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Zurich Classic Betting Preview: Course Preview, Past Winners, and Predictions

A week after the Tour was at RBC Heritage, they now travel to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. Johnny Covers takes a closer look at the Zurich Classic course, its past winners, and makes predictions for the first major of the season.
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Zurich Classic Betting Preview: Course Preview, Past Winners, and Predictions

One week removed from his win at the RBC Heritage, Jordan Spieth will take a deserved week off as the Tour heads south to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. Since 2017, this event has been a team event that squares 80 teams of two off against one another. 

With most teams consisting of two PGA Tour members, players can also earn entry through a sponsor exemption. As far as to play format, the first and third rounds are alternate shot (foursome), while the second and fourth rounds are better ball (fourball).

As far as a cut line goes, around 30 teams will make the cut, and winners will earn 400 FedEx Cup points and a two-year exemption. Unlike most weeks, however, no world ranking points will be on the line.

Now that we’ve got the format and rules out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the course and a pair of guys I think could bring it home.

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Past Winners of Zurich Classic

  • 2021: Marc Leishman / Cameron Smith
  • 2020: N/A
  • 2019: Ryan Palmer / Jon Rahm

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Course Preview: TPC Louisiana

Located just outside New Orleans in Avondale, Louisiana, TPC Louisiana has been the host of this event since 2005, briefly leaving due to Hurricane Katrina before returning in 2007 for good. A Pete Dye-designed course, TPC Louisiana measures slightly above the Tour average at 7,425 yards, and is a Par 72 with a slope rating of 138.

Much like we see in the Florida swing, bunkers will be found throughout the fairways this week as driving accuracy comes in slightly more important than distance. Top 10 on Tour in terms of total distance, players long off the tee will have an advantage here. The key here will the second shot, as the approach is critical with the angles this course will provide.  As far as putting goes, Bermuda greens are the green of choice.

Relevant Betting Course Metrics

  • SG: Approach
  • SG: Off-the-Tee
  • Driving Distance

Outright Picks

Ryan Palmer/Scottie Sheffler (+900) (Bet $100 to win $900)

*Odds available at DraftKings at time of publishing*

The closer I look the harder it becomes to go against this pair of Texans. As far as Palmer goes, he’s played in this event with both Jordan Spieth (2017) and Jon Rahm (2019 and 2021), racking up three top 10s over that span. He also won here in Rahm with 2019, carrying him for much of the tournament, winning the stroke-play portion of the event. 

As far as his partner, doesn’t his name precede him at this point? The No. 1 player in the world by an increasingly large margin, Scheffler has a staggering four wins in his last six events played, highlighted by a 3-stroke win at The Masters two weeks ago. Doing nothing spectacular but everything great, Scheffler ranks inside the top 20 on Tour in SG: Putting, SG: Total, and Driving Distance. 

With Palmer’s track record which includes a T4 here in the 2012 solo event combined with the hottest golfer on the planet, I expect this duo to be in contention come Sunday afternoon in New Orleans.

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Johnny has been covering the sports betting markets and handicapping games for the better part of the past decade. Along the way, he has written for publications such as All-In Magazine, Blitz Predict, FantasyPros, Betting Pros, Sportsbook Review, and most recently, OddsChecker. In addition to giving out picks on Twitter, Johnny is the host of the podcast The Daily Sports Bet -- a 10 minute or less listen with actionable insights and no fluff or BS. Starting the podcast in June, he closed out 2021 up 26 units with a winning percentage of 55%.


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