For those who missed it, please check out the 2020 Rocket Mortgage Classic Preview and Betting Strategies column for the types of golfers you should look to target for your bets.
With that in mind, here’s who I like this week at Detroit Golf Club (with odds courtesy of MyBookie.ag).
Champion Futures (With Top 10 Prop Odds)
Patrick Reed – 16/1 (+160): Detroit Golf Club will likely yield another birdie fest where the winner will eclipse 20 under for the week. While both Patrick Reed and Webb Simpson qualify as two guys under 20/1 that can get molten hot with the putter, it’s Reed who typically putts much better on bentgrass and poa surfaces than Webb does. Reed also drastically underperformed with his putting last week at Travelers to ruin what was a solid ball striking week. A regression to the mean with his putting and continued steady ball striking could land him in the winner’s circle for the second time this season.
Tony Finau – 30/1 (+300): Hitting a Finau 30/1 winning ticket probably wouldn’t cover all the losses he’s delivered for backers in the past for failing to climb the mountain top. But if there ever was a week for Finau to nab a long awaited win, it’s at this event. At his best, there are very few guys in the field that can beat him, and though he’s hot and cold with his putter when it’s on it’s on. He also typically putts better on bentgrass and poa surfaces like he’ll see this week. If the flat stick comes to play for him, it could finally be his week.
Doc Redman – 42/1 (+400): Redman has been playing awesome tee-to-green since returning from the COVID break, gaining just under 16 strokes on the field in that department over his last three tournaments. He’s a trendy pick because of his great finish last year in this event, but between that and how many boxes he checks of important player attributes to hone in on the extra attention he’s receiving is warranted. All that stands in his way is his putter, which will have to show up if he wants to break through for his first win on the PGA Tour.
Brandt Snedeker – 45/1 (+400): Snedeker is certainly not the player he once was, but he’s still capable of going really low on the scorecard by piling on birdie after birdie with his elite putting. Detroit Golf Club isn’t a demanding ball striking golf course, meaning as long as Snedeker can keep it in play off the tee he should give himself plenty of birdie opportunities all week. I’m not all that discouraged with how poorly he struck his irons last week, as even with how mediocre he is with them his performance at Travelers was well below his long term trends. Any sort of positive regression towards the mean in that department could mean big things for him.
Others to Consider (with Top 20 Props)
Adam Hadwin – 60/1 (+260): Hadwin has been a popular sleeper since the PGA Tour returned, but hasn’t really returned much dividends. But once again Hadwin finds himself on a golf course that typically suits his strengths – accuracy off the tee, precise irons and hot putting. Against a weaker field, maybe he gets it going to finally meet expectations.
Harold Varner III – 66/1 (+270): Last week Varner III was woefully underpriced, and there seems to be a drastic correction in his pricing due to the weak field. Nevertheless, I like him again this week because of his good history on bentgrass and poa golf courses as well as the great ball striking he’s displayed all year long. Like Finau, he’s overdue for a breakout win the PGA Tour.
Tyler Duncan – 110/1 (+450), Tom Hoge – 125/1 (+500), Chesson Hadley – 175/1 (+650): The combination of a benign golf course setup and a weak field greatly increases the chances of a longshot winner this week. Here are three guys I like who check a lot of boxes for players over 100/1 this week. All of them do a pretty good job keeping it in play off the tee and are good ball strikers with their irons. Whether their putter shows up is anyone’s guess, but they have the tools to at least set themselves up to deliver low scores.
Other Props and Matchups
Viktor Hovland Top 10 (+220): Hovland is a very popular pick this week, and while I really like him as well I’m not ready to sign off on placing a futures bet to win the tournament. I don’t trust his short game or putter to post a score near -20 that’ll likely be needed to win this week. But he’s so efficient tee-to-green that it should be enough in this weak field to get him into the Top 10 when it’s all said and done.
Maverick McNealy +1.5 Strokes over Brendon Todd (-115): Maverick McNealy took a much needed week off after the RBC Heritage after a poor ball striking and putting week. He’s a prime candidate for a bounce back as he underachieved in both departments in comparison to his long-term trends. As far as Brendon Todd, he might suffer from a bit of a hangover from the Travelers even if Detroit Golf Club suits his game. He also massively over performed tee-to-green in comparison to his long-term trends. I like McNealy getting 1.5 strokes on Todd.
Scottie Scheffler -145 over Bubba Watson: One of the greatest aspects of Bubba’s game is to majestically shape shots in both directions to access pins many players wouldn’t dare to take on. The one thing he isn’t good at, however, is hitting the ball straight, and that’s almost all that’s required on the tight corridors of Detroit Golf Club. There also aren’t any opportunities for him to cut over dog legs to gain an advantage off the tee, and I expect Scottie Scheffler to beat him one-on-one.