2023 John Deere Classic Round 2 Odds & Picks: Bets for Stephan Jaeger and Christiaan Bezuidenhout
Pictured: Stephan Jaeger. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ah, yes. A Jonas Blixt/Grayson Murray pairing atop the leaderboard. Just as we all predicted …
I say that as a joke about a tournament devoid of top-end talent, but I also believe the leaderboard provides some intriguing opportunities when we look into Greyson Sigg, Adam Schenk, Cameron Young, Seamus Power and Alex Smalley.
Denny McCarthy, Russell Henley and Stephan Jaeger are also lurking, so let's look ahead to Friday.
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 input 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.
John Deere Classic Outright Buy
Stephan Jaeger (40/1)
I discussed this possibility on the Links & Locks podcast prior to the tournament. My model liked Stephan Jaeger for a multitude of reasons. However, I kept passing because of the slightly negative trajectory inside my sheet when comparing win equity to his price.
The margins were so thin that I figured the best course of action was to let the first round play out and see where the projections stood after 18 holes. Well, we're now presented with some value.
Jaeger landed seventh in the field after gaining 3.51 shots with his driver and irons, but — as has historically been the case — the putter let him down. That is something I expect from a golfer known to be volatile in that area, but I did find it surprising to see him rank 121st around the green as my numbers ranked Jaeger fifth in that area pre-tournament.
It's also worth noting that Jaeger's ability streakiness with the putter leaves open the possibility of him catching fire and skyrocketing up the leaderboard.
If you shop around, there are some 40/1 prices in the space, though I'd be fine playing this into the low 30s.
John Deere Classic Head-to-Head Buy
Christiaan Bezuidenhout -115 over Michael Kim (Bet365)
This past month has been one of the most atrocious stretches I have encountered with head-to-head wagers since entering this space in 2017. However, it's also been a good reminder and lesson for anyone who bets.
Not every bet will be a winner, not every month will be profitable and — most importantly — bankroll management is vital.
With all that being said, there were a few things I like about betting Christiaan Bezuidenhout (-115) over Michael Kim on Friday. For starters, my model thought the 29-year-old should have outscored Kim by over three shots if both were given baseline data over their actual output on the greens.
That is a considerable number since both men would count their short games as areas of strength. That data also helped move Bezuidenhout into the top 10 of my sheet for head-to-head value.
I still believe Kim was overly boosted because of his 2017 victory here and decided to grab a price that should have been about 15 points higher, per my model. I wouldn't consider that ground-breaking value, but any edge helps as we try to claw our way back from a cold run.