The PGA Tour heads to Texas this week for the 2018 Houston Open, the final tournament before the Masters. Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth are Vegas co-favorites at 10/1, followed closely by Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson at 12/1 and Daniel Berger at 20/1. Berger opened at 25/1 before moving up the odds board.
Before you make any bets or enter a daily fantasy golf tournament on DraftKings or FanDuel, you'll want to hear what the team at SportsLine has to say.
SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, was all over Alex Noren's surprising run at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play last week. Noren, a 30/1 long shot, was in the top 10 in their projection. The result: Noren surged past Patrick Reed and Cameron Smith in the opening two rounds and then shocked Justin Thomas in the consolation match, ultimately finishing third.
Anybody who used their model had plenty of great value selections to choose from.
Now that the field for the 2018 Houston Open is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times and the results were surprising.
One huge surprise the model is calling for at the Houston Open this week: Matt Kuchar, a 30/1 long shot, makes a serious run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
Kuchar finished outside the top 25 in four straight events heading into the WGC-Match Play, but played some of his best golf of the season last week and finished in the top 10.
Kuchar is fifth on the PGA Tour in sand save percentage at 63.04 and ranks in the top 50 in greens in regulation percentage at 68.06. He was fourth last year at the Masters and has made the cut in all eight PGA Tour events he's played this season.
Look for the veteran to carry his momentum from last week and make a run at the Houston Open 2018.
Another curveball: Daniel Berger, who was in the top five in the Houston Open last year and has the sixth-best Vegas odds, doesn't even finish in the top 10. He's somebody to completely steer clear of this week.
Berger is in the top 40 of the Official World Golf Rankings, but doesn't have a top-10 finish in an official PGA Tour event all year. He also struggled mightily at the WGC-Match Play last week, finishing 59th.
Berger ranks outside the top 50 on tour in driving distance (298.5, 79th), driving accuracy percentage (62.50, 70th), and greens in regulation percentage (66.48, 84th). He is outside the top 100 in putts per round (29.20, 118th) and total driving efficiency (293, 152nd). There are far better values than the 20/1 odds that Berger is getting.
Berger and Kuchar will tee off in the same group at 1:50 p.m. ET on Thursday along with Steve Stricker.
Also, the model says three other golfers with odds of 30/1 or longer will make a deep run at the Houston Open 2018. Anyone who bets on these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2018 Houston Open title? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the updated odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full projected leaderboard from the model that has been red-hot so far this season, and find out.
Justin Rose 10/1
Jordan Spieth 10/1
Rickie Fowler 10/1
Henrik Stenson 12/1
Phil Mickelson 12/1
Daniel Berger 20/1
Russell Henley 25/1
Tony Finau 25/1
Luke List 25/1
Rafa Cabrera Bello 30/1
Matt Kuchar 30/1
Steve Stricker 40/1
Byeong Hun An 40/1
Charles Howell III 40/1