Weekly Preview: AT&T Byron Nelson

Weekly Preview: AT&T Byron Nelson

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

AT&T Byron Nelson

TPC Craig Ranch
McKinney, TX

The PGA Tour heads to Texas for the latest edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

For years I have been dropping the "Open" or "Invitational" when referring to a tournament, and the Byron Nelson organizers followed suit. Perhaps they made this change years ago and I'm just now recognizing it, but whatever the case, we're back in Texas and the golfers will get another crack at TPC Craig Ranch. 

This event has always been held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but it has hopped around numerous courses over its 70 years. What that means, of course, is that we're left with an all-too-familiar situation of not having much history. Unlike last week, though, we do have last year's results, which should come in handy when selecting golfers. Just how much you want to lean on track record is up to you, though, as there is some firepower in the field, most of whom have never played here or didn't fare well this past year. As such, in terms of pegging, perhaps this week will look a lot like this past one.

All odds via golfodds.com as of 6:00 PM ET Wednesday.

LAST YEAR

K.H. Lee shot a final-round 66 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Sam Burns.

FAVORITES

Scottie Scheffler (10-1)

I could be mistaken, but I believe this is the first time Scheffler has been atop of the odds chart this season. On behalf of the betting public

AT&T Byron Nelson

TPC Craig Ranch
McKinney, TX

The PGA Tour heads to Texas for the latest edition of the AT&T Byron Nelson.

For years I have been dropping the "Open" or "Invitational" when referring to a tournament, and the Byron Nelson organizers followed suit. Perhaps they made this change years ago and I'm just now recognizing it, but whatever the case, we're back in Texas and the golfers will get another crack at TPC Craig Ranch. 

This event has always been held in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but it has hopped around numerous courses over its 70 years. What that means, of course, is that we're left with an all-too-familiar situation of not having much history. Unlike last week, though, we do have last year's results, which should come in handy when selecting golfers. Just how much you want to lean on track record is up to you, though, as there is some firepower in the field, most of whom have never played here or didn't fare well this past year. As such, in terms of pegging, perhaps this week will look a lot like this past one.

All odds via golfodds.com as of 6:00 PM ET Wednesday.

LAST YEAR

K.H. Lee shot a final-round 66 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Sam Burns.

FAVORITES

Scottie Scheffler (10-1)

I could be mistaken, but I believe this is the first time Scheffler has been atop of the odds chart this season. On behalf of the betting public I say, it's about time! The oddsmakers and the public are often slow to adjust to up-and-comers, unless they've been hyped endlessly like Jordan Spieth. Although it has taken some time, the experts finally got it right. Now, that doesn't mean Scheffler is going to win or even that there's value at this number, but they do have the right guy on top. Scheffler played here last year with little success, but that doesn't matter. He's a much different golfer right now than he was 12 months ago.

Justin Thomas (12-1)

This goes to show how far Scheffler has come. As recently as a couple months ago, the thought of anyone outside of the established elite being listed ahead of Thomas on the odds chart was unimaginable. JT is one of the most talented players out there, but the results haven't been there this year. He's ranked a respectable 20th in the FedExCup Standings, but he has not recorded a win or even a runner-up. This price is simply too short for Thomas right now.

Sam Burns (20-1)

There are a bunch of players at this number this week, and a lot of them are intriguing. However, Burns looks like the best of the bunch. A statement like that as recently as a few months ago would have seemed absurd, as others at this number are Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele. However, Burns has played his way onto that level. Burns has the edge over that pack because he's proven he can play on this course. He posted a runner-up in the last edition of this event, and like Scheffler, he's a better golfer now than he was at this time last year.

THE NEXT TIER

Jordan Spieth (20-1)

Due to the grouping of the odds, there really isn't much of a middle tier. There are the two favorites, a bunch of players at 20-1, then not a whole lot before you're suddenly at 50-1. With that in mind, I felt the need to list one more guy at the 20 number, and that's going to be Spieth, who won in his most recent start. Despite that – as well as the fact he's playing in Texas – his odds are well below Scheffler and JT. It's almost like the oddsmakers are asking you to bet Spieth.

Joaquin Niemann (30-1)

Niemann enters at No. 16 in the standings, which is a little surprising, as he seems to fly under the radar quite a bit. However, his win at the Genesis Invitational in February put him in a great spot. Niemann hasn't done much since, but he did post a decent T12 at the RBC Heritage in his most recent solo start. Niemann's rise has been gradual, but it looks like he might be on the brink of really breaking out. A win this week would send him into uncharted territory.

Talor Gooch (40-1)

Gooch won The RSM Classic this past fall, and no one would have batted an eye if he had coasted a bit to start the 2022 portion of the season. But that's not what happened at all. While Gooch hasn't won, he has managed six top-25s already in 2022, and he seems to be trending up this week. Gooch did get four rounds in on this course last year, which should help his cause.

LONG SHOTS

Kurt Kitayama (100-1)

Kitayama's run is likely over, but what if it isn't and he is actually evolving into a more consistent golfer? Kitayama caught some eyes when he nearly won in Mexico, and he followed that up with a solid T15 at the Wells Fargo Championship. Odds are he's simply on a heater, one that will likely end soon. At this number, though, he might be worth a look.

Stephan Jaeger (150-1)

Jaeger entered this season with some steam, but until recently he hadn't accomplished much on the PGA Tour. What he's done in the past three weeks, however, is why he's listed here. Jaeger posted a T29 in New Orleans and followed that with a T15 in Mexico. He topped both of those outings with a T6 this past week.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Sam Burns - I would venture to say that most OAD players have already used Scheffler, n and if not, the rest are saving him for something bigger, which is why I don't expect many to be on him this week. Burns is a perfect fit. He's not a guy you'd necessarily save for the majors, and his sweet spot is events like this. He's got the track record here, which always adds a level of comfort.

Moderately-owned Pick: Jordan Spieth - Spieth will likely be a popular pick this week, as I don't think many OAD players have the confidence to use him in the majors right now. So, what better place to deploy him than in Texas – and right after he won? I can't argue with this pick, as Spieth seems to be rounding into form and we know he likes playing in Texas.

Lightly-owned Pick: Talor Gooch - There are some interesting long shots this week, but I wouldn't reach any lower than Gooch, who could end up with a decent check if he plays like he has over the past few months. The question here is, can you afford to pass on all the names above him? If you do and Gooch plays well, you'll likely make a nice move up the standings, as I can't imagine many will go with him.

Buyer Beware: Brooks Koepka - It's been a bit of a wild season for Koepka, as he's played poorly in big events, missing the cut at THE PLAYERS and the Masters while playing well in lesser events like the Phoenix Open, where he notched a T3. If that script holds, he'd be a good pick this week, but I don't think his game is where it needs to be right now.

Last Week: Cameron Young - T2 - $681,000

Season Total: $6,763,016

This week: Jordan Spieth - Scheffler looks like a great pick, but unfortunately I used him earlier this season before he went on an all-time heater. That leaves Spieth as the next man up. This is by no means a consolation prize, though, as Spieth looks like a solid play. My only concern is that even though he won in his most recent start, he didn't exactly look like he was back to being the "old" Spieth.

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Scottie Scheffler ($12,100)
Middle Range: Talor Gooch ($10,800)
Lower Range: Mackenzie Hughes ($8,700)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

Last Week: Cameron Young - T2

Streak: 4

This Week: Talor Gooch - I've already used Spieth and Burns in this format, and I want to save Scheffler and Thomas for a major, so that leaves someone a bit down the board in Gooch. He made the cut here this past year, and he's become adept at making cuts in general, going 14-for-17 this season.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Greg Vara
Vara is the lead golf writer at RotoWire. He was named the FSWA Golf Writer of the Year in 2005 and 2013. He also picks college football games against the spread in his "College Capper" article.
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