PGA Tour Picks: John Deere Classic Odds and Expert Predictions
This is going to be another weird week of golf. The John Deere Classic is loved in Central Illinois for its down-home Midwestern charm. While locals would love to see a few more big names play at TPC Deere Run, they know and understand the drill and are thankful to be an annual PGA Tour stop, something that nearby Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Indianapolis do not.
However, the LIV Golf Tour is playing in the United States for the first time, and that will grab more headlines than what you will hear out of Silvis, IL, which is near the Quad Cities on the Illinois/Iowa border.
This event first started in 1971 and almost shut down three different times. Since adding John Deere as the sponsor and moving to this course in 2000, it is on solid footing. And it's not like you never heard of anyone. Since 2009, Steve Stricker (2009-11) won three times, Zach Johnson (2012) has a victory and three seconds, along with Jordan Speith (2013 and 2015), a two-time champ, and now rebel Bryson DeChambeau (2017).
Get free golf picks for every event on Doc’s Sports PGA golf expert picks page.
A Look at the Field of the John Deere Classic
Here is a look at the Top 12 favorites and ties for golf odds this week.
Webb Simpson +1400 - Adam Hadwin +1800 - Sahith Theegala +2200 - Denny McCarthy +2800
Maverick McNealy +2800 - Patrick Rodgers +2800 - Cameron Davis +3300
Charles Howell III +3300 - Jason Day +3300 - Nick Hardy +3300
Adam Long +3500 - Brendon Todd + 4000 - Cameron Champ +4000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +4000 - Scott Stallings +4000
It has not been an easy year for Webb Simpson. He has three missed cuts in 2022 and has looked nothing like the player we have seen over the past five or so years. He’s had three Top 13 to 27 finishes in his past three starts and is the favorite against weak competition. Still, low odds for golf bettors.
Mixed market on Hadwin; some believe he can win, others think Top 25 only. The sportsbooks are not wrong to list him this high. However, does Hadwin match the expectations?
Learning to win on the PGA Tour is hard. Theegala knows this as well as anybody in this field, after looking like a sure winner last week after 71 holes only to give it away on the final hole at the Travelers last Sunday. Our guess is that it’s hard to let that go and maybe a Top 10 finish.
You can throw a blanket over McCarthy, McNealy, Rodgers and Davis. All can get hot with irons and develop confidence with the putter on simple courses like this week. But who steps up? In reviewing the stats and form of each player, it is about the lesser of evils. Take your best shot.
Howell and Day show up based on the past in a below-average field. Who’s comfortable in saying one or both is -15 going into Sunday? Pass.
Hardy and Long are drawing support in quality circles that weekly follow the Tour. Hardy was T-14 at the U.S. Open and T-8 at the Travelers last week. He’s in the Top 15 in scoring on easy layouts. Long has posted a pair of Top 25’s in his last two starts and is 51st in scoring average and 39th in driving accuracy. Can he go low enough?
Anyone else feels like a crapshoot, and the ultimate such player is Stallings. Since the middle of March, Stallings has 5 Top 25s and 7 Missed Cuts and nothing else. Might want to use the Magic 8-Ball for him.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
As one might surmise, this is a place you have to go low to win or finish in the Top 5.
The par is 71, and that is measured over 7,289 yards, which is two first downs longer than last year. In reviewing the scorecard, everyone in this field can reach the Par 5s in two with a pair of accurate, well-struck shots. With only three Par 4s beyond 455 yards, this turns into target golf on approach shots, attempting to rattle the pin.
Out of the tee box, it looks as wide open as a Midwestern corn field, with no impediments to speak of. That’s why having the field average of over 70 percent for greens in regulation is hardly a shocker.
The greens tend to be quite receptive because in that region of the country, going anywhere but north, the heat and humidity are often around. This keeps the putting surfaces true, yet not thin. They have to be watered regularly, which makes them softer to land on without having much roll. The speed is up to PGA standards without being particularly difficult to read.
What prevents everyone from shooting 20 under? The wind will come up. And if you are addressing second shots to attack the hole, a wind gust can affect accuracy.
The bunkers will have a fresh look for all the players having been redone since last year. Nearly all the beach locations are reduced in size but positioned differently than before to make the players at least contemplate the hazards.
The mindset this week is to attack, go for birdies and eagles and don’t give away strokes on the Par 3’s that lead to a bogey that takes away your birdies. Nine of the past dozen winners have posted a -20 or lower.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
If there was ever a week to use caution for your golf bets, it’s this week.
Picking Top 5 or Top 10 action seems like guessing or wishing. Simpson for a Top 20 doesn’t work because his golf odds are so low. Best to pass.
However, other than Hadwin, virtually everyone else in the field has plus odds in this category. Denny McCarthy coming off a missed cut in Connecticut should be ready, and he’s 20th in scoring average.
We agree with sharper bettors that Nick Hardy can slip into the Top 20 and possibly climb higher because he’s hitting all the clubs in the bag well currently.
Though not a fan of Patrick Rodgers, at this course he’s capable (T-2 in 2017). And we are not asking him to win, just play steady.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug has won three of the last five weeks in golf and is after a strong finish. Three of his selections have won outright including Xander Schauffele last week.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 23 Documented No. 1 Titles - 97 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 28 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: NBA March 2022) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.