Honda Classic Expert Picks: Our Experts' Longshot Picks
Honda Classic Expert Picks: Our Experts' Longshot Picks
Last week's winner, John Rahm, came in with +750 odds. He didn't qualify for our longshot picks. But we're back this week as our seven golf experts give us their Honda Classic longshot picks on the PGA Tour this weekend.
The Honda Classic is the next stop on the PGA Tour, and some of the bigger names on tour will not be making an appearance. Still, this provides plenty of great value picks to be made. Former Honda Classic winner Sungjae Im leads the betting as the +850 favorite, and behind him is Shane Lowry at +1400. The field isn't the best, but this opens up opportunities for longshot picks!
Geoff Feinberg, Rick Gehman, Brian Kirschner, Bradley Todd, Stuart Durst, Sam Eaton, and Tom Jacobs give us their favorite Honda Classic longshot pick ahead of Thursday's first round and break down why they think this week is the right time to strike.
Before we get into our Staff's Longshot picks for the 2023 Honda Classic, check out this offer from DraftKings Sportsbook. With the DraftKings promo code, you will bet $5 and win $150 when your first Moneyline wager wins. That means you can boost any of the Honda Classic outright market favorites to an effective 30-1 today!
Honda Classic Longshot Picks
Tom Jacobs: SH Kim (+6600) (Bet $100 to Collect $6,700)
SH Kim is enjoying an impressive start to his rookie PGA Tour season, and I believe he can post his best finish yet, in a weaker Honda Classic. He started the season with three straight made cuts, including a 4th place finish at the Shriners and a 13th place finishes at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He firmly cooled as the winter break approached, but he picked it up again in 2023. Kim started the year with a T12 finish at the Sony Open, which is definitely encouraging, given this event correlates nicely with winners at the Honda Classic.
Four players have won both the Sony Open and the Honda Classic since 2007, and Kim can post another good finish here with that in mind. In his last three starts, Kim has finished T20 at the Farmers Insurance Open, T41 at Pebble Beach, and T33 at Riviera last week, and that is solid enough form, coming into this thinner field. Two South Korean golfers have won this event since moving to this course in 2007, as Y.E. Yang and Sungjae Im have lifted the trophy here, and while Kim is not in their class yet, the field this year gives him an opportunity to claim his first title at this level.
-- Tom Jacobs (@TomJacobs93)
Sam Eaton: Aaron Rai (+6600) (Bet $100 to Collect $6,700)
Drive straight, nail approach shots from 150-200 yards, and putt well is the order for the Honda Classic. It might seem odd that I've opted for a player who is very unreliable with the putter. However, Aaron Rai can get hot on Bermuda, which he's shown at the Houston Open and Sandersons.
It was Rai, or a bigger longshot in Kodaira. If Aaron Rai can get his putter going, he has a chance in this field!
-- Sam Eaton (@SamEaton12)
Stuart Durst: Adrian Meronk (+5000) (Bet $100 to Collect $5,100)
After finishing 33rd last week at the Genesis and becoming the first Polish player to make the cut at a USA PGA Tour event, I like Meronk to keep the momentum going this week. We finally have a field without elites like Rahm and Scheffler, so some of these long shots should finally have more of a shot.
With a weaker field, I like a guy like Meronk coming over with good form and his fit on this tougher course. Over his last 8 tournaments (DP/PGA), he is second in this field SG:OTT and third SG:T2G, and he's been slowly improving on the weakest element of his game (putting). I like him to stick around on Sunday in a tough week with tough competition.
-- Stuart Durst (@MonotoneFootbal)
Bradley Todd: Aaron Rai (+6600) (Bet $100 to Collect $6,700)
Aaron Rai has made three consecutive cuts and looks to be trending in the right direction. He finished T29th last week at the Genesis Invitational and just about got through the cut line. He then went on to play the weekend excellently with rounds of 69 and 68. Rai hit the ball superbly T2G, ranking 14th on App, 22nd OTT, and 18th ATG, but just struggled with the flatstick.
I'm not convinced with Rai on bermudagrass, but I believe he's having trouble with his putting in general. He can spike on that surface, which we saw at the Houston Open back in November. He ranked 12th SG Putting that week and finished T7th. He played in this event last year and opened up with a round of 67. That was the only highlight as he progressively got worse as the event went on; he eventually finished 66th.
PGA National is the type of course where a bit of experience can go a long way, so that round of 67 offers some encouragement. The course plays tough and can be heavily affected by the wind, which should play into his hands. We've seen plenty of Europeans, and links specialists show up at PGA National in previous years. Rai falls into that category, and I believe he's worth chancing at 66/1.
-- Bradley Todd (@Bradley_Todd)
Brian Kirschner: Hayden Buckley (+6000) (Bet $100 to Collect $6,100)
As I am writing this on a Tuesday morning, I am still very confused about how Hayden Buckley is +6000 in this field. Respectfully, he should not be longer odds than Ben Griffen, Stephan Jaegar, Joey Bramlett, and Byeong-Hun An. 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 60/1 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. Being elite, OTT has proven to be important here as Sepp Straka ranked 1st in SG: OTT on his way to victory last year.
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.
-- Brian Kirschner (@BrianKirschner_)
Rick Gehman: Joseph Bramlett (+6000) (Bet $100 to Collect $6,100)
Bramlett will enter the week with a streak of seven straight cuts made, and his two most recent starts are some of his best -- T13 in La Jolla and T7 at Pebble Beach. He's gifted with an elite distance skill set and has improved in the short game. He could contend if he can keep his tee shots in play this week.
-- Rick Gehman (@RickRunGood)
Geoff Fienberg: Danny Willet (+7000) (Bet $100 to Collect $7,100)
We make the move from the west coast to the east on the PGA Tour, and that's probably some good news for long shot bettors who've had very little to cheer about lately, but Bermuda grass, wind, and water on some difficult course is what we have in store this week.
I'm going with the Englishmen Danny Willet, who is set up to play some of his best golf on short courses in which scoring can be a challenge. Willett contended to the very end this fall in losing a weak field swing season event to Max Homa. He is also coming off a great week at Riviera, gaining nearly 6 strokes tee to green. Short irons and short game on a difficult scoring setup is when Willett has winners circle potential.
-- Geoff Fienberg (@gfienberg17)
Stuart Durst, also known as @MonotoneFootbal on Twitter, is a writer and sports bettor specializing in the NFL, NBA and CFB. When he’s not writing for OddsChecker, he enjoys playing basketball and talking player props with his community.
Founder of RickRunGood.com and Golf Host on CBS Sports.
Known for his vast knowledge and entertaining approach to talking golf, has a documented record picking outright winners on the award winning podcast "The Pat Mayo Experience".
Tom Jacobs is the host of the Lost Fore Words golf podcast and has been writing betting articles on golf for the past decade. Tom also co-hosts the DP World Tour Picks & Bets show on the Mayo Media Network, so has his finger on the pulse on all the major Tours. A long-suffering Nottingham Forest fan, Tom also enjoys watching Soccer at the weekend, and was delighted to see his Forest team win promotion this season!
Bradley Todd is best known for his knowledge of golf on a global scale. He shares his bets across all the tours on his Patreon and has turned a profit of 700+ points for the last three years. He can also be found weekly on the Lost Fore Words podcast contributing his thoughts of the upcoming PGA/DPWT events.
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.