Betting on Golf: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Betting on Golf: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

This article is part of our Betting on Golf series.

Zurich Classic Betting Preview

Don't let the team format scare you away from making bets this week, as there is plenty of value on the board. This will be the fourth installment of the pair format that began in 2017, and the first in two years with last year's edition being canceled due to the pandemic. A stop that typically had weaker fields has some newly-found excitement with 80 two-man teams teeing it up at TPC Louisiana. The top 35 plus ties will make it through to the weekend. The first and third rounds will provide lower scoring due to the four-ball format, where each player will play his own ball and only the best score will be used. The second and final rounds will use foursomes, where players will alternate shots. In 2019, Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (16-1 odds) cruised to a three-stroke victory over Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia.

When analyzing the host course this week, we see that TPC Louisiana is a par-72 that plays lengthy, at over 7,400 yards. The rough will not be overly thick and quite playable, and there aren't as many places to find trouble off the tee compared to your typical venue, so driving distance will have an added advantage this week. We'll certainly want to look at players/teams that are capable of making birdies in bunches, as well as ones that are able to hide their partner's weaknesses.

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 10:00 AM ET.

Past Success

Kevin Kisner / Scott Brown have had the most success of any team in this format, losing in a playoff in 2017 while also recording two top-15 results since. They aren't getting much respect from the oddsmakers, however, coming into the week as the 25th choice on the board at 66-1 odds. Although Brown has never been a dominant force on Tour, his level has really dipped over the last couple years and he doesn't rank inside the top 125 in any strokes-gained category this season.

One golfer who has found plenty of success at TPC Louisiana in both formats is Cameron Tringale. Tringale was runner-up as an individual in 2015 and also finished T-7 in 2012, and he'll pair up with Roberto Castro this week. The duo played together for the first time in 2019 and recorded four rounds in the 60s en route to a T-5 finish. Castro has limited status and hasn't played much this season but is coming off a top-20 in the Dominican last month, while Tringale has been on an upward trend since the start of the season. They come in with 55-1 odds.

Outright Picks

Chris Kirk / Brendon Todd (25-1)

The former Georgia teammates will be back together this week, and Kirk should have fond memories having recorded a top-5 finish the last time this was an individual event. You won't find many players in better form than Kirk, as he comes in with consecutive top-10 results and three of them in his last five starts. 25-1 is great value for two guys who fit both formats well – especially alternate shot.

Tyrrell Hatton / Danny Willett (25-1)

The Englishmen will team up this week together for the first time. Only Hatton has experience at TPC Louisiana, having missed the cut with Jamie Donaldson in 2017. The team format should keep the often hot-tempered Hatton loose, and he's one of the best golfers in the field. Both players also have experience in team formats having played in the Ryder Cup, and Willett should be especially motivated as he looks to play his way back onto the team after missing out in 2018.

Keegan Bradley / Brendan Steele (40-1)

A couple Tour veterans will re-join forces after pairing with different partners over the last two editions of the event. Bradley/Steele This is an easy team to overlook as the lack the allure of many other teams, particularly with the pair missing the cut by one shot in 2017, but don't be fooled – Bradley has been an excellent iron player this year and has four straight top-30 results. Steele also finished in the top-10 of this event with Jamie Lovemark in 2018.

Don't Sleep on 'Em

Doug Ghim / Justin Suh

One of the few 25-and-under pairings in the field, Suh will look to take advantage of just his seventh PGA Tour start of the year. He's only missed one cut this season with a pair of top-15s and with Ghim ranking in the top 20 percent in birdies or better made this season, they make for an intriguing duo. It may be too much too ask for them to make a run at the title, but a top-10 bet at 5-1 odds is certainly doable.

Wyndham Clark / Erik van Rooyen

This is a good example of a pairing where they can hide a weakness in the alternate shot format, as Clark ranks second on Tour in driving distance this season but has struggled with his approach play while Van Rooyen is steady in that area. Both of these guys can also make birdies in bunches when they're in good form. I like the value for them to make the top-5 at 12-1.

Matthew NeSmith / Chase Seiffert

Both of these players are much better than their Official World Golf Ranking would indicate, and Seiffert has quietly been playing really well with five consecutive cuts made that's included three top-20 results over that stretch. NeSmith has been dialed in with his irons this year – ranking seventh in strokes-gained approach this season. I like them for a top-10 wager at 5-1.

Head-to-Head Matchups

Lanto Griffin / Joel Dahmen (-110) over Kevin Streelman / Dylan Frittelli

Coming off a 3-0 week with head-to-head picks, I'll look to keep the momentum going with Griffin and Dahmen as it's difficult not to love Dahmen with his positive/loose demeanor in a team format. He gets an upgrade in partner with Griffin after recording a top-20 with Brandon Harkins in 2019. Surprisingly, they're an underdog to Streelman/Frittelli – neither of which are likely to pour in a ton of birdies. Frittelli has also been in poor form this year with more missed cuts than made ones.

Max Homa / Talor Gooch (-125) over Viktor Hovland / Kris Ventura

I like Hovland as much as anyone but he's going to have his hands full trying to carry his fellow Norwegian this week. Ventura has really struggled with his approach play and thus has only made 3-of-9 cuts this year with a best finish of T-36. Homa and Gooch are both having quality seasons and should be much steadier in foursomes.

Xander Schauffele / Patrick Cantlay (-114) over Jon Rahm / Ryan Palmer

The two marquee groups are paired against each other by the sportsbooks as a 50/50 proposition, and Rahm/Palmer are looking to become the first defending champion of the team event to follow it up with a top-10 result. Schauffele/Cantlay have experience with each other having played all four matches together at the 2019 Presidents Cup. They're a great fit for alternate-shot and I prefer them in this head-to-head matchup over an outright win bet at short odds.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle breaks down golf bets and covers college basketball for RotoWire.
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