For a preview of Albany Golf Club and Resort and a general overview of betting strategies for the 2019 Hero World Challenge, click here.
With a small but star studded field, there really isn’t a bad bet to be had this week. A case can be made for every player in the field to come away with a victory not only because they’re one of the top players in the world, but there isn’t one right way to attack the golf course. Short tacticians and bomb-and-gougers all have a chance to win the tournament.
Justin Thomas – 6.5/1, $10,600: On a golf course where there’s more than one way to skin a cat, building around the best all-around ball-striker in the field is a no brainer. While his first two trips to Albany have been mediocre, Thomas has all the tools in his arsenal to post a much better finish. He’s fully over the nagging wrist injuries and the putting woes that plagued him throughout 2019 and is primed to capture his third win in six starts.
Tiger Woods – 9/1, $9,500: We here at SportsGamblingPodcast.com generally have a very skeptical view of Tiger when it comes to betting on him. But given he at least appears to be fully healthy, Albany GC should be a place he would thrive. Like Thomas, his two appearances at Albany GC have been pretty poor, but both those starts were his first tournaments back from injury. He comes into this one off the heels of winning the ZOZO Championship where the ball striking was as good as it was when he won the 2018 Tour Championship and 2019 Masters. When healthy, he’s one of the best players in the world with an iron, and with how often he’ll be hitting off fairways this week that will shine on the leaderboard.
Webb Simpson – 12/1, $8,800: While players will use driver a ton at Albany GC this week, with how wide and firm the fairways are Webb Simpson won’t be in as much of a disadvantage off the tee as he would be at other venues. When that’s the case, there’s no one better in the world who’s better from the fairway to the hole, where he’s been a premier ball striker and putter for the last year. He’s been very close to returning to the winners circle for the first time since the 2018 Players Championship, and with his form coming in he has a great opportunity to get off the schneid.
Justin Rose – 16/1, $7,200: While the pre-tournament odds are reasonable, the DFS price on Justin Rose is too low for the caliber of player he is. Rose hasn’t made too much noise this fall, and it’s primarily because he hasn’t been able to put it all together for a single tournament. At the BMW PGA Championship, the Alfred Dunhill, the WGC-HSBC and the Turkish Airlines Open, Rose showed solid ball striking but struggled on the greens. And at the Italian Open and the DP World Championship he putted lights out, but the ball striking was mediocre. That’s an indication he’s close to putting it all together and a breakout is coming soon. At a golf course he has a great history, it could be this week.
Patrick Reed – 18/1, $6,900: With the budget dwindling in my DFS lineup, I like filling it with a player like Reed who has a high ceiling and a great track record at Albany GC. Reed can pile on the birdies in a hurry and has enjoyed a very solid fall with Top 10’s in three of his last 5 tournaments. Reed has a pair of Top 5’s in two of his four trips to Albany GC and another strong finish would not be a surprise.
Gary Woodland – 18/1, $6,700: After a bit of a hangover following his U.S. Open win, Woodland is back to playing the quality golf that led him to his first career major title. Woodland showed great ball striking and putting numbers at the CJ Cup and the ZOZO and has the game to feast on a long, firm and fast golf course like Albany GC is. He also should be a nice pivot away from Tony Finau in DFS this week, who is typically a chalky favorite especially with that low of a price point.
Henrik Stenson -130 over Kevin Kisner: While Stenson hasn’t exactly lit it up lately, he at least has a fantastic track record at Albany GC. As for Kisner, he’s had every opportunity to try and convince Tiger Woods that he deserved a Captains Pick for the Presidents Cup, but his ball striking has been a disaster going all the way back to the FedEx Cup playoffs. I don’t see a reason why that suddenly will turn around this week, and Stenson should beat him head to head.
Webb Simpson -135 over Rickie Fowler: I’m high on Webb Simpson this week for the reasons above. As for Fowler, while he’s a former winner at this event and has all the tools in his arsenal to play well there, the state of his game is a complete mystery. This is his first competitive tournament since August as he tries to round into form before next week’s Presidents Cup. I wouldn’t be shocked at any result he has this week, but head to head I trust Webb Simpson to show better than Rickie this week.