PGA Betting Guide for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Golf is a highly volatile sport, and any time you throw a wrench into the plans -- whether it's match play or a team format -- things can get odd. Fun -- yet odd.
The Zurich Classic swapped to a team format three years ago, and rounds one and three will use a best-ball format. Rounds two and four will be alternate shot. The top 35 teams after the first two rounds will play the weekend. So, yeah, pretty much anything can happen this week.
Still, we can uncover some trends and study the course (TPC Louisiana) to figure things out at the Zurich Classic.
We have just two years to look into, but we at least know that no real longshot teams have won either of the first two iterations (odds via GolfOdds.com).
|2018||Billy Horschel & Scott Piercy||40/1|
|2017||Jonas Blixt & Cameron Smith||100/1|
Billy Horschel had won at this course in 2013, though Scott Piercy had a T13 in 2012 before two straight missed cuts (2013 and 2015). Neither Cameron Smith nor Jonas Blixt possessed overly promising recent form at TPC Louisiana when it was a stroke-play event.
As far as team experience here, these golfer duos have played this event in each of the first two years. Other golfers have played this event multiple years, but these teams are going for their third straight attempt.
|Patrick Cantlay / Patrick Reed||7||14|
|J.J. Henry / Tom Hoge||10||24|
|Scott Brown / Kevin Kisner||15||2|
|Lucas Glover / Chez Reavie||22||39|
|Charley Hoffman / Nick Watney||31||5|
|Jonas Blixt / Cameron Smith||MC||1|
|Kelly Kraft / Kevin Tway||MC||3|
|Jerry Kelly / Steve Stricker||MC||14|
So let's run down some possible picks. All stats come from FantasyNational.com and comprise the past 100 rounds.
Picks to Consider
Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay (FanDuel Sportsbook Win Odds: 13/1) - It's hard to look past the Jason Day/Adam Scott (13/2) and Sergio Garcia/Tommy Fleetwood (15/2) pair at the top, but Reed and Cantlay have played this event two straight years together, finishing 7th last year and 14th in 2017. Both Reed and Cantlay grade out top-27 in total strokes gained at Pete Dye courses over the past 100 rounds, via FantasyNational.com.
Bubba Watson and J.B. Holmes (17/1) - Each member of the 221B Baker Street crew stand out at Pete Dye courses, particularly Watson. Bubba has great form at TPC Louisiana (at least up until 2016). This duo finished fifth in 2017. Watson and Matt Kuchar were 28th a year ago; Holmes and Brandt Snedeker missed the cut.
Jhonattan Vegas and Abraham Ancer (34/1) - Vegas and Ancer come in at the same odds as what should be a popular pairing: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown, who have finished 15th and 2nd here. Ancer and Vegas both gain strokes off the tee (each are top-16 over the past 100 rounds), yet Ancer missed the cut here with Roberto Diaz last year, and Vegas missed with Fabian Gomez in 2017. Overall, though, both are pretty strong for the field, making them one of the best overall pairs available.
Joaquin Niemann and Dylan Frittelli (55/1) - Niemann and Frittelli are both top-20 in strokes gained: off the tee, and Niemann is an elite approach player (fifth). Frittelli is 41st. That can put them into position to convert scoring chances. Of course, they'll need to putt. Niemann's putting struggles are problematic on Bermuda, but Frittelli is a plus putter so far on the surface. It's a promising pair for upside.
Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes (75/1) - The Canadian buddies are each inside the top 50 in approach over the past 100 rounds. Hughes doesn't have the distance that Conners has, so they may not mesh super well on second shots when Hughes tees it up, yet he has done well to score on Pete Dye courses over a small sample. They missed the cut last year together.
Chris Kirk and Sepp Straka (120/1) - Each golfer is inside the top 31 in approach, though neither pick up a lot of distance off the tee. Kirk, though, has played this event both years (missing the cut in each), yet has done well at Pete Dye courses.