Rocket Mortgage Classic Odds & Picks
The Rocket Mortgage Classic
June 27-30, 2019
Detroit Golf Club - Detroit, MI
The Golf Channel/CBS
Golf is one of the oldest professional sports in the world but the PGA is not opposed to welcoming new events and the newest Tour stop comes this week at the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic. Rocket Mortgage has Rickie Fowler as a brand ambassador and he will be one of the big names to tee it up this week at Detroit Golf Club. Dustin Johnson joins Fowler as one of the betting favorites with U.S. Open champ Gary Woodland also in the mix. Patrick Reed, Brandt Snedeker and newly crowned Travelers champ Chez Reavie, who we picked at 50-1, round out a short list of notables in this strong but somewhat limited field given many of the Euro stars have headed back overseas to prep for the upcoming British Open.
The Detroit Golf Club will provide a new challenge to the players and there will be no experience advantage for anyone in the field. The 7,300 yard, par-72 course was lengthened in preparation of the event with several new tee complexes installed to modernize the Donald Ross design. The par-5 at #4 now stretches out to 625 yards but the subtle and natural elements of the layout remain throughout the course. Interestingly, seventeen of the holes on the North Course will be used with one hole from the South Course added to round things out. Nearly all of the fairways are tree-lined which accentuate the preferred line to play each hole and wayward drives will lead to impaired approaches. Missed greens will produce difficult up-and-down chances and the overall feel of the course should be similar to what we just saw at the Travelers Championship. Most Ross designs reward tee-to-green play more than anything else so look for the Tour’s best shot makers to do well this week.
Each week, we take a look at the online betting sites and highlight the best values on the board. We make a short, middle and long odds pick to win and breakdown a couple of head-to-head matches that can be found at any golf betting outlet. Odds and pairings come courtesy of the board at Bovada. Here are our picks to win the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Hideki Matsuyama (14 to 1 odds to win)
Matsuyama enters the week still without a missed cut on Tour this season and recent trends show an average finish inside the top-15 over his last three starts. Hideki is one of the best ball strikers in the field, ranking 5th in strokes gained from tee-to-green and 6th in total strokes gained. He is inside the top-15 in both birdies and scoring average with a top-50 rate in one-putt greens. Matsuyama is a bit streaky on the greens but he tends to pace the field when he is on with the putter and he does have the clutch stroke on most occasions, ranking 20th in scrambling. Hideki has all the shots in his bag and that fits in well with the typical Ross vision of rewarding the most diverse skill sets.
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Bubba Watson (35 to 1)
Watson’s three wins last season proved he is still a force on Tour provided the course fits his eye and swing. It was no surprise to see Bubba struggle at Bethpage and again at the U.S. Open as those events required a pinpoint level of accuracy off the tee that Watson just doesn’t have. What Bubba does have is the elite driving distance and the ability to curve the ball with the best on Tour. He can shape shots around and through the tree-lined Detroit layout and he should always be considered a factor when four par-5’s are in play. Watson is 2nd in strokes gained off-the-tee and 37th in tee-to-green performance, giving him an edge on the field in overall ball striking. The putter has been Watson’s weak spot this year and he comes into Detroit outside the top-150 in strokes gained on the greens, meaning he is losing strokes to the field with the putter in hand. I think the general lack of familiarity with these greens harms Watson less than those that lean on prior experience to perform with the putter and allows Bubba to remain in his normal head-space while others will be struggling to find their way. Watson fits the profile of a player that should handle a Ross course and he should be a factor.
Jason Kokrak (60 to 1)
Kokrak has been one of the most consistent players in 2019 with just one missed cut in eighteen starts. His ten top-25 finishes and four top-10’s have propelled him to 69th in the OWGR, just a few spots away from the WGC cut line and within striking distance of a top-50 spot that would see him exempt to just about every relevant event going forward. That is huge motivation for a journeyman-type and another solid week should be on tap given Jason’s game. He enters the week inside the top-30 in off-the-tee and tee-to-green performance as well as total strokes gained. He is close to Tour average with the putter but makes enough to have netted the 16th most birdies in 2019 and ranks 32nd in birdies per round. There are no true weak spots in his game and that will help at a fresh course that stands ready to challenge every shot through the week.
Picks to win based on predicted score after all four rounds. Check with your favorite online betting site for single round matches and a variety of prop bets.
Billy Horschel (-115) v. Patrick Reed (-115)
(Pick to win: Horschel)
Golf betting is hard most of the time as there nearly zero truly reliable predictors of success so sometimes you just have to find the slumping players and bet against them. Reed has been an impressive player over the years in certain spots, most notably in the Ryder Cup, but 2019 has been tough with Reed failing to notch even a single top-25 finish since February. Horschel has been better than 25th in three of his last four starts, including a T9 at the Memorial with his worst finish of late coming at the U.S. Open where he was a respectable T32. Horschel owns significant advantages in fairways and greens hit with very similar numbers to Reed in most other categories. Given Detroit’s ball striking requirements, Reed will struggle to keep up with Horschel from tee-to-green, leaving Patrick to battle unfamiliar greens to narrow the gap. Horschel is also the more efficient player, meaning Reed will need to not only limit the mistakes that he has made during his slump but actually play above his opponent as Billy won’t likely help out by making many mistakes on his own. Keep this one simple and assume Reed will stay on his trend until he proves otherwise.
Brandt Snedeker (-115) v. Ryan Moore (-115)
(Pick to win: Snedeker)
Snedeker has been far from special this season but he has been a tough guy to oust in head-to-heads with only two missed cuts on the season and some nice play of late, including a T16 at the PGA Championship and a T4 at the Canadian Open. Moore has missed five cuts in three fewer starts than Snedeker and also loses the scoring average battle despite having a better birdie average than Brandt. Snedeker is the better scrambler as well as the one of the best putters on Tour and he is the less mistake-prone of the two. Moore is 3rd on Tour in fairways hit but that stat alone isn’t leading to any outstanding results and if you are going to have just one elite stat, you would want it to be in the putting category like Snedeker. Moore did win this head-to-head at the Travelers but I expect Snedeker to remain a difficult opponent, especially at a course that is going to separate players on and around the greens.
Good luck and good golf!
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