The WGC Dell Technologies Match Play event is one of the best weeks of the DFS and golf betting year. It presents an entirely different puzzle than a typical week and there are going to be a significant chunk of lineups that are doomed from the start.
This week’s tournament features sixteen groups of four golfers to start. Each golfer in that “pod” plays each other once and the golfer with the best record moves on to the Sweet Sixteen. Lineup construction is incredibly important this week because you want to set yourself up to have a chance with all six of your golfers to make the Elite Eight. Looking at the bracket will help, so make sure you do that. There are only a handful of lineups that have ever hit the full final four, but that doesn’t mean we should be building sub-optimally to “lock in points.” Make sure you avoid golfers from the same pod and you’ll be in a better situation to start.
Top Left – The DJ Quadrant
Dustin Johnson ($11,500) is the top seed this week and also wound up with the easiest draw as far as DK Salary is concerned. I took every group, added up the salaries and subtracted the given golfer’s salary from the group to measure the strength of the pod that a particular golfer will face. Johnson’s the only golfer that faces less than $20,000 worth of DK Salary in the pod round. He’s most likely to face Sungjae Im ($8,800) in the Round of 16, but watch out for Victor Perez ($6,600), as well. Whoever gets out of the Im pod will face a tall task if DJ makes it out of his, but the road gets significantly easier if someone is able to upset DJ.
Webb Simpson ($9,100) and Tyrrell Hatton ($8,600) headline the 8 and 9 pods. Paul Casey ($8,900) is in Simpson’s pod and is actually the betting favorite to get out of that group. I like Casey to advance and beat Sergio Garcia ($8,300) to face the winner of Johnson/Perez in the Quarterfinals.
Top Right – The JT Quadrant
Justin Thomas ($11,200), conversely, faces one of the most difficult pods in the tournament. There’s a major problem with fading JT, though. If he does manage to get out of a tough pod, I think he strolls into the quarterfinals without much resistance. He’d likely face Jordan Spieth ($9,300) in the Round of 16.
Patrick Reed ($9,600) is in the bottom half of this quadrant and is my favorite play in the tournament. He could potentially face Carlos Ortiz ($6,800) in the Round of 16. His pod, headlined by Patrick Cantlay ($9,800), is ripe for an upset and Ortiz has legitimate birdie upside. If he pushes the scores low, I’m not sure the rest of his pod can keep up. While Ortiz has also been known to have a blow-up hole or two per round, that doesn’t hurt you in match play as much as stroke play. Ortiz is one of my favorite underdogs, but it’s difficult to imagine him moving past Reed in the next round.
Bottom Left – The Bryson Quadrant
Bryson DeChambeau ($10,900) doesn’t face the easiest draw here. In reality, it comes down to which Si Woo Kim ($7,300) and Tommy Fleetwood ($7,800) actually show up. The variance on those two golfers can make or break Bryson’s chances here. Once he gets out of that pod, though, I think he faces a really tough out going against Tony Finau ($9,200) from Pod No. 12. At the bottom of that quadrant, Viktor Hovland ($9,400) and Collin Morikawa ($10,400) are the chalk to advance and it’s hard to make an argument against either of them.
Bottom Right – The Rahm Quadrant
Of the top-ranked golfers in each pod, Jon Rahm ($10,700) trails only DJ and Daniel Berger ($9,000) in the relative ease of getting through their respective pods. Given Berger’s injury and withdrawal from an event less than a week ago, I like Rahm’s chances of getting to the Elite Eight without much of a sweat.
The top half of this quadrant is wide open and my lean is that Cam Smith ($8,500) takes advantage. Of the second-ranked golfers in each pod, he faces one of the weaker paths to the Sweet Sixteen.
I have Casey and DeChambeau facing off on the left side of the bracket while Reed and Rahm go at it on the right-hand side. When all is said and done, I have Reed as the eventual winner here in a close match against Bryson.
WGC Match Play
|Name||Salary||Pod||Opponent's Strength (Pod)||Golfer's Rank in Pod|
|Si Woo Kim||7300||5||24900||3|
|Erik Van Rooyen||6400||14||22700||3|