2022 John Deere Classic Odds, Picks: 3 OAD Targets, Headlined by Webb Simpson
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Webb Simpson.
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Webb Simpson +1600
I preach this all the time, but OADs are often about game theory. At a tournament like this, many poolsters will contend that they don’t want to “burn” one of the better players, but really, your mindset should often be that these guys will never have a better opportunity of cashing a big check. Daniel Berger and Adam Hadwin opened as this week’s co-favorites, but of course that was prior to Berger’s WD on Monday morning, leaving this board a wasteland of randomness.
If I’m attacking with one of the (few) bigger names this week, though, I’m going with Simpson. I watched him play in-person last week at the Travelers, and his ball-striking is getting back to the place where he needs it to be in order to compete on a regular basis with those who hit it so much longer than him. You can almost see him gaining confidence by the event and three finishes of 27th or better in his last four starts, including a T-13 last week, suggest he’s trending in the right direction.
Meanwhile, playing this event for the first time in a dozen years suggests he knows something good is coming and doesn’t want to take his foot off the gas pedal.
Sahith Theegala +4000
There’s certainly a chance that the physical and mental energy needed to contend for the Travelers Championship, not to mention the heartbreak after his final-hole double-bogey, will leave Theegala too exhausted to play his best golf once again this week. His previous three top-10s this year were followed by finishes of 48th, 22nd and 53rd directly afterward.
There’s also a chance, though, that Theegala shows up at the John Deere full of piss and vinegar, then looks around and doesn’t see anyone with more talent than him.
After being massively undervalued every time he’s played, I assumed he’d finally be overvalued in the betting markets against a weak field this week. My guess was that he would’ve been nearly half the price of his opening 40-1 — and it won’t surprise me at all if this number grows shorter as the week progresses. There’s value if you can get him at these odds, but there’s inherent value in taking him as an OAD play no matter what.
Matt Wallace +13000
There’s another theory for OADs at this type of event, essentially the opposite of using one of the best players.
In a watered-down field, find someone down the board who likely won’t be listed by any of your fellow competitors. If you’re doing this, I like chasing a player with some win equity. Wallace owns four wins on the DP World Tour, so he knows how to close. And while the first five months of this year were brutal for him, he posted finishes of T5 and T18 in Europe and has now made the cut in two straight on the PGA TOUR.