2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Odds & Sleeper Picks: 4 Longshots to Bet, Including Matthew NeSmith, Kurt Kitayama

2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP Odds & Sleeper Picks: 4 Longshots to Bet, Including Matthew NeSmith, Kurt Kitayama article feature image

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images. Pictured: Matthew NeSmith

Click arrow to expand 2022 ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP odds via bet365
Player NameOdds
Xander Schauffele+800
Sungjae Im+1100
Hideki Matsuyama+1100
Collin Morikawa+1400
Tom Kim+1400
Cameron Young+1600
Viktor Hovland+2000
Tommy Fleetwood+2200
Tyrrell Hatton+2500
Corey Conners+2800
Keegan Bradley+2800
Si Woo Kim+2800
Tom Hoge+3000
Cameron Davis+3500
Mito Pereira+3500
Sahith Theegala+4000
Maverick McNealy+4000
Sebastian Munoz+4000
Sepp Straka+4000
Scott Stallings+4500
Kurt Kitayama+5000
Kyoung-Hoon Lee+5000
Matthew Nesmith+5000
Davis Riley+5500
Christiaan Bezuidenhout+5500
Lucas Herbert+5500
Emiliano Grillo+6000
Mackenzie Hughes+6600
Mark Hubbard+7500
Rickie Fowler+8000
Taylor Moore+8000
Kevin Streelman+8000
Andrew Putnam+8000
J.J. Spaun+8000
Aaron Rai+10000
Brendan Steele+10000
Wyndham Clark+10000
Luke List+10000
Matt Wallace+10000
Troy Merritt+11000
Stephan Jaeger+11000
Alex Smalley+12500
Adam Svensson+12500
Patrick Rodgers+12500
Russell Knox+12500
Hayden Buckley+12500
Cameron Champ+14000
Adam Long+14000
Martin Laird+14000
Joel Dahmen+14000
Adam Schenk+14000
Dylan Frittelli+14000
Beau Hossler+15000
Satoshi Kodaira+15000
Kazuki Higa+15000
Ryo Hisatsune+15000
Tomoharu Otsuki+16000
Lee Hodges+17500
Brandon Wu+17500
David Lipsky+17500
Shugo Imahira+17500
Yuto Katsuragawa+17500
Takumi Kanaya+17500
C.T. Pan+20000
Sam Ryder+20000
Rikuya Hoshino+20000
Peter Malnati+22500
Chez Reavie+25000
John Huh+25000
Riki Kawamoto+25000
Mikumu Horikawa+27500
Keita Nakajima+30000
Hiroshi Iwata+30000
Chad Ramey+35000
Danny Lee+35000
Naoyuki Kataoka+35000
Aguri Iwasaki+35000
Kaito Onishi+35000

The PGA TOUR adds a stamp to its passport this week and heads to Japan for the ZOZO Championship. For the third time in the tournament’s short four-year history, the event will be hosted at Narashino Country Club.

Last year finished with a storybook ending as native son Hideki Matsuyama collected the win on home soil after falling just short as runner-up in 2020.

This year, perhaps a new story can be written with a Cinderella crowned as champion. It's a strong field that features several of the top names in golf, but there’s certainly a chance for a sleeper to emerge by Sunday.

These four names jump off the betting board as dark horses capable of winning who also have value at their current odds.

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Kurt Kitayama +6000 (DraftKings)

Since mid-July, Kitayama has been playing some of the best golf of his career. He was runner-up at the Scottish Open, T20 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, T19 at the BMW Championship and finished in seventh-place at the Italian Open.

Among players in this week’s field, he ranks seventh in totalstrokes gained per round over the past three months, per DataGolf. He also has the best mark in the Strokes Gained: Around the Green category.

His hot wedges and sharp swing have fueled his series of strong finishes and some sportsbooks have taken more notice than others. You’ll see him listed elsewhere as low as +4500 (FanDuel).

Matthew NeSmith +7000 (DraftKings)

We tabbed NeSmith as a name to watch last week at the Shriners Children’s Open and he answered with a top-five finish. Let’s happily hop right back on that horse and take him again.

Prior to his runner-up at the Shriners, NeSmith was T9 in Jackson at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Those marked his two best finishes and his two best strokes gained numbers since last April.

Last year, in his only appearance at this venue, NeSmith unspectacularly made the cut (a T48 finish). Now, playing the best golf he’s managed in a while, we expect a better showing.

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Adam Schenk +13000 (DraftKings)

Since this venue has only hosted an event twice, any dipping into analytics is a dance with small sample sizes. Yet, bettors will take any hint we can find, so finding a pattern from the prior editions of the ZOZO could help unearth the sleeper we need.

Just 17 players will be teeing it up for the third time at Narashino Country Club. Of that group, the most successful players have been mostly expected. Hideki Matsuyama leads the way in strokes gained at this venue, followed by Keegan Bradley, Tommy Fleetwood, Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele. All of those players can be found with much shorter odds than what we’re aiming to find in this exercise.

The next player on that list, the sixth best among the 17 returning for a third trip, is Adam Schenk. He’s finished T22 and T28 in his two prior appearances at the ZOZO. That doesn’t inspire much love, but he was T12 at the Shriners last week.

At these odds, we can roll the dice on a mild mix of recent success and course experience. FanDuel certainly likes his chances more than DraftKings and listed him at just +8000.

Danny Lee +35000 (BetMGM)

If you want a long shot, let’s go really long. Depending on which book you’re perusing, you won’t find more than a handful of players with longer odds than Danny Lee.

Lee enters having missed the cut in the past four events he’s played. Thanks to nagging injuries, that streak extends all the way to the US Open back in June. It’s a shame, because he played some good golf prior to those issues. Lee earned three top 10s in the 2022 season, after no such finishes in the 2021 season.

Maybe to find his form again, Lee needs to step foot on a course where he has played well before. Luckily for those betting him at these odds, that might just be the case this week. In his only appearance here at the ZOZO, back in 2019, Lee finished T10. A third round 65 was worth +4.0 strokes gained on the field that week.

That isn’t much evidence to support a pick, yet at a number like this, it’s enough for a lottery ticket. Again, if you’re reading anything into the odds across books, DraftKings lists him down at +25000 and FanDuel is even more bullish at +17000.

Even at +1600 to top 10 at BetMGM, he makes for an intriguing play.

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