- The Honda Classic tees off Thursday, February 27th
- Tournament favorite Tommy Fleetwood is also favored to grab the first round lead
- Should you bet on Fleetwood to beat Brooks Koepka in a matchup play?
The start of the Florida swing begins at the Honda Classic, the first of four consecutive tournaments in the Sunshine State, where Tommy Fleetwood is the betting favorite to win, followed by Brooks Koepka and past champion Rickie Fowler in a field that isn’t as strong as its been in recent years.
While we already have you covered on who are the best bets and value picks to win the tournament, who stands a strong chance to be the first round leader and what’s a good head-to-head matchup to bet on this week?
2020 Honda Classic First Round Leader Odds
Odds taken Feb. 26th
Conditions should be ideal and virtually the same on Thursday, where it’s expected to be partly sunny with almost identical wind speeds throughout the day.
The only potential benefit, as it always would be, goes to the players with early tee times because the greens aren’t as bumpy and haven’t had as much traffic on them as those teeing it up in the afternoon.
Viktor Hovland a Good Play
What better pick to continue to let the good times roll than last week’s winner at the Puerto Rico Open (the other tournament contested opposite of the WGC-Mexico Championship), which was Viktor Hovland.
Winning with AUTHORITY!
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) February 23, 2020
The 22-year-old Norwegian hotshot sports enticing +3300 odds to be the first round leader this week. In his last 13 opening rounds, dating back to last year, nine of them have been in the 60’s, with three of them being a 70, along with a lone poor total of 75 at the ZOZO Championship in October.
In a wide open tournament, he’s as good a pick as anybody, in particular because he has an early morning tee time.
Pick: Viktor Hovland (+3300)
2020 Honda Classic First Round Leader Best Value Picks
- Sungjae Im (+4000): T-4th in first round scoring average this season. Ten of twelve opening rounds have been in the 60’s on the campaign, with worst round being a 71.
- Ryan Palmer (+5000): T-4th in this tourney last year, finished runner-up (in a playoff) in 2014 Honda. Was T-4th at Sony Open earlier this season and was in the hunt on Sunday at the Farmers Insurance Open.
- Wyndham Clark (+6600): Led after first round of Waste Management Phoenix Open three events ago. T-2nd after day one in his last event, the Genesis Invitational. Was in final group heading into the final round of last year’s Honda Classic, before finishing T-7th.
Tommy Fleetwood vs Brooks Koepka Honda Classic Matchup Odds
|Tommy Fleetwood||-1.5 (+100)||-130|
|Brooks Koepka||+1.5 (-135)||+109|
It’s always a dangerous game betting against Brooks Koepka, who seemingly wills himself to huge tournament – or plays a middle of the pack event. A key area to focus on is Koepka’s recovery from a knee injury that might still be lingering for him, contrasting that to Fleetwood’s stellar play in their last five respective tournaments.
Tommy Fleetwood and Brooks Koepka’s Last Five Tournaments
|T-18th||WGC-Mexico Championship/Genesis Invitational||T-43rd|
|T-11th||Omega Dubai Desert Classic/Saudi International||T-17th|
|T-2nd||Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship||T-34th|
|2nd||DP World Tour Championship/CJ Cup at Nine Bridges||Withdrew|
|WIN||Nedbank Challenge/Shriners Hospitals for Children Open||Missed Cut|
Last year Koepka came oh-so-close with a runner-up result, but Fleetwood has had success here as well, with a fourth place showing in 2018. Pick the healthier player and the golfer in better form in Fleetwood.
Pick: Tommy Fleetwood -1 1/2 strokes (+100) and moneyline (-130)
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