The week before the Masters Tournament typically draws a rather weak field with most of the world’s best choosing to finalize their preparations for Augusta National Golf Club in their own way.
That’s not the case in 2020, however, as the Vivint Houston Open at the redesigned Memorial Park Golf Course has drawn many top names, including tournament betting favorite Dustin Johnson (+750).
Below, we’ll look for the best value bets in the 2020 Vivint Houston Open betting odds with tournament matchups, placings and first-round leader (FRL) picks and predictions.
Lanto Griffin (-125) vs. Corey Conners
Griffin is only a slight favorite in this tournament head-to-head. He’s the reigning Houston Open champion, but that victory was at the Golf Club of Houston to slightly discount his price this week at a course that’s new to this field.
He has been in the better form this year with four top-10 finishes to Conners’ one. Griffin is also ranked higher in the Golfweek/Sagarin world rankings at No. 70 to Conners’ No. 86.
Shane Lowry vs. Lee Westwood (-106)
Westwood is the value play in our second head-to-head. He has been less active in the latter half of 2020, but his resume this year still includes a victory at the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and a T-13 at the U.S. Open. Lowry finished just T-43 at the US Open and T-66 at the PGA Championship. His lone top 10 this year was a runner-up at the Asian Tour’s Hong Kong Open in January.
Top 5: Viktor Hovland (+400)
Hovland shares the sixth-best odds to win this week at +2200, but he’s tied for third by the odds for a top-5 finish. One of the most popular picks in this week’s field, he’s the top name who won’t be playing the Masters next week. Count on him to be more motivated than this week’s other top contenders who are more likely to be fine-tuning certain aspects of their games for Augusta.
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Top 10: MacKenzie Hughes (+750)
Hughes is my long-shot pick to win this week, but he should be taken with the insurance of a top-10 finish. He has six of those in 20 events this year, with the most recent being a third-place showing at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship. Like Hovland, he’ll be plenty motivated this week while trying to secure an invitation to the 2021 Masters next April.
First-round leader bets
Brooks Koepka (+3300)
Koepka is my top choice to win this week but at odds of just +2200. The former world No. 1 and four-time major champ has had a poor 2020 while nursing a nagging knee injury, but he has taken plenty of time off and will get one final warmup for Augusta.
Memorial Park is hosting a PGA Tour event for the first time since 1963, but Koepka helped with the redesign this year and is more familiar with the venue than anyone else in the field. Look for him to benefit the most from that advantage in Round 1.
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