Bombs & Values Honda Classic

2021 Honda Classic Bombs & Values: The 5 Best Value Plays For Your DFS Lineups and Betting Cards

About that time again for some Bombs and Values! Last week was a wild ride, and while the winner came out of a different article than this, the Bombs & Values write up for THE PLAYERS featured T3 finisher Brian Harman, as well as Abraham Ancer, Cameron Smith, and Si Woo Kim who each exceeded their DFS pricing value, and probably set you up for a fairly profitable week. I didn’t feature Corey Conners in my Bombs write up last week because his odds plummeted between the time I placed the bet and wrote the article, but he also delivered a great 7th place finish at 175/1 odds for us.

This week, we will NOT be seeing 48 of the top 50 players in the world. Just by eyeballing it, I’d say maybe 5 or 6 of the top 50 players in the world are here. That means there’s not a ton of resistance up top to prevent value players from winning this week, as good a reason as any to take a chance on some longer shot bombs. Now with that said, we’re talking about one of the toughest courses on the PGA Tour in PGA National, so this is not a track that just anyone can win. That’s where this article comes in handy to identify exactly who’s worth taking the risk on. Let’s get into it!

DFS Values

U.S. Open: Pennsylvania native Jim Furyk's closing 66 good for a T2

Pricing from Draft Kings

Brendan Steele ($8,700)

The man of Steele is always under-owned, regardless of where he’s priced, and with him sitting in unchartered upper-$8K territory this week above the likes of Cameron Davis and Matt Wallace, I’d expect that ownership trend to continue. People don’t get very excited to play him, and he rarely makes a serious push to win, but at the end of the day when you look back at the leaderboard, Steele’s name always pops up towards the top.

Steele has made a perfect 7/7 cuts in 2021, including a T4 at The Sony Open at the start of the year. As I talked about in the Tournament Preview, the Sony Open may be the top correlating course on Tour to project success at the Honda Classic, and there are few events Steele plays better at than The Sony, finishing T4 in T2 there in the last two years. And that does in fact translate well to the Honda Classic, as Steele has finished T15 or better here in 4 of his last 5 trips, including a T4 last year. Consider Brendan Steele a high floor play in a great ownership leverage spot this week.

James Hahn ($7,300)

I’m putting my foot down now when I say 2021 is the last year this wonderful event at PGA National will be referred to as the Honda Classic. After James takes care of business here, it will forever be known as the Hahnda Classic.

Leaderboard gravity got the best of him after carrying a several-stroke Sunday lead at the WMPO last month, but a T10 finish there is nothing to hang your head over, and he followed that up two weeks later with a T15 finish against an even stronger field at The Genesis. Hahn has 5 T15s in his last 12 events, and he should be licking his chops measuring himself up against this week’s field.

We don’t have much course history to go off of, as he’s been skipping this event since 2014, but his measurables line up great for PGA National. He is one of only 11 players to rank Top-100 in each of the 15 top key stats this week. He ranks #33 T2G, #40 BS, #13 SG, and #15 in total Putting. Hahn ranks #7 in Par 4 Scoring, which is one of the primary stats I’m looking at this week, given this Par 70 will feature 12 of them.

He is coming off a solid T41 showing at THE PLAYERS last week, which featured a 67 and 69, so if he can tap into that form for 4 days at PGA National, his well-rounded game and solid recent form should keep him in contention versus this field.

Jim Furyk ($6,900)

Good old Jim Furyk has probably only been referenced in punchlines on this website so far, but I’m actually very serious about playing him this week. After weighting all my key stats into the Fantasy National custom model this week, Jim Furyk popped up #8 in this field, ahead of the likes of Sungjae Im and Adam Scott. That’s a credit to him ranking #16 T2G, #14 APP, and #7 Bogeys Avoided. The benefit of experience here means you can take a conservative approach, play for pars, and in the name of March Madness, survive & advance through the weekend. If this was a birdie fest, I’d give Furyk a 0% chance to compete, but Jim Furyk is a grinder who is at his best when the scoring gets tough, ranking #3 SG: TOT at courses where scoring is difficult relative to par.

Yes, Jim Furyk is old, but he was also old in 2019 when he fired back to back T10s at the Honda and THE PLAYERS in 2019. And the present, even older version of Jim Furyk hasn’t been deterred from making the cut in his last 4 events. If Approach is the most important stat of the week, I feel safe leaning on Furyk at this price.

Cameron Percy ($6,900)

I’ve been prepared to write up Cameron Percy a few times this year and a few things just keep holding me back. The first was him testing positive for COVID in December, leaving him questionable for the first few events to start the year. The other thing is, I just cannot stop confusing him with Scott Piercy. I really can’t explain why that is; one’s an American named Scott, the other’s an Aussie named Cameron. Maybe I’m in denial that there really can be 3 quality Australians on Tour named Cameron. All I know is, I was all sorts of confused when Scott Piercy WD’d this week with COVID, but was relieved to finally be able to play the right guy, Cameron Percy.

So like I was saying, every week I run my key stats and Percy is in the field, he jumps to the top. He is one of only 6 players this week to rank above average in the Top 10 key stat categories (SG: TOT, T2G, BS, APP, Opps Gained, Birdies Gained, P4 Scoring, Bogey Avoidance, Prox 175-200, P4 350-400). He’s also Top 100 in each of the Top 15 key stat categories. His recent form checks out with 3 T30s in his last 4 events, and I expect him to continue to lean on his hot Iron play, where he’s only lost strokes on Approach once in his last 11 events dating back to last July.

A T7 at the Puerto Rico Open three events ago happens to be tied for the best finish of his career, so why not continue that career-best momentum again here at the Honda Classic!

Roger Sloan ($6,500)

Corey Conners has fled the scene this week and so that leaves the “King of the North” crown vacant for another fellow Canadian to don in the interim. Not so fast, Mackenzie Hughes and Adam Hadwin, I’m talking about Roger Sloan at this nice, juicy price of $6.5K.

Heading into this demanding course which requires precision on your first and second shots, Sloan comes in having gained strokes Ball Striking in 11 straight events dating back to the Wyndham Championship 7 months ago. He ranks #20 T2G, #19 BS, #17 OTT, and #38 APP coming into this event, which is all very encouraging coming from a low $6K player. He is one of only 11 players in the field to rank T70 in both Driving Distance and Driving Accuracy, which is all I’m asking for off the tee this week.

While his putting is the weakest part of his game, ranking #91 SG: P – TOT, he actually jumps to #14 in this field SG: P at PGA National through his first two appearances. When weighting his putting between Total, Bermuda, and PGA National, Sloan ranks out as a respectable 54th in total putting. If Sloan can continue his hot Ball Striking streak and finish better than average on the greens, we should expect a solid T20 bid from the pride of Canada.

Betting Bombs

Padraig Harrington: I never took more pleasure from another player winning  than Tiger Woods last year | Sport | The Sunday Times

Matt Wallace (+7000)

The first thing I thought to myself when I finished researching all the key stats for The Honda Classic this weekend was that it’s Matt Wallace week. And the first thing I did Monday morning when odds came out was bet Matt Wallace. He opened at 70/1, is currently down to 48/1 on some books, and honestly I think I’d still bet him at 40/1.

You want a grinder on tough courses? Check. Wallace ranks #5 SG: TOT on difficult scoring courses relative to par. That has a lot to do with the fact that Matt Wallace is a big game hunter who makes his living on the Euro Tour and only stops by state-side for Major & WGC prep. That makes it rare for a guy like Matt Wallace to square off against a field as bereft of talent as this one in a PGA Tour event, so he should be riding plenty of confidence here.

Course fit-wise, PGA National is a perfect fit for Wallace’s strengths. Wallace is one of just 7 players in the field to rank T50 in Ball Striking & Approach and Above Average in Putting, Driving Accuracy, and Driving Distance. That’s the simple formula for me this week and he checks those boxes easily, ranking #27 BS, #17 APP, #31 P, #44 Driving Distance, #70 Driving Accuracy.

Wallace has played this event the last two years and finished with a MC and a T20. He missed the cut on the number in 2020 and lost 1.7 strokes on Approach. He came into that event having averaged 2.2 strokes lost on Approach in the 5 previous events coming in. This year, he’s completely flipped that around, averaging 1.4 strokes gained on Approach in his last 5 events. We should expect big things from Wallace against this field, given the state of his current game.

Luke List (+7000)

I think Luke List is always worthy of hoisting up a bomb bet on. His Ball Striking is consistently amongst the best on Tour, currently ranking 12th SG: BS, and his putting has shown that while woefully inconsistent (#141 SG: P), it has the propensity to flare up from time to time. And shockingly enough, it’s actually been trending positively over the last month, as List has now gained strokes putting in 4 consecutive events, including a total 3.6 strokes gained putting on the previous two Florida Bermuda greens and another 1.6 gained on TPC Scottsdale’s Bermuda greens two weeks prior. If you look at Luke List’s putting over the span of his last 4 events, he ranks 24th in the field SG: P! I never thought I’d be able to write these words, but Luke List trots into the Honda Classic as a Top 25 Putter.

List also carries some great course history at the Honda Classic, featuring two T10s in 6 career trips, highlighted by a T2 in 2018. He’s gained strokes Ball Striking in each of his last 5 trips here dating back to 2016 and has gained strokes Putting in 3 of his 6 trips to PGA National, which by Lists’ historical standards, is something to be encouraged by.

Aaron Wise (+9000)

Aaron Wise is begging for a seat at the #TeamNoPutt table and after screening his calls for long enough, I’ve finally decided to entertain him at PGA National. Wise ranks #11 T2G, #15 BS, #21 APP, and #30 ARG in this field, and you’d never know it looking at his recent results, because out of 150 players, he ranks #143 in SG: P. When you just need to 2-putt for par on most holes to gain strokes on the field, I’m more willing to take a chance on the top Ball Strikers who can’t putt, and just hope that they can muster a field-average putting performance. If there is a glimmer of hope with the flat stick, it’s that last year Wise gained a full stroke putting at the Honda Classic en route to T35 finish. Two of his best recent finishes came at Mayakoba (T2) and the Bermuda Championship (T26), which were both not measured by ShotLink, so I’m even willing to stretch and say he probably did not lose strokes Putting at either, which isn’t factoring into his dismal putting ranks.

So consider Aaron Wise this week’s Keegan Bradley, except you don’t have to pay Keegan’s 40/1 price, you can double it for Wise.

Harold Varner III (+9500)

Varner is going to pop in most people’s models if you put any weight on ball striking. He is #11 APP, #17 BS, and #9 T2G. His Putting has been the only thing standing in his way from really contending to win golf tournaments this year, but he’s even made steady strides in that department now ranking #67 SG: P, so it’s surprising to see his price dip this low in a field this beatable.

Like Matt Wallace, Varner also falls under a list of just 5 names in the field who rank T30 BS & APP, Above Average in Driving Accuracy and Driving Distance, and T100 in Putting.

HVIII has made the cut in 4 of his last 5 events, including a T21 at the API and T13 at the WMPO in that span. The putter was magic at the API, gaining 3.1 strokes over the course of the tournament, which leaves a glimmer of hope for optimism that he can channel that again at PGA National. He’s had average results so far at the Honda Classic, making the cut here each of his last 4 trips, but has not finished better than T42. That has to due with the fact that he’s lost at least 2 strokes putting every single trip here. It’s asking a lot, but if he can find a way to putt field-average for the week, he is going to stick around and contend this week.

Padraig Harrington (+25000)

You’re going to be hard pressed to find a better +25000 bet the rest of the season in my opinion. There are only two multi-winners of the Honda Classic – Jack Nicklaus and Padraig Harrington. Paddy won this 10 years apart, first in 2005, then again in 2015, proving that sometimes course history just runs deep within you. Six years later, the Ryder Cup captain is showing some signs of life again, making 4 of his last 6 cuts.

He’s a respectable 45th in SG: APP, 7th in P3 Scoring, and 22nd in P5 Scoring. He also joins Roger Sloan on a list of just 11 players in this field to rank T70 in both Driving Distance and Driving Accuracy. That’s some deceptive Paddy Power he’s still got in those bones!

Harrington’s still got some stones, well not entirely. He shot T31 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational while passing Kidney Stones. I don’t understand how he did it, but knowing that that’s past him, I have to imagine he won’t play worse this week!