2021 John Deere Classic Sleeper Picks: Our Best PGA TOUR Longshot Bets This Week
Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Beau Hossler
With just one week to go until the 2021 Open Championship, the field for this week’s John Deere Classic may be lacking in starpower, but that doesn’t mean that it is wanting for betting value. In fact, with so many of the game’s biggest names either playing overseas in the Scottish Open or taking the week off to gear up for Royal St. George, the door is open for basically anybody to take home the prize this week at TPC Deere Run.
Here are our favorite sleeper picks and longshot bets on the PGA TOUR this week:
Satoshi Kodaira (+15000)
I honestly thought there was some mistake when I started scrolling down the odds board this week and didn’t see Kodaira’s name. Turns out, he’s got some Cam Davis-level prices this week, which makes very little sense. He’s coming off an MC at the Rocket Mortgage, but his previous four finishes were 36th-19th-13th-11th.
I don’t love the fact that his results have moved in descending order in his past five starts, but I do like this number in the betting markets and certainly don’t mind him as a contrarian OAD play on a week when most of your fellow poolers will stick with the guys at the top.
Jim Herman (+16000)
Despite the weak field, longshots don’t tend to win at this event so I’m limiting my exposure down the board to just one play, Jim Herman at +16000.
Herman is coming off a 25th and 26th in his last two starts, which is about as much form as we see from him. He’s also got a 10th here back in 2013, so if he’s playing well, he can fit the bill here.
Brandon Hagy (+15000)
My longshot pick this week is as much about the number as anything else as Hagy simply shouldn’t be this long in this weak field. He is coming off a sixth-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage where he gained strokes across the board, after all.
While he won’t necessarily need his biggest strength, his length off the tee, he was dialed in throughout the bag last week. He also has an extreme preference for the bentgrass greens he will see this week at TPC Deere Run, which makes him an intriguing option at really long odds for the John Deere Classic.
Beau Hossler (+8000)
There are very few courses on TOUR that Beau Hossler can truly contend at, but TPC Deere Run is one of the few where he could have a shot.
When examining past winners of the John Deere Classic, the most glaring consistency is putting. To win at TPC Deere Run, you have to be a great putter, or at minimum, be capable of getting scorching hot on the greens.
Hossler fits that description. The 26-year-old is one of the best putters on TOUR, and not too long ago was thought of as an intriguing up-and-comer.
Bentgrass greens are Hossler’s specialty, and it’s reasonable to expect him to gain plenty of strokes on the field this week.
Additionally, the rest of Hossler’s game is surprisingly starting to come around. He has gained strokes tee-to-green in three consecutive events, which is the first time he has done that since September 2020. In those three recent events, Hossler finished 19th, 10th, and 25th, respectively.
I am looking for the University of Texas product to build off of those performances in a weaker field at the John Deere Classic.
Jhonattan Vegas (+5500)
Vegas is quietly having a pretty strong season, having made the cut in 16 of his 21 starts, including nine of his past 10. He also has three top-10’s on the year, most recent of which came at the Palmetto a few weeks back where he finished T-2.
Vegas has been on a ball-striking heater of late, ranking No.1 in this field in SG: Off-the-Tee and 23rd in SG: Approach over his past 24 rounds. He also ranks 11th in total strokes gained in that time frame. He’s made the cut at this event in four of five starts, including a T-3 in 2014, so he clearly knows the course well.
Patrick Rodgers (+8000)
Seemingly every week, Patrick Rodgers pops up on the leaderboard early in tournaments, only to fade on the weekend. It seems to be the story of his career up to this point. A guy who shows flashes, but is constantly plagued by inconsistent tee-to-green play. He’s always been a player who has leaned heavily on his elite putting to keep him in contention. Over 176 tracked events, he averages over a half-stroke gained per tournament played on the greens.
Recently his ball-striking has come to life while the putter, of all things, has been letting him down. He gained over 7 strokes tee-to-green over the last two events, but lost 9.7 strokes with the flat stick. That is the worst two-tournament putting stretch over his nine-year PGA TOUR career.
Rodgers’ putter will come back, that is a statistical certainty. If he can continue the recent stretch of positive ball-striking, and marry it with what we typically expect of Rodgers on the greens, he definitely has a chance to win and certainly worth a small position on your betting card for the weekend.