2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play odds: Surprising picks from advanced model that nailed four golf majors

 cbssports.com  03/26/2019 20:43:00   CBS Sports Staff

The 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, the final marquee event on the 2019 PGA Tour before Augusta, tees off Wednesday from Austin Country Club deep in the heart of Texas. Virtually every top player in the world is in the 2019 WGC Match Play field this year for an event unlike any other we've seen this season. Group play will take place from Wednesday to Friday, with the knockout rounds coming on Saturday and Sunday. Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, each with an Official World Golf Ranking in the top four, are the event's co-favorites at 9-1 in the latest 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play odds. Justin Thomas (14-1) and Jon Rahm (16-1) are the only other golfers going off shorter than 20-1 in this 64-player field. That means there are plenty of value selections in the 2019 WGC-Dell Match Play bracket. So, before locking in your 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play picks and PGA Tour predictions for Austin, see what the team at SportsLine has to say.

SportsLine's prediction model, built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the last eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has been spot-on early in the 2018-19 season. It was high on eventual winner Rory McIlroy at the 2019 Players Championship, projecting him as one of the top two contenders from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka's (9-1) victory at the CJ Cup earlier this season. Additionally, it correctly called Bryson DeChambeau's (9-1) seven-shot victory at the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Anyone who has followed the model is way up.

Now that the 2019 WGC-Dell Match Play field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Tiger Woods, a three-time winner of this event, stumbles this week and barely cracks the top 20.

Woods is making his first WGC Match Play start since 2013. The 43-year-old is the only three-time winner of this event (2003, 2004, 2008) and is the only player in tournament history to have successfully defended his title.

However, despite his success at this event, Woods has finished inside the top 10 just once this season. Plus, the 80-time PGA Tour winner will be making his first career start at Austin Country Club for the WGC Match Play 2019 event. He enters the 2019 WGC Dell Match Play tournament hitting just 65.18 percent of fairways off the tee, which could cause major trouble at Austin Country Club. His grouping also features Patrick Cantlay, Brandt Snedeker, and Aaron Wise. He's not a strong pick to win it all and there are far better values in this loaded field.

Another surprise: Paul Casey, a 25-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title in the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play bracket. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.

Casey rolls into Austin with plenty of confidence after winning the Valspar Championship last week. A second-round 66 helped power him to 8-under par for the tournament and a huge victory. But that's just part of a bigger trend of recent success that also includes top-three finishes at the WGC-Mexico Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In total, he's finished in the top-10 in seven of his 10 events on tour this season.

That's thanks in large part to his driving accuracy percentage, which ranks seventh on tour at 70.6. He's also hit 71.3 percent of greens in regulation, good for 21st on tour. Those numbers have helped him average over four birdies per round and around one eagle per event. He has all the skills needed to climb the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play leaderboard in a hurry starting on Wednesday.

Also, the model says five additional golfers with 2019 WGC Dell Match Play odds of 20-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.

So who wins the 2019 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the latest 2019 WGC Dell Match Play odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors.

Dustin Johnson 9-1Rory McIlroy 9-1Justin Thomas 14-1Jon Rahm 16-1Jason Day 20-1Justin Rose 20-1Tommy Fleetwood 20-1Tiger Woods 22-1Brooks Koepka 22-1Bryson DeChambeau 25-1Paul Casey 25-1Bubba Watson 28-1Francesco Molinari 28-1Xander Schauffele 28-1

Tony Finau 33-1

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