2023 Wyndham Championship Betting Preview: Bet Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Henley & Alex Smalley

2023 Wyndham Championship Betting Preview: Bet Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Henley & Alex Smalley article feature image

Photo by Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Hideki Matsuyama at the Wyndham Championship in 2021.

The past two weeks are a great reminder just how good any of these players can be when they are on their game, as the 2023 Wyndham Championship and our early betting preview are up next.

We saw two unexpected winners in Brian Harman at The Open and Lee Hodges at the 3M Open simply dominate the competition through nearly flawless play across four rounds. Hodges went wire-to-wire in his win at TPC Twin Cities this past week as he led the field in SG Approach, Tee to Green, and finished 4th in SG Putting. His seven-shot victory was a final stamp on an incredible week that saw him capture his first Tour victory.

Now, we head to the final regular season event at the 2023 Wyndham Championship, where the biggest storyline will be around Justin Thomas trying to play his way into next week's playoffs at the FedEx St. Jude. That will be the test for much of the field this week; only the top 70 in the playoff rankings will play next week, and there are many on the bubble whose fate will be determined by this week of play.

Many will lean on this narrative in betting markets, and while that makes sense in theory, it is nearly impossible to predict if that will positively or negatively impact someone's play this week. I'll try to keep my focus on those that simply fit the course as we try to build a card for the 2023 Wyndham Championship.

2023 Wyndham Championship Betting Preview, Early Betting Card

Hideki Matsuyama +1800

Hideki Matsuyama is one player who keeps teeing it up week after week in an effort to solidify himself inside the top 50 (the cutoff for the second playoff event) of the FedExCup Standings. He seems to be getting further past a lingering neck issue, and it's starting to show in flashes of his play.

The former Masters Champion finished T-30 this past week at the 3M, but it was really just one bad round that did him in, as he shot 1-over on Saturday to drop out of contention for a high finish. He lost strokes in all metrics tee to green during that third round, losing 3.49 shots to the field, but still finished 6th in SG Tee to Green on the week.

Those numbers show just how well he played across the other three rounds, which included a field-best 4 strokes gained on approach in his final round on Sunday. As I have pointed out in the past, this volatility in top-tier players can often be a sign that they are starting to put things together, and that is my expectation for Hideki going into the Wyndham Championship. He will start the top of my betting card this week on the momentum of some form and a history of playing well on shorter courses like Sedgefield Country Club.

Pick: Hideki Matsuyama Outright +1800

Russell Henley +2200

I am a glutton for punishment, and I have received plenty of it in backing Russell Henley for wins over the past few years. It's not that he's been a bad pick in those instances, he's just simply struggled to close out victories.

One of those times was two years ago at this exact event, where he fell short in the multi-player playoff that was eventually won by Kevin Kisner. Still, I will go back to the well here, as this is the type of course I expect a Henley breakthrough to come on — and frankly, he is trending right toward that type of result.

The most important aspects of play this week will be on-approach and putting; yes, that can be said in most weeks, but it is a bit more substantial at Sedgefield. Henley has one of those two firing on all cylinders at this moment, as he's gained six or more shots with his irons in three of his last four measured events and 2.9 or more in six of seven.

He has the irons dialed in, but the driver and putter have held him back from better finishes. I'll take a little solace in the fact that Henley has putted pretty well in his time at the Wyndham Championship, which is part of the reason he comes in with three straight top 9 finishes at this event. All of this adds up to him being the second piece of my card this week, and it'll be one I'll look to jump on early when odds drop, as he will be a popular piece to many betting cards.

Pick: Russell Henley Outright +2200

Alex Smalley +4000

Let me be the first to tell you this week that Alex Smalley is a member at Sedgefield and has played it a zillion times. That helps, for sure, but my backing of him this week is more about his form than it is about the Duke alum's local knowledge.

Smalley has been the best player in this field on approach across the last two months. His last three officially measured events saw him gain 8, 7.3 and 5.8 strokes with his irons. The most recent was at the John Deere, where he got another taste of being in the hunt when he finished runner-up to the absurd Sunday round put together by Sepp Straka.

It was another sign of the talent of Smalley and, for me, another step toward the breakthrough he seems ready for sooner than later. I'm admittedly worried that we may see a fairly short number by his name when the odds open, but hopefully we can find a book with a good enough number to back the hot-playing local.

Pick: Alex Smalley Outright +4000

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