The Zurich Classic, the only team event on tour, is upon us, and we’re breaking down our PGA Tour expert picks for the golf at TPC Louisiana this week.
If you’re weary of the usual 72-hole stroke-play events and the Match Play didn’t do it for you, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans has you covered.
At the same time, the annual trip to TPC Louisiana is the only team event we see on the calendar, which adds some intrigue but, at the same time, does make our PGA Tour expert predictions and best bets a little tougher to come by.
The format for the Zurich Classic is basic. Two-player teams are constructed and will compete in two unique formats across 72 holes.
On Thursday and Saturday, we’ll see low scores with the best ball format, while the struggle will be on Friday and Sunday with alternate shots. 80 teams are in the field, and the top 33 after the first two rounds will make the cut for the weekend.
Before we dig into this event, though, we have to be transparent in looking back at last week. We successfully cashed Harold Varner III in the Top 20 at +240 and got $83,920 from Daniel Berger as our One and Done pick. Outside of that, though, we whiffed quite a bit.
For the Zurich Classic, I recommend lowering your unit size a bit just because the team structure can be a bit more difficult to handicap.
That won’t stop us, though. Let’s get into our top bets and PGA Tour expert picks for this week’s Zurich Classic.
Note: All odds are courtesy of WynnBet. For more betting choices and advice, check out BetSided.
PGA Tour expert choices for the Zurich Classic: Winner, Top 10, One and Done
Choices for the Zurich Classic: Harold Varner III and Bubba Watson
In full honesty, I would’ve gone a different route for my One and Done this week, but I’ve already utilized one-half of several of the teams I would’ve chosen. That’s what takes us to HV3 and Bubba this week.
With that said, this is a duo that has demonstrated they can score, particularly at a course where Watson has terrific feelings and a high comfort level, which is what TPC Louisiana is for him. This team is also one of BetSided’s Iain MacMillan’s choices to win this week, and here’s what he had to say:
Harold Varner is sneakily having a fantastic season on the PGA Tour. He’s coming off a T3 finish at the RBC Heritage, and even more importantly, he ranks 11th on the Tour in birdie average.
Bubba Watson hasn’t exactly played his best golf to date, but he’s more than comfortable at TPC Louisiana. He won the event back in 2011 before it was a partnered tournament, and he hasn’t finished worse than 34th since then. He was eighth here last year when he was partnered with Scottie Scheffler.
I’m quite good at using this combination to finish high on the leaderboard and bring home a little money for a One and Done league.
Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira (+200) are among the top ten picks for the Zurich Classic.
The fact that you’re earning +200 on this team to finish in the top 10 of an 80-team event seems totally ridiculous, but it is also something you should take full advantage of.
In terms of team averages, Niemann and Pereira rank fourth in this field in strokes gained from tee to green, and, while Niemann has been the stronger overall player, Pereira’s ball-striking has been spectacular, gaining almost 1.2 strokes per round from tee-to-green in his previous 50 rounds.
They’ll need the putters to at least be average to be sure to score with the top teams, but, on the whole, you have to love the upside of this squad and the value they present on the odds board.
Viktor Hovland and Collin Morikawa (+800) are the favorites to win the Zurich Classic.
We’re going out on a limb and picking one of the co-favorites for this event to win, but, frankly, how can you not?
Hovland and Morikawa are both top 5 players in the world right now, with great ball-striking and complete arsenals when it comes to playing off the tee and approach.
There are problems with Hovland’s chipping and Morikawa’s up-and-down putting. However, this is a duo that combined to score a best-ball 59 when they faced off at the Ryder Cup last year. That type of upside and quality is too tremendous to pass up, and this may be an unstoppable force in this format.
The PGA Tour’s best bets for the Zurich Classic
Iain MacMillan and I break down the PGA Tour expert choices and best bets for every week on Green on the Greens for the BetSided YouTube channel. You may check out this week’s picks and watch us live every Monday at 6 p.m. ET.
Adam Hadwin and Adam Svensson were among the top 20 (+140).
As always, my default is to target ball-strikers who can get into position to score. That is extremely relevant to this event, so I expect Canadian Adams to finish in the Top 20 — only the top 25% of this field — in this tournament.
Hadwin has been playing amazing golf this season and, while Svensson is a bit more inconsistent, he gained almost 5.0 strokes on his approach last week, displaying his ball-striking brilliance. I worry about their lack of distance off the tee and Svensson’s short game, but, at just a Top 20, this feels like solid value to bank on.
Talor Gooch and Max Homa finished in the top 10 (+225).
Much like Niemann and Pereira, these two players are merely being underappreciated. Gooch has been playing terrific golf, particularly from tee to green, this season, and Homa has been a regular presence on the PGA Tour all season.
Homa’s improved ball-striking has generated benefits, and both players have demonstrated the capacity to become hot with the putter. In a field that is top heavy, getting this club at +225 could be a wonderful opportunity for bettors to get after it.
Sam Ryder and Doc Redman (+150000) are longshots to win.
In our video preview up above, we have our new Closest to the Win segment, where we have a longshot pick going head-to-head. For that, I selected Tom Hoge and Paul Barjon at the same odds. However, I’m pivoting a bit here to Ryder and Redman.
Again, ball-striking is always going to draw my eye. This team has been displaying good approach play as of late and, while not particularly long off the tee as a whole, they are consistently accurate and can be in favorable locations
. The squad has also been gaining strokes on the green during the last 24 rounds. At these longshot odds, I’ll take a bite at the upside of this club and what they could potentially do.