Valero Texas Open Tips & Predictions: Bank on Steele in the Lone Star State
After a week off Russell Palmer is back with his three golf betting tips against the field for this week's Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour...
Having taken the week off last week to 'enjoy' the WGC Matchplay, I'm feeling recharged for a crack at this week's Valero Texas Open, the traditional pre-cursor to next week's Masters.
I said I enjoyed in inverted commas because I thought the play for the first 3/4 days was hugely entertaining. There were a lot of upsets and I was kind of glad I didn't do a preview with only one player in the top 20 making it through to the last sixteen. As ever with these events, my interest wained the fewer games there were and when it came to the Sunday when there were only two matches being played I had to switch off. The play was painfully slow and the coverage was missing shots even though there were only two games being played. I wonder if they'll switch this format up next year given there was a lot of criticism on Sunday.
Anyway, back to the strokeplay this week and a course where we have a heap of form to look at.
Dustin Johnson withdrew on Monday leaving Jordan Spieth at the head of the betting at 12/1!
As much as I'd love for Spieth to win, I can't be a backer at that price and I'd much rather hold fire on him until Augusta. Same could be said of Tony Finau who has cooled off from his red hot form from earlier this year and still has question marks whether he can get it done when it comes to the crunch. Another player I'd rather wait a week and get some value in the Masters.
My three this week are all big prices and this event has been one by 175/1 and 200/1 shots in its last two editions. There are a few others I like who I've detailed at the bottom in the best of the rest.
I mentioned course form and first up this week it's a player who has this in abundance in Brendan Steele.
The American won here in 2011 and has missed the cut just once in every edition since including two top tens.
He's been a model of consistency this season having not missed a cut in 2021 having played eight tournaments and he comes here off a week's rest having finished T3 in the Honda Classic last time.
That was his second top ten this year and he's not finished lower than 43rd in 2021 just emphasising his form and consistency.
Steele is 40/1 best price with Bet365 where I'm going to be shopping. Paddy Power and Betfair are paying eight places this week but he's as short as 28/1 with them and I'd much rather take the price.
Second up I've gone for another consistent player in the shape of Andrew Putnam, best price 75/1 with Unibet who are paying an extra place to SIX this week.
The American ranks 4th on the PGA Tour for bogey avoidance which I think will be a key stat for this week and he has three top tens in his last six starts on the PGA Tour.
Add to that a top ten here in 2018 and three made cuts in his three starts at the course and I like his chances at a big price and if he can get the putter firing, where he ranks 22nd in shots gained with the flat stick this season and 9th in the field.
Last up this week I like the chances of another big priced contender in the shape of Sam Ryder at 90/1 with Unibet paying six places.
The American is looking for his break out win on the PGA Tour and has been close on his last two times out, 8th in the Honda Classic before finishing second place last week in Puerto Rico.
He's made the cut on both starts at TPC San Antonio and ranks inside the top 20 on the PGA Tour for both greens in regulation and proximity to the hole.
Best of the rest
There's a few other players who caught the eye this week. Chris Kirk at 40/1 has two top tens here and Si Woo Kim 4th here last year and also, like Kirk ranks in the top ten for bogey avoidance.
At a massive price Ben Martin could be worth an each way double north of 200/1. Martin is the top ranked player in the field for shots gained putting and with a top ten here last year and top ten in Puerto Rico last week.
As ever, good luck with your bets if you're following and please gamble responsibly.
Follow me at Twitter @rustyboy75.
- Daniel Berger - Pebble Beach Pro-am - advised at 14/1
- Colin Morikawa - T7 Sony Open In Hawaii - advised at 14/1
- Xander Schauffele - T5 Sentry Tournament of Champions - advised at 10/1
- Russell Henley - T3 Honda Classic - advised at 30/1