2023 John Deere Classic Final Round Odds & Picks: Sunday Value on Alex Smalley, Chris Kirk

2023 John Deere Classic Final Round Odds & Picks: Sunday Value on Alex Smalley, Chris Kirk article feature image

Pictured: Alex Smalley. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

As the John Deere Classic shifts to Sunday's final round, there are two plays I want to discuss.

If you haven't already, you can find me on Twitter @TeeOffSports. There, I will provide a link to my pre-tournament model, a powerful and interactive data spreadsheet that allows user inputs to create custom golf rankings. That sheet is released every Monday, so be sure to check it out and construct your own numbers from my database of information.

Alex Smalley +550 (DraftKings)

It is not that my model dislikes overnight leader Brendon Todd, but I have always found it difficult for a golfer to hold the lead on Sunday when they have yet to crack the top 40 (in any round) in ball-striking stats.

I am a believer that nerves start to compound errors, which is one of the reasons I am trying to avoid Todd.

My numbers essentially had two options pinpointed as the most logical choices to win the John Deere Classic. The first is Alex Smalley, who has been trending toward a win. The second is Adam Schenk, an obvious selection that takes Smalley's "around-the-corner" blueprint and heightens it with his countless recent close calls.

Each golfer landed as a plausible option because my model is a bit lower on Denny McCarthy (T2) than the consensus. However, I don't love going in that direction because of the overexposure it creates in getting action down on both names.

As a result, I eventually settled on Smalley after reconfiguring my numbers to land in a space where I felt comfortable.

The American placed second in my sheet for scoring both off-the-tee and on approach this week. This is one of those spots where the entirety of the data provided a safer road for scoring as Smalley is the only golfer in the field to gain a minimum of 0.80 shots in all four critical strokes gained metrics.

That top-to-bottom nature is how tournaments are won and the data presents Smalley as the man to beat.

Chris Kirk +2200 (FanDuel)

This stretches further than usual because of the easy scoring possibilities the track presents. I wouldn't say I feel comfortable going this low, but it is something to remember when you run your own numbers.

If I were looking for a dart-throw over 50/1, the intrigue stops at Sepp Straka at 12-under par. However, I already have a Straka ticket in hand, so let's talk a little about Chris Kirk at 22/1.

Kirk ranked fourth on my sheet for projected scoring this week when adding back in his baseline short-game numbers. He also perched himself as one of only six players in this field to post top-25 scoring outputs on each day of the event. 

As much as I liked Schenk, I didn't believe Kirk should have been over four times the price when only experiencing a three-shot deficit to begin the round. Kirk is one of the better values outside of 20/1 with legitimate win equity.

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.