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 finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the QBE Shootout based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
The PGA Tour closes out 2021 with this quirky team event at Tiburon Golf Course. This event starts on Friday with a modified team format. Each golfer hits their on tee shot each day. On Friday they play best ball, Saturday they pick the tee shot and then alternate from there, and Sunday each golfer plays their own ball each hole. So driving ability is a must.
We have 12 teams of 2 golfers, with spotlights on the defending champs (we'll get to them soon) and mixed pair Bubba Watson and Lexi Thompson. Tiburon is located in the golfing hotbed of Naples, Florida, and plays as a par 72 measuring 7,382 yards. The course features bermudagrass tee to green and shell waste bunkers and native areas in lieu of rough. Water is in play on 13 holes so there is plenty of opportunity for blowups down the stretch. Given the small field, that opens up opportunities to live bet your favorite teams on Sunday even if they're a few strokes behind the leaders heading into the back nine.
Here's who we like going into the event.
Sam Burns / Billy Horschel (+450) - The best form in the field by a mile, Burns has been a certifiable stud for the past year. Both he and Horschel won twice last year, with Burns' victories coming at the Valspar Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship and Horschel's at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. They teamed up to finish fourth at the Zurich Classic last year, so there's a comfort level. Burns' joyfulness is a nice tonic to Horschel's occasional prickliness, and as quality ballstrikers who do their best work on bermuda greens, the favorite is an easy choice this week to start our card.
Harris English / Matt Kuchar (+600) - The 2020 champions won this event for the third time last year and also has two runner-up finishes. English has been a bit out of sorts lately but when the driver is on he is at the top of the sport. He did manage the round of the week with a Saturday 63 at the Hero World Challenge, so there's some life there. Kuchar is a shell of himself and finds himself stuck on World No. 100, and he still has seven years before he can transition to the Champions Tour. He'll be a thin option in standard stroke play events going forward, but we can still confidently back him in this format given his experience and chemistry with English.
Jason Day / Marc Leishman (+800) - Leishman is a veteran of team structures and picked up a win with another fellow Aussie Cameron Smith in last year's Zurich Classic. He rebounded nicely in 2021 after a disastrous COVID-interrupted 2019-20 season, with T13 and T5 finishes at Augusta the highlights. He's started the new season sharp, with top fives out West and a T19 in Houston. Day, the former World No. 1, dipped outside the top 100 over the past few weeks for the first time since 2010. His body is not reliable at this point over a full season, but we can still get behind him in a low-intensity team event with his good buddy.
Corey Conners / Graeme McDowell (+1000) - A bit of an odd couple here, with the smooth-swinging Canadian paired up with the ancient Irishman. Conners' ballstriking gets the edge here, and it would be unsurprising if the team uses his drive on the vast majority of holes. McDowell is a seasoned vet with team events, with a career Team Match Play record of 13-6-3 according to AdamSarson.com. His short game can make up for some of Conners' putting woes, and at 10/1 they have a nice complementary style that we can see playing out well.