PGA Betting Guide for the John Deere Classic
Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below we will cover the best bets for the John Deere Classic based on current form, course fit, and, of course, the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook. For more info on TPC Deere Run and the key stats this week, check out the Course Primer.
Stats are from Fantasy National Golf Club and are for golfers in the field over the last 50 rounds, unless otherwise noted.
At the Top
Viktor Hovland (+1600) - Hovland is the favorite ahead of other young guns including last week's winner, Matthew Wolff. Despite the win at the 3M Open I'd rank Wolff a good measure behind Hovland, Joaquin Niemann, and next highlighted golfer. Any of these guys would make for an exciting investment and an opportunity to cheer for a future star, but Hovland is the superior prospect and a more complete player compared to Niemann. The powerful Norwegian has just 28 rounds to his name as a pro and he missed the cut in his first two events during the swing season. In the 24 rounds since then, Hovland ranks first in opportunities gained, second in strokes gained: tee to green, and third in strokes gained: approach.
Collin Morikawa (+1800) - While Wolff gets the adulation after his stunning putt to win last week, it is easy to forget that Morikawa's own eagle attempt lipped out before he tapped in for birdie to tie for second place. Hovland has a larger sample, but his best finish so far was the T12 at the U.S. Open that was, if we're being honest, nowhere close to contending for the win as he was nine strokes behind eventual winner Gary Woodland. Morikawa is offered at a tad longer odds and has come closer to tasting victory than either Niemann or Hovland.
Sam Burns (+3300) - Burns has been a model of consistency this year, with the lone exception being the withdrawal at the Memorial Tournament back in May after a Thursday 81. He hasn't missed an official cut since February, but has just two top 10s in that span over 12 events. Playing this well often culminates in a breakthrough. It is tempting to jump right down into the long shots given last year's out of nowhere win by Michael Kim, but the larger data set points to this range if it's not a top player. Bryson DeChambeau and Jordan Spieth have won here in recent years, but so have mid-tier talents like Ryan Moore (+2900 this week) and Brian Harman (+2200).
Bud Cauley (+5000) - Cauley was still recovering from injury during last year's John Deere Classic, but he showed well in both 2017 and 2016 with finishes of T12 and T8, respectively. He gained in all facets of the game -- off the tee, approach, around the green, and putting -- in both of those performances, and he matched that feat last week at the 3M Open for just the third time since that 2017 John Deere. In addition to the outright money, he's worth a look at +600 for a top 10 finish.
Joel Dahmen (+5000) - Dahmen was runner up here last year with a few other names in this range, and since then he's shown a much improved all around game and finished as the in solo second in a much tougher field and course at the Wells Fargo Championship. Dahmen fits both profiles in play at TPC Deere Run - first time winner and repeat strong finishes. The real money should be invested in the first round leader market, where he's a juicy +6500 after snagging shares of the Thursday lead twice already this season.
Talor Gooch (+6500) - Also a good play in daily fantasy, Gooch showed the ability to post high finishes when he booked back-to-back top 5s at the Desert Classic and the Farmers Insurance Open back in January. He did his damage on the par 5s in both of those events, gaining 6.3 strokes at the Desert Classic and 4 strokes at the Farmers. He is also a huge value at +7500 for first round leader. He lost 2.6 strokes on approach in his final round at the 3M Open, and in two comparable rounds he's bounced back for a strong approach week in round 1 the following week. Gooch lost 2.7 strokes on approach in the second round at the Memorial and missed the cut; in his first round at the RBC Canadian Open he gained 2.8 strokes on approach and shot 66, ultimately finishing T35. Likewise, he lost 3.7 strokes in the third round at the AT&T Pro-Am to miss the cut, and he bounced back to gain 2.8 strokes in the first round of the Honda Classic. He finished in a tie for 20th that week.
Hank Lebioda (+10000) - Lebioda is a nice bomb option given his quality ballstriking (10th in approach) and strong lead in form. He gained strokes in all four categories last week for the first time in his career. He's been hitting it too well all year to finish the season with just two finishes inside the top 20, and his irons are so money when they are on that there is definitely a path to a win here.
Adam Svensson (+21000) - Svensson has basically the same profile as Lebioda except he's an even better approach player (8th) and a far, far worse putter. He's lost strokes putting in 12 straight events on Tour, but the week he just makes enough to be around field average he can actually push for a shot at the trophy. He was T15 last week, his best finish as a pro, gaining 12.1 strokes tee to green and losing 5.1 strokes putting. To put that in perspective, the top three golfers at the 3M Open finished at -21 (Wolff winner) and -20 (Morikawa and Bryson DeChambeau tied). Svensson finished at -14 but if he just tread water putting he'd have been right there in contention. The long term outlook is not good, but for one week anything can happen on these greens.