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Odds Outlook: Defending Champion Scottie Scheffler edges Rahm, McIlroy as the favorite in Austin

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Odds Outlook: Defending Champion Scottie Scheffler edges Rahm, McIlroy as the favorite in Austin

Austin Country Club welcomes a field of 64 for the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play, and there’s a familiar name atop the odds list.

    Written by Mike Glasscott @MikeGlasscott

    Pete Dye gives plenty of players trouble, but Scottie Scheffler (+800) has appeared to crack the code. The Texan is listed as a betting favorite this week at BetMGM Sportsbook as he looks to go back-to-back in the Lone Star State.

    Scheffler lost in the final on his debut here in 2021 but closed the door last year for his first WGC title. The former Longhorn rolls into another title defense this week after blowing away the field in his last outing on another Pete Dye venue, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. His group consists of two players who are making their first visits (Tom Kim and Davis Riley) plus an out-of-form Alex Noren.

    Another designated event with a star-studded field means Jon Rahm (+1100) will be lurking near the top. This week, even with the match play format, isn't any different. Not even a WD halfway through THE PLAYERS Championship, or T39 at Bay Hill after a rough weekend, can slow this freight train down. The Spaniard appears to enjoy the format here as he went second on debut (2017) and has won his group three times in five visits, including the last two years. Opening with a trending Rickie Fowler, surging Keith Mitchell and former Dell champion Billy Horschel should sharpen his focus.

    Rory McIlroy (+1200) tried to go back-to-back in this event in two different cities, as he won the 2015 edition at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park but lost in the semifinals here the following year. In four subsequent visits he's only vanquished his group once (2019). After going close at Bay Hill (T2) he didn't stick around for the weekend in his last outing at TPC Sawgrass. Keegan Bradley and Denny McCarthy have also playing well and are with McIlroy and Scott Stallings in Group 3.

    If there's a player who just continues to ring the bell regardless of grass, design or field, Max Homa (+1800) easily checks all of those boxes. His duel with Rahm at Riviera fell just short, but a T14 at Bay Hill was followed by T6 at TPC Sawgrass. Not many, if any, signs of slowing down! His third visit to Austin finds him looking for his first group win, as he's won three of his first six matches. Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Kisner along with red-hot Justin Suh join him in Group 5.

    Pete Dye has been kind to Patrick Cantlay (+2000) at The Stadium Course at PGA WEST and Harbour Town, but not Austin Country Club. Making his fifth visit he's still searching for his first advancement out of the group stage. Drawing the chilly Brian Harman and two first-timers in K.H. Lee and Nick Taylor could be the tonic. His form isn't the issue, as Cantlay trucks in with T19-T4-3rd in his last three.

    The group of five at +2200 all catches the eye, one way or another. Collin Morikawa has cashed T13 or better in four of his last six, including three T6 or better. ... Jordan Spieth has done everything but win in the last month. He couldn't hold the lead on the back nine at Valspar last week and settled for T3. Cashed T4 at a difficult Bay Hill with T19 at TPC Sawgrass sandwiched in the middle. ... Viktor Hovland’s form is heating up as he's cashed five of six T20 or better, including T3 at THE PLAYERS last time out. ... Xander Schauffele hasn't found much fun in Austin over the course of his first four visits. Just two top-10 paydays in 2023, but the best of the bunch was T3 at PGA WEST. ... Tony Finau adds to the West Coast players who haven't broken through here. Like Schauffele and Cantlay, he has never won his group in this event.

    Here's a look at the BetMGM odds on the rest of the 64-man field, with group play set to begin Wednesday and the winners of each of the 16 groups advancing to single-elimination play beginning Saturday:

    +2500: Tyrrell Hatton

    +3300: Jason Day, Sungjae Im, Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young

    +3500: Sam Burns

    +4000: Matt Fitzpatrick

    +4500: Tom Kim, Tommy Fleetwood

    +5000: Hideki Matsuyama, Keith Mitchell, Rickie Fowler, Shane Lowry

    +5500: Corey Conners, Keegan Bradley

    +6600: Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Sahith Theegala, Si Woo Kim, Min Woo Lee, Tom Hoge

    +8000: Adam Hadwin, Adam Scott, Alex Noren, Brian Harman, Denny McCarthy, Kurt Kitayama, Matt Kuchar, Russell Henley, Seamus Power, Taylor Montgomery

    +10000: Aaron Wise, Davis Riley, Harris English, Justin Suh, Maverick McNealy, Ryan Fox

    +12500: Adam Svensson, Adrian Meronk, Cam Davis, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, Kevin Kisner, J.T. Poston, Nick Taylor, Victor Perez

    +15000: Andrew Putnam, Ben Griffin, J.J. Spaun, K.H. Lee, Lucas Herbert, Mackenzie Hughes, Sepp Straka

    +20000: Davis Thompson, Scott Stallings

    On the line this week is a prize pool of $20 million with the winner receiving $3.5 million plus 550 FedExCup points. This part of the world is known for boots, cattle and great BBQ, but don't forget about the wind and weather. Major energy abounds on Friday after a slight chance on Thursday. Saturday, as of this writing, is the best of the bunch as sunshine returns and the winds calm. Sunday's final four matches could have another slim chance of isolated storms.

    There’s also a second PGA TOUR event this week, as another field heads to the Dominican Republic for the Corales Puntacana Championship. Fresh off a fifth-place showing at the Valspar Championship, Wyndham Clark is a clear betting favorite in the Caribbean with 2021 champ Joel Dahmen not far behind:

    Odds to win Corales Puntacana Championship (via BetMGM)

    +800: Wyndham Clark

    +1800: Thomas Detry

    +2000: Joel Dahmen, Taylor Pendrith

    +2200: Patrick Rodgers

    +2500: Emiliano Grillo

    +2800: Ben Martin, Matt Wallace

    +3300: Chad Ramey

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