2023 John Deere Classic Final Round Picks: Bet Denny McCarthy to Win

2023 John Deere Classic Final Round Picks: Bet Denny McCarthy to Win article feature image

Pictured: Denny McCarthy. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

It was a bit predictable to see Cameron Young come back to earth Saturday with his putting and that brought much of the field back into contention. However, I didn't expect Young to only manage an even-par round and he now finds himself three shots back of the lead after carrying a two-stroke advantage into Round 3.

Brendon Todd was the main beneficiary of Young's stumble. Todd's bogey-free, 5-under round put him at 15-under on the week and gave him a one-shot lead over a trio of players.

Alex Smalley was the biggest climber of that bunch with a 9-under round that put him in contention for the win. He's tied with two players — Denny McCarthy and Adam Schenck — who have been knocking on the door of their first TOUR wins.

There are 13 players within three shots of the lead and as we have seen this week, the low rounds are out there for players to post. This is still a wide open event and I'll be looking to bet on someone to shoot a low round to close out the week at the John Deere Classic.

Strokes Gained Explanation

Strokes Gained can give golf bettors, DFS players and fans way more detail on how a golfer has truly played by measuring each shot in relation to the rest of the field.

Using the millions of data points it collects, the Tour calculates how many shots on average it takes a player to get the ball in the hole from every distance and situation.

If a player beats those averages, he’s gaining strokes on the field. Every situation in golf is different. Strokes Gained measures how players perform relative to the situation.

In this piece, we’ll touch on a variety of Strokes Gained metrics:

  • Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee
  • Strokes Gained: Approach
  • Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green
  • Strokes Gained: Putting
  • Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (which is Off-the-Tee + Approach)
  • Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green (which is Ball-Striking + Around-the-Green)

In general, SG: Ball Striking and SG: Tee-to-Green are the most stable long term, while putting is more prone to volatility. You can often find live-betting advantages by identifying golfers who are hitting the ball well, but aren’t getting putts to drop.

Likewise, players with high SG: Putting numbers may regress moving forward.

2023 John Deere Classic Round 4 Best Bets: 3 Golfers to Buy

I came into this week thinking it was McCarthy's time to finally breakthrough. Well, he's right there and ready to win it as Sunday looms. I'm sticking by that pick — even at a very short +350 — as his game has been the most consistent of the players at the top over the past few months. We know he is one of the best putters in the game as things stand today and the way he's performed with his ball striking makes him dangerous each week.

McCarthy seems to have shaken off the issues that plagued him tee-to-green in the second round as he bounced back and gained strokes throughout his bag Saturday. If he can continue his upward, ball-striking trend on Sunday, I believe he'll be the winner.

I won't put all my eggs in the McCarthy basket as I think there's a possibility we'll see some players come from behind and contend down the stretch. A round of 8-or-9-under is likely to be out there in the final round and a player like Sepp Straka could post an early number for the final groups to chase.

Straka has been rolling since a lackluster 2-over opening round. He posted an 8-under round Friday and followed it up with a 6-under Saturday. He may need something closer to that 8-under in the final round to have a chance to win from four shots back, but duplicating either result would certainly turn some heads. We can get Straka at +6600 on PointsBet and that is certainly worth a sprinkle, but +450 for a top-five finish at BetMGM (where ties are paid in full) is my favorite Sunday bet on Straka.

The world has been drooling over Ludvig Aberg for the past several tournaments and William Mouw is certainly making a name for himself this week, but it's Michael Thorbjornsen whose caught my eye. We've only seen him on the weekend once in seven tries on TOUR, but that was a top-five finish at last year's Traveler's Championship.

This week, he is once again playing great golf and sitting just outside the top 10. We have a very small sample size, but Thorbjornsen presents some value for me at +400 for a top-10 finish (BetMGM). He had a similar start to the week as Straka as he was 2-over in the opening round and has put together a 13-under over the past two days. I'll happily ride that momentum and see if he can improve by one spot and pay off a nice value play in the final round.

Strokes Gained Data for All Players After Round 3

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