Updated John Deere Classic 2022 Odds & Picks for Patrick Rodgers, Webb Simpson, More
Andrew Redington/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Rodgers.
- The PGA TOUR's last stateside stop for a couple weeks is the 2022 John Deere Classic.
- Veterans Webb Simpson and Adam Hadwin top the odds board this week in the Quad Cities.
- Jason Sobel previews the tournament and lays out his favorite betting picks below.
Click arrow to expand 2022 John Deere Classic odds via BetMGM
2022 John Deere Classic Odds
|Charles Howell III||+2800|
|Dawie van der Walt||+40000|
|Bo Van Pelt||+50000|
|Richard S. Johnson||+100000|
Considering the unstable state of professional golf and constant concern regarding the fracture within, it feels particularly relevant to focus on the current two-week stretch that includes the Travelers Championship and John Deere Classic.
Neither of these tournaments are ever going to have the glitz and glamour of the biggest non-majors. They’re not going to own the best strength of field or post off-the-charts television ratings.
They are, however, the glue events. The ones that keep everything together and help create the overall product.
I’ll admit this might be an analogistic stretch, but I’ll try it anyway: In team sports, every championship winner needs those unsung heroes. The special teams demon or the pinch-hitting utility player or the fourth-line winger. They’ll never get the ink of the superstars, but their mere presence lifts everyone around them.
That’s how I feel about these two events.
They make everyone around them better — whether that means other tourneys in a figurative sense or literally those in the respective communities who support each of them.
It seems like nearly every year, the Travelers gets rewarded with some final-round drama and an intriguing champion. This past weekend was no different, with Xander Schauffele somehow outlasting Sahith Theegala.
There’s even less star-power at this week’s John Deere. (Spoiler alert: The odds are downright ugly compared to what we’re used to seeing for most of these players.)
Let’s get right to it, though, starting with an outright pick that would have the crowds at TPC Deere Run rocking if it comes to fruition.
One player to win the tournament.
Patrick Rodgers (+3000)
Like many golf prognosticators, I’ve spent much of the past decade waiting for Rodgers to keep up with fellow Class of ‘11 grads Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Berger. That’s not to say I have the same expectations for Rodgers, but I never would’ve expected him to fall this far behind.
He’s shown glimpses over the years, though few of those glimpses have lasted as long as the current one. Rodgers has gained strokes against the field in five of his last six starts and not coincidentally owns top-35 finishes in each of them.
I’m not totally confident that TPC Deere Run suits his game, which often gives him an advantage off the tee with his length, however he owns a track record of playing well on shorter courses. Also, the Indiana native should feel at home a bit in the Midwest, as he was runner-up here in 2017 and owns three other top-30s.
One thing to watch: He did WD prior to last week’s Travelers and while I have no reason to believe it was for anything other than needing a little rest after a grueling U.S. Open week, you should keep an eye out for any potential injury news before going all-in.
Editor’s note: Initial outright pick Steve Stricker withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
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.
One player to finish top-five.
Chez Reavie (+900)
Ohhh, I love the intersection here. You know, that sweet spot we’re always searching for, where recent form meets course history.
In his last five starts, Reavie owns four results of 27th or better, including a share of eighth at the Travelers. At this event, he’s made the cut seven times in nine starts, as the shorter course fits his brand of golf. I like him for OADs, but don’t mind him in the betting markets or DFS, either.
One player to finish top-10.
Denny McCarthy (+275)
While I faded most of the previous week’s U.S. Open contenders at the Travelers, I did like McCarthy to back up his strong performance, but he could never get it going and wound up missing the cut. That didn’t help last week, but I do believe it should make us even more bullish on him this week, having just enjoyed a few unexpected days off leading into this one.
That was only the first MC for McCarthy in an individual event since February, so I expect him to bounce back in a big way.
There are plenty of players about whom we often say, “He’s a great ball-striker; if he can putt just a little above average, he’ll contend.” McCarthy is essentially the opposite. One of the game’s premier putters and just needs to strike it pretty well — not great — to have a chance. That’s been happening lately, as he’s gained strokes with the irons in six of his last eight starts. I like him to be in the mix come Sunday.
One player to finish top-20.
Hayden Buckley (+400)
This is, to put it mildly, a great week to take some risks on your prop plays. That describes Buckley, a rookie who’s shown that his best stuff can be very good.
He hasn’t been able to match the consistent results of fellow freshmen Davis Riley, Cameron Young and Mito Pereira, as there’s a much bigger discrepancy between Buckley’s good weeks and the bad ones. In his past 10 starts, he’s missed the cut six times but also owns a pair of top-15 finishes, including a T14 at the U.S. Open a few weeks ago.
Buckley seems like the type of player who will continue to improve with more reps at the highest level over the next few years, and one who might benefit from the confident boost of a field devoid of many stars.
Like I wrote, you’ll have to take some chances on these wagers. This feels like a decent opportunity.
One player to finish top-30.
One of the questions I’m asked most is, “Who are the nice guys on the PGA TOUR?” (This one usually comes right after, “Who are the biggest jerks on the PGA TOUR?”) I always try to explain that there’s no exact measurement for “nice,” although SG: Niceness would be a pretty cool stat. Talk to a guy after he shoots 63 and he’ll probably be nice. Find him after a 79 and he probably won’t.
Anyway, if I ignore the existential crisis of this query and just offer a few names, Streb is always one of the first listed. Case in point: Last Wednesday, I was hosting my SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio show from the 15th tee at TPC River Highlands. Streb walked by and gave me a slice of pizza. Not because I asked for one, not because he didn’t like it. Just because he had two slices and I had zero, so he evened things out. That’s what a nice guy does.
In any case, nice guys don’t always finish last. In fact, he finished T35 last week, though it was his best finish in three months. I’m not saying he’s going to finish first, but he won’t be last. I think he’s got some value as a prop play this week.
One player to finish top-40.
Sam Ryder (+120)
If the whole “I like Streb, whose 35th-place finish was his best in months” take left you tilted going into this one, you’re going to love my Ryder stance.
In his previous seven starts, Ryder missed the cut in all seven — until last week, that is, when (like Streb) he finished in a share of 35th.
It’s a small sample size, admittedly, but his iron play looked solid at TPC River Highlands. In fact, he’s gained strokes with the irons in four of his last five starts and was essentially neutral at the fifth. For a guy who was runner-up at this event four years ago, I like the idea of taking a shot in a few different formats.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
Charles Howell III
Look, this is gonna be a weird DFS week. I’m just warning you right now. Somebody is going to win the big GPP contests by leaving $2K on the table or only getting 5/6 through to the weekend or something crazy like that.
I usually want to target a player here who owns a high ceiling and some win potential, but it’s not unwise to target a high floor instead. Like a player who ignores the sucker pin tucked into the corner of the green just above a bunker, I don’t mind aiming for the middle, two-putting and getting out of here with a par.
We all understand that the ceiling might be perpetually limited, but the man remains a model of consistency. He’s made the cut in 12 of 13 starts at this event, with nine top-25s. He’s also made the cut in five of his last seven starts overall and 10 of his last 14. I like the idea of using him as an anchor and then building lineups around him with some greater potential volatility.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
If DFS and betting didn’t exist, chances are very few people outside of the Hubbard family would have any clue as to his continued solid play this year.
In his last 15 combined starts on the PGA and Korn Ferry circuits, Hubbard has made the cut on 13 occasions. He’s not exactly knocking down the door for title contentions, but he’s a guy who shows up every week knowing he needs to make the most of his opportunities.
Again, like the Howell selection above, I think this could be a very non-chalky type of week for DFS, so I don’t mind filling a few spots with high-floor guys for their price, then scattering the pieces around them.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Scott Stallings (+4500)
We all understand that it’s difficult to chase an uncommonly low round with another one within the confines of a single tournament. I do, however, believe there’s something to the idea of gaining some momentum when that low round happens to come on a Sunday and the player is competing at the following event.
Stallings closed out his Travelers week with a 63 and should be brimming with confidence entering the Deere. He’ll need to at least match that total, as the last four editions of this event have had FRL scores of 62 twice and 63 twice. Stallings’ best in 28 career rounds here is a pair of 64s, but those alone show he’s got the potential to go low again on the heels of the latest one.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Adam Schenk (+7000)
This might be a case of chasing previous results, but in a week when our options feel limited, we’ll take what we can get.
Schenk has played 10 career rounds at TPC Deere Run and posted under-par scores every single time. In those last two starts, he was T4 and T6. Another native of Indiana and a product of Purdue, he’s yet another player who might feel at home in the Midwest this week. I’ll be a little cautious here, knowing it’ll be tough to match those previous results, but I do like him for matchups, at the very least.
Also Receiving Votes
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Justin Harding to win the LIV tournament
Look, I’m only 0-for-1 predicting LIV events — and chances are, so are you, unless you somehow picked Charl Schwartzel to reign in London.
There remains a massive dichotomy between this upstart league and the PGA TOUR in about a billion (wink-wink) different ways, but it’s worth noting that winners on the latter since LIV started playing have been superstars Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele, while Schwartzel didn’t exactly do much to move the needle for LIV’s — ahem — “grow the game” philosophies.
As such, I’m looking to keep that trend going by targeting similar needle-keepers and maybe those still a bit motivated by the potential riches. With Pumpkin Ridge presumably playing short and tight, Hideto Tanihara, Laurie Canter and Kevin Na fit the profile, but I’ll go with Harding here, who had three top-seven finishes in his last five starts before moving to LIV.