Golf Betting Tips for the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Golf Betting Tips
The PGA Tour takes a break from stroke-play this week and moves to a team-based match-play tournament for the Zurich Classic in Avondale, Louisiana, just 15 miles from New Orleans. This event was canceled last year due to the pandemic - originally started back in 1938, and has been a staple on the PGA Tour since 1958. It originally started out as an individual match-play event, but four years ago in 2017, the PGA Tour changed the format to duos who team up together. The field consists of 80 teams, 160 players in total, and the top 35 teams plus ties move on to play past the first four rounds.
There is $7.4M to be won this week, the winners each receive $1.069M, and also each get 400 FedEx Cup points. TPC Louisiana is the host course, it's 7,425 yards in length, is a par 72, and the greens were converted to Bermuda a couple of years ago. Since 2017 when the team format went into effect, the winning score has ranged from -22 to -27, and you can expect something similar this year. Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer are the defending champions from 2019 after defeating Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia by three strokes, and this team is unsurprisingly the betting favorite this week. Focus on teams where both individuals are strong with their approach games, solid off-the-tee, can go on birdie tears, and are good putters on Bermuda.
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Below you will find one team from each of four different betting tiers (from DraftKings Sportsbook) to win outright, these are the teams that I like the most for this week as fantasy golf bets, plus a team in each tier that I would stay clear from. I would also advise you to throw in some top 5, top 10, and even top 20, 30, or 40 bets for the long shots as well to hedge against your outright bet(s).
+2500 and lower
Jon Rahm/Ryan Palmer (+600) - Let's not overthink this one - Rahm and Palmer are the defending champs, both can make tons of birdies, their stats sparkle - especially Rahm's, they likely have the most top 10's combined, and are even good friends off the course. Rahm is now a proud new father as well and the baby swag should continue this week for him. I wouldn't be surprised at all if they defend their title this year - they know what it takes to win here and have a very good chance of getting it done this week once more.
Avoid: Tyrrell Hatton/Danny Willett (+2500) - Hatton will be forced to carry Willett this week, and that's not a good thing as he doesn't have a top 10 on the PGA Tour since November when he earned a T7 at the Houston Open. Willett has been arguably better than Hatton as of late as he did have a T8 - the problem with that is, it was at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship event that featured an inferior field. He was actually pretty decent last week finishing T18 at the RBC Heritage, but I wouldn't count on more of the same from him as he's quite inconsistent from event to event.
+2600 to +5000
Talor Gooch/Max Homa (+3200) - This is an interesting combination between Gooch and Homa as both have been good lately, and Homa won two months ago at The Genesis Invitational in a fairly strong field. Homa has missed the cut in his last two events but he only missed by a single stroke at The Masters, so I'll forgive him. Gooch was T5 at THE PLAYERS last month thanks to his 22 birdies made and he only had 9 bogeys. I think these two will complement each other quite nicely, and I'm intrigued to see what they can do as a tandem.
Avoid: Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson (+4500) - Rose really surprised us with an impressive performance at The Masters where he was the leader after the first and second round, but he faded a bunch on the weekend to finish T7. Before that, he was total garbage. Speaking of garbage, Stenson had missed six straight cuts before finishing T38 at The Masters. Maybe both of these older gentlemen will play well this week again, but I'm not counting on it. Rose actually won this event six years ago, but that was six years ago, and lots of injuries and poor play has happened since then.
+5100 to +10000
Matthew NeSmith/Chase Seiffert (+7000) - It's a tad challenging to find a good duo down in this range, but I think that NeSmith and Seiffert are pretty decent compared to their competition. NeSmith strikes it well, has two top 10's this season in 17 starts, and has finished in the 30's twice and 40's once in his last three outings. Seiffert has three top 18's in his last five events played and has only missed one cut in his last 8 starts. Both have good-looking stats and I can see this duo being a well-oiled machine from start to finish this week.
Avoid: Alex Noren/Henrik Norlander (+10000) - I don't mind Noren as a player but he relies on his putter far too often which is a red flag, and Norlander was on a nice little streak earlier this year but has missed five out of his last six cut lines and his best finish was a T71 during that stretch, ouch. The Swedish connection might be able to serve up some good meatballs this week, but they don't have the tasty sauce I like.
+11000 and higher
Akshay Bhatia/Scott Piercy (+15000) - I really like this find way down low as Piercy won this event with Billy Horschel three years ago, and Bhatia has what looks like a bright future. Neither player has been outstanding as of late, but they might be able to collaborate well together and at least make the cut. I think a top 20 wager on them at +335 wouldn't be a terrible idea.
Avoid: David Hearn/Seamus Power (+15000) - There are lots of terrible-looking duos on paper this week, but I'll pick on Hearn and Power for interest's sake. Hearn has missed a shit ton of cuts since November and Power has played two out of his last three events on the Korn Ferry Tour, one of which he missed the cut at by a ton of strokes. I don't see how this team will be inside the top 35 this week to make the cut, but at least that's something they are both used to anyways.
Be sure to do lots of research and due diligence on each player before parting with your hard-earned money, and all the best in having a profitable week!
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Jeremy has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 successful years, and actively plays golf, hockey, baseball, and table tennis. He has over three years of fantasy sports writing experience - including writing a daily fantasy sports strategies and tools eBook in 2016. He is an active member of DraftKings - specializing in NHL and PGA contests over the past 5 years. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to hot places in the frigid Canadian Winters, binge-watching on Netflix, and starting and managing digital businesses.