During the 2023 golf season, Stadium sports betting analyst Nate Jacobson will share his betting targets each week. Here are his thoughts on this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson.
Note: Nate will tweet out his official bets when they are placed before the event. He also discusses his bets in all sports on the Sharp Lessons podcast. Subscribe on Spotify and Apple for episodes and follow Stadium Bets on Twitter for more sports betting content.
About the Tournament
The PGA TOUR returns to Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch in the Dallas suburb of McKinney. Craig Ranch became the host course for this event in 2021, and K.H. Lee has won the tournament in back-to-back years with scores of -25 and -26.
It’s worth noting that next week is the PGA Championship, which is the second major championship of the year. Some players might be more focused on next week and use this tournament as a way to fine-tune their game for a major instead of trying to go out and win this tournament.
Top of the Board
Two weeks ago, Jon Rahm went off as a +250 favorite to win the Mexico Open. Now it’s Scottie Scheffler’s turn to be an extremely short favorite at an event that lacks star power. Scheffler opened around 5/1, but became an even shorter price when fellow Dallas native Jordan Spieth withdrew from the event on Monday evening with a wrist injury. Scheffler is clearly the best player in the field, but one of the players who I can see being focused on next week in Rochester when he’ll try to win his second major.
Tom Kim (14/1) and Hideki Matsuyama (22/1) are two players whose odds shortened after the Spieth news, but I believe both are worth a bet this week.
Kim finished tied for 17th last year by shooting -18 for the tournament as a 19-year-old. It was a solid showing for Kim who went on to have multiple wins in 2022. As evidenced by his past scores, Kim has proven he has the ability to go low and get a victory in an event where making birdies is key. He’s been quiet the last several months, but a 16th-place finish in his Masters debut and a strong ball-striking performance at last week’s Wells Fargo Championship could be indicators that Kim is ready to contend more often going into the summer.
Matsuyama is a boom-or-bust pick because of a recent neck injury that forced to him out of Wells Fargo, and he traveled to Japan for treatment. I was surprised to see his name in this field, but it must mean he’s feeling a lot better if he’s taking the trip to Texas before going to New York. Matsuyama’s injury is why he’s not a shorter price in this field, and he’s worth taking a shot on in outright betting at this number. Matsuyama finished tied for third at Craig Ranch last year and led the field in strokes gained approach. He quietly had some good results before his injury, finishing fifth at THE PLAYERS, 15th at Valero and 16th at the Masters.
Stephan Jaeger (50/1) has strung along many good ball-striking weeks, but has been let down by his putter. He finished tied for 18th at the Mexico Open and I bet on him before the weekend after he led the first two rounds in approach. He was a late addition to my betting card last week and finished tied for 27th. I’ll take another shot on Jaeger in a weaker field and at a course where he can accumulate birdies.
I’ll go back to Brandon Wu (50/1) after hitting a top-five bet on him at the Mexico Open two weeks ago. He finished in third place behind Tony Finau and Jon Rahm, and was right in contention on Sunday along with those two elite players. He skipped out on Wells Fargo last week after a stellar showing in Mexico, so he should be rested for this week.
There are several intriguing longshots this week, but Nate Lashley (100/1) stands out as the player I want to have money on. Lashley started out well at the Wells Fargo Championship and had a share of the lead after two rounds behind strong iron play. He ended up fading on the weekend and finishing tied for 27th, but finished as the fourth-best player in strokes gained approach for the event. Lashley’s lone PGA TOUR win was the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic when he finished -25 over four rounds. If his irons are dialed in like last week, he has the ceiling to win a low-scoring tournament like this one.