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2023 Valero Texas Open Odds & Picks: Bet Hideki Matsuyama in Head-to-Head Market

2023 Valero Texas Open Odds & Picks: Bet Hideki Matsuyama in Head-to-Head Market article feature image

Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

It has turned into an old-school Texas shootout at TPC San Antonio as there are 11 players within five shots of the lead. Patrick Rodgers is the man to beat through three rounds (12-under), but his first career PGA Tour title won’t come easy against a leaderboard littered with depth and upside.

The 2019 Valero Texas Open champion, Corey Conners, enters Sunday one back of Rodgers’ tally. While the one-shot deficit marginally changes my model’s likelihood of victory, the math is still in the Canadian’s favor, making him a slight favorite over the current leader.

If you are looking for a way to hedge a pre-tournament Rodgers ticket, your best bet is to take Conners. That is probably the only realistic route before shots are hit Sunday. If you are sitting on a Conners outright of any kind, I would standpat early in the round and see how things start playing out.

Anyone who reads my articles weekly knows I find myself hedging less often than most. It doesn’t mean I won’t grab value when possible, but my usual take is that you may be risking too much when you enter the final round and could find yourself force-selling pieces of your ticket for the sake of gaining exposure elsewhere.

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.

Valero Texas Open Round Four Matchup

Hideki Matsuyama -110 over Chris Kirk (Bet365)

I will do something I don’t usually do in these tournaments and play a star versus star battle near the top of the board.

We’ve seen a price shift at Bet365 that changed a pre-tournament number that should have been Hideki Matsuyama -122, to -110 for the final round. I think a 12-point move can be standard in a lot of ways when we try to dive into how both golfers are playing, but I am not sure the activity here shifted in the correct direction.

My model seems to believe Matsuyama should be beating Kirk by 4.44 shots if both players were generating their baseline returns with their short games. That is something that doesn’t seem to be accounted for when we look at Kirk sitting in fourth place on the leaderboard, two shots ahead of Matsuyama. That tells me the perception is the American has been better than the numbers indicate.

None of that necessarily yields an egregious problem since it is not as if Kirk is performing as someone who should be outside the top 25 of the leaderboard. However, when we can take a 12-point edge from pre-event, and enhance that margin throughout the week, the value eventually becomes too overwhelming to pass up.

Let’s grab the four percent edge in this spot that has Matsuyama winning this battle roughly 56.5% of the time.

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