GOLF

PGA Betting Guide for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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 Zurich Classic of New Orleans based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.

The PGA Tour rolls out its lone full field team event in the Big Easy this week, the fifth installment of this event format. Teams will play best-ball on Thursday and Saturday and alternate shots on Friday and Saturday, and the wrinkle of team competition makes this event fun and unpredictable. Golf is an individual sport and most golfers are control freaks who get knocked off their game, especially in alternate shot, so we'll be eying up pairs that we think can embrace the fun aspect and get along well with their playing partner.

The board is pretty top-heavy this week, with a few powerhouse teams of top 20 golfers and many odd couples further down the board. Peter Uihlein and Richy Werenski (+16000 this year) came in third in 2021, so there's always a chance for one of the long shots to crash the party.

At the Top

Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa (+800) - Two of the top five players in the world team up to co-lead the betting market this week alongside a living Spider-Man meme in Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. We give the edge to the youngsters even if this nonsense would be a perfect troll win to end Schauffele's PGA win drought. Aside from the Olympics last summer, he has not won since January 2019, and even that was the 30-man Sentry Tournament of Champions. Hovland and Morikawa were still in college at that point, and since then they've won a combined 12 times worldwide. We'll ride the win equity at the top of the board and back two of the brightest young golfers we've seen in a long time. They'll be fixtures opposite each other in the Ryder Cup for years to come, and likely relish the chance to team up this week.

Sam Burns and Billy Horschel (+1200) - After cracking the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking with a second win at the Valspar Championship, the Louisiana native Burns now sits at No. 11 thanks to skipping the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and missing the cut at the Masters. Horschel sits at No. 14 after a nice win in Europe in the fall and quality, consistent golf all season. That makes them the third highest-ranked pair outside the co-favorites. Both Burns and Horschel are solid in all aspects of the game, with Burns in particular capable of leading the field in either ballstriking or putting in any given week. This pair teamed up in December at the QBE Shootout and finished runner up, and they came in fourth here last year. Horschel has great form in general at TPC Louisiana, winning individually in 2013 and picking up a team win alongside Scott Piercy in 2018.

Value Spots

Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Charl Schwartzel (+5500) - We skip a host of unattractive options to select a pair of South Africans at a solid number. Schwartzel finished runner up last year when paired with Louis Oosthuizen, and the duo was third in 2018, just two strokes behind Horschel and Piercy. Bezuidenhout fills in for the injured Louis, and his excellent short game combined with Schwartzel's course experience make them an intriguing option at 55/1.

Long Shots

Charley Hoffman and Nick Watney (+16000) - A mainstay in the field, Hoffman and Watney have finished T5, T31, T9, and T11 since this event became a team affair. Neither has been very good since then and aside from a runner-up for Watney at the Sanderson Farms Championship this past fall he has been abysmal. The T11 here came in the midst of a stretch where he missed 18 straight cuts in individual stroke play. Watney also picked up an individual title here back in 2007. Clearly, something clicks at TPC Louisiana, and with so much talent at the top of the board, we are fine structuring our card around two elite teams and a couple of dart throws.

Sean O'Hair and Scott Piercy (+19000) - Piercy won with Horschel a few years back and showed signs of life to finish T12 last week at another Pete Dye course, Harbour Town Golf Links. O'Hair is no stranger to team events, twice winning the QBE Shootout, which he's played every year dating back to 2011. He has as much comfort and familiarity with team golf as anyone in the field.

Kevin Chappell and James Hahn (+35000) - Chappell has a ton of upside if he's right after years of battling injury. Formerly a top 25 player in the world and tee-to-green stud, he has consecutive top 20s in his last two events. Those performances are enough signs of life to spark interest at 350/1 alongside Hahn, another potential candidate for catching lightning in a bottle.