WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Picks, Props, & Matchup Best Bets: May the Best Man Win

The PGA Tour is switching gears this week for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play at Austin CC. With things teeing up on Wednesday, our betting slate takes aim at the more predictable groups and shines some light on some undervalued long-shot winners.

Last Updated: Mar 22, 2022 11:21 AM ET Read Time: 4 min

After the relentless onslaught of stroke-play events, we get to enjoy a change this week as the PGA TOUR heads to Austin Country Club for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play odds.

The match play is 64 of the world’s top-ranked players broken up into 16 groups of round-robin play starting Wednesday and culminating Sunday with the Final Four. Austin CC has hosted the event since 2016 where we’ve seen Billy Horschel outlast Scottie Scheffler in a pillow fight in 2021, to Kiz winning in 2019 after finishing runner up to Bubba Watson in 2018.

It’s a fun event where variance is the name of the game. In 2021, only one No. 1 seed (Jon Rahm) made it out of the round-robin group play. Match play is just a different animal relative to stroke play where attitude, calculated aggression, and gamesmanship supersede your models, stats, and number-nerd stuff.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play picks

Picks made on 3/22/2022 at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Austin Country Club stats that matter

As I said, the stats don’t mean much this week and we don’t recommend getting bogged down in building models. Obviously, you want guys that have shown some bit of form of late, but most of these guys have…that’s why they’re so high up in the OWGR to get here. Austin CC is a place that can cater to all different skill sets of golfers. The bombers and the dink and dunkers can all have a go at this par-71, 7,100-yard Pete Dye design. If you’d like a full-on preview in just 15 minutes of Austin CC, then you can check out our YouTube video breaking down the course.

However, what does matter when betting the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play is how you approach the betting board when taking a big-picture look at the bracket and their path to victory. Similar to betting on a March Madness NCAA Finals Champion, you would never make too many bets coming out of the same segment of a bracket. You give yourself the most “outs” when strategically placing your outright bets from different segments of the bracket, and our rule of thumb is generally to take no more than two or maybe three from the same segment.

The path to victory is also key. You want to walk it out for a player you like and see who they’d have to potentially beat down the road to get to the final match. There are certainly some segments with a much tougher draw of players than others. 

DB here. I’m going to use this week to just write my DB’s Big Balls Betting Card (typically only found on tourjunkies.com) since we’re on a quick turnaround and the betting board is unique for this event. I’m placing bets on my favorite names to come out of group play, as well as my favorite long(ish) outright winners with the best path to victory in my mind.

  • Match play "IT" factor & record.
  • Recent form.
  • Group difficulty.
  • Path to victory after group play.
  • Birdie or better/aggressive play tendency.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play predictions

Xander has the easiest group on the board with Tony Finau looking awful since last Summer, plus first-timers Herbert and Kanaya aren’t in the same stratosphere compared to the talent of Xander. His record here at Austin CC is 4-2-3 and he’s got loads of Ryder Cup and President’s Cup experience.

His matchup against the winner of Group 10 could be his toughest challenge assuming he advances out of his group, but from there he’s got a decent path to making the final match. Plus…this would be the type of weird event for Xander to notch another win.

After Xander’s group, I think DJ is getting the benefit of one of the easier groups with Max Homa posing the only real threat in my mind. He’ll have to deal with the ever overrated Mackenzie Hughes and the struggling Matt Wolff outside of Max Homa. I like Max, but DJ’s shown some firepower in recent weeks and he won this event back in 2017.

He’s 12-8-1 here at Austin CC and is just a few months removed from a 5-0-0 record at the Ryder Cup. DJ is just an unflappable match-play beast that these hacks aren’t ready for. 

I see Group 9 as a weak draw for Talor Gooch to take advantage of with Bryson’s “wrist injury” and the distraction of the Saudi Golf League occupying his time over the last couple of months. Other than Bryson, Talor has to dispose of a couple of dusty Englishmen in Lee Westwood and Richard Bland. That should be no problem for the Dell Match Play debutant given his top-tier ball striking and recent form of late.

Now, here’s a name I’m also taking outright from the same segment as Dustin Johnson but I’m only doing so because I truly love DJ and Gooch to come out of their segment. They would end up playing each other after group play, but I’m willing to have exposure to both given the path to victory and the value at 50/1 for Gooch.

The fiery Georgia Bulldog is coming off a nice Top-5 showing at the Valspar after a strong start to 2022. He also went on record after his final round at Copperhead saying how much he loved the match-play event and Austin CC.

I think he’s ready to handle the benign Group 15 headed up by arguably the weakest link of the No. 1 seeds in Abe Ancer. I like Abe. Abe’s a good golfer. Abe’s overrated. Harman’s finished better than Abe in two of the last three events they’ve played together.

An injured Webb Simpson and an inconsistent Bubba Watson round out the rest of the group. Webb coming back from a neck injury and having to play the match play doesn’t sound ideal. I’ll take my chances on Harman keeping up the momentum by taking down group 15.

The Spaniard is a known match-play wizard with a long history of dominance at the Ryder Cup plus a 12-7-1 record here at Austin CC. He’s got a tough group with Morikawa (although struggling of late), Robert MacIntyre, and Jason Kokrak. But, I just like Sergio’s path if he can get out of his group. He’d take on the winner of the aforementioned weak Group 15 in the fourth round if he can come out of his group. His record is just too good to pass up at 46/1 on FanDuel

I’m going with arguably a Top-5 iron player on the PGA TOUR to come out of Group 14 in Russell Henley. Henley’s had a runner-up and three Top-15 finishes already in 2022, and he’s a statistical stud tee-to-green. If he can take out Niemann, I think he can cruise through Kevin Na (who we haven’t seen since gas was under $3 a gallon), and first-timer, Maverick McNealy.

Henley’s record at Austin CC is 2-3-1, but he’s got match-play experience all the way back to his college days when he dominated at the University of Georgia and for the US Walker Cup team. The bottom right segment of the bracket is a tough one to fight through, but Henley’s group is the weakest of the eight in that region. 

It’s not the easiest group to take down but I’ll take my chances at a long number for another Georgia Bulldog in smoking-hot form so far in 2022. Keith Mitchell has looked like the best version of himself so far this year racking up high finish after another. He’s got one of the tougher groups to take down in Cantlay, Im and Power, but Keith’s as confident as ever.

I walked inside the ropes with him for a couple of hours at TPC Sawgrass during a practice round, and his confidence was visible. He’s seemingly got the perfect demeanor to excel in match play. Combine the confidence with his game of late and you’d be crazy not to take a long shot at 80/1.

Finally, I’m going with WGC Dell Match Play debutant, Tom Hoge to come out of Group 12 and get hot all the way to the final. We saw Hoge notch his first PGA TOUR victory at Pebble Beach weeks ago, and he’s just kept his foot on the gas. His ball-striking is as good as ever, and so is his confidence.

I’d say Group 12 is another weak group to take advantage of despite being led by defending champ, Billy Horschel. Other than Billy boy, he’s got Thomas Pieters and Min Woo Lee. It’s not a challenging group. Give me a long shot in great form with one of the weakest groups and I’ll take my chances he can be the Cinderella story the rest of the way to Sunday.

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