Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Why we're staying away from Adam Scott
This week's Butterfield Bermuda Championship serves as a great test - just how much do you enjoy betting on golf? Because you have to really, really enjoy it to wager real American money on it this week.
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Of course, others would argue this is the perfect opportunity to win some serious cash. This event has been very kind to longshots, historically, and there are plenty of good ones to choose from at Port Royal.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2023 Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Brendon Todd (20-1, DraftKings) — The Georgia Bulldog is at home on Bermudagrass, evidenced by his win here and ranking top 10 in this field in SG/putting on the surface. He played some great golf at the end of the summer, finishing sixth at the Wyndham and seventh in Napa. Short courses with tons of wedge shots are where he thrives, and I’d consider him the favorite to hoist this trophy.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Doug Ghim (30-1, FanDuel) — Ghim is a great ball-striker and has a great overall tee-to-green game. The putter is what bogs him down. At an easy setup like this with birdies to be had, he makes a lot of sense.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Akshay Bhatia (22-1, DraftKings) — Bhatia is a prolific scorer who ranked 12th in birdie-or-better percentage on tour this season. He’s improved his putting from being one of the worst on tour to being average—a major step forward. Now he is fresh off a T-10 in Cabo and stays in a tropical location where he has done so much damage in his young career.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Lucas Glover (25-1, BetMGM) — Glover is the guy to beat this week. Few pros played better at the end of the year than The Glove. And if you recall, he missed the cut the week before he rattled off two back-to-back wins. He similarly played poorly in Mexico, but he shook off the cobwebs to get ready for this week. A sneaky angle I like, besides the Ryder Cup snub: He won the PGA Grand Slam of Golf event here at Port Royal in 2009. I’ll bet he wins here again.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest staff writer: Alex Noren (25-1, FanDuel) — Noren is not far removed from a top-five finish at the Shriners and he had success in his lone appearance in Bermuda in 2019, finishing 15th. He’s been a top-15 iron player in this field over the last 50 rounds, per Fantasy National, and he’s been excellent on Bermudagrass throughout his career.
Andy Lack, RickRunGood.com and Inside Golf podcast: Alex Smalley (22-1, FanDuel) — I have been long awaiting the first Alex Smalley win, and this feels like his best opportunity yet. The Duke University product is a perfect fit for Port Royal, and he already has recorded back-to-back top-12 finishes in both of his appearances here. The course fit makes sense on paper. Smalley ranks second in this field at generating birdie opportunities, fifth in proximity from 100-to-125 yards, 13th around-the-green on Bermuda courses, eighth on shorter courses, and eighth in ball-striking in windy conditions.
Past results: It’s Fall Swing time. Our panel finished the 2023 playoffs strong, with our anonymous caddie cashing on Viktor Hovland to win the BMW Championship at 16-1. Before we turn the page to 2024, we still have a few events left in the autumn months, giving our experts a chance to build on the strong 2023 season. Stephen Hennessey already has us off to a hot start, correctly predicting Sahith Theegala’s win at the Fortinet Championship (16-1).
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "The Loop," (below) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "The Loop" wherever you get your podcasts!
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Matti Schmid (60-1, BetMGM) — I’m a big believer in Schmid’s talent. The German young-in bombs the ball, and he’s an absolute birdie-maker (third in this field over the past 24 rounds in Birdie or Better percentage). That’s a lethal combo at Port Royal.
Gdula: Andrew Novak (75-1, FanDuel) — The recent form for Novak is full of missed cuts (whose isn’t in this field?), but he has one of the better all-around games in this field over the past 50 rounds.
Gehman: Harry Hall (70-1, DraftKings) — Hall has two ways that he separates himself from most PGA Tour fields: putting and shots from 125 yards and closer. This week at Port Royal, those are the two most important factors. Per the RickRunGood.com golf database, Hall is 21st on shots between 50-to-125 yards and ranks fourth in SG/putting. This is one of the better set-ups he could ask for on the schedule.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Henrik Norlander (100-1, DraftKings) — The former Augusta State standout made the playoff at the Sanderson Farms a couple weeks ago, another Bermudagrass course, and he could be factor here. He’s always been a great ball-striker, and he gained nearly six strokes on approach in his last measured start (Vegas). He’s also gained more than 10 strokes with the putter in his last two measured starts. A hot putter on his favorite surface could translate to success here.
Powers, Golf Digest: Camilo Villegas (150-1, BetRivers) — Coming off such a close call last week, this is impossible not to take at this number against this field.
Lack: Troy Merritt (66-1, BetMGM) — Anytime we travel to a shorter golf course that heavily emphasizes wedge play and putting, Troy Merritt is always live. One of the best players inside 100 yards in this field, and a top-five slow green Bermuda putter as well, I expect Merritt to be extremely comfortable at Port Royal. He already has a 40th-place finish here in 2021 and is coming off a Sunday 65 in Mexico.
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Players We’re Fading
Caddie: Adam Scott (14-1, DraftKings) — I’d expect this week for Scotty to shake the rust off.
Gdula: Taylor Pendrith (22-1, FanDuel) — Pendrith’s not the most ideal course fit. He’s able to flash with some good weeks here and there but doesn’t stand out compared to other names at similar win odds this week.
Gehman: Thomas Detry (20-1, DraftKings) — Detry is threatening the top of the betting board, but he doesn’t have much form to make that a confident click. He has zero top-10 finishes in his Past 14 events worldwide and only once has he cracked the top 20 during that run. It’s true that he has thrived in Bermuda, but his form was much better leading into the two previous editions.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Adam Scott (14-1, DraftKings) — This event has been very kind to long-shots, so I’ll stay away from the betting favorite.
Powers, Golf Digest: Adam Scott (14-1, DraftKings) — Adam Scott has said before that there are only a handful of tournaments that truly matter each year. This is not one of them for a player of his calier. Doesn’t mean he can’t win it as the favorite, I’d just rather back guys who need a win a little more than the former Masters champ.
Lack: Lucas Herbert (22-1, FanDuel) — I know that Lucas Herbert is a past champion here, but he still lacks any form of true consistency on a week-to-week basis. While always a great putter, the Aussie is still an incredibly below-average iron player and he’s been playing mediocre golf lately, at best. This is still too steep of a price to pay for a player that carries this much volatility.
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Matchups
Caddie: Brendon Todd (-110) over Adam Scott (DraftKings) — My pick to win against my player to fade is a no-brainer.
Gdula: Martin Laird (-120) over Kramer Hickok (FanDuel) — There’s a big gap in skill between Laird over the past year and in recent rounds, and Laird is showing value even at these odds in my model.
Gehman: Alex Noren (-139) over Luke List (Bet365) — Noren teed it up here in 2019, his only trip, and finished T-15. He’s always an accomplished putter who has gained multiple strokes to the field in eight of his last twelve measured events. He’s made three cuts in a row this fall including a T-3 in Las Vegas.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Alex Noren (-139) over Luke List (Bet365) — Noren’s putting and wedge play are a couple classes above List. You’re paying up for it, but the oddsmakers are telling you how big of an edge Noren has despite List’s recent win.
Powers, Golf Digest: Troy Merritt (-110) over Austin Smotherman (DraftKings) — If this was a Thursday matchup only, Smotherman would win by a million. Over the course of four days, though, I’ll roll with Merritt, who has a pair of top 10s in his last four starts.
Lack: Alex Smalley (+100) over Alex Noren (DraftKings) — This is an easy one, as I am getting plus money on my favorite outright pick to win against another option who I have serious concerns about. Noren is always an okay fit on paper on any course that de-emphasizes driving skill and increases the importance of putting, but he’s still one of the poorer long-term wedge players in this field and looked mediocre in his last start at the Zozo. Smalley will be a factor in this tournament on Sunday, while I would be surprised if Noren made the weekend.
Matchup Results from the World Wide Technology Championship: Powers: 1 for 1 (Jaeger (+105) over Theegala); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Jaeger (-120) over Spaun); Lack: 1 for 1 (Aberg (-125) over Cam. Young); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Aberg (-125) over Cam. Young); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Jaeger (-120) over Spaun); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Aberg (-125) over Cam. Young); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Pendrith (-110) over Champ).
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Powers: 26-19-3 (up 6.6 units); Hennessey: 27-19-2 (up 6.15 units); Lack: 22-14-2 (up 5.2 units); Caddie: 25-19-4 (up 3.96 units); Gehman: 25-21-2 (up 1.74 units); Mayo: 21-22-2 (down 2.04 units); Gdula: 20-27-2 (down 8.63 units)
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: Top 10s
Caddie: Justin Lower (+550, DraftKings) — The 34-year-old finished eighth here last year and 17th in 2022, so he clearly likes Port Royal. And he’s comes in with a few decent finishes, so I think he keeps that going here.
Gdula: Alex Smalley (+240, FanDuel) — Smalley has two top-12 finishes at this course over the past two years and remains a top-tier iron player in a field like this one.
Gehman: Ben Griffin (+260, DraftKings) — Griffin has had a decent fall, highlighted by a T-2 in Jackson and T-23 last week in Cabo. He’s a top-50 player on tour from 125 yards and in, which makes him much better than that in a field of this caliber. He’ll look to replicate his success that earned him a T-3 at this event last year.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Taylor Pendrith (+260, Bet365) — The Canadian would’ve threatened the top of the leaderboard in Mexico if it wasn’t for a lackluster Thursday. He also had a third-place finish in Vegas and comes back to a venue where he held the 54-hole lead in 2022, so I’d expect him to continue his hot play.
Powers, Golf Digest: Dylan Wu (+400, DraftKings) — Wu needs to putt the lights out to contend, and I like his chances to do that this week on his favorite putting surface: Bermuda. He’s also excellent from 100-to-125 yards, which the real experts are telling me is important this week.
Lack: Ben Griffin (+260, DraftKings) — While I have not been pleased by the way that Ben Griffin handles his business late on Sundays, I’m not sure there is a safer bet in the field to at least find himself in the mix. Griffin finished third at this golf course last year, and he is one of the best wedge players and slow-green Bermuda putters in this entire field. Coming off a rock-solid 23rd at the WWT where he shot 67-66 over the weekend, I expect Griffin to continue his strong play in Bermuda.
Top-10 results from World Wide Technology Championship: Gehman: 1 for 1 (Akshay Bhatia +360); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Gehman: 14 for 48 (up 22.2 units); Gdula: 11 for 48 (up 3.4 units); Lack: 9 for 38 (down 0.1 units); Hennessey: 8 for 48 (down 2.6 units); Powers: 6 for 48 (down 6.4 units); Caddie: 10 for 48 (down 8.23 units); Mayo: 8 for 45 (down 9.9 units)
Butterfield Bermuda Championship picks 2023: One and Done
Gehman: Adam Scott — Scott clearly has the best pedigree of anyone in this field and has been staying sharp by playing golf all over the globe this fall. He’s gained strokes on approach in four of his last five measured events and has gained with the putter in nine of his last eleven. There’s no point in saving him for next year, so fire away with the favorite.
Previous weeks: Shriners: Tom Kim. Sanderson Farms: Eric Cole. Fortinet Championship: Stephan Jaeger. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. World Wide Technology Championship: Sahith Theegala.
Hennessey: Lucas Glover — I highly doubt I'd use Glover another time in the season, so this seems like a good spot to deploy him.
Previous weeks: Shriners: Adam Hadwin. Sanderson Farms: Eric Cole. Fortinet Championship: Stephan Jaeger. Zozo: Keegan Bradley. World Wide Technology Championship: Ludvig Aberg.
Powers: Alex Noren — Will not be needing Noren again this season and think he can definitely hang late into Sunday against this field.
Previous weeks: Shriners: Tom Hoge. Sanderson Farms: Eric Cole. Fortinet Championship: Akshay Bhatia. Zozo: Hideki Matsuyama. World Wide Technology Championship: Stephan Jaeger.
About our experts
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME.
Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13.
Rick Gehman is the founder of RickRunGood.com and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.
Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also a data analyst and writer for RickRunGood.com, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for Golf.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports