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 Honda Classic.
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 goes from the West Coast to Florida for the next four weeks, starting with the Honda Classic at PGA National. This was previously a fun event to watch, but over time the strength of the field has diminished. That’s very evident this week with this tourney being sandwiched between multiple large-purse tournaments.
Top of the Board
Sungjae Im (+850) sits by himself at the top of the odds. Im won this event in 2020 and was also the favorite at last year’s Honda. He missed the cut at PGA National 12 months ago, which is an example of the level of unpredictability that is commonplace at this event due to the wind and water on the course. Shane Lowry (16/1) follows Im in the odds, and he had a real chance at winning last year’s event before finishing second.
Before odds were released on Monday morning, I expected Billy Horschel (28/1) to be the third in the pecking order, but instead, there are several players ahead of Horschel in the odds — and that makes him my favorite outright bet this week. The Florida native has some solid showings at this event, including two top-eight finishes in 2016 and 2017 (he was tied for 16th last year). The reason Horschel is at this price is due to his poor start to the season, but he historically doesn’t play well during this swing. I’ll overlook those recent results knowing that Horschel has both a strong track record in Florida and the experience needed to overcome a bad stretch.
Jhonattan Vegas (33/1) stands out as another player to bet on this week after his ball-striking performances in California and Arizona over the last month. Vegas has been letdown by his putter in those events, including last week’s Genesis Invitational where he ranked second to last in the field with his flatstick. I’m hoping the shift to Bermuda-grass greens in Florida turns around his luck. He has shown some success with his putter at PGA National recently, so I feel confident.
I’m also going to bet on two Canadian players in this range in Adam Svensson (33/1) and Taylor Pendrith (35/1). Svensson finished tied for ninth at the Honda last year and was first in the field in strokes gained tee-to-green. Last week, he finished tied for ninth at the Genesis Invitational and his short game carried him. If Svensson can combine the tee-to-green success he had last year with the putting he had last week, he can be in the mix.
Pendrith is a player I’ve been looking for an opportunity to bet on, and I’ll do it here in this weak field. He finished tied for 25th in his debut at this event last year and popped at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am with a tied-for-seventh finish earlier this month.
I’m going to stick with those four pre-tournament bets and look to add some fliers in-tournament.
Follow me on Twitter for any adds that I make.