2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Picks, Mega Guide: Keith Mitchell & More

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Picks, Mega Guide: Keith Mitchell & More article feature image

Via Getty Images/Action Network Design. Pictured: Keith Mitchell (left) and Austin Eckroat (right).

Here's everything you need to know about the 2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Picks — our PGA Tour mega guide and expert golf betting picks for this week's PGA Tour event at Vidanta Vallarta.

If there’s been a bright spot for the PGA Tour schedule in a year when there could be such a division of classes from one week to the next, it’s that non-signature events haven’t been harmed by a lack of star-power nearly as much as we might’ve suspected, as a healthy dose of familiar faces have descended upon such long-standing locations as Palm Springs, Torrey Pines and Phoenix.

Until now.

At some point, in a world with so many haves, there are bound to be some have-nots.

All of which leads us to this week’s 2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta, which is largely devoid of name recognition.

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.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Picks

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Outright Picks

One player to win the tournament at short odds

Keith Mitchell (+3500)

As perhaps the world record holder in Keith Mitchell wagers over the past few years, I’m painfully self-aware that we’re dangerously closing in on Boy Who Cried Wolf territory, but all I can say is that I really mean it this time.

The truth is, I’ve had Mitchell penciled in for Mexico and/or Houston since the schedule was released, as each tournament should give him an opportunity to use his driving prowess to his advantage, while competing against what can only be considered watered-down fields.

Mitchell also happens to be playing some decent golf right now, with three top-30 finishes in five starts this year, including a tie for 17th in his most recent appearance in Phoenix. While I’ll admit that I’ve probably backed him too often, I’m saving this week (and Houston, if he plays) as my (pair of) ace(s) in the hole.

One player to win the tournament at long odds

Austin Eckroat (+6000)

Here’s the thing about tourneys with inferior fields: While it feels like the perfect time to dip down to the lower depths of the board and shoot your shot with some 200-1 YOLO outrights, you start looking around those numbers, and there’s nothing too appealing.

I feel like I’m doing you dirty by listing my favorite outright with long odds as a player whose odds are actually shorter than those pre-tourney of any winner so far this year, but I can at least place some value on Austin Eckroat, while a big triple-digit play would be nothing but a dart throw.

Eckroat is a wildly talented 25-year-old Oklahoma State product who’s finished 42nd or better in five of his last six PGA Tour starts. He’s also exactly the type of player I usually prefer to target in these types of events: He's young, hungry and motivated but with plenty of PGA Tour experience already under his belt.

The masses are looking for big-priced longshots this week, but I’d rather go 3x on Eckroat than take a shot on someone at three times this price. Others at a similar number who are worth a chance include Chris Gotterup, Maverick McNealy and Alejandro Tosti.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta One & Done Picks

Potential selections for one-and-done pools

Nicolai Højgaard (+1800)

Even if you’re solely seeking value in the outright/prop marketplace, I wouldn’t recommend going too far down the list for your OAD selections.

Nicolai Højgaard makes perfect sense for this one. He’s good enough that you’ll want to use him at some point instead of leaving him unpicked all year, but now that he’s getting into signature events and major championships, he’ll largely be playing against the best of the best on most weeks, which obviously makes it tougher to select him.

As the second-favorite in this field, he’ll never own more win equity than he does here, which suggests a strong pool play, even if you don’t want to bet him at this deflated price.

Thomas Detry (+2500)

Take everything I just wrote for Hojgaard and apply it to Thomas Detry, as well. He owns all the tools to have a very successful performance, especially on the heels of three straight top-30 results, which included a title contention at Torrey Pines.

Chan Kim (+10000)

My personal strategy this week is to play some of the guys I like long-term and hope for a short-term payoff. That’s the case with Chan Kim, a pure ball-striker who’s played all over the world during the past decade, including a dozen major championships prior to his rookie season on the PGA Tour.

Perhaps a trip from the U.S. to Mexico isn’t too daunting for any of these players, but having a wealth of international experience somewhere in your weekly portfolio shouldn’t hurt.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Placement Bet Picks


One player to finish in the top five

Taylor Pendrith (+600 for Top-five Finish)

If this is indeed the week to chase those who have impressed us personally, then Taylor Pendrith fits the bill perfectly for me. He not only has all the tools, but he’s had them on display recently, posting five top-15 results in his last seven starts, including a T9 at Torrey Pines in his latest one.

The burly Canadian also tends to do some of his best work, perhaps ironically, at tropical, resort-like locations, which should mean good things for Vidanta, where he tied for 30th a year ago.

Top 10

One player to finish in the top 10

Alejandro Tosti (+600 for Top-10 Finish)

Ask anyone who followed the Korn Ferry Tour last season, and they’ll explain that Alejandro Tosti is as physically talented as anyone who received a PGA Tour promotion, though there are some other issues at play. I’ll take a chance on that talent coming to the forefront this week.

The substandard iron play so far in his rookie campaign worries me a bit, but his length off the tee and penchant for stepping on the gas pedal when things are going well should be too much to overlook.

Top 20

One player to finish in the top 20

Stephan Jaeger (+125 for Top-20 Finish)

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 what he’s shown over the past couple of seasons is 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.

Top 30

One player to finish in the top 30

Matthew NeSmith (+280 for Top-30 Finish)

A few years ago, I would’ve guessed that Matthew NeSmith would’ve been the type to move up a few tiers in status, knocking on the door to getting into signature events and other important tourneys. As one of the game’s better iron players, he simply needs an average driving week and slightly above-average putting performance to climb a leaderboard such as this one.

While it hasn’t quite happened yet, he’s shown some flashes of getting there. A few better results this year – he hasn’t finished better than 56th in four starts – would have me intrigued by his 150-1 outright number, but instead I’ll play it a bit more cautiously with this top-30 prop.

Top 40

One player to finish in the top 40

Kevin Dougherty (+210 for Top-40 Finish)

Near the top of every PGA Tour ranking for swing speed, ball speed and distance, Kevin Dougherty has yet to show off his stuff at the highest level, but that’s only due to a lack of opportunities. He has just a T50 and MC in his rookie season, and like many other big hitters, he seems to have that large ceiling/floor gap.

In a week where length could be a major advantage, I’m willing to take a chance that Dougherty can harness his and put together four decent rounds. If nothing else, I’m excited to watch.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta DFS Picks

DFS Free Bingo Square

A safe plug-and-play option for DFS lineups

Tony Finau

Too easy? Perhaps, but Tony Finau epitomizes the “Free Bingo Square” category for a few different reasons.

First is the simple connection to his past results, with a win and a runner-up in the previous two years. Second is the fact that with such an eclectic field, it’s easy enough to spend up for Finau and still put together a roster of five other capable selections that locking in the top-priced player doesn’t handcuff you too much.

I won’t be seeking out the defending champ for any outrights or props, but I think he makes a ton of sense for DFS.

DFS Mid-Tier

A medium-priced option for DFS lineups

Maverick McNealy and Alex Smalley

I’m listing two players here because I think they can each offer value in both tournament contests and cash games, as Maverick McNealy and Alex Smalley own notably higher floors and potentially decent ceilings.

After a week when going 6-for-6 in making the cut was fairly commonplace – sorry to all those Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods selectors – it’s going to be a lot more difficult at this one. Each of these two, though, should help that cause.

DFS ‘Dog

A lower-priced option for DFS lineups

Jake Knapp

Early in his PGA Tour career, it appears Jake Knapp has a little bit of the “it” factor – and I don’t mean that in the same terms that we’d talk about, say, Ludvig Aberg, but just in the way that Knapp seems comfortable in his own skin and unafraid to compete at this level.

I’m admittedly writing this preview before salaries have dropped, so Knapp may indeed wind up being more of a mid-tier guy than a lower-priced option, but either way, his skillset should have him climbing yet another board here.

2024 Mexico Open at Vidanta Misc. Picks

First-Round Leader

One player to post the low round Thursday

Patton Kizzire (+8000 for FRL)

So far this season, Patton Kizzire is ranked a mere 147th in first-round scoring average, but that’s bound to change if his past results suggest anything. He was 66th in this category last season and in the top 40 each of the previous three.

At 37, he might be hitting the ball off the tee longer and better than ever before, and while I might not want a full four-round investment, I still think he’s the type who can go super low on a Thursday.

Matchup Man

One player who should beat comparable players

Justin Lower (+15000)

Ask most PGA Tour pros what they’d like to improve upon, and most will reply that consistency is at the top of their list, which is ironic because consistency is hardly rewarded at the highest level.

Take Justin Lower, for example. In his past 14 starts, he’s reached a nice level of consistency with 11 made cuts, but only one of those has been better than 25th place, leaving him in this nebulous region where that consistent play isn’t necessarily being rewarded.

In betting terms, though, that floor makes him an intriguing head-to-head option, as plenty of players around his 150-1 number will fail to reach the weekend rounds.

Also Receiving Votes

Other players who should provide value

Brandon Wu (+3500), Cameron Champ (+5000), Mackenzie Hughes (+5000), Chris Gotterup (+6500), Robert MacIntyre (+13000), Harrison Endycott (+18000), Callum Tarren (+25000)

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