and I’ve got two of ’em.
The first is that we should pay special attention to those who played in the Sentry TOC last week. Over the past six years, Kapalua competitors accounted for just 15.9% of the Sony field, yet they’ve won five of six titles, claimed 39% of the top-10s and made the cut 73% of the time.
An ability to dust off the cobwebs beforehand has proven to be a massive edge. The second is that Waialae is a ball-striker’s track. It seems we say this about most venues, but here’s some definitive proof: Of the 70 players who have finished among the top 20 here in the past three years, 69 of them have done so with a positive strokes gained tee-to-green number. If you’re showing some rust with the driver and irons, you’re not showing up on this leaderboard.
Chris Murphy: The theme of this week always seems to be about the players who shook the rust off last week at the Tournament of Champions.
The first three players on my card this week all teed it up at Kapalua, and if I add a fourth it will be the same story for him. It’s tough to jump into a week after such a long layoff as the Tour takes from the RSM Classic in November to now, and that is why we have seen so many of the past champions come from the field at the TOC.
Matt Vincenzi: Seventeen of the past 18 winners have played the course before. Eight of the past nine winners have played the prior week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions.
Spencer Aguiar: It is a two-step equation for me this week at the Sony Open. Find me the golfers who best combine locating fairways and managing proximity between 125-200 yards, and I will show you who has the best shot of walking out of Waialae with the title.
The field combines to hit 21% fewer fairways this week than we saw at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and while missing the short grass doesn’t remove you entirely from contention, it does provide extra problems to encounter from the aforementioned yardage range since nearly 13% more shots occur in that 75-yard bucket than your average stop on Tour when we talk about proximity.
My model has noticed a spike in expected performance for those that hit a higher-than-average GIR rate for the week, which is why we need players that can avoid trouble off the tee and continue the trend with stellar iron control.
Nick Bretwisch: I’ll echo Spencer this week. I’m looking for golfers who hit fairways at an elite clip, strong iron play from 150+ and positive trends on their bermuda putting. Yes, coming off of the Tournament of Champions tuneup is a plus, but I’m not making four rounds last week a priority when attacking the board.
My numbers state that conservative fairway finders of the tee have a significant advantage over those bombers who can make up strokes with their creative scrambling. Distance with the big stick means nothing to me this week. Ah la, my love for Billy Horschel.
Our Best Bets
Jason Sobel: Maverick McNealy — Top 20 (+185)
I’ll have Corey Conners and Cam Davis – each of whom I mentioned above – on my card this week, but if we’re talking “best bet,” then I’m going with a more conservative play that holds a ton of equity.
McNealy finished in the top 20 in four of his final five starts of 2022, and since the beginning of 2021, he’s broken this threshold in 18 of his 50 starts. He owns such a high floor for a player of his status that I’ve started calling him this generation’s Charles Howell III. His ceiling is still in question, but he posts a solid performance nearly every single week. Despite being a big hitter, he has shown a propensity for playing his best golf on shorter tracks such as this one.
Chris Murphy: Corey Conners +2500 (BetMGM)
There’s a lot of history that shows trends to top finishes for players who shook the rust off at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. My list will start with the best course fits this week, and Conners is certainly part of that group. Everything comes down to the short game for the Canadian as his ball striking combination can always have him in the hunt, and it has led to top-12 finishes in each of the past three times he has played this tournament. Conners closed this week on a high note with a six-under Sunday round to finish T18.
As noted, Conners has posted some strong finishes in his prior trips to the Sony Open, and there is some level of comfort for him on these greens. He has gained strokes putting in each of his past four appearances, gaining more than five shots on the greens in two of those. I try not to take too much stock in small samples like that, but it certainly catches my eye when we are talking about a player who hasn’t finished a season better than 112th in putting over the past five years. If he has another week like that on the greens this week, we have all the reason to believe his ball striking will have him in the hunt on the weekend.
Matt Vincenzi: Billy Horschel +3500 (DraftKings)
Horschel also fits the familiar theme on my outright card of having played last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions. Kapalua wasn’t the best course fit for Horschel, but Waialae should be more in his wheelhouse.
In his start in 2021 at the Sony Open, Horschel finished in seventh place and gained a whopping 8.0 strokes putting on the field. With the emphasis on putting this week, he’s a good candidate to catch a hot putter in Hawaii.
Last week, Horschel struggled off the tee. With this week’s course being much shorter and with fewer heavy hitters at the top of the odds board, he should have an easier time keeping up with the field off the tee. His approach play was encouraging as he gained 3.5 strokes on approach.
The 36-year-old struggled after the offseason layoff and opened last week’s event with a terrible round of +3. However, he bounced back in the following three rounds, shooting under par each day, including an excellent round of 64 (-9) on Saturday.
If he can carry his weekend momentum with him to Honolulu, he should be able to capitalize on the weaker field.
Spencer Aguiar: Greyson Sigg +100 over Robby Shelton (DraftKings)
There were a handful of 200/1 totals hovering around in the industry on Greyson Sigg to win this tournament before I felt like I did my part in pushing it down to under 100/1 at most locations, but let’s continue a card of mine that will be diligently stacked in the direction of the 27-year-old and target him in a matchup against Robby Shelton on DraftKings at +100.
As is always the case with head-to-head wagers that I recommend, my first line of business is finding a fade candidate that I am hoping to take on for the week, and Shelton fits what I am looking for ideally. He ranks 60th in my model overall sense and slips outside the top 70 when I start to incorporate a heavier batch of numerical metrics into the mix.
Yes, I realize Shelton was one of the big movers in most models before the break stopped his progression and stunted him from adding onto his three top-25 finishes in five starts. However, my model believes a venue that rewards around-the-green prowess (and doesn’t restrict it because of the need for an increased GIR rate for scoring) would be the better location for him to find success.
His 113th-place mark for Weighted Bermuda, 65th-place grade in Weighted Birdie or Better and 67th-place return for Ball Striking generates this alarming profile that could go in the wrong direction if his irons are off. While Shelton’s Greens in Regulation Rate and Scrambling stats show fine in my sheet, the broad array of flat production from Sigg is something that my model likes when trying to find safety in this event that will produce a 36-hole cut.
Nick Bretwisch: Alex Smalley — Top 40 +110
Alex Smalley is arguably my favorite value play on the board in terms of DFS/Sports Betting exposure for the Sony Open. Smalley is a respectable fairway finder with elite 150+ yard iron play and comes into the weekend with three straight Top-15 finishes to close out the fall swing.
Smalley missed the cut at his first go at the Sony Open in 2022 after a brutal showing on the greens in Round 2. His putting is likely the downside to his game but the data shows he’s significantly better on bermuda surfaces in regards to his baseline putting numbers. I’ll ride the form of Alex Smalley and his 2022 success on short tracks my numbers like to use as a baseline for the Sony Open (like TPC River Highlands, Port Royal, and St. George’s).