This article is part of our Betting on Golf series.
Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview
The Midwest Swing kicks off in Detroit this week with the Rocket Mortgage Classic.
With The Open Championship back on the schedule and just over two weeks away, this year's field won't be as appealing as last year's, and only four of the top- 0 in the Official World Golf Ranking are in action. Last year, Bryson DeChambeau, who finished at 23-under-par, came through as the betting favorite at 7-1 odds, overcoming a three-shot final-round deficit to defeat Matthew Wolff by three strokes.
Detroit Golf Club, a standard par-72 setup at average length just under 7,300 yards, will host the event for a third time. The top of the leaderboard the last two years was filled with a variety of different playing styles, but one thing has been consistent – the winner has filled his scorecard with birdies. Fairway bunkers and tree-lined holes make driving accuracy a premium over distance.
Expect this to be a week filled with plenty of variance but also some big putts, as the winner finished either first or second in Strokes Gained: Putting in both editions of the event.
All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 6:00 PM ET Tuesday.
The following golfers, with a minimum of six rounds played, averaged the most birdies per round at Detroit Golf Club:
- Matthew Wolff: 6.3
- Nate Lashley: 6.2
- Brian Stuard: 5.9
- Doc Redman: 5.8
- Patrick Reed: 5.5
- Cameron Tringale: 5.5
- Sepp Straka: 5.5
Making birdies at a course that has produced two winners who finished at least 23-under will be important, and nobody notched them more regularly than Wolff over the last two years. He's had a tumultuous 2021, one that has seen him withdraw twice, be disqualified and also take nine weeks off for personal reasons. Wolff recently returned, though, and showed what he was capable of, making eight first-round birdies en route to a T15 finish at the U.S. Open. He's a boom-or-bust play but a good value at 30-1 odds. If you're looking for a hometown angle this week, look no further than Stuard. A Michigan native and nearby resident of Jackson, Stuard has used his home-field advantage to put up T5 and T30 finishes in Detroit. He'd certainly be an unexpected winner but should be a nice low-cost option in DFS contests.
In the Proper Form
These five golfers gained the most strokes, on a per-round basis, from tee to green over their last five tournaments:
Bradley is coming off consecutive missed cuts – his first MCs since January – but the statistics show he's been a top-20 ball-striker over the last four months. The oddsmakers seem to be leaning on his recent results, as his odds have dipped to 45-1. That seems like an overreaction that's created some value. Bradley lost 1.7 strokes around the green per round over his last two events, but that shouldn't be much of a factor on a course that yields a lot of birdies. The only player to make both lists this week is Reed, who disappointed many bettors last year by missing the cut after finishing T5 the year prior. He comes into this year's edition in much better form, having finished top-25 in five of his last six starts. It's hard to find much value with him, though, as he has priced all the way down from 22-1 last week to 12-1 in Detroit. That makes him the second favorite on the board.
Sungjae Im (35-1)
Im's recent form hasn't been the best, but that's created some value, as he has been priced up to 35-1 despite it being a weak field. He ranks highly in a lot of important categories this week, including driving accuracy (14th), birdie percentage (34th) and SG: Putting (39th). He started off the 2019 edition of this tournament with three rounds in the 60s and has made the cut here in both attempts.
Cameron Tringale (45-1)
Tringale has shown an affinity for Detroit Golf Club, making a total of 44 birdies – or one on 31 percent of the holes he has played – en route to T5 and T30 finishes. Although the veteran is still searching for his first win, this track gives him one of his best opportunities to put one on the board.
Chris Kirk (80-1)
This is a good week to target some long shots, and in this field, Kirk jumps off the page at 80-1. He held a share of the 36-hole lead last year in his Rocket Mortgage Classic cebut, and although his results have cooled a bit recently, he went through a stretch earlier this year with four top-10s in nine events.
Brendon Todd (5-1)
As we saw with the shocking Nate Lashley win in 2019, you can certainly gamble that any of these top-10 picks will come away with the title. Todd hasn't been close to winning in some time, but he did record a top-10 at Colonial four starts ago. This should be a prime spot for him to contend, with his lack of distance being mostly negated.
Chez Reavie (7-1)
Reavie is overdue for a top-10 finish having yet to record one this season. He went through a rough stretch with six consecutive missed cuts, but he seems to have found something of late, as his worst finish over his last three starts was a T40 at the U.S. Open. Reavie has been accurate off the tee, ranking fourth in that department, and precise with his irons, coming in 25th in SG: Approach.
Adam Long (12-1)
Much like Reavie, Long seems to have turned the corner with two quality showings following five missed cuts. Long has shown the ability to go low, as his lone win on Tour came at the Desert Classic, where he shot 26-under-par. I like the value considering he's being priced in the same range as guys like Byeong Hun An and Cameron Champ.
Hadwin's best finish in 2020 came at this event, and if this week turns into a bit of a putting contest due to the easy-to-hit greens, it's wise to target a superior putter in Hadwin and fade Glover, particularly with Hadwin coming in as the underdog.
Matsuyama has recorded top-25 finishes in both his trips to Detroit, and he ranked third in SG: Tee-to-Green here last year. Meanwhile, Simpson doesn't have much recent form to go on, as he played only twice over the last 10 weeks and missed the cut at the U.S. Open by six shots. Matsuyama is the choice as a slight underdog.
Merritt is a reliable head-to-head option having made 8-of-10 cuts, and he's played well overall with three top-10s in that stretch. Straka's been more inconsistent with three missed cuts over his last four events. Merritt also ranks better in some key statistics this week: driving accuracy, SG: Approach and putting.