2021 Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Guide: These 5 Have Value at Detroit Golf Club
Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Garrick Higgo.
The Travelers has a tendency to produce some tight finishes, and last week was no exception.
Harris English survived an eight-hole marathon with Kramer Hickok to get us win No. 4 this season along with Justin Thomas, KH Lee and Patrick Cantlay.
The fourth win is the rough break-even point for the PGA Tour in 2021 with staking around three units each week to return 33 on an outright. So it’s nice to get there at the halfway point of the year.
Now we move on to the Rocket Mortgage Classic, which is in it’s third year at Detroit Golf Club.
Detroit Golf Club measures out to 7,340 yards for a par 72. The Donald Ross design has played pretty easy the first two years. Nate Lashley won at 25-under, and Bryson DeChambeau followed up at 23-under last year. So unless weather comes into play, 20-under par will likely be a prerequisite to winning again this year..
Lashley and DeChambeau couldn’t be more opposite golfers, so it’s tough to really draw a real fit early on for this course. Obviously an elite bomber like DeChambeau can win anywhere when the game is on. And with Matthew Wolff right behind him last year, it showed that length is definitely a benefit.
But with Lashley’s win along with players like Kevin Kisner, Adam Hadwin and Ryan Armour finishing in the top 5 a year ago, the shorter guys can play well here also.
Overall this week, I’ll be looking at strong approach games coupled with guys who can get a hot putter, because we’ll likely need someone to roll in 25 birdies to win.
It’s no surprise that Bryson DeChambeau is the clear favorite this week at +750. Even though he’s the defending champ, the form hasn’t been quite what it was last year at this time. He was riding three straight top 10s coming into the event a year ago. This time, he’s been without a top 10 in about two months now, although he was leading the U.S. Open with nine holes to go a couple weeks back.
Patrick Reed is next in line at +1400. He was fifth here two years ago when the event made its debut. He’s also been in the top 25 in six of his last eight events, but Reed isn’t a guy I go to in this range, so I’ll pass.
Hideki Matsuyama (+1600) and Webb Simpson (+1800) close out the teens, and neither has really done much lately to draw a bet from me at these numbers. Hideki hasn’t finished inside the top 20 since winning at Augusta, and Webb seems to be battling some injuries, playing just twice in the last 10 weeks and finishing outside the top 25 on both occasions.
Will Zalatoris, Jason Kokrak and Joaquin Niemann make up the +2000s group. All three are coming off missed cuts at the U.S. Open, which also happens to be their only starts in the last four weeks. So it’s tough to really know where any of their games are. No one in this group is a prolific enough winner to really want to dip down here to back them.
Much like last week, this will be a light card to start out, and I’ll look for some live adds over the first couple of days.
We’ll get started here with Garrick Higgo at +6000 on DraftKings. He’s already shown he can take down one of these weaker field events, and he’s also capable of going super low as we saw during his run in Europe. He’s coming off a missed cut last week at the Travelers, but that was because he lost nearly four strokes around the green. He was above the field average with both ball-striking categories and putting in a stronger field than this one.
I keep getting drawn back to Harold Varner III in these type of events. He’s at +8000 on pretty much every book. Varner again hit the ball well, leading the field in approach at the Travelers. He always seems to have one part of the game really dialed in and the rest just hangs around field average. But he’s made four of his last five cuts, and with most of the super elite players taking a break this week, I’ll try my luck again at this price.
When Nate Lashley won, he was such a longshot, most books didn’t even list him after he was a late alternate added to the field on Wednesday before the tournament started. So even though Bryson dominated last year, it feels like this is an event that pretty much anyone could win so I’ll be taking a couple chances down here.
I’ll start here with Sepp Straka at 100/1 on DraftKings. Straka has finished eighth and 11th in his two starts here and was 10th last week at the Travelers where he finished fifth in strokes gained: approach. I was hoping for a bigger number since he had strugglde a little prior to last week. But triple digits is enough to get me to bite.
I’ll also go with Chez Reavie at 100/1 on DraftKings. Reavie had a good ball-striking week at the Travelers, gaining both off the tee and with the approach. He’s starting to round back into form again after a rough start to 2021. He’s made three straight cuts now with top 25s both last week and at the Palmetto during that time.
We’ll go with Joseph Bramlett at 200/1 on PointsBet. Bramlett has a top 25 in two of his last four starts, and despite a missed cut last week, he gained strokes everywhere but on the greens.
The Rocket Mortgage Card
- Garrick Higgo +6000 (.55 units)
- Harold Varner III +8000 (.41 units)
- Sepp Straka +10000 (.33 units)
- Chez Reavie +10000 (.33 units)
- Joseph Bramlett +20000 (.17 units)
Total Stake: 1.79 units