WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Predictions

In the spirit of March Madness, we once again bring brackets to the table for the annual playing of the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play tournament!

This tournament is a far cry from the typical stroke play tournaments held the rest of the PGA Tour season, and it introduces a bit of betting fun into the mix with the addition of being able to bet on each individual group as well as outright winners and placements.

The way the tournament itself works is simple. The field is divided into 16, four-player groups. Each group partakes in round-robin matches within their group from Wednesday-Friday, and the player with the best record in each group advances to the single-elimination round of 16. The round of 16 matches are played on Saturday morning, followed by the quarterfinal matches in the afternoon. The semifinal matches and the championship match are then played on Sunday morning and afternoon, respectively.

You can even get in on the action yourself! If you want to fill out a Match Play bracket of your own, check them out right here.

WGC Dell Technologies Match Play

  • Date: Wednesday Mar. 23 - Sunday Mar. 28, 2023
  • Venue: Austin Country Club
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Par-Yardage: 71, 7,108 yards
  • Defending Champion: Kevin Kisner (2019)
  • TV: CBS, Golf Channel

Looking at a course preview of Austin Country Club, we get a desert-style course with fast Bermuda greens and a TON of bunkers (seriously there's over 100).

A Pete Dye design with a ton of positional shots needed to be successful, Austin CC makes you really grind to succeed. Its iconic hole is the short Par 4 17th hole that is under 320 yards and can have you celebrating an eagle opportunity or panicking over a ball you hit short into the water.

There are 5 Par 4s that are under 400 yards on this course, and while getting to all 18 holes is never a certainty when it comes to match play events, don't count them out as causing players some headaches.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
Betting Odds

Things are a bit different this week! Keep in mind that before you even get to the straight-up, single elimination matches, you have to advance through three days of group play, round-robin style. There are 16 groups of 4 players each, and the top player from each group will advance, as listed above in the introduction.

Given that the former PGA Tour players who have since gone to LIV Golf are still banned, there are players who may not have gotten in otherwise in the field, making it easier for some of the top players to make it out of their own groups. Keep in mind that this serves to make this event a little more top-heavy and provide a bit more value betting on the favorites.

Speaking of which, at the top of the betting list resides none other than the defending champion himself, Scottie Scheffler (+800). He is the only player with single-digit odds in the field, with Jon Rahm (+1100) and Rory McIlroy (+1200) just barely trailing him as has become the usual.

WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Contenders

  • Scottie Scheffler +800
  • Jon Rahm +1100
  • Rory McIlroy +1200
  • Patrick Cantlay +2000
  • Max Homa +2200
  • More Golfers
  • (Odds Subject to Change)

Personally, I do believe this is an event better left to pass on futures for the outright until the group stage is done, and even treating the entire event as you would with team sports handicapping in going match by match the entire way through.

That means that things in this article will flip for this week, with group winner bets coming first, and a future play on one big name to win the whole thing.

Let's get to it:

Group Predictions
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

To win group 10: Tony Finau (+125) over Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Kurt Kitayama, Adrian Meronk

Finau gets one of the easier draws here, as none of Bez, Kitayama, or Meronk has a record of sustained success at Austin Country Club or any of the courses that it comps to.

Make no mistake, Finau himself isn't the perfect picture of success at Austin CC either, with his best career finish here being a T17 in 2018. But He does fit the bill as a player who can use his strengths on a positional course like this that values strong Birdies or Better Gained numbers as well as shorter par 4 scoring and strokes gained on approach, both statistics he ranks in the top third of this field in.

I am betting that the remaining three members of this group can not measure up to Finau's standards and fall behind early, and when you fall behind in match play events, you tend to be forced to sort of play catch up and take more risks, and I'm unsure that any of the three can really do that efficiently enough.

I do want to keep an eye on Kitayama, as he does play well in windy conditions and can use his lower ball flight, like Finau, to take take advantage of Austin CC's tendencies.

To win group 15: Corey Conners (+200) over Cameron Young, Sepp Straka, and Davis Thompson

We've already seen Conners make a splash in this event last season, finishing 3rd and showing a lot of heart along the way. This year, he gets a decently favorable group to get out of despite being in the third tier of names behind Young and Straka, who rank ahead of him in the OWGR.

The thing I am most concerned about with this group is their putting, given that all of them rank outside the top 30 in the field in strokes gained: putting. However, you can alleviate that with terrific ball-striking, and that is not a category that Conners slumps behind in.

Last year, Conners took advantage of a similarly-lesser group when it came to ball-striking against Alex Noren, Paul Casey, and Louis Oosthuizen to come out of the group stage, and I believe he does it again here.

Head to Head Matchup

Matt Kuchar > Viktor Hovland (+138)

If you can say one thing about Kuchar here, it's that he is incredibly consistent at this event. He's never won at Austin CC (won at Dove Mountain in 2013), but he has a runner-up finish in 2019 and has advanced out of the group stage 4 of the 6 times at this location. He's a certified match play specialist and loves it in Texas.

I'm not sure that we can say the same thing about Hovland. He has struggled at match play events, notably at the Dell Technologies given that he has yet to advance out of the group stage here in his two appearances being being the highest seed in his pod both times.

Despite coming in on a hot streak lately with back-to-back top 10 finishes at the Arnold Palmer and THE PLAYERS, Hovland is not a sure thing to advance because he came in on a similar heater last season and fell in the group stage.

Outright Winner
WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

Jordan Spieth (+2500)

Not only is Spieth playing some of his best golf that he's played in YEARS right now, this event has shown a proclivity for Texans/UTexas alumni to win, and Spieth is both.

Coming off a heartbreaking loss and so close to the Masters, I'm inclined to eschew Spieth from my list of contenders, but I'm making an exception because he's just been so close and right now is a perfect time for him to go into August riding the fire of the last few months. He's coming off a heartbreaking loss at the Valspar Championship this past week and I know Spieth is clamoring for his first title of the season.

He gained 4.6 strokes on approach at Innisbrook last week, and he also had a terrific putting week on the Bermuda overseeded with Poa greens that also feature at Austin CC, gaining nearly 4.6 strokes there as well. He has two top-10 finishes here in his career but has also never finished outside the top 35, and I expect him to contend once again.

How to Bet on Golf

Golf betting has gained much more exposure and interest in the past few years, and with plenty of plus-money prices littered throughout the various forms of golf wagers, the chance for bigger scores is part of the reason behind that increased popularity.

2023 Golf Betting Schedule

Sportsbooks ensure that there are no shortage of wagering options on golf tournaments every week, and it isn't all about picking the winner. Grabbing the outright winner of a golf tournament is the best way to get that 'big score' but it's also the hardest wager to cash. After all, a typical professional golf tournament has a field of 140+ different players to consider.

Understanding Golf Odds and Bets

Most golf odds are listed in the fractional format – 10/1 on Dustin Johnson for example – and in that particular case you would multiply the amount bet by that first number to project your winnings. So a $100 bet on DJ to win that particular event would win you $1000.

If you are more comfortable with the American version of odds listings that you typically see across the other major North American sports – ie +1000 – these numbers are easily convertible. Online and app based books may already have that option built in, but the easiest way to do it yourself is to add two zeros to the first number in the fraction. So a 10/1 price on DJ converts to +1000 in that format.