2024 Houston Open Picks, Predictions: Data-Driven Bets for Memorial Park

2024 Houston Open Picks, Predictions: Data-Driven Bets for Memorial Park article feature image

Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured (left to right): Nate Lashley, Stephan Jaeger & Max Greyserman.

Measuring marginally over 7,400 yards, Memorial Park is widely regarded as one of the top municipal golf courses in the world. That makes the 2019 renovation of the track much more impressive since Tom Doak remodeled the layout and got it back up and running for the nearly 60,000 patrons who visit the grounds each year.

Doak was accompanied on the project by former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka, and the rebuild aimed to create a challenging tournament venue that could provide dramatic lead changes down the stretch.

We're going to see that come to fruition, as the closing stretch results in six holes featuring either at least a 20% birdie or better or bogey rate.

I do wonder how the challenge changes with this tournament shifting from November to March on the schedule, but you can get my entire take on the venue this week on this week's Links + Locks podcast.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter (@TeeOffSports). There, I provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user input 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.

2024 Houston Open Data-Driven Picks

Every Monday, I take an aggregated total from a handful of books I respect and form a median outright price. None of that suggests you wouldn't be able to find better prices if you shopped around, but that's a total I use to compare against a golfer's outright odds movements.

Those returns indicate where the square versus sharp money has entered the market and show potential DFS value for those looking to round out their player pool.

Houston Open's Biggest Market Movers

We do this every week when trying to find sharp versus square movement. More often than not, the activity from the public ends up in a direction that falters for all bettors placing wagers on those golfers to win the event.

My answer here doesn't derive thoughts from within my model. I would have a stronger or weaker stance for some of these players than others.

The sharpest movers from the list were Mac Meissner, Scottie Scheffler, Nate Lashley, and Max Greyserman. That return likely makes sense because it gives us the runaway favorite and three long-shot bets that haven't taken most of this week's credible movement.

At 500-1 on Monday,Meissner was worth a shot because of his steady GIR rate and projected scoring acumen for Memorial Park. Meissner has likely become a better placement wager after drifting down the board with his price, but my model's positive trajectory for his upside puts him in that zone where a top-20 to top-40 wager makes sense.

The conversation aroundScheffler has been the hot topic this week in Houston. For me, the price is not even that off from what it should be, but the biggest concern when it comes to placing a wager on the American stems from what your needed exposure will be to get an appropriate bet off.

I usually try to win 5-8 units on all outright bets I place while risking somewhere between 0.25 to one unit, so it would take 1.66 units to even get to the low end of that potential. Scheffler is the favorite for a reason, but there's no value at that price.

Remember, it doesn't matter how many outrights you hit in a year; it comes down to where you can grab the best value.

Houston Open's Worst Current Values

I'd say Matti Schmid is the only golfer the market somewhat disagrees with from my model. All other options on that list have experienced drift in the space at the sharper books.

2024 Houston Open Outright Picks

When pricing initially came out on Monday, I expected to have even less exposure than I ultimately took on because of how books priced the board.

The natural answer everyone would expect me to say is that Scheffler getting priced at 3-1 complicated this process because a victory from him prevents win equity from becoming realized with all other wagers.

While there's some truth to that, the more significant concern stemmed from the fact that books didn't enhance the odds for everyone else further down the board to allow for this price on Scheffler.

The hold percentage in markets with Scheffler as a bettable commodity is too high. Markets without Scheffler as an option decided to move things equally as far in the other direction. Honestly, both are troubling for a tournament trying to skew people away from the favorites and into these long-shot commodities.

Unfortunately, the most likely names to win this contest will be Scheffler, Wyndham Clark, Sahith Theegala, Will Zalatoris and Tony Finau.

I couldn't stomach the prices you had to pay to get that far up the board because exposure adds up quickly when randomly taking shots on the favorites — especially when the value is condensed.

Still, for me, this was either a complete stay-away or a long-shot tournament because it was the only area on the board to see an increase.

You can hear my extensive breakdown of these plays on this week's Links + Locks podcast, but I started my card with Stephan Jaeger at 50-1.

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Stephan Jaeger (+5000)

My model thought Jaeger was one of the only high-end options in this field to experience drift at his price. Most of that stems from the lack of perceived win equity the public has attached to the German because of past struggles, but there's something to be said about his six Korn Ferry Tour victories when diving deeper into the profile.

We were starting to get some of those returns after his two top-three finishes to begin the year. As they always say, extra reps in contention help you become more comfortable the next time you're in that spot.

Doug Ghim (+8000)

When examining Doug Ghim's profile, there are likely more win-equity concerns than with Jaeger — although that's why books initially opened this at 80-1 compared to Jaeger in that 40-1 or 50-1 zone.

Ghim has since fallen to a "bet-worthy" total of 70-1 when you shop around at books such as FanDuel and PointsBet, but there's enough meat left on that bone to wager on a golfer who had generated five consecutive top-16 finishes before last week's slip-up.

Andrew Novak (+10000)

At some point, we have to respect Andrew Novak's three top-10 finishes and four top-17 results over the past five weeks.

Books are typically extremely quick to shrink these totals when someone shows any form of life, but we didn’t necessarily get that here with the market aggressively focused on the favorites.

Don't be shocked if he continues his hot run when faced with a course that accentuates his ball-striking totals.

Max Greyserman (+20000) & Jacob Bridgeman (+35000)

Consider both of these picks to be number-grab wagers with some safety in their profiles.

Either of these targets will have concerns, but we only need one or two high-end marks to grasp onto if we want to take a shot down the board.

Nate Lashley (+17000)

Lashley's range of outcomes was the widest of any golfer I had in my model.
The upside numbers resulted in three top-12 totals from six main categories that I weighed numerically.
His combustibility is present when looking at his recent form of MC, third, MC, MC, MC, MC and 13th, but outright wagers are always about shooting for the ceiling and not the floor output.

My Model's Top Projected Win Equity Choices

  1. Scottie Scheffler
  2. Wyndham Clark
  3. Sahith Theegala

Best Values To Consider At New Price

*Not in order of perceived edge

It's always a good thing when the Monday plays still land under the range of value at their new prices when writing this article.

Getting ahead of the movement is essential, but I can sit here on Wednesday and feel comfortable about where the prices are value-wise for anyone looking to add a wager or two.

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