Before The Open Championship returns next week, the PGA Tour is hosting the 2021 John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run (par 71, 7,268 yards). This par 71 with bentgrass greens is in Silvis, Ill., and has been the only home of this PGA stop since 2000. Like many of the annual PGA tournaments, the John Deere Classic was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dylan Frittelli claimed the first PGA win of his career at the 2019 John Deere Classic, finishing the event 21 strokes under par. Each week, I use Alex Baker’s Unofficial World Golf Rankings to help identify mispriced options in both the PGA DFS and golf betting market. Below are three expert PGA picks and Vegas betting odds this week for our John Deere Classic betting cards.
Expert PGA Picks & Vegas Odds: John Deere Classic
Much like the standard rankings in golf, Awesemo has come up with the Unofficial World Golf Rankings. We can use these in PGA DFS lineups or to find an edge on our golf betting picks. At Awesemo, the metric is the number of strokes above or below how an average field in a PGA tournament performed. How to weigh these data points is essential, as people love to talk about short-form versus long-form. Only PGA Tour tournaments are considered right now, and golfers need a minimum of 20 rounds played. Players are not rewarded by more or fewer rounds in the time period.
Seamus Power (+3300, BetMGM)
Power has been in the mix at TPC Deere Run in the past, with two Top-25s in only three appearances. Now, he heads back to Silvis in arguably the best form of his career. Power’s eighth-place finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic last week was his fourth consecutive finish inside the Top-20. Included in this run was a ninth-place finish at TPC Craig Ranch for the AT&T Byron Nelson, which is also a venue that sports bentgrass greens.
On bentgrass greens this season, Power ranks 11th in total strokes gained. His ball-striking ability has also been outstanding as of late, ranking second in strokes-gained tee-to-green and second in strokes gained on approach across his last 12 rounds. Power’s game is firing on all cylinders, and this is a very reasonable price for him in a weak field. At +3300 in the Vegas golf betting odds, Power is one of the best PGA picks this week.
Hank Lebioda (+5000, PointsBet)
Lebioda is playing some terrific golf right now, currently ranking as 69th-best player in the world according to our Unofficial World Golf Rankings here at Awesemo. That’s a massive 249 spots higher than his standard ranking. Lebioda travels to Silvis riding a streak of making six straight cuts, including back-to-back Top-5 finishes in his last two starts. Over his past 12 rounds, Lebioda has been outstanding on Par 4’s, ranking first in strokes-gained on these holes. To cap it off, the young lefty has also been stellar with his flat stick, ranking first in strokes-gained putting.
Each of the last five John Deere Classic winners ranked inside the Top-8 in strokes-gained putting, and you certainly need a great week here on the bentgrass greens to climb the leaderboard. Not only has Lebioda’s putter been red hot recently, but his best career putting results have come on bentgrass . Lebioda is an excellent value at these odds, and this is a great week to bet on the 27-year-old gets his first PGA win.
Zach Johnson (+400 for a Top-10, William Hill)
Johnson owns a tremendous resume at TPC Deere Run, and he is coming off a strong ball-striking performance. At the Travelers two weeks ago, the two-time major champ ranked sixth in strokes-gained tee-to-green and 11th in strokes-gained on approach. Unfortunately, Johnson had a terrible week on the POA greens at Cromwell, losing 1.5 strokes putting. After enough heartbreak, that would be enough to do him in and land all the way down at 25th place.
Luckily, Johnson will get back on bentgrass greens at TPC Deere Run. If he can continue to strike the ball like he did at the Travelers, a Top-10 is certainly doable in this soft field. Johnson ranks ninth in total strokes gained in his last 100 rounds on bentgrass. Not to mention, Johnson has produced a gaudy seven Top-10 finishes in his last 11 starts at the John Deere Classic. Without a doubt, he is a favorite in our expert PGA picks this week.
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