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Handicapping

Dell Technologies Match Play Predictions

WGC Dell Technologies Match Play Predictions to Win
Dates: March 22-26, 2017
Course: Austin Country Club – Austin, TX
TV: The Golf Channel/NBC
by Evergreen, Golf Betting Analyst, Predictem.com

Spring is here, the days are getting longer and things are starting to green up. Green is important in golf, hitting them, reading them and putting on a jacket that is that color. The Masters is just two weeks away and the collective golf consciousness is turning towards Augusta but there are a few matters of business to attend first. The WGC events are the best of the rest outside the Majors and the Dell Match Play takes center stage this week in Austin. Simply put, the 64 top-ranked players will be paired up for head-to-head match play with the eventual winner surviving in a familiar bracket-style environment. Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Hideki Matsuyama are your no. 1 seeds for this week but being a number one means very little like it does in college basketball.

The WGC Match Play has been around since 1999 and there have been no shortage of upsets every year. In both 2012 and 2013, the higher seed won just 53% of matches in the opening round. Tiger Woods, a three-time Match Play champion, wasn’t immune to getting upset in round one. A format change in 2015 with players being placed into pods for round-robin matches. Each of the top-16 seeds are placed in a pod that is filled out by a random draw of golfers, one each from three descending rank pools. Players will face each other in matches from Wednesday to Friday and accrue points based on their wins/losses/halves. The top-16 point earners will then be seeded into a traditional bracket to play down for the championship. It looks like a confusing system in text but the positive is that players will not be going home after just one 18-hole round and the cream should rise to the top over three days.

Austin Country Club will be hosting the event for the second year with Jason Day winning his second Match Play crown here last season. The Austin Country Club boasts a century of organization but this particular 7,108 yard, par-71 course has only been the ACC home since 1984. The Pete Dye design has a bit of a Scottish feel when you see the hilly landscape dotted with pot bunkers but also has traditional Texas elements as well. The course may well be described as two separate nines that, while they lie on the same property, share very little in common aesthetically. The back nine finishes in the lowlands around Lake Austin while the front nine is more Texas hill country. The stark changes don’t mean too much in how the course is to be played as all eighteen require precise shots to earn birdie chances. Lazy drives, even if they find the fairway, will come to rest on hilly ground. Likewise approaches may find the greens but birdies will not easily be had from the wrong quadrants on the greens. Targets here can be accessed by pinpoint shots but those targets are often laying close to the sand and water hazards so there are plenty of risk-reward opportunities and that is really perfect for any match play scenario.

Each week, we take a look at Bovada Sportsbook (offers new members a generous 50% bonus - credit cards work there!) and highlight the best bets. We make some picks to win and normally breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches. The head-to-head feature will have to take a week off as the golf betting sites are just getting their info as far as those four-man pairings together. This is a great week to bet head-to-heads as there are just so gosh darn many each day. Make sure to check with your favorite betting outlet to see what they have going this week. Here are our picks to win the 2017 WGC Dell Technologies Match Play.

Sergio Garcia (25 to 1 odds to win)
Garcia is the 7th overall seed in the draw and got paired with #21 Jon Rahm, #38 Kevin Chappell and #53 Shane Lowry. Sergio has a good relationship with his countryman Rahm and while the younger Spaniard is on his way up, it will be hard for any of the other three to keep Sergio from advancing. Garcia hasn’t won in 2017 but has not missed a cut either and has been in the top-25 in four of five starts. He has T14 and T12 finishes in his last two events and that kind of boring consistency will make him tough to beat in any match. Sergio leads the Tour in total driving at this point and is 11th in greens hit so there are few that are doing better in overall ball striking. There are few with more match play experience and there is no denying Sergio’s ability to convert his high-end emotional game into success. He should be in good shape all week tee-to-green so he just needs a plus week with the putter to push for that win.

Phil Mickelson (35 to 1)
Lefty is the 14 seed and drew (31) J.B. Holmes, (35) Daniel Berger and (63) Si Woo Kim in the initial pod pairings. Holmes has some Ryder Cup experience and Berger has been on the U.S. National team before but no one is near as experienced in this draw as Phil. Mickelson has been consistent with seven made cuts in as many starts this season and that solid overall play will make him a good bet to be in the round of sixteen. The putter has been aces for Phil and he enters as the Tour leader in overall putting with the 8th best strokes gained mark. He is synonymous with those epic up and downs from around the greens and that will play nicely as Austin CC. He remains one of the better bunker players on Tour and that could be a large advantage this week as there is no real way to go through all those matches without finding the beach at least a few times.

Matt Kuchar (40 to 1)
The 2013 Match Play champ comes in as the 16th overall seed and gets (29) Tommy Fleetwood, (44) Zach Johnson and (50) Brendan Steele in the qualifying pod. This grouping might seem nondescript but there is talent here and there could be a little flash if Fleetwood keeps up the fast pace he has in recent weeks. Kuchar is as steady-eddie as they come and that is an exceptional quality which makes him tough to beat. He has some missed cuts in 2017 but has been inside the top-25 in every made cut, including a T9 at Phoenix. He has five career top-10’s in this event which might be the best reason to pick him to advance past the round-robin. Kuch has been pretty unspectacular with the tee-to-green stuff but his putting has saved him plenty. He enters the week in the top-40 in both strokes gained and the total putting category with a 7th best scrambling mark. Matt is a classic grinder with plenty of match play experience to lean on. Another great place to bet on golf (especially for the serious bettor) is 5Dimes as they have a ton of golf wagering offers. They also offer reduced odds, which means you pay less when you bet on favortes and win more when you bet underdogs!

Dell Technologies Match Play Betting Odds
Rory McIlroy 6/1
Dustin Johnson 7/1
Jordan Spieth 10/1
Jason Day 13/1
Hideki Matsuyama 20/1
Jon Rahm 22/1
Sergio Garcia 25/1
Justin Thomas 28/1
Tyrrell Hatton 31/1
Paul Casey 33/1
Brandt Snedeker 34/1
Phil Mickelson 35/1
Patrick Reed 36/1
Kevin Kisner 40/1
Martin Kaymer 40/1
Matt Kuchar 40/1
Gary Woodland 45/1
Thomas Pieters 45/1
Tommy Fleetwood 45/1
Francesco Molinari 50/1
Louis Oosthuizen 50/1
Bubba Watson 55/1
Emiliano Grillo 55/1
Marc Leishman 55/1
Matthew Fitzpatrick 55/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 55/1
Alex Noren 60/1
Jason Dufner 60/1
Jimmy Walker 60/1
Charl Schwartzel 65/1
J.B. Holmes 70/1
Russell Knox 70/1
Branden Grace 75/1
Daniel Berger 75/1
Lee Westwood 75/1
Ryan Moore 75/1
Shane Lowry 75/1
Charles Howell III 80/1
Danny Willett 80/1
Pat Perez 80/1
Zach Johnson 80/1
Bill Haas 90/1
Brendan Steele 90/1
Brooks Koepka 90/1
Andy Sullivan 100/1
Bernd Wiesberger 100/1
Jhonattan Vegas 100/1
Jim Furyk 100/1
Joost Luiten 100/1
Kevin Na 100/1
Ross Fisher 100/1
Webb Simpson 100/1
Byeong Hun An 110/1
Kevin Chappell 110/1
Chris Wood 125/1
Jeunghun Wang 125/1
Scott Piercy 125/1
Soren Kjeldsen 150/1
Thongchai Jaidee 150/1
William McGirt 160/1
Si Woo Kim 175/1
Hideto Tanihara 200/1
K.T. Kim 200/1
Yuta Ikeda 200/1

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