Will Zalatoris, Sam Burns Drawing Lots of Action Ahead of AT&T Byron Nelson

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(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Ryan Hannable @RyanHannable May 10, 2022, 12:21 PM

While some of the golf betting world is already looking ahead to the PGA Championship next week, this week’s AT&T Byron Nelson should be a nice appetizer. 

Seven of the top-13 players in the world will be teeing it up, including world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. This makes it arguably the best field since last month’s Masters.

The tournament is one of the oldest on the PGA Tour, but it’s been contested at several Texas courses over the last few years. It will be at TPC Craig Ranch for the second straight year, and if last year taught us anything, it’s to expect lots of birdies.

K.H. Lee won the 2021 event by three strokes over Sam Burns with a 25-under par score, and six players finished 20-under or better. 

Given there will be plenty of birdie opportunities, when targeting players to bet on this week, iron play and putting will be the key. 

Players who give themselves the most birdie looks with solid ball-striking combined with a good week of putting will likely be at the top of the leaderboard at the end of the week.

This is why it’s no surprise to see Will Zalatoris and Burns generating the earliest action at the BetMGM online sportsbook.

As of Tuesday, Zalatoris has the most tickets (8.6%) and is generating the highest handle (12.6%). Meanwhile, Burns is pulling in 4.9% of the tickets, good for sixth-most, but the second-most handle at 10%.

Zalatoris has +2200 golf odds to win, while Burns is +2000.

This will be a home game for Zalatoris as he searches for his first PGA Tour win. The 25-year-old grew up in the Dallas area and told reporters last year he played the course hundreds of times as a junior golfer. 

His game also seems to be a natural fit.

Zalatoris is second this year on the PGA Tour in strokes gained tee-to-green, giving himself plenty of birdie looks. The issue is he currently is 170th in strokes gained putting. But, he’s shown signs of improvement in his last several events. If he can putt average compared to the rest of the field, he should be in the mix come Sunday afternoon. 

Meanwhile, Burns is quietly the 10th-ranked player in the world and finished second at the event last year, which should give him some good vibes heading into the week.

The 25-year-old averages 4.60 birdies per round, which are seventh on the PGA Tour this year, and he’s 18th in strokes gained tee-to-green.

Burns should make a good amount of birdies, so if he keeps his mistakes to a minimum, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be in contention over the weekend.

Current Handle & Tickets

Handle

  1. Will Zalatoris – 12.6%
  2. Sam Burns – 10%
  3. Scottie Scheffler – 7.6%
  4. Maverick McNealy – 6.5%
  5. Dustin Johnson – 6.3%

Tickets

  1. Will Zalatoris – 8.6%
  2. Scottie Scheffler – 7.9%
  3. Jordan Spieth – 6.6%
  4. Dustin Johnson – 5.4%
  5. Justin Thomas – 5.2%

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth seem to be flying under the radar a bit. 

Thomas, who has played well of late, has seen his odds move from +1400 to +1200. Spieth, who will also be playing close to home, is +2200, up from opening at +2000.

Scheffler, who has four wins in his last six individual starts, has +1000 odds, the best in the field.

Lee, the defending champion, is +8000 to win and only has seen 0.8% of the tickets and 0.3% of the handle.

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About the Author

Ryan Hannable

Read More @RyanHannable

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”

Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”