Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the John Deere Classic based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their golf betting odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
With the trip across the pond planned for most of the top players in the world this week or next, we find one of the weakest fields of the year arriving at TPC Deere Run. The key stat here is approach play, and with many of the most consistent iron players not in the field, we'll look for golfers who have shown a high ceiling in that regard, even if that ceiling comes with a low floor.
We simply aren't going to get a perfect fit here, and for that reason we'll forego the top of the market and fill out our card with some smart value plays.
For more info on TPC Deere Run along with this week's key stats and Brandon Gdula's win simulations, check out his article.
At The Top
The clear top option here is Webb Simpson (+1000), but at his odds we simply can't be swayed. As one of just four golfers shorter than 25/1, we're content to skip this range altogether.
Maverick McNealy (+2900) - McNealy arrives now five months since his last top-25 finish, having lost strokes putting -- usually a strength -- in two straight, and yet priced with the fifth-highest odds on the board. He's made a marked improvement in approach play this season, ranking 151st last year to now 71st so far this season, and that output is buoyed by a couple of particularly strong events.
He shined at the Valero Texas Open and the Houston Open, two events that are lacking in star power similar to this week. The consecutive losses on the greens means regression is on the horizon, and if he can pair the quality approach play with a putting rebound, he has as good a shot as anyone this week.
Martin Laird (+5000) - Some luck around the greens and decent iron play led to a T13 finish for Laird last week, lurking on the second or third page of the leaderboard for most of the weekend but never truly threatening. He's gotten better and better in approach play each of the last four weeks, gaining in 3 straight and 8 of his last 10.
He's lost strokes putting in 9 of those 10, a predictable consequence of being not very good at putting but also ripe for regression. While generally overmatched against the best in the world, Laird boasts a solid resume compared to most in this field and is a good bargain at 50/1.
Doug Ghim (+5500) - Ghim has struggled to find consistency on the PGA Tour, illustrated no better than when in the final group at the 2021 PLAYERS yet stumbled all the way down to T29 while enjoying a front-row seat to Justin Thomas' incredible display en route to victory. Ghim still was well above the field in approach that week and repeated that effort this season at TPC Sawgrass, finishing sixth.
Like Sawgrass, TPC Deere Run requires precise iron play much more than an ability to hit it a mile. Ghim actually posted the best approach week of his career here last year and finished T18. The former U.S. Amateur winner gets another crack at this track against weaker competition.
Lanto Griffin (+5500) - Typical of one of our Fall Swing heroes, Griffin has struggled through the main stretch of the season, with just two finishes inside the top 50 since February. Those events came in consecutive weeks at the Mexico Open (15th) and the Wells Fargo Championship (6th), hot off the heels of 52nd-MC-MC-53rd-MC form.
So we won't fret about his five events since the Wells reading 51st-60th-51st-MC-MC heading into this week, where he gets a forgiving course and a weak field. He's been outclassed by talented fields for the past month or so, and a week where he's among the best ballstrikers in the field should give him a boost of confidence.
Kevin Chappell (+11000) - Once upon a time, Chappell was a tee-to-green god who could reliably ballstrike his way into contention fairly consistently. Injuries derailed his career in the 18 months before COVID, and limited spots in stacked fields post-layoff cost him opportunities to get his form back.
His medical exemption was up earlier this year in Phoenix, and he's played just five PGA Tour events since February. He managed top 20s in two of them and qualified his way into the U.S. Open field, so there are some signs of life that an easier course that rewards ballstrikers could be just the ticket for Chappell to get back into the spotlight. The back half of the field is very thin this week, and getting a live one at triple-digit odds is worth a flyer.