Cognizant Classic betting guide: 5 picks our expert loves

Byeong-Hun An of South Korea tees off the third hole during the third round of The Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club on February 17, 2024 in Pacific Palisades, California.

Our expert likes Byeong Hun An's chances this week.

Getty Images

Welcome to our weekly PGA Tour gambling-tips column, featuring picks from’s expert prognosticator Brady Kannon. A seasoned golf bettor and commentator, Kannon is a regular guest on SportsGrid, a syndicated audio network devoted to sports and sport betting. You can follow on Twitter at @LasVegasGolfer, and you can read his picks below for the Cognizant Classic, which gets underway Thursday in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Along with Kannon’s recommended plays, you’ll also see data from Chirp, a free-to-play mobile platform that features a range of games with enticing prizes, giving fans all kinds of ways to engage in the action without risking any money.

Welcome to the Sunshine State.

Across the country we go as the PGA Tour heads east to kick off the four-week Florida Swing this week, beginning with the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches (formerly the Honda Classic), in Palm Beach Gardens. Rory McIlroy, Matt Fitzpatrick, and Shane Lowry are the headliners with former winners Rickie Fowler, Chris Kirk, Russell Henley, Sungjae Im, Sepp Straka, and Keith Mitchell also in the field.

While the title sponsor has changed, the golf course has not — for the most part. It is the Champions Course at PGA National, one of the more demanding tests on the Tour schedule. The only change to the course for the 2024 tournament is to the 10th hole. It had been one of the most difficult holes on the course, a 508-yard par 4. But now, 20 yards have been added and it becomes a scoring opportunity as a 528-yard par 5. PGA National will now play to a par 71 and stretches out to roughly 7,150 yards.

Originally a Tom and George Fazio design and since redesigned by Jack Nicklaus, the golf course plays longer in practice, however, because of a number of forced carries over water and the seemingly ever-present wind that shows up for this event. The forecast is calling for winds anywhere between 10-18 mph over the course of the four days. This boils down to the majority of the approach shots coming from the window of 150-200 yards.

2024 Cognizant Classic odds: This long shot is eyeing win after recent tear on Tour
By: Kevin Cunningham

PGA National is truly an examination of one’s ball-striking skills. I have incorporated Putting (Bermuda Grass) and Scrambling into my handicap this week but the emphasis lies with Strokes Gained: Approach, SG: Ball Striking and SG: Off the Tee, with some Bogey Avoidance mixed in too. All of these skills, including negotiating the wind, will be tested over one of the more difficult three-hole stretches on Tour: holes 15-17, known as “The Bear Trap.”

I used more than a handful of other golf courses this week that show similarities in layout and also crossover success: Silverado in Napa, The Renaissance Club in Scotland, Riviera Country Club, Royal Liverpool, TPC Craig Ranch, Detroit Golf Club, and Waialae Country Club in Hawaii.

Five players made my card this week to win the Cognizant Classic outright and I’ve also played them to finish top-20.

Byeong Hun An (28-1)

An has been off to a great start in the 2024 season, finishing fourth at Kapalua, losing in a playoff the following week at the Sony Open, and then taking 16th most recently at the Genesis Invitational. He also has posted two top-5 finishes here at PGA National. Over the last 24 rounds, he ranks 14th in this field for SG: Off the Tee and is in the top 26 for Hole Proximity from 150-200 yards. He also owns a third-place finish at the Fortinet Championship in Napa and a fourth in the Scottish Open at the Renaissance Club. Current form, course form, and results on related courses all look to be in line for the former Cal Bear.

Eric Cole (29-1)

Last season’s PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was a loser in a playoff here last year to eventual winner Chris Kirk. Prior to that, Cole finished fourth in Napa and just a few weeks ago, recorded a top-10 finish at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera. He owns an excellent short game and over the last 24 rounds, ranks seventh in this field for SG: Approach and fourth in Hole Proximity from 175-200 yards. As with An, with Cole we have current form, course form, and related course success.

Eric Cole of the United States hits his tee shot at the 2023 Zozo Championship. Getty Images

J.T. Poston (30-1)

Other than a missed cut in Phoenix, Poston has been maybe the most successful player on Tour to begin the 2024 season. He was fifth at The Sentry, sixth at The Sony Open, 11th at the American Express, 20th at Pebble Beach, and 10th at Riviera. He’s only missed one cut here in five attempts, with finishes as high as 35th and 36th. The stats are very solid across the board and here, he will be reunited with his favorite putting surface, Bermuda grass, which produced top-6 finishes in consecutive weeks earlier this season in Hawaii.

Adam Svensson (60-1)

It appears I may have found an outlier number here on the Canadian side as I am mostly seeing prices around 45 or 50-1 now. As always, we recommend that you shop around. Svensson’s lone Tour win came on Bermuda grass greens at the RSM Classic in Sea Island, Georgia. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens and has quite a bit of experience at this golf course, going back to his Q-School days. Svensson finished ninth here in 2022, has two top-10 finishes at Riviera, a 12th in Napa, and over the last 24 rounds, ranks third in this field for SG: Ball Striking, eighth for SG: Approach, and 13th in SG: Off the Tee.

Matthieu Pavon (64-1)

This is another nice number as I am seeing anything from the low 40’s to mid-50s now on the Frenchman. Through four starts on Tour in 2024, Pavon has three top-10 finishes, including a win last month at the Farmers Insurance Open. Of course, with those fine results comes good stats as Pavon ranks seventh in this field for SG: Ball Striking, sixth in SG: Approach, 19th in Hole Proximity from 150-175 yards, and 26th in SG: Putting (Bermuda) over the last 24 rounds.

Who Chirp users like this week

Chirp users’ picks for the Cognizant Classic. Chirp

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