Sobel’s Rocket Mortgage Round 2 Betting Preview: DeChambeau an Overwhelming Favorite Heading into Friday
Sam Greenwood, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Doc Redman
If you were waiting for a specific bargain at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, it probably hasn’t happened.
In golf betting, if there’s a player to whom you want exposure pre-tournament, but you feel is overvalued in the markets, one sensible idea is to take a wait-and-see approach.
Maybe that player is 5-6 strokes off the lead after one round. Maybe he’s clustered amongst the masses on a crowded leaderboard. Maybe his live outright odds jump to a more manageable price, one which you can take advantage of before the second round.
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If there were two obviously overvalued players entering this week’s tourney in Detroit, it was Bryson DeChambeau and Doc Redman.
DeChambeau has famously bulked up recently, adding length without losing his short-game touch. With six consecutive top-10 finishes, he was the easy favorite in an unimpressive field, but those pre-tourney odds of +650 is nearly a Tiger-in-his-prime kind of price, invariably tough to swallow for even the most ardent Bryson supporter this week.
If you were hoping he’d start poorly and you could buy at a discount, though, you’re out of luck.
After an opening-round 6-under 66, his odds have been cut by more than half, now sitting on the board at +275 outright — and still overvalued.
As for Redman, this is a young kid who seemingly was ready to pop this week at a tournament where he finished runner-up last year and fresh off a couple of strong recent ball-striking performances.
For everyone who liked Redman this week, though, they were greeted by a pre-tourney number of +5000 from the books — a tough price to bet for a guy ranked 123rd in the world whose second-place finish at this one remains his lone career top-10 on the PGA TOUR.
Once again, you might’ve taken that wait-and-see approach, trying to grab him at a more palatable live number. And what does he do? Opens with a 7-under 65, of course, to grab a share of the overnight lead.
What’s the moral of the story here? Maybe it’s that if you like a player outright, then bet him, even if you hate the price. Or maybe it’s that bad things come to those who wait. Or perhaps you can defer blame to the bookmakers, who are apparently a little too good at setting these odds.
Whatever the case, if you were waiting for a better number on two of this week’s overvalued players, you’re probably not going to get it.
Round 2 Matchup Picks
Kevin Chappell (-117) over Danny Willett
Even though we haven’t heard much from him lately, Chappell is a player I identified earlier this week as one worth watching at the RMC.
I liked what I saw from him both ball-striking and putting during the final round of the Travelers Championship and Detroit GC’s correlation to Congressional should suit him well. Once again, he struck the ball very well during Thursday’s opening round of 3-under 69.
Those numbers look strong against the former Masters champion, so I like the slight favorite in this one.
Brendon Todd (-103) over Bubba Watson
It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while we can catch a line based more on reputation than current form.
Todd spent last week contending for the Travelers title, while Watson missed the cut on one of his favorite courses. Then in the opening round this week, Todd posted 68 against Bubba’s 71.
And yet, Todd remains the underdog in the matchup. I’m admittedly guilty of fading Bubba too often when he’s not playing one of his three favorite events, but this feels like an easy play.
Patrick Reed (+135) over Bryson DeChambeau
After I devoted much of the intro to the predicament of not being able to bet Bryson because he’s overvalued, now it’s time to take advantage of that. In the opening round, he gained nearly four strokes against the field putting. That’s a seemingly unsustainable number.
Reed’s ball-striking wasn’t his usual strength on Thursday, but he did post a 2-under 70 and was right around the field average on the greens. This feels like an opportunity for slight regression in two different directions for each player, which offers some value on the plus-money.
Brandt Snedeker (+160) over Tyrrell Hatton
Brandt Snedeker (+140) over Sungjae Im
Yes, I’m the guy who recommended betting Snedeker outright this week, based on his long history of playing so well on Donald Ross-designed courses. And yes, I’m the guy who was cursing him when he opened with bogeys on three of his first four holes, ranking DFL on the board at one point. But I’m also a glass half-full kind of guy and I did happen to notice that Sneds played his final 14 holes in 2-under and bogey-free.
I have a feeling he’s gotten the bad stuff out of his system and is ready for another low one on a Ross track. At these numbers, I like either bet – or just take him in the group’s three-ball.