The PGA TOUR heads to Palm Beach Gardens for The Honda Classic this week. The tournament is played annually on PGA National’s Champion course and marks the first event of the Florida swing.
Golf fans have been spoiled the past two weeks. As expected, the PGA’s new elevated events drew impressive fields and incredible golf. The unfortunate flipside, however, means less attendance at the “other” events. That’s the case this week at the Honda Classic. Only three of the world’s Top 20 golfers are in the field, and just eight golfers currently ranked inside the Top 50 are playing.
PGA National’s Champion course is an original Tom Fazio design with two course upgrades made by Jack Nickalus. It plays as a Par 70 and is widely considered one of the toughest tracks on tour. Perhaps no three-hole stretch is more feared than the infamous “Bear Trap” across holes 15-16-17. The breezy Florida winds are often a factor, so expect more modest scores this week.
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Let’s take a look at the latest for the PGA Honda Classic betting odds from the top legal sports betting apps. If you’re interested in using one of these sports betting apps for the first time, don’t forget to check out our exclusive betting promos and bonuses currently available.
The Honda Classic Betting Odds
The top of the odds board looks different this week with the biggest names skipping this event. Sunjae Im is the betting favorite at +900. He won this event in 2020 and finished inside the top 10 in 2021. Last year’s runner-up, Shane Lowry, is the second betting favorite and is available at +1400.
There’s a large group of golfers available in the +2500 to +3000 range depending on your sportsbook. Alex Noren, Aaron Wise, Min Woo Lee, Matt Kuchar, Chris Kirk, Billy Horschel, and Denny McCarthy are featured in that second tranche of betting odds.
For casual golf fans, this might seem like a good week to watch something else. But for savvy golf bettors looking for outright value? Oooooh baby. The Honda Classic is a treasure trove of longshot winners.
Here’s how I’m betting the Honda Classic at PGA National:
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The Honda Classic Betting Strategy
In wide-open events, it’s a good idea to take some longer shots. The Honda Classic is known for cashing some juicy tickets. Six times in the last 10 years, the winner here has entered the tournament with monster odds. Last year’s winner, Sepp Straka, went off at 125-to-1. Matt Jones, the 2021 champ, was 80-to-1 entering the week. Keith Mitchell was 250-to-1 when he won this event as a rookie back in 2019… and so on!
With that in mind, focus your betting card down the board — WAY down the board. With strong winds and water everywhere, PGA National’s Champion Course is a great equalizer for all game types. I’m targeting two guys who favor accuracy over distance, both off-the-tee and with their irons. With so many past champions coming from out of nowhere, I’m looking to the stratosphere for some long shots.
These aren’t locks, so keep the betting units smaller this week.
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The Honda Classic: Outright Winner Bets
Kramer Hickok (210-to-1)
This is a monster number on a guy who should compete this week.
Take a look at Kramer Hickok’s last 10 tournaments and you’ll be… unimpressed. Hickok carded eight missed cuts in a row from October of last year through to the Waste Management Phoenix Open. So, why the longshot bomb here?
Hickok finished T-29 last week at the Genesis Invitational. He played steady golf in tricky conditions, carding rounds of 69-69-72-70. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll see that Hickok gained more than a stroke per round against the field tee-to-green. That ranked inside the Top 20 SGT2G for the week. Considering the strength-of-field was the toughest of the year, that’s no small feat.
The reason I’m super bullish on Hickok this week? He shot a 1-under 70 during the final round of the Genesis paired with Tiger Woods. While most guys struggle to keep their composure when paired with golf’s greatest champion, Hickok thrived. He stared Tiger’s Sunday red shirt in the face, surrounded by the largest gallery he’s ever seen, and bested the GOAT by three shots on a tricky golf course. Well done, young man.
I’ve been waiting to buy back in on Hickok since his runner-up finish at the Travelers Championship in 2021. TPC River Highlands is another Par 70 that favors accuracy over distance with water lurking everywhere. Sounds just like… PGA National’s Champion Course?
Hickok should enter this week with some renewed confidence and perhaps even some Tiger swagger. At a monster number in a wide-open field, he’s worth a look this week.
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Satoshi Kodaira (200-to-1)
Satoshi Kodaira is another golfer way down the board who could make a run this week. We last saw Kodaira at Pebble Beach, where he finished T-29.
What’s most impressive about Kodaira’s game is his ball striking. He gained more than three strokes T2G at Pebble Beach, good enough for fifth that week. And that stat isn’t an outlier. Through four tournaments this year, Kodaira ranks fifth overall in strokes gained tee-to-green on the PGA Tour.
Kodaira is also third in approaches from over 200 yards, showing solid ball-striking abilities from further out. That’s an important stat this week, as PGA National’s Champion course features 12 Par 4s instead of the usual 10. And each of its Par 3s can stretch out to 200 yards from the tips. As for Kodaira’s proximity to the hole? From all yardages?
No. 1 on the PGA Tour this season. You read that correctly.
With a winning score expected to be in the single digits, ball striking is paramount this week. How can you not bet the guy leading the tour in proximity to the hole at 200-to-1?
The Honda Classic: An Important Note About Multiple Sportsbooks
Betting longshots to win the Honda Classic stresses the importance of having accounts at multiple sportsbooks. It’s a necessity if you want to take your sports betting to the next level. Case in point, my above longshots.
I bet Kramer Hickok to win the Honda Classic at FanDuel Sportsbook at 210-to-1 odds. Hickok is no higher than 150-to-1 at all other major sportsbooks, and can be found as low as 100-to-1. While that would still provide a hefty payday, it’s less than HALF of what I was able to get at FanDuel. If a $100 bettor took 100-to-1 odds instead of 210/1 odds, he would leave an additional $11,000 of profit on the table in the event Hickok comes through this week.
And Kodaira? I bet him at 200-to-1 at DraftKings Sportsbook since FanDuel was only offering 150-to-1 for that market. Again, by doing nothing more than having multiple accounts, a $100 bettor would net an extra $5,000 by betting Kodaira at DraftKings over FanDuel.
Don’t limit yourself to a single provider. Betting lines are often a function of how much action sportsbooks take on certain players. The lower the odds, the bigger the sportsbook liability in most cases. It’s pretty random, so give yourself an edge by having as many accounts as you can.
Each of the top legal sportsbooks is safe, and reliable, and offers tons of opportunities in the golf betting market. Don’t leave profit on the table by limiting yourself to just one of ‘em!
Article contributed by Jim Robinson