Golf Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic and More


Joaquin Niemann could end up on the radar at the 2020 Open Championship. Credit: John David Mercer, USA Today Sports.

Jun 27, 2019, 09:40 PM EDT
  • The 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic is a new event that takes place at Detroit Golf Club, which has never hosted a PGA Tour event before.
  • Dustin Johnson is the clear favorite at +550 with Rickie Fowler (10-1), Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) and Gary Woodland (16-1) behind him.
  • Our golf experts share their favorite bets for this weekend's golf action.

The PGA Tour makes its maiden voyage to the Detroit Golf Club this weekend for the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The field for the 2019 Rocket Mortgage Classic is weak so it is no surprise that Dustin Johnson is the clear favorite at +550. Behind him are Rickie Fowler (10-1), Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) and U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland (16-1). Chez Reavie, who is coming off his first victory in 11 years at the Travelers, rounds out the top five at 20-1.

Detroit Golf Club will play at just over 7,300 yards for a par 72. It should provide ample scoring opportunities, so expect to see a bunch of low scores over the weekend.

Here are our staff’s favorite bets for this weekend’s golf action, including a play overseas at the 2019 Andalucia Masters in Spain.

Jason Sobel

The Bet: Joaquin Niemann Top-10 Finish (+450)

Here’s the problem with anointing young guys as the Next Big Something: When it doesn’t happen immediately, we tend to forget about the guy, perhaps even unfairly labeling him as a bust.

Cameron Champ is a great example. Just because he’s struggled this year doesn’t mean we should write off his chances to become a top-10 player in the world.

I feel the same way about Niemann, the No. 1-ranked amateur before he turned pro, who appeared ready for prime-time last year.

It’s taken him a while to get back to this status, but he’s shown flashes of that promise in recent starts, including a T-5 this past weekend. Previous results show he’s the type of guy who gets hot and stays hot, so that result might only be the beginning of what could be a nice little run for him soon. Jump on this one before it’s too late.

Dr. Lou Riccio*

The Bet: Sam Ryder Top-20 Finish (+450)

Sam Ryder had a run of four top-10 finishes starting around this time last season before quieting down in 2019. It looks like he’s starting to find that form from last year. Ryder has made his last three cuts and gained strokes on his approach shots in six of his past eight starts. That should bode well for this Donald Ross track, and at almost 5-to-1 odds, it’s worth taking a chance on a strong finish for Ryder.

Dr. Lou Riccio, a PhD senior lecturer, teaches rational decision making at Columbia’s Graduate School of Business and has served on the USGA’s handicap research team for three decades. More of his predictive analysis can be found over at Golf Digest.

Josh Perry

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