By Matt Cooper | | 4 mins
WGC Betting: HSBC Champions Tips, Analysis & Best Bets
This week’s World Golf Championship (WGC) doesn't boast the strongest field – no Tiger Woods, Brooks Koepka or Dustin Johnson – but there is plenty of quality in Shanghai at the HSBC Champions. Rory McIlroy leads the golf betting market followed by Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele, three past winners of the tournament.
WGC-HSBC Champions Best Bets
|Paul Casey Top 20 Result||-137 |
|Poulter Over Hadwin Match Bet||-125 |
|Reed Leads After Round 1||+3300 |
All odds are current as of publication and subject to change.
PICK 1: Paul Casey Top 20 Result
Bookmakers seem unaware of the Englishman’s fondness for the course or playing in China, but nonetheless, this looks like a solid play.
Let’s look at his course record first. He’s played Sheshan International 12 times and only twice did he failed to make the top 20. The exceptions were 2015, when he was T23 and one shot off the target, and 2009 when he was T12 heading into the final round, but withdrew.
It’s incredibly consistent for a man who seems to enjoy a challenge from the tee. If we look at his record elsewhere in China it is almost as good with another 10 Top 20 results in 15 starts.
What about the WGC? How about 31 Top 20 results in 50 appearances? That leaves us with the question of his play and in his last 25 starts worldwide he has 14 Top 20 finishes, including four in his last five starts. He was T17 last week in the Zozo Championship.
888sport has Casey at -137 for another Top 20 and, as tight as it is, the numbers are good.
PICK 2: Poulter Over Hadwin Match Bet
Last week we had success supporting Poulter and there looks to be good reason to back him this week, albeit with a different opponent.
The first thing to look at in match bets is the head-to-head count and there’s absolutely no doubt that Poulter holds the advantage, winning 7-2 when he and Hadwin play the same tournaments this year.
It’s true that Hadwin finished second and fourth in his last three outings but he was T41 last week in Japan, his first start in this mini-Asian swing, while Poulter finished Top 20 in Korea and Japan during the last events.
When you look at their course records, however, this pairing looks like an even better matchup. Hadwin finished T65 two years ago, then T30 last year and while he broke 70 twice in his eight rounds, he failed to score better than 73 in the other six.
In complete contrast, Poulter is an 11-time veteran of the course, collecting eight Top 30 results along the way, six of them Top 20. He also boasts two wins in China, including this event at Missions Hills. Take BetAmerica's price of -125.
Sheshan International. ⛳️ pic.twitter.com/aTUXb2ASrq— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 26, 2016
PICK 3: Reed Leads After Round 1
Patrick Reed, the 2018 Masters champion, has plenty of experience playing in this tournament and on this course, but to say that it is boom or bust might represent something of a massive understatement. Let’s deal with the bad news first.
In 2016, he failed to shoot 75 in three of four rounds, while he carded 82-74 and before closing last year's tournament with a 77. All of which is sufficient incentive to overlook his chances of improving on two seventh-place finishes (in 2015 and last year).
But if backing him in the outright market feels like a stretch, there are good reasons to believe he has it in him to go low. In 2016, when three of those rounds were so hapless, his third round was a 66 and that’s far from the only example.
Moreover, the other three examples all occurred in round one. There was a 65 in 2015 which left him tied for fifth and a 66 in 2017 had him tied for fourth. He bettered both with a 64 this time last year, vaulting him two shots clear of the field. 888sport making him a +3300 option (each way) to once again thrive on Thursday.
About the Author
Matt Cooper has been a golf journalist for more than a decade, covering every aspect of the sport for a wide range of publications, including Sky Sports, NBC, Golf365 and ESPN.