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Pick Details

The Honda Classic 3:00 AM | Sat, Mar 20 2021
Sport: PGA | Star Rating: 4.0 Evaluation: Loss (-400)
Pick
100 (True) - Pre-Tournament Futures @ Multiple Sportsbook

This week's first tournament we look at is on the PGA Tour where, once again, the players remain in the state of Florida.

And moving on from Ponte Vedra Beach, the action now moves further South, down the coast, to West Palm Beach (situated just above Miami).

Not as big a tournament as we've seen in recent weeks with the WGC Workday and the Players Championship, but no less interesting a contest - maybe more so - in what looks a very open betting heat.


Here's a full preview of this week's action in the "Sunshine State"...

The Tournament - The Honda Classic started out in 1972 as "Jackie Gleason's Inverrary Classic" and has been a regular feature on tour ever since (usually as the lead event in the "Florida Swing" before recent calendar reshuffles). The event has been played in several locations around the state during its 49 year history, but has been at the current venue, Palm Beach Gardens, since 2007. Not the most prestigious tournament in this section of the rota, but one that always draw a great interest from the abundance of pro golfers who make Florida their home/base.

The Course - We're at the PGA National Champion course located in West Palm Beach, just up the coast from Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It's a par 70 course which measures 7,125 yards. Originally opened in 1981, the facility was later re-designed by Jack Nicklaus whose name is checked on the 15th/16th/17th holes... known as "the Bear Trap". Now a tougher course, with plenty of water hazards and bunkers to catch out the players, recent winning scores have been between 6-under and 13-under-par.

72-Hole Record - 264, Justin Leonard (2003).

18-Hole Record - 61, Brian Harman (2012)

Past Winners - Sungjae Im (2020), Keith Mitchell (2019), Justin Thomas (2018), Rickie Fowler (2017), Adam Scott (2016).

The Field - A standard PGA Tour line-up in Florida this week. Daniel Berger is the +1100.

The Weather - A mixed bag in terms of rain with a 20%-50%-10%-40% chance of precipitation over the fours days. Temperatures though will be high, with the mercury touching the low 80's on the first three days. The wind will be at its worst on Thursday, gusting to 20mph, but tailing off as the tournament progresses.

The Bets - There are four small bets ranging from +8000 to +12500.


Here are the details...

HONDA CLASSIC - TOURNAMENT WINNER

ADAM LONG
Bet: 1* Outright + Top 10 (half unit each to win and to place)
Current Best To Win Odds: +8000
Current Best Top 10 Odds: +650

"My gut feeling is this week's tournament won't take a lot of winning. By that I mean, after a couple of high profile tournaments, this week's field has a very average look to it. There's not a huge amount to fear at the top of the market, and as a result any number of players further down the lists will fancy their chances. Long is a previous winner on tour, and a player who should thrive under these less stressful conditions. A poor run of form through February and early March, where he missed four cuts on the bounce, was ended with a solid effort at the Players Championship (22nd) where Long hit the ball much better. Prior to that he'd posted Top 10's in similar low-key events (3rd Mayakoba Classic, 5th Puntacana Corales), and Top 20's in the Houston Open and the re-scheduled US Open. I'm not staking big on Long, or any of this week's bets, but he's certainly been pushed out too far by the layers and is definite value against this week's modest field."

MATTHEW NeSMITH
Bet: 1* Outright + Top 10 (half unit each to win and to place)
Current Best To Win Odds: +10000
Current Best Top 10 Odds: +900

"NeSmith continues to rank highly in my ratings and, as such, given this week's line-up, I'm happy to back him again (to small stakes). He's another very accomplished tee-to-green performer, and overlooking a couple of missed cuts in recent weeks, his previous finishes of 20-16-7 read very well in terms of this week's tournament. I read somewhere that putting might not be as crucial a factor this week, well, if this proves the case, the pressure will be taken off NeSmith, who has had his struggles with the flatstick. But his Strokes Gained: Tee-To-Green numbers overall read very well. Like all my bets this week, I see no reason why NeSmith can't challenge in a tournament where the list of potential winners is far longer than most events we'll see. At the price, and taking the field into account, I believe NeSmith is a value bet well worth making."

CHEZ REAVIE
Bet: 1* Outright + Top 10 (half unit each to win and to place)
Current Best To Win Odds: +11000
Current Best Top 10 Odds: +1000

"It's not that long ago that Reavie was going off at 40/1 for tournaments. This was during a very productive run in 2019 that saw the man from Kansas bag a second PGA Tour title. Since then Reavie has struggled for form, playing very much in fits-and-starts. But, like Long and NeSmith, he's a good driver of the ball, and on this week's testing course, accuracy over power could well be the way to go. There's no doubting when you look at Reavie's record over the past 12-18 months that he's just as capable of missing the cut, as challenging, but as a proven winner, and a player who has performed at higher levels that this, a less intimidating set of rivals might just spur him into life. My pricing model has Reavie significantly higher than the layers have him, and providing he gets off to a decent start, Reavie has the game to make a challenge this week. Any quotes of 100/1+ are generous IMO and are worth taking with multiple EW places on offer."

JIM FURYK
Bet: 1* Outright + Top 10 (half unit each to win and to place)
Current Best To Win Odds: +12500
Current Best Top 10 Odds: +1100

"Like a lot off new recruits to the Champions Tour, Furyk has been making hay in his new surroundings. This week he returns to the main PGA Tour, and recent efforts at this level (26th Genesis Invitational, 21st Pebble Beach Pro-Am) suggest that he's still more than competitive when up against younger opponents. Another very solid player from tee-to-green, Furyk has won all there is to win in the game and won't fall short should he get the chance to win come Sunday. Now this might well be asking a lot, but I repeat, this week's assembled field isn't ferocious in any way, shape or form, and Furyk remains a very live runner in the place market, if nothing else. He's another who I'm prepared to back this week, mindful of the fact that he was Top 10 here as recently as 2019. Furyk is capable of making triple-figure odds look excellent value this week."

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