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2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview

PGA Bets

Thank you, Keegan Bradley! Another outright winner takes us over the 200-unit mark in PGA for the year. There’s nothing better than a community hit.


Betting in golf is its own animal, its own test week in and week out. In no other sport do we have to evaluate how well a player fits the environment (course, field, court, etc.) in addition to how good he simply is. We are also typically working with longer odds — at least I am, since I focus primarily on the outright market:

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My process always begins with an evaluation of the course and what skills are most likely to translate into success, so let’s start there.

Course Fit Model

First, a brief summary of the Course Fit Model for the Travelers Championship, from my Course Fit article:

“Every week, there’s a mad dash across the industry to try to figure out who best fits the course – you’ll hear everything from course history citations to quotes like “It’s a bomber’s paradise.” But what if we could actually mathematically measure which players are the best fits? We can.”

In other words, there’s no need for speculation of which skills will translate into success at a given course when we can measure it directly.

Like TPC River Highlands, Detroit GC has a strong course fit model that leans into our strengths and robust data at FTN.

Lastly, before we get started, it’s once again worth noting that we have completely redone our PGA Betting Model. We simulate the event 10,000 times based on my expected strokes gained projections and our variance estimates for each player, then blend the results with my generic win rate and top 10 rate models. This article will focus on the outright market, but there’s money to be made elsewhere through the model.

Outright Odds

Here’s what the top of the board looks like on DraftKings Sportsbook:

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Our simulations make it abundantly clear that to find value this week, we’re going to have to sift through the players with longer odds. At 14-1, the top players have implied win probabilities of 6.67%, but we have the favorite, Tony Finau, at just 4.0%.

Odds Shopping

As is always the case, the low hanging fruit of the PGA betting world is odds shopping through the use of our prop shop. The differences in odds from one book to the next are often larger in PGA than you’ll ever see in leagues like the NBA or NFL. Simply shopping for the best odds can turn a losing bettor into a profitable bettor in PGA. This week, I’m not seeing a ton of wide variations between the best and worst available odds for players. I only have one outright so far, but I’m the fence about one other:

Luke List

Best available: 125-1 (PointsBet)
Worst available: 100-1

List is a great course fit with his dominant driving and we give him a 1.1% chance of winning (compared to a 0.66% implied win probability at 125-1). However, I question his ability to win in such a low scoring environment. List typically performs his best on difficult golf courses like Torrey Pines, the scene of his last win. 

You can find the rest of my bets, including the one outright I’ve already locked in, in our PGA Pick tracker, as well as our discord.

As I said, I recommend using the Betting Model and the prop shop if you’re interested in betting other markets like top 10 odds or missed cut parlays. Additionally, our PGA product on both FTNBets and FTNDaily is reaching new heights each week, so it’s time to join either (or both!) for 20% off with promo code PRO. The sites are revamped and redesigned and they are spectacular. The team crushed it.

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