2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Best Bets: Stephan Jaeger & More

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Best Bets: Stephan Jaeger & More article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured (left to right): Stephan Jaeger, Ben Silverman, Maverick McNealy & Carson Young.

Here's everything you need to know about 2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Best Bets for the PGA Tour's eighth event of 2024 at Vidanta Vallarta.

Jason Sobel, Spencer Aguiar, Nick Bretwisch and Matt Gannon have picks for Stephan Jaeger, Maverick McNealy, Ben Silverman, Carson Young and more as we break down our 2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Best Bets.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Best Bets

Jason Sobel: Stephan Jaeger Top 20 +125 (bet365)

This is a selection for those who don’t want to wade through the depths of a weakened field but instead want a single no-doubt-about-it type of play – a set-it-and-forget-it for those who don’t plan on keeping a close eye on this weekend’s developments.

Stephan Jaeger is certainly capable of winning this one – he coulda/woulda/maybe shoulda won at Torrey Pines – but he’s shown over the past couple of seasons that he has a massively high floor, which has resulted in him cashing top-20 tickets in six of his past 14 starts.

At this price, it’s not a sexy pick to help break the bank but more to keep that bankroll beefed up. In football terms, sometimes a two-yard run up the middle to keep the chains moving is more necessary than a 50-yard heave toward the end zone.

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Spencer Aguiar: Ben Silverman to Make the Cut -120 (ESPN Bet)

I will say that this was supposed to initially be Ryo Hisatsune over Mackenzie Hughes in a head-to-head matchup. Unfortunately, that moved 30+ points last night before this article was released today.

The natural pivot to that answer would be Austin Eckroat -114 over Hughes versus backing Hisatsune in any of his matchups. I've said this a few times already during the past month, but I always prefer attacking the fade option versus the golfer I am backing.

That's a secondary way to oppose Hughes' top-five overpriced profile in my model, although I will go with Ben Silverman -120 to make the cut as my favorite current value on the board.

Silverman essentially had two red flags. First, a lack of distance return ranked him 93rd in this field for a course that demands length off the tee. Second, he faces a wind problem with his metrics not thriving in higher gusts, but nonetheless, there's value to consider here for a golfer who is projected to only make the cut 54.55% of the time, according to ESPN Bet.

Silverman has made seven of eight cuts when combining PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour starts since August. He also graded 14th in my model for Expected Scoring with courses that had minimal rough. That spiked some of his off-the-tee projections in my sheet that initially hurt him, and this helped him emerge as an excellent value option throughout the board.

Consider that a 1A versus 1B sort of route between betting Silverman to make the cut and fading Hughes in a matchup.

Nick Bretwisch: Maverick McNealy Top 20 +240 (BetMGM)

Maverick McNealy checks a lot of boxes for me this week in terms of gaining distance on the field off the tee and recent GIR (Greens in Regulation)/Proximity with mid and long irons.

He’s someone most people have written off due to injury concerns over the past two years, but his game is starting to come back into form after a big sixth-place finish in Phoenix where he ranked 16th in ball-striking.

We know he’s one of the best putters on Tour and on Paspalum greens. If McNealy's ball-striking and distance off the tee can sustain recent form, he should have no problem finishing inside the top 20 in what my model thinks is a 40-point edge in markets where ties pay in full at BetMGM.

Matt Gannon: Carson Young Top 40 +110 (DraftKings)

Carson Young has made his last three cuts and has gained strokes ball-striking in each of them. His game is in a great spot heading to Mexico, where he finished T15 last year and is truly one of the better ball-strikers in the field. Young is not one of the longer hitters here, which is important, but his iron game alone should propel him.

Young is one of the only players on Tour to rank inside the top 100 in every single 25-yard approach range, which is extremely impressive. He will hit long irons, mid irons and wedges on approaches at Vidanta Vallarta, which also features five par-3s.

More than anything, Young should be confident and know he is one of the better players in this field. Finishing inside the top 40 should not be too much to ask at plus-money.

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2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Expert Picks, Fades

Favorites We’re Backing

Best Long Shot

  • Sobel: Austin Eckroat +6500
  • Aguiar: Sam Stevens +6500
  • Bretwisch: Matt Wallace +8000
  • Gannon: Garrick Higgo +12500

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Biggest Bust

  • Sobel: Charley Hoffman +8000
  • Aguiar: I had so many fade candidates this week in the 50-1 range and shorter. We will go for Mackenzie Hughes +5500 in this article, but there were a ton.
  • Bretwisch: Emiliano Grillo +2700
  • Gannon: Thorbjorn Oleson +3200

Contrarian Player To Target

  • Sobel: Chris Gotterup +10000
  • Aguiar: Austin Eckroat +6500/Ryo Hisatsune +5000
  • Bretwisch: Maverick McNealy +5500
  • Gannon: Chesson Hadley +10000

Trend That Guides Your 2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Betting Strategy

Sobel: Tony Finau is the defending champion and rightful favorite, followed on the board by an underwhelming list of those willing to go south of the border: Nicolai Højgaard, Emiliano Grillo, Thorbjorn Olesen, Stephan Jaeger, Thomas Detry and Keith Mitchell.

Of course, tourneys which scream “snoozefest” to the common fan often cry “opportunity” to bettors – and during a year when faves have struggled and longshots have triumphed, there might be reason for some to be licking their chops over this type of field.

I will offer one piece of caution, though, in the way of a few examples from the two previous editions of this very event: Last year, Finau edged out Jon Rahm for this title; the year before that, Rahm beat a triumvirate of runners-up, including Finau.

The main takeaway might be that great drivers of the golf ball own a distinct advantage on the 7,456-yard, par-71 Vidanta Vallarta host track. Another, however, might be the trend of only big names winning here, suggesting that an elite player’s win equity soars both on this course and against this field.

Like any tournament, there are a few different ways to attack this one from a betting perspective, but I’ll use this one as a chance to back some of my usual favorites – especially if they aren’t necessarily favorites on the board.

Aguiar: Wide-open fairways and limited rough quickly turn this track into a bomb-and-gauge setup that rewards second-shot prowess from 175+ yards. There are places golfers can’t miss if they go incredibly wayward off the tee, but golfers who can use their driver as a weapon will have an advantage.

The sticky, paspalum grass removes rollout from the equation, which accentuates bombers' length advantage. While the Expected Driving Distance has a 14-yard increase over expectation, that grass-type factor mixed with the venue being played at sea level further enhances the notion that golfers better be comfortable with a driver in hand this week.

Consequently, length matters for that reason. It probably has more to do with the lack of rollout over anything else, although golfers can’t out-hit and shrink this track. Nearly 62% of second shots were from beyond 175 yards last year, which landed over 22% above the PGA Tour average.

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Gannon: The last two years at Vidanta Vallarta, the class of the field has excelled. Jon Rahm and Tony Finau, who won each of the last two years here, were the betting favorites but also bring similar styles of golf to the table.

Driving the ball far and getting hot with the putter is the recipe for success at Vallarta. It is no surprise that Cam Champ has found success here on a yearly basis. Alejandro Tosti, Harry Hall and Joseph Bramlett also popped on the leaderboard here in the past and bring above average Driving Distance to the table. This is a resort-style course, so there is no real trouble for driving it a little off line.

Once we narrow down the best drivers in this field, we have to look for golfers who have the ability to take it low. Digging into trending Strokes Gained: Approach numbers is one key, but that only tells half the story. For example, golfers like Will Zalatoris always pop in approach models but don't have the ability to get to 25-under on a regular basis.

Korn Ferry Tour grinders are used to these conditions, and knowing how to keep your foot on the gas for four days is a real skill that some of the “best” players in the world lack.

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