The John Deere Classic gets underway Thursday with a field of 156 golfers and the cut at top 65 and ties after 36 holes. The field is relatively weak, with many top players getting ready for The Open Championship and playing in the Scottish Open.
Historically, this tournament is a birdie fest and this year’s edition should be no different. The tournament was canceled last year due to COVID-19, but four of the previous five champions have won with scores over 20-under par. In 2019, the defending champion, Dylan Frittelli (+5500), shot 21-under, and Michael Kim (+60000), the 2018 winner, shot an impressive 27-under. Birdie rate, proximity with scoring irons (between 100-150 yards) and putting are some key stats to take a look at this week. Multiple John Deere Classic winners include Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker (+4000). Still, this tournament has also given way to first-time winners like Frittelli, Brian Harman (+1300), Bryson DeChambeau and Sean O’Hair (+20000). This tournament is wide open.
The average winning odds of the previous five years is +9400, with Michael Kim being the longest at +30000 in 2018 and Spieth being the shortest at +400 in 2015.
Here are the bets we should be considering this week on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Six out of seven missed cuts preceded Kim’s win in 2018, so I’m not too worried about Glover’s recent form. Glover has gained strokes with his putter in four straight events heading into this week and ranks 10th in birdies gained and 34th in bogey avoidance over the previous 24 rounds. He’s progressively gotten better with his approach and has a top 10 in the last month along with a top 5 over the past two months.
Like Glover, Kizzire’s been great with his putter, ranking sixth in SG: Putting over the previous 24 rounds. He’s flirted with victory a couple of times this season, finishing seventh at The Sony Open (-18) and third at the Byron Nelson (-21), making a ton of birdies in the process. He’s got two top 30s here at TPC Deere Run and could be in line for his third victory.
Taking a couple of long shots here should be a strategy everyone deploys, and Roach is one of my favorites in this range, making five cuts in a row. His best career finish was a top 3 at the Rocket Mortgage in 2019, shooting 18-under par. He also finished 10th here in 2019 and had a 13th-place finish at the Puerto Rico Open earlier this year — with a weaker field, a player like Roach could shine. Another player in this range to consider is Bronson Burgoon at +15000 (Top 10 +1200). A solid bentgrass putter and a top 13 at the Byron Nelson earlier this season show that he can make a ton of birdies this week if the ball-striking is there. Bronson’s got three made cuts here and a runner-up in 2018.
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