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Brian Kirschner previews the upcoming Honda Classic and makes predictions and picks. The PGA expert also gives his perspective on the odds board and the two golfers he's targeting. Let's get into it!
ANALYSIS

Honda Classic Picks and Predictions: Look for Billy Horschel and Hayden Buckley to Find Success

Ladies and gentlemen, we have ourselves one of the bleakest and most disappointing PGA Tour events in recent memory this week at the Honda Classic. Being sandwiched between two elevated events before and after this tournament is certainly not the receipt for attracting the world's best golfers. 

Even though we do not have a great field, we have a very interesting golf course that always provides a very dramatic finish. At PGA National, there is water everywhere and with a high plurality of approach shots coming from over 150 yards, it is no surprise that the average winning score over the five years is -9. 

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Honda Classic Start Time, Where to Watch, and Odds

  • Date - Thursday, February 23rd - Sunday, February 26th, 2023
  • Where - PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • Where to Watch - Golf Channel, ESPN+, CBS

Click here for Honda Classic odds

Honda Classic Prediction

The field this week is highlighted by 2020 champion Sungjae Im, with other top 50 players in the world consisting of Billy Horschel, Shane Lowry, and Aaron Wise. In terms of other golfers in the field atop the odds board, we have Thomas Detry, Denny McCarthy, Matt Kuchar, Alex Noren, and Chris Kirk looking for their first win of the season. 

PGA National is certainly a unique test on tour given just how many hazards are throughout and the fact that tour players have never been able to dominate and shoot very low scores. This course is a 7,100-yard par 70 that features bermudagrass greens where water comes into play on over 14 holes. 

Given the winning score and the course setup, it is a week where elite ball strikers separate themselves from the field. It is very hard to fake it around PGA National given the small margin of error on approach shots. 

We have seen a wide variety of winners here, elite talents like Rory Mcllroy, Justin Thomas, and Adam Scott have lifted the trophy. Even with these tournament favorites winning, longshots have also faired well. An unknown Keith Mitchell, Sepp Straka, Matt Jones, and a 400/1 Padrig Harrington have also been victorious. 

I think given the field strength this week, it is a week to just bet on golfers whose talent you are high on and take a shot on them. We have seen many breakout victories happen in Palm Beach so don't be afraid to bet on golfers down the board that you think can win this season.

Here are some of the important stats that I am looking for this week. 

  • SG: OTT
  • Driving Accuracy 
  • SG: Approach 
  • Prox: 150-200
  • SG: Putting (Bermuda)
  • SG: Total (Florida Courses) 

Let us get into my favorite outright bets for the 2023 Honda Classic. 

Outright Selections for The Honda Classic

Billy Horschel (+3500)(Bet $100 to collect $3,600) Get the best odds at DraftKings, click here to bet

I want to be frank with all of you, I cannot remember a time I have such a clear misprice on Monday morning that Bily Horshcel at +3500 at one of the worst fields of the year. This seven-time PGA Tour winner has drifted simply too far in the odds for me to pass up on it. 

The reason for this number is certainly his recent form as he has gone MC, 32nd, MC to start the 2023 PGA Tour season. However, this number in this field is simply too much for me to pass up. No less than 8 months ago, Billy Ho won one of the top five biggest non-majors of the year at Memorial. In a stacked field on a difficult golf course, Horschel won by four strokes and gained 17 shots on the field. 

One very interesting anecdote about this win is that Billy missed the cut the week prior and literally credited that missed cut to his win.

“You know it's funny sometimes when you miss cuts you're not playing that bad and I wasn't playing that bad I just a couple of bad course management decisions that fooch and I don't normally make. Obviously, I could have hit the ball a little bit better and could have made a few more putts like anything when you miss a cut. Brittany and I flew home Saturday morning and she sort of said would you rather make the cut you know finish the middle of the pack and not feel good about your swing or go home and work with TA for a couple of days sort of have a good clear picture and then have a chance to win at Memorial.” 

I am not sure how you read that quote and did not bet Billy Ho at 35/1 in this field. To make things even better Billy H plays some of his best golf in Florida and has had success at this very event. With four top-16 finishes in his last six starts at PGA National, it is certainly a comfortable spot for Billy. This Florida Gator has also popped on approach here multiple times, gaining over 5.8 strokes on approach on three occasions. 

Billy ranks 14th in SG: Putting and fourth in SG: Short game over the past 50 rounds on Bermuda Courses. There is certainly an advantage to knowing these tricky Bermuda grass greens, and Billy certainly has them figured out. 

Hayden Buckley +6600 (Bet $100 to collect $6,700) Get the best odds at PointsBet, click here to bet  

I talked earlier about betting on golfers who you think are extremely talented, that is exactly what I am doing with Hayden. If not for some short putter misses and a chip by Si Woo, Hayden Buckley is a PGA Tour Champion. An elite talent, that has been in contention on a Sunday this year at 66/1 is an easy bet for me. 

Hayden ranks first in Ballstriking, first in SG: OTT, fifth in Good Drives Gaines, and fifth in GIRs gained in this field over the past 36 rounds. I think the value at 66/1 is too good to pass up. 

Hayden certainly does not have any admiral course history to speak of at this event but he is such a better talent and golfer than he was on his last two tries it is not comparable. Buckley has also won in Florida before on the Korn Ferry. This was another Bermuda grass tee-to-green test with water lurking everywhere won at -13. 

Buckley is just someone I am going to bet wagering on this season as I was very close to cashing an outright on at 80/1 at Sony, his breakthrough is certainly coming soon. 

Honda Classic Picks

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Article Author

Golf

Brian Kirschner is the host of the Tap in Birdie Podcast and is a golf betting content creator from Long Island. Every week Brian has prominent guests in the industry come on his podcast and break down the upcoming PGA Tour event from a betting/DFS perspective. Brian loves nothing more than sweating first round leader and outrights bets.

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