Who our staff members think will win the Rocket Mortgage Classic
The text showed Justin Thomas, and J.T. Poston to win at last week’s Travelers Championship. Losses. Sad emoji. It showed any American to win the RBC Heritage. Winner. Happy emoji. In all, 18 picks of golf bets.
The first 18 golf picks Nish Patel has ever made. Shocked emoji.
PGA Tour golf is back after its three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus. It’s also one of the first sports back. Bettors can’t be choosers these days, even bettors who perhaps couldn’t separate Webb Simpson from Homer just a few months ago.
“So in this non-sports landscape, I’ve gotten into betting golf,” his text started. “It’s exhilarating.”
“I’ve never watched so much golf,” another text read.
Hopefully, we can help Patel smile, too.
A quick refresher on our game. Fourteen members of our staff will make three $100 bets — to win, top 10 and a prop bet of choice — for each tournament from the Charles Schwab Challenge through the Masters in November. Each member starts with $4,000, and the odds will come from the DraftKings website. The first-place finisher will play a round of golf when it’s all said and done, and the last-place finisher is on the bag for the winner.
Our primary goal, of course, is to help you with your own weekly picks, whether those are for a low-stakes office fantasy league or (legal!) big-bucks bets with a sportsbook.
We had no to-win winners last week. But Jessica Marksbury picked Webb Simpson two weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, so we’ll ask for her pick for this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.
Patrick Reed, at +1,600.
“Reed already has a pre-pandemic win on the books (February’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship) and finished strong at last week’s Travelers with a Sunday 64,” Marksbury wrote. “If last year’s scores are any indication, you’ll have to go low to claim the title in Detroit, and Patrick is well capable.”
The picks (in order of money total)
Jessica Marksbury ($6,563)
To-win: Patrick Reed, +1,600. Reed already has a pre-pandemic win on the books (February’s World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship) and finished strong at last week’s Travelers with a Sunday 64. If last year’s scores are any indication, you’ll have to go low to claim the title in Detroit, and Patrick is well capable.
Top 10: Tony Finau, +225. Tony is due! Yeah, he missed the cut last week, but the guy hasn’t shot a tournament round over 70 since the Tour’s return. I think he’ll make a big statement this week.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +250. The past three leaderboards have been so clustered, I’m going to bank on the fact that it continues this week.
Tim Reilly ($4,350)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +650. With how Bryson is playing, I might just pick him every week until he finishes the job. He’s due any week now.
Top 10: Scott Scheffler, +350. Scheffler is in the mix for Rookie of the Year but has been overshadowed by the name recognition of Viktor Hovland. He’s going to continue doing what he does and put up another strong (but quiet) performance in the Top 10.
Prop: Hole in one in Round 1, yes, +275. Life’s too short not to bet on an ace.
Jonathan Wall ($4,325)
To-win: Doc Redman, +5,000: Finished runner-up last season in Detroit and arrives off a T11 at the Travelers. He’s trending in the right direction. I’ll take a shot.
Top 10: Viktor Hovland, +550: My pick to win last week ran out of steam en route to a T11 in Connecticut. Expect him to keep it going and contend.
Prop: Best finishing position, Rory Sabbatini over JT Poston, +100: Sabbatini is rested (didn’t play Travelers) and played well during the 2019 edition (T3). Nice recipe for another strong showing.
Alan Bastable ($4,250)
To-win: Brandt Snedeker, +5,500. Masterful putter on tough Ross greens feels like a winning combo.
Top 10: Sungjae Im, +225. Im has been remarkably steady this season: six top-10s in 10 starts, including a win at the Honda (which, to be honest, feels like a decade ago). Against a soft field this week, bank on another top-10 for Im in Detroit.
Prop: Winning margin, two strokes, +400. Snedeker will win somewhat comfortably.
Josh Berhow ($4,165)
To win: Tyrrell Hatton, +1,400: He won at Bay Hill before the Tour shut down and was T3 at Hilton Head. He’s first in strokes gained: approach the green and second in strokes gained: putting, and at a course that’s going to have longer and thicker rough than last year, Hatton’s strengths should help him here.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, +650: Seven top 10s in 10 events this season and top 10s in each of his past six starts. No way that streak ends this week with a little less star power in the field.
Prop: Best finishing position, Hatton over Reed, -118. He’s my pick to win, so I gotta be confident in this one, too, no?
Josh Sens ($4,088)
To-win: Lucas Glover, +5,500. Three solid showings in a row make him well worth the long shot bid. Always hits it pure. I’m counting on the flatstick heating up this week.
Top 10: Erik van Rooyen, +600. My general rule for the betting board is the same one I use for menu items in a restaurant: the less certain I am of the pronunciation, the better. Plus, Van Rooyen is a solid player, just the sort of sleeper from overseas whom fans here tend to overlook.
Prop: Winner by two strokes, plus 400. I’d like to pretend I have a good reason for this bet. But no. Just a feeling.
Sean Zak ($3,933.30)
To-win: Bryson DeChambeau, +650. It finally clicks this week. After six straight top 10s, he seals the deal and continues changing our thoughts on distance.
Top 10: Doc Redman, +500. The man has been sneaking up the leaderboard each week. He might even win this week.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. This simply feels too good to pass up.
How did your week 3 picks do: Jimmy Furyk made the cut and helped me limit the losses after Justin Thomas failed to do so.
Zephyr Melton ($3,853)
To-win: Brendon Todd, +9,000: The man is a fairway machine, and I love these odds. He’ll put the rough Sunday at the Travelers behind him and notch win No. 3 on the season.
Top 10: Viktor Hovland, +225: The young Norwegian has finally broken into the top 50 in the world, and I see another big week for the stud.
Prop: Albatross in the tournament, no, -5,000. It’s kind of my thing at this point to take this prop each week. Picking them off dollar by dollar.
Ashley Mayo ($3,450)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +2,500: I feel like Viktor has contended enough in the past year to know what it takes to handle his emotions. A win from him will only take a matter of time, and I have a strong feeling it’ll happen this week.
Top 10: Erik van Rooyan, +600: Erik was striking a bit of a groove late last year and, based on last week’s play, I think he’ll settle into consistently solid form in Detroit this week.
Prop: Winning margin, one stroke, +250. This is just about the safest bet you could place, and I need to slowly chip away at a big hole I’ve dug for myself.
Andrew Tursky ($3,250)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +2,500. Has finished in the top 25 each of his past three starts, including a T11 last week. He also finished T13 in this event last year. He’s due to put four rounds together.
Top 10: Kevin Na, +450. Na is coming off four rounds of 67 or better last week at the Travelers. Let’s keep that momentum going in Detroit. It’s going to be a birdie fest, but Na can keep up.
Prop: To be decided by a playoff, yes, +400. The leaderboards have been tight the past few weeks. This one will be too.
Nick Piastowski ($3,320)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +2,500. He’s finished higher each of the past three weeks, and he played well here last year.
Top 10: Bryson DeChambeau, -137. DeChambeau has finished in the top 10 the past three weeks. The field isn’t as strong this week.
Prop: Leader after Round 1, Ryan Armour, +12,500. He was a stroke away from being the first-round leader last year and is coming off four rounds in the 60s at the Travelers.
James Colgan ($3,100)
To-win: Viktor Hovland, +2,500: With a lighter field this week, it seems logical a young stud could steal a win (especially with how well Hovland has played the past two weeks).
Top 10: Tony Finau, +225: The guy’s shot just one round in the 70s since the restart. He’s going to snag a top 10 sometime, might as well be in a lighter field this week.
Prop: Top 20, Doc Redman, +225: I really need to get on the board, and this feels like a safe pick. Doc played really well last week and was the runner-up in last year’s Rocket Mortgage.
Dylan Dethier ($3,100)
To-win: Sungjae Im, +2,500. Now that Webb is getting his due, Sungjae is back to being the most underrated player on Tour. Book it!
Top 10: Sungjae Im, +225. I haven’t won a bet yet so this is where we turn it all around.
Prop: Winning margin, two strokes, +400. Sungjae isn’t leaving this one to chance. Time to open up the engine and leave the field exactly two shots in the dust.
Luke Kerr-Dineen ($3,100)
To-win: Doc Redman, +5,000. T-11 last week and T-2 at this event last year – what’s not to love? Perfect marriage of course form and recent form, when there’s precious little other data to go off.
Top 10: Doc Redman, +500. That’s right, I’m putting a lot of eggs in the Doc Redman basket, because when you’re 0-for-9, you have to start firing at pins to make up ground. Come on, Doc. Don’t let me down.
Prop: To make the cut, Doc Redman, yes, -200. No, I’m not double-dipping. I’m triple-dipping. President of the Doc Redman fan club over here, for this week at least. If he bombs out, guess what? I remain on zero. It’s not exactly like I have much to lose at this point. And if he does any of the above, I’m a genius. So, in conclusion, LET’S GO DOC!