Odds To Win The PGA Rocket Mortage Classic – 2020 Golf Betting Preview & Picks

Rocket Mortage Classic Betting

This week players will head to Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan for the Rocket Mortgage Championship. In the three weeks since the Tour resumed post-Covid Suspension we have seen incredible fields anywhere from 15 to 18 of the World’s Top 20 Players along with those from the middle of the betting market that have had every chance to win.

This week is a departure from that as the Rocket Mortgage sees a weaker field and a lot of short prices at the top of the market. While the World’s best are taking a necessary week off, Detroit Golf Club will not be totally devoid of star power with Bryson DeChambeau, Rickie Fowler, Webb Simpson, Patrick Reed, Tyrell Hatton, Tony Finau, Sungjae Im, Hideki Matsuyama and Bubba Watson all in attendance. 

Before breaking down the golf bets and the tests in store for competitors this week, let’s recap last week’s Travelers Championship.

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TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP

For the 3rd week in a row post Suspension, and with all eyes on the sport, golf provided an exciting finish. After trying in every way to give the tournament away, Dustin Johnson made a routine par on his 72nd hole to take home the victory, besting Kevin Streelman by a single stroke. 

DJ Holds On

Previewed in this space last week and backed at 25/1, DJ shook off a rough opening round and came from 2 strokes behind going into Sunday to claim his 21st career PGA Tour win. DJ’s longevity has been incredible, and he was showing all the signs that a win was imminent heading into the week. It is difficult to discuss the event and not to talk about Brendon Todd’s collapse that gave DJ the breathing room to make his mistakes. After going bogey-free for 61 holes, Todd stepped up to the 12th tee two back of DJ and proceeded to skull his chip over the green en route to a triple, costing him any chance at the title. 

Bryson: The Best

In the end, these last three weeks have shown that Bryson DeChambeau is currently the best player in the world. In a week where he gained the least amount of strokes off the tee since his driver swing rebuild and the least on approach since August of last year, he managed a T6 finish behind gaining 5 strokes putting. At this point, he can get it done in so many different ways that it makes sense he is a 6/1 favorite this week. 

Hot Streak Continues; Consistency is key

Betting wise it was another incredible week, adding to what has been the best 7-week stretch I have had since I began posting my plays over 3 years ago. On top of the DJ Outright selection, full tournament head to head picks went 3-2, including a 2u cash on Bryson v Rory and round by round bets remained profitable. 

Again, it is important to stress that my process hasn’t changed, my staking hasn’t changed and nor should yours. There will be ebbs and flows and remaining consistent will help you realize a long term profit. 

With that said, onto the Rocket Mortgage Classic! 

COURSE PREVIEW

For most golf fans last year was the first time laying eyes on Detroit Golf Club with the course hosting the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Championship. Last year, Nate Lashley dominated the classic, tree lined track claiming his first PGA Tour victory while getting to 25 under for the week which led to a 6 shot win. Detroit GC didn’t put up much of a fight, ranking 42nd in difficulty out of the 49 courses played throughout the 2018/19 season and similar scoring week should be expected during this year’s rendition. 

Off The Tee

While I’m hesitant to draw too many conclusions from last year’s event, it is safe to do so within this category. Detroit Golf Club gives little resistance off the tee.

Fairway hit percentage is the first place to start. Last year we saw 5% more fairways hit than the Tour average. This isn’t a super alarming number by any means, but when compared with Driving Distance it paints the picture off the tee this week. Last year, players averaged over 16 yards further off the tee than the weekly PGA Tour average. Remember, many courses these guys see are less than driver tracks which will inflate the driving accuracy numbers and deflate driving distance numbers. Here, not only are the players hitting more fairways, but they are doing so while letting the Big Dog eat. 

Easy to hit fairways coupled with an abundance of driver holes is your recipe for the 25 under win we saw last year.

On The Greens

Once on the greens players will be faced with a similar surface as last week, Poa combined with Bent. All indications are that Detroit GC this time of year plays more toward a Bent surface as opposed to last week that favored Poa. This is important because those Poa specialists that were backed last week don’t get that extra bump. 

It also seems as though these greens are not difficult to navigate. Last year, Lashley’s win was on the back of gaining almost 10 strokes on the greens. He wasn’t the only player with that kind of success with the flat stick and the event as a whole saw SG:P as the largest indicator of success when compared to the other strokes gained metrics. This suggests that there are a lot of easy putts to be made putting performances like what we saw last year are nearly impossible on hard to read, undulating greens (see: Riviera, Augusta). 

This Week’s Statististics

So what can be drawn from the fact that the course is easy off the tee and the greens are easy to navigate? Pretty obvious but we need birdie makers and the easiest way to make birdies is to excel at ball striking. This isn’t to say I don’t want good putters, but week to week trying to figure out who is going to make the most putts is extremely difficult. Within ball-striking I’m going to focus more on approach, as opposed to off the tee, as the ease of hitting fairways really leaves this as an iron and putting contest (unless you absolutely bomb it, Bryson). All this is captured nicely with Opportunities Gained, approach shots within 15 feet. 

The thing is, if this turns into a putting contest and the winner is forced to gain 8+ strokes on the greens you might as well just dump everyone 40/1+ or better in a hat and pull out 4 names. Just go take a look at the final leaderboard last year and tell me how many names are known now, let alone this time last year. Regardless, there is still value to be bet, so onto the plays!

THE PLAYS

Tyrell Hatton at BetOnline.ag

Good luck finding a better 2020 season at this point than Tyrell Hatton (turn your head, Webb). After an outstanding desert European Tour Swing, Hatton came to North America and rattled off a 6th at the WGC – Mexico and his first PGA Tour win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. After multiple wins on the European Tour, his victory at Arnie’s Tournament solidified Tyrell as one of the best players in the world.

Elite Ball Striking Coupled With Elite Putting

The COVID Suspension did nothing to slow him down as he went off in the final group on Sunday two weeks ago at the RBC Heritage, ultimately settling for 3rd. If this turns into an iron striking contest, Hatton is fully equipped as evidenced by him gaining 4.3 strokes in the category in Mexico and 7.3 strokes en route to his win at the API. 

He checks the final box with his ability to get hot with the flat stick. While he didn’t strike it amazingly at Heritage, gaining only 3 strokes on approach (low by his standards), he made up for it with a blazing putter gaining 9.3 strokes on the greens during the course of the event. 

The ability to get it done in multiple ways is a skill I value when backing an outright. While this week I uncharacteristically have to go to the top of the market to find Hatton, given the strength of the field and his requite skill set I’m starting my card here.

Bubba Watson at +4000 at MyBookie.ag

Remember when Bubba was 28-1 or so to win a golf tournament two weeks ago in a substantially stronger field? Why is he now 40-1?

As His Putter Goes, Bubba Goes

Now, Bubba is a notoriously streaky putter and by streaky I mean usually bad. He lost 3.3 strokes in the category last week en route to a missed cut, which is expected if you perform poorly in the category. While it is difficult to ignore this poor putting performance, especially as he heads to a course that put a premium on the skill last year, Bubba backers don’t have to look far back to find a silver lining. 

At his first start post Suspension, Bubba GAINED 4.9 strokes at the Charles Schwab. That putting surface? Pure Bent! That putting display puts him square in line with what will likely be necessary for success this week. 

Does Bubba Care?

The question I usually ask before backing Bubba is how much does he care to be at a certain course. He has made it very clear over the years that he likes playing certain courses and doesn’t care for others. His favorite tracks are tree lined tracks where you can hit a lot of drivers. Ring a bell from the course preview? 

Either his number two weeks ago was drastically wrong, or we are getting insane value on a multiple Major and 12 time PGA Tour winner.

Rickie Fowler Does Not Make Cut +220 at BetOnline.ag

Something is wrong with Rickie Fowler. Ignore the stats for a second here. The numbers, which we will get to here in a bit, support this play but there is more.

What is Wrong With Rickie?

Rickie has been one of the best putters in the world since he came on Tour. He finished 10th in strokes gained putting in 2019, 30th in 2018, and 1st in 2017. There are some relatively small samples within this group so the fact that Rickie has performed this well over the previous 3 years while playing 80+ rounds each year only exemplifies his putting prowess. 

Guess what? The last time we saw Fowler he was sporting a left-hand low grip with the flat stick. WHY IN THE WORLD IS ONE OF THE BEST PUTTERS IN THE WORLD SWITCHING HIS PUTTING GRIP?! This would be like Michael Jordan changing his mid-range jumper in ‘96. It is unheard of. It is inexplicable. It is insane.

Lets couple this with the fact that he has missed two straight cuts since the Covid Suspension. He hasn’t putted great, but certainly not the worst four-round sample of his career. His driver has been terrible, his irons mediocre and he is clearly in his head with the flat stick. This all screams a full Rickie fade and a missed cut at +220 is an excellent way to get a piece.

Rocket Mortgage Golf Tournament Head To Head Plays

FULL TOURNAMENT HEAD TO HEAD
⛳ ROCKET MORTGAGE PLAYS ⛳
PlayLineRiskTo Win
Hubbard o Kirk-1112.222
Reed o Deki-1032.062
McNealy o Toooood10811.08
Stallings o Stanley-1011.011
Duncan o Thompson-1081.081
Harman o Day10211.02
Im -1.5 o Fowler13011.3
Finau o Fowler-1121.121

That is it for this week’s write up. Thank you for reading! I am free all week for any questions and be sure to check out the FORE! Profit Podcast, my full card on Wednesday Afternoon and my live Q and A Wednesday Evening. All of my weekly content is available via @jmazzjd on Twitter. 

GL!

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