2020 Houston Open Sleepers and Longshot Picks

Sam Burns offers a lot of value this week with +10000 odds to win the Houston Open. Photo by @GolfChannel (Twitter).

  • The 2020-21 PGA Tour season continues Thursday (Nov. 5) at Memorial Park Golf Course, in Houston, TX
  • Sam Burns ranks sixth in this field in birdie or better percentage over his past 50 rounds
  • Read below for analysis of the event and our favorite sleepers and longshot plays

The season may be young, but so far the 2020-21 PGA Tour campaign has belonged to the longshots. Last week, for the fifth time in eight events, a golfer with odds of 90-1 or longer took home the trophy.

That golfer was of course Brian Gay, who won for the first time in nearly eight years at the Bermuda Championship. Gay was pegged as a 200-1 longshot before the tournament began, and weโ€™ll be looking to find another diamond in the rough this week at the Vivint Houston Open.

Vivint Houston Open Odds

Golfer Odds to Win Top-10 Odds Top-20 Odds
Sam Burns +10000 +750 +335
Sepp Straka +11000 +1000 +450
Will Gordon +17500 +1400 +700

Odds taken Nov. 3rd at DraftKings.

The event is moving to Memorial Park Golf Course this year, and will mark the first PGA Tour tournament played there since 1963. The course measures over 7,400 yards as a Par-70, which should favor strong off-the-tee play, and precise long irons.

2020 Masters Odds Tracker

Bermuda Burns

Our first target this week is Sam Burns, who checks all the boxes weโ€™re looking for. Over the past six months, he ranks second in this field in strokes gained off-the-tee, 25th in proximity beyond 200 yards, and 29th in putting.

His putting should get a boost this week, as players are back on Bermuda greens which is Burnsโ€™ preferred surface. The 24-year-old gains an average of .65 strokes on the field per round on Bermuda greens, which is one of the highest totals of anyone playing this week. Heโ€™s also a fantastic scorer, ranking sixth in birdies or better gained over his last 50 rounds.

Pick: Sam Burns to win outright (+10000)

Straka Stripping It Lately

Next on our card is Sepp Straka, who already has a 21st and 14th place finish on his 2020-21 resume. The Austrian gained a healthy 6.4 total strokes last week in Bermuda, racking up 17 birdies along the way.

The 27-year-old ranks 15th in strokes gained off-the-tee, 13th in proximity beyond 200 yards and 10th in strokes gained putting. Heโ€™s yet to break though and win on Tour, but he has shown a very high ceiling.

Heโ€™s finished eighth or better three separate times in the last 13 months, including a fourth-place result last year at this very same event. Of course, the venue is different this time around, but hopefully the good Texas vibes he experienced last year will carry over.

Pick: Sepp Straka top-10 finish (+1000)

Will the Thrill

Last but not least, we have Will Gordon who is fresh off a 34th place finish last week. The 24-year-old has been hit or miss since bursting on the scene with a third place result at the Travelers, but sets up beautifully for this course.

Gordon smashes the ball off-the-tee, ranking 10th in that metric in this field, and is the fifth most accurate player from 200+ yards away. Heโ€™s also an elite scorer, ranking 10th in birdie or better percentage. His achilles heel is his putting, but when that part of his game is locked in the results follow.

Heโ€™s gained strokes or been neutral with the flat stick in only five of 15 events, but three of those weeks yielded finishes of 21st or better. Last weekโ€™s tournament in Bermuda didnโ€™t have shot tracker, but Gordon ranked 14th in the field in putts per greens in regulation. If he can tread water with the putter a top-20 finish is well within his range of outcomes.

Pick: Will Gordon top-20 finish (+700)

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Chris Amberley

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