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2023 WGC-Dell Match Play Pick: Bet Tom Hoge Over Aaron Wise

2023 WGC-Dell Match Play Pick: Bet Tom Hoge Over Aaron Wise article feature image
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Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Tom Hoge.

Tournaments like this are tricky because it takes the classic volatility of golf and accentuates the boom-or-bust nature of what can happen in one round, especially when you turn it into a hole-by-hole output of match play competition.

When we look into that answer, I don’t know if this is a typical event where it makes sense to take the core of what a model tells you since the real answer will be how someone matches up against an opponent.

One of the key differentiating qualities I ran in my model this week was creating a power ranking system that gave each golfer a point total compared to the players inside their starting group.

Obviously, how someone ultimately fit the course mattered, but there were spots where some golfers had unique edges from various ranges that may not have been expected. A good example of that would be Andrew Putnam’s putting ability in Group 7.

To simplify that view, I looked at all the key data points I ran and then corresponded that total to compete with anyone in their pod directly. It isn’t a perfect science, but we would pick all the best players otherwise, which we know from historical data isn’t the way to go.

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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Round 1 Picks and Strategy

Tom Hoge -126 Over Aaron Wise (FanDuel)

I’ve been talking about my betting strategy for the past 24 hours when attacking this event, and it’s the first chance we can marginally see what it looks like in action. Please be aware that you can shop around and find a better number in the space if you search the legal sector.

I’m going to make it simple for this article and just say Tom Hoge is a quality bet over Aaron Wise from a value perspective when we look at the price, but there are many different ways to position this from a financial perspective. Rollover betting is the key way I’m going to play options that landed in my final four (Max Homa, Tom Hoge, Cameron Young and Sungjae Im). That allows me more natural points of entry and removal depending on how things start this week.

Since I typically take the funds off the table for a first-match victory and only roll over the winnings, I usually like to bet this higher than I would position an outright because we can quickly enter this friendly, risk-free zone if everything plays out correctly.

A standard head-to-head bet is one option to consider since we’re still backing options that my model believed to have an advantage over their pricing.

I don’t believe you have to be nearly that aggressive here since the probable key match for the American will come Friday against the top-seeded player in the group, Xander Schauffele. However, it’s a spot where we might be able to get a key start toward a massive payout since my model does have a decent edge for Hoge against Wise on Day 1.

Wise is a dangerous golfer because of his potential GIR rate compared to most players in the field. Still, the hope here is that the combination of more consistent play and a par-3 advantage for Hoge can help propel him to a safer first-round match than may meet the eye in one of my “groups of death.”

If it were pricing this matchup directly, my model would make the proper price closer to -140.

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