2021 Zurich Classic Betting Picks: Our Favorite Outright Bets at TPC Louisiana
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Homa
- The 2021 Zurich Classic, the lone team-based event on the PGA TOUR, begins on Thursday.
- The unique format at TPC Louisiana makes the Zurich Classic both challenging and fun for bettors.
- Check out our favorite outright bets below:
The PGA TOUR brings bettors a different look this week at the 2021 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana.
Rather than a traditional stroke-play event, this tournament features pairings playing both best ball and alternate shot formats throughout the weekend. That’ll provide a different experience for both viewing and betting.
Teams will play best ball on Thursday’s opening round, which means both players will use their own shot throughout the round. However, only the lowest score on the hole will count for the scorecard. For example, if one player pars a hole and the other birdies, the birdie will go on the official scorecard.
On Friday for the second round the format changes to alternate shot. Players on each team will alternate who tees off on each hole with his partner taking the next shot and switching back and forth from there. For example, if one player tees off on the first hole, his partner will take the second shot and the player who teed off takes the third shot. On the next hole, whoever didn’t tee off will take the tee shot on hole No. 2.
The top 35 teams plus ties will make the cut. There are 80 teams in the tournament.
Saturday’s third round goes back to best ball. The final round on Sunday will be played as alternate shot.
Here are our favorite outright bets for the 2021 Zurich Classic:
Bubba Watson & Scottie Scheffler (+1600)
When the pairings were first released, this is the one that struck me as a partnership with potential. There’s not much to say about Scheffler, who’s risen to 21st in the world ranking and appears on the verge of a first career win very soon.
Watson might have a reputation as “doesn’t play well with others,” but it isn’t a deserved one. In six stints on the U.S. Ryder/Presidents Cup team, he owns a 9-8-1 record in partnered matches, which isn’t remarkable, but supersedes that rep. In fact, while unquantifiable, Bubba owns the sort of personality which offers more motivation when alongside a teammate rather than competing as an individual.
For a couple of players who can ham-and-egg birdies for the 36 holes of best-ball format, this could be the team to watch all week.
Sam Burns & Billy Horschel (+2500)
I noted this pairing in my lead-up article following the RBC Heritage and I am going to back them to win this week. Both of these players have shown to be streaky and while Horschel has a recent match play win, Burns is also showing some signs of bouncing back after missing three of the last four cuts.
They can really balance off of each other in the Four-Ball format, especially with Burns, who on his own has a tendency to run off a string of birdies then make a big mistake. Those mistakes won’t be as amplified in two of the rounds, and if they can combine well in alternate shot, they will be a tough team to beat.
They have the best value to me this week as the favorites are just too short to take before the event, and I believe this team has the upside to win.
Thomas Pieters/Tom Lewis (+5000)
Thomas Pieters is a mega-talented European with a lot to play for. The big-hitting Belgian is making a strong case to be a part of the European Ryder Cup team at Whistling Straits and they could certainly use a bomber at such a long track.
Pieters is in great form with four consecutive top-15 finishes on the European Tour, and has finishes of 15th and 13th in his two 2021 PGA TOUR starts. With experience in similar formats at a previous Ryder Cup and a World Cup, he should not be overlooked as a force in this setup.
Tom Lewis is a nice compliment to Pieters, as he is a prolific birdie maker who is known for producing some very low rounds. This team of Euros is very talented and highly motivated which gives them a great shot this week.
Cameron Tringale/Roberto Castro (+5500)
Tringale is having a renaissance season in 2021, posting seven top-25s and three top-10’s in 15 starts. He’s also made the cut in 12 of those starts, including nine of his past 10. He’s shown exquisite ball-striking chops in this stretch, ranking sixth in SG: Ball-Striking in this field over his past 24 rounds. He also ranks seventh in total strokes gained in the same time frame.
As for Castro, he’s made each of his past two cuts at both the Puerto Rico Open and at Corales. This pair also has some history here, finishing fifth at this event back in 2019.
Being that this tournament is more fickle than others, I like chancing teams that have some built in continuity. Tringale has made 10 starts at TPC Louisiana and gains 1.879 strokes on the field tee-to-green per round, which ranks him third only behind Benny An and HV3.
We’ve seen Tringale knock on the door multiple times this season and I’ll gladly take 55/1 in this spot.
Brendon Todd & Chris Kirk (+2500)
Everything about this format screams, “Don’t pick a favorite!” However, while these fellow University of Georgia products aren’t tagged with the longest of odds, they’re hunters. Targets are on other backs. This gives them the space to do what they do best, which is to say that they really don’t need the room. They keep the ball in play and they complement each other well.
Talor Gooch & Max Homa (+3100)
This is a tough week to pick a winner. Without a heavy dose of course-specific data to reference, I am forced to go off a generic model that focuses heavily on the key ball-striking statistics that are generally indicative of success.
Outside of the obvious favorites at the top of the board, this pairing provides the highest combined score in the model ranking third overall. The combination of Homa’s consistency and Gooch’s upside provides an interesting setup. One that I am willing to back at +3100.