Weekly Preview: Cadence Bank Houston Open

Weekly Preview: Cadence Bank Houston Open

This article is part of our Weekly Preview series.

Cadence Bank Houston Open

Memorial Park GC
Houston, TX

The PGA Tour heads to Houston for the Cadence Bank Houston Open.

After this one there is only one more official event in 2022, so savor this while it lasts. I say that because things are going to change next year, so if you've taken a liking to how things are run, you've got two weeks left to enjoy. Personally, I'm looking forward to ditching the wraparound schedule, as I've never understood the necessity to forego a true offseason. Time off helps us appreciate the sport more, and I've never been convinced that the top players care much about anything after the month of August anyhow. The break will be better for everyone involved. Selfishly, I'll appreciate not having to put together a season preview four months before most fantasy players start their season. It's not just about me, though -- the stars will get a real break for once, and the fans can focus on other things while letting the anticipation for the upcoming campaign build.

This week we've got the Houston Open, which will be played on the same course for a third consecutive year. That means we've got some course history to go on. The field is not great, but we do have some talent at the top.

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 6:15 PM ET Tuesday.

LAST YEAR

Jason Kokrak shot a final-round 65 on his way to a two-stroke victory over Scottie Scheffler and

Cadence Bank Houston Open

Memorial Park GC
Houston, TX

The PGA Tour heads to Houston for the Cadence Bank Houston Open.

After this one there is only one more official event in 2022, so savor this while it lasts. I say that because things are going to change next year, so if you've taken a liking to how things are run, you've got two weeks left to enjoy. Personally, I'm looking forward to ditching the wraparound schedule, as I've never understood the necessity to forego a true offseason. Time off helps us appreciate the sport more, and I've never been convinced that the top players care much about anything after the month of August anyhow. The break will be better for everyone involved. Selfishly, I'll appreciate not having to put together a season preview four months before most fantasy players start their season. It's not just about me, though -- the stars will get a real break for once, and the fans can focus on other things while letting the anticipation for the upcoming campaign build.

This week we've got the Houston Open, which will be played on the same course for a third consecutive year. That means we've got some course history to go on. The field is not great, but we do have some talent at the top.

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook as of 6:15 PM ET Tuesday.

LAST YEAR

Jason Kokrak shot a final-round 65 on his way to a two-stroke victory over Scottie Scheffler and Kevin Tway.

FAVORITES

Scottie Scheffler (11-2)

This number is a bit absurd even for Scheffler, but I can see where it's coming from even if I don't agree with it. Scheffler is the best player in the field and he's not only coming off a T3, but he closed with a 62, which might get people thinking about his run this past spring. If that guy is back, then yes, this price is reasonable. But we haven't seen that guy for a while, so I'd be cautious playing such a small number.

Sam Burns (12-1)

Behind such a heavy favorite, Burns is at a nice price as the second option on the board. Burns is firmly in the second tier of golfers worldwide, right below the elite class. However, it will only take one major to propel Burns into that category. He has a good shot to win in Houston, as he posted a T7 in his most recent start and posted a T7 in each of his two starts here.

Tony Finau (16-1)

Finau checked in with the same odds last week and missed the cut. That's not a great sign for the third favorite, and considering we are a week away from the small break preceding the 2023 portion of the schedule, Finau might be coasting a bit. His track record here is nothing special, with only two top-25s in six starts. Given the way he's playing, there's no value here.

THE NEXT TIER

Russell Henley (22-1)

Henley isn't the biggest name out there, but whenever I think of Houston he pops into my head. Henley's track record at this event is very strong, but most of his best results came at the previous venue. With that said, the T7 he recorded here last year indicates he's got a feel for golf in this town, and he just won in Mayakoba. Sure, his odds of winning a second straight event are long, but things are set up pretty nicely for Henley.

Taylor Montgomery (27-1)

Montgomery continued his extended heater this past week with yet another top-10. I'm not quite sure what to make of Montgomery at this point. Is he a good player on a hot streak, or is this level of play something we should get used to? Either way, Montgomery is rolling and there's no reason to think that will stop this week. Getting these odds on a guy that finished no worse than T15 in five fall starts seems like a good deal.

Denny McCarthy (37-1)

Perhaps now that McCarthy is getting more reasonable odds, his performance will improve. His odds shouldn't affect his play, of course, but when you are at his level and suddenly find yourself among the favorites like he has a couple times this fall, that can add some pressure. McCarthy is now back in the background a bit, so maybe we'll see his best game in Houston. He's coming off a T6 in his most recent start and finished top-11 in two of his past three starts here.

LONG SHOTS

Davis Riley (37-1)

Riley hit a rough patch earlier this fall, but he may have pulled out of it when he finished T21 in Mayakoba. When I started writing the article Riley was listed at 50-1, so it seems I'm not the only person who thinks that way. He's just too good to last in that range for too long.

Matthew NeSmith (40-1)

NeSmith was on quite a run when we last saw him at the ZOZO Championship in mid-October. He posted two T9s and a runner-up over a three-tournament stretch that same month, but oddly, we haven't seen him since. You'd think a player at his level would want to strike while the iron is hot, but hey, no one knows his game better than he does. Whatever the case, as long as the long layoff hasn't affected him too much, NeSmith should be good to go this week. His odds have also dropped down from 50-1, so don't wait too long to pounce.

ONE-AND-DONE LEAGUES

Highly-owned Pick: Russell Henley - Like I mentioned earlier, Henley's name is synonymous with Houston and he's coming off a victory, so we know his game is right. The question is, will OAD players use him right after a win? I doubt many will go with Scheffler or Burns here, so I think the answer is yes.

Moderately-owned Pick: Taylor Montgomery - We're past the stage of skepticism and now into the "hope I didn't miss out" chapter of the story. I don't think Montgomery will skip a beat in Houston, and I'm betting most OAD players think the same. Montgomery is the perfect pick for this time of year because you can't be sure of his value down the road, yet he's got plenty of that right now.

Lightly-owned Pick: Matthew NeSmith - NeSmith wasn't under the radar heading into his most recent start, but now that he's been absent for a few weeks and his odds are where they are, I doubt he'll get much attention in OAD leagues. NeSmith is another great pick for those trying to conserve options for 2023.

Buyer Beware: Tony Finau - In case you didn't pick up on it earlier, I'm not high on Finau this week. He has been tough to peg ever since his first full-field win a little over a year ago and it doesn't seem it will be easy to get a read on him anytime soon. Better safe than sorry in this instance.

This week: Taylor Montgomery - Well, I guess it's my turn. As I was writing, I was thinking I had already used Montgomery, but it turns out I haven't. Even with Hoge's missed cut last week I'm in a great spot thanks to Power's win, so I can continue to play guys that I probably won't need in 2023.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferResultEarningsRunning Total
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaTom HogeMC$0$2,460,485
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipSeamus Power1$1,170,000$2,460,485
THE CJ CUP in South CarolinaRickie FowlerT34$54,180$1,290,485
ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIPMaverick McNealyT12$222,310$1,236,305
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmithT2$712,000$1,013,995
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthyT39$31,995$301,995
Fortinet ChampionshipSahith TheegalaT6$270,000$270,000

FANDUEL PICKS

Upper Range: Scottie Scheffler ($12,000)
Middle Range: Matthew NeSmith ($10,700)
Lower Range: Russell Knox ($8,800)

SURVIVOR LEAGUES

This Week: Russell Henley - It's a little concerning that Henley is coming off a win, as you never know how a player is going to react in this scenario. However, this is Houston and Henley comes to play when he comes here. If it were any other place I wouldn't go down this road, but I believe Henley will be focused enough to make the weekend.

Previous Results

TournamentGolferStreak
World Wide Technology Championship at MayakobaBilly Horschel4
Butterfield Bermuda ChampionshipRussell Knox3
Shriners Children's OpenMatthew NeSmith2
Sanderson Farms ChampionshipDenny McCarthy1
Fortinet ChampionshipChez Reavie0

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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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