2023 Valero Texas Open Expert Picks: Bet Matt Kuchar in Matchup Over Davis Riley

2023 Valero Texas Open Expert Picks: Bet Matt Kuchar in Matchup Over Davis Riley article feature image

Via Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Kuchar of the United States lines up a shot from the 17th tee during day one of the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin Country Club on March 22, 2023 in Austin, Texas.

Can you smell the pimento cheese and blooming Azalea flowers approaching from Augusta National next week? While I know I can, there is a meaningful conversation to have about all tournaments counting the same way for bankroll growth.

Funds shouldn't all of a sudden be increased to account for a major championship. Even if I am generally okay with the idea of getting down more wagers at the Masters because there are better markets open, it doesn't mean we want to change the structure of how we build betting cards. In reality, the more proper gambling markets tend to occur during your watered-down contests.

Tournaments like this week's Valero Texas Open possess tangible opportunities to attack a weaker market, so let's talk about some of those options down below.

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

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Valero Texas Open Picks and Strategy

Matt Kuchar -115 Over Davis Riley (PointsBet)

I talked about Nick Taylor -110 over Adam Schenk on yesterday's Links + Locks podcast that I do for Action Network. The general assessment behind that play stemmed from Schenk's ranking of 97th in my model from a recalculated Strokes Gained sense. That potential pitfall was enhanced by an around-the-green game that was due for regression and a GIR rate that might find trouble at a course that delivers a seven percent expected decline in production.

Listeners of the show quickly turned that wager into something that is not quite doable anymore at its new -130 total. So instead of recycling old material that you could hear directly on that program, let's go with a wager over at PointsBet that is brand-new which will allow me to take on another overrated commodity who my model was looking to fade from an in-tournament perspective this week in Davis Riley.

I want to clarify that I don't believe this is a situation where Riley grades as some troubling prospect with a ton of missed-cut potential. The profile isn't perfect, but it is more about a number-grab condition that should allow me to seize a price about 20 points off from where it should be because of Kuchar's overall safety that mixes with an over-projected Riley.

My model seems to believe that the 26-year-old has these glaring holes in his course-specific makeup, generating lower levels of safety when we talk about his short game and wind play than it would care to see for the week.

Sure, the weighted proximity and total driving render this immaculate expectation that will shoot him up your model if you are running your own data. However, it is essential that we don't forget about the seven percent decrease in GIR percentage that can quickly start to enhance if the Texas wind plays as much of a factor as I believe it might.

When we start looking more into that territory of avoiding errors, Riley's expectations this week will begin to crumble. My model ranked him 99th over his past 50 rounds in moderate-to-severe wind conditions, and the weighted short game continues this downturn that has witnessed him rank 128th in this field in SG: Around the Green over a two-year regression model.

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