Welcome to one of the toughest weeks on the PGA Tour when it comes to betting.
The reason? You not only have to concentrate on how one player’s game is trending heading into a tournament, you’ve also got to worry about a second player’s game as well.
Welcome to the Zurich Classic, the Tour’s only team event where it takes two to tango — and win.
The tournament, coming on the heels of two high-profile tournaments in the Masters and the RBC Heritage Classic, will be held at TPC Louisiana.
There are 80 two-man teams battling for the top share of the $8.6 million purse: $1.24 million for each player. Each of those two will also receive 400 FedEx Cup points.
The formats for the event will feature best-ball competition during rounds one and three. Rounds two and four will be an alternate shot format. The field will be cut to the low 33 teams, and ties, after Friday’s second round.
Eyes on Next Major: 2023 PGA Championship Odds & Betting Guide
So, while we usually spend hours and hours trying to narrow down our choices to win each week (OK, maybe only an hour), this event takes it to another level as we try to figure out how–or if–two players’ games will meld together.
This is one of those events where one of the team members can have an impressive outing while the other player struggles. The end result could be a huge payday or an early exit. It’s a guessing game for sure, but let’s see what we can come up with that just might help us pick a winner.
Just a reminder there are no prop bets on the site we are using this week. There may be prop bets on other sites, so keep your eyes open if props are your cup of tea.
DraftKings SportsbookClaim $1,200 in Betting Bonuses!
Use our DraftKings promo code link to score up to $1,200 in betting bonuses ahead of the 2023 Zurich Classic. Claim here now!
Odds to Win Zurich Classic
|Si Woo Kim/Tom Kim||+1600|
As always, shop around the betting market for the best odds for your plays.
Teamwork Not Always Easy to Work Out
It’s easy to think great players like these can adapt to working with each others’ games, especially in the best-ball format portion.
Both players will play each hole on their own and take the best score of the two. There will likely be a hole or two where both players might get in a little trouble and put a bogey on the scorecard, but for the most part, one or both of the players will have a good look at birdie on most holes.
While a bogey won’t kill a team’s chances, it’s going to ramp up the pressure for the rest of the tournament.
Then there’s the alternate shot format. Here’s where it can get tricky and struggles can creep in and potentially ruin a team’s chances of winning.
A great drive by a player will prove to be worthless if his partner’s next shot is errant. With trees, bunkers and water everywhere, the troubles can multiply and add to the pressure–as well as the strokes on a hole. Don’t even get us started on any team that may, heaven forbid, three-putt a hole.
It’s a format that will showcase teams who have both players on their game, and will dampen the chances of teams with one or both players being even slightly off their game. With that in mind, it’s easy for us to look at which team is hot enough to walk away with the victory.
We Like the Defending Champs
It’s easy to see why Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay are the defending champs — and this year’s favorites at +400.
We know those aren’t great odds. But when you’re betting against the defending champs who are both playing well, it’s a given you’re going to have to settle for lower odds.
Just look at all those years where Tiger Woods had low odds, but still cashed tickets for bettors more times than we can count. Both Schauffele and Cantlay are near the top of their game, and both are coming in after solid finishes in the two recent high-profile events.
How solid? Well, Schauffele was T-10 in the Masters and followed that up with a solo fourth at the RBC Heritage Classic. Just as impressive, Cantlay was T-14 at the Masters and solo third at the RBC.
To say they are playing well would be an understatement. To say they play well as a team would be even more of an understatement as last year’s title proves.
In winning the 2022 crown, the duo came in with a four-round total of 29-under-par — or a tidy seven-under-par per round with an extra birdie thrown in somewhere along the way for good measure. They won by two strokes over Sam Burns and Billy Horschel.
With their laidback attitude (neither one shows much emotion whether it’s a great shot or a poor shot) and their off-the-course friendship (including taking vacations together with their significant others), the Schauffele-Cantlay pairing is a match made in betting heaven.
Check Out Las Vegas Duo
This is a little hometown bias for us, but we’re going to take a look at the team of former Vegas players Taylor Montgomery and Kurt Kitayama (both former UNLV players) at an inviting +2200.
Now while they have just one victory between the two of them–Kitayama won this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational–they have both had their share of brilliance this season.
Kitayama is No. 5 in the FedEx Cup standings with his victory and all the way up to No. 20 in the world rankings.
Montgomery started off his rookie season on fire with four top-10s in his first nine events. He’s cooled off a little lately, but is still playing well enough to be 22nd in the FedEx Cup standings and No. 54 in the world golf rankings.
We’re sure they have played more than their share of matches together at famed Shadow Creek here in Vegas to enjoy the matchup. Whether or not that translates into a victory is still up for grabs but we like the number–and their attitudes–enough to back them this week.