PGA Zurich Classic Odds & Picks: Collin Morikawa-Viktor Hovland Are Worthy Favorites

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Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland are paired together at the Zurich Classic. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

The PGA Tour is, if nothing else, predictable.

Each week of the wraparound season, some 144 players tee it up for 72 holes and it’s simple: May the best man win.

But there is an exception to the season and that happens this week. Welcome to the Zurich Classic, the PGA Tour’s two-man event that lets players choose a partner and then, well, let the best team win.

Sportsbooks offer odds on the 79 two-man teams that will tee it up this week at TPC Louisiana in Avondale during a four-round event that features best ball and alternate shot formats.

Whether it’s life-long friends, two guys who share the same strengths or just a pair of golfers who think they have what it takes to win, this week takes some of the pressure off one guy having to hit every shot.

And puts that pressure squarely on the shoulders of both players. After all, if you’ve played in two-player events at your local golf course, you know bogeys are unacceptable.

This week’s event features two formats: best ball on the first and third days and alternate shot on the second and fourth rounds. The top 33 teams and ties will make the weekend cut.

Which brings us to this week’s top question we will ponder as we try to pick a winning team: Which team will be the most compatible over the four days of golf?

Odds To Win The Zurich Classic (DraftKings)

Hovland-Morikawa, +650

Cantlay-Schauffele, +800

Palmer-Scheffler, +900

Leishman-Smith, +1000

Burns-Horschel, +1200

Fleetwood-Garcia, +1600

Gooch-Homa, +2200

Lowry-Poulter, +2200

It’s Not As Easy As It Seems

Despite this tournament being a two-man event, there’s plenty of big-name starpower in the field.

Now comes the fun part: Seeing which of these teams can meld their shotmaking skills the best. During the best-ball format, there’s not nearly as much pressure on players or the order of play. After all, each player is playing his own ball throughout the round. Put down the best score and move on to the next hole.

But then comes the alternate shot rounds. Here’s where the pressure ramps up. If the first guy hitting a shot knocks it out of play, it’s up to the second guy to come through as the team goes into scramble mode.

That thought process requires a lot of planning when it comes to order of play. If one of the players is spot-on when it comes to iron play, they will try to work the schedule so he is teeing off on the par-3 holes. Likewise, they will try to work the hitting schedule to make sure big hitters are teeing off on the par 5s.

One quick betting note: Make sure to keep the current format in mind if you’re looking at in-play wagering during the event.

This Duo Is The Class Of The Field

There’s no doubt the defending champs of Cam Smith and Marc Leishman (one of the favorites this week at +1000) are playing well. And as Team Mullet last year, when Leishman donned a mullet wig during intros heading to the first tee to mimic Smith’s look, they played solid golf.

They are keeping up their great play this season and deserve the honor of being among the tournament favorites. But, we aren’t going to back the Aussies this year.

We’re going with a twosome that speaks softly and carries a big stick.

We’re going with two of our favorite players to back who just happen to be the favorites this week: Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland at +650. You can find more attractive odds for this duo at FanDuel (+800).

If you give us decent odds with either of these players, we’re more than happy. Give us the same odds with these guys as a team and we’re going to jump on it.

Both players have the calm demeanor it takes to succeed. Neither one has a tendency to show emotions and will take a level-headed approach to the week.

Both are having solid years and the chance to team up and work together for a common goal–another victory on the PGA Tour–has the chance to motivate them even more. After all, you never want to let your partner down.

The fact that Morikawa is ranked second in the world golf rankings while Hovland is fourth doesn’t hurt their chances either.

Another Duo That Just Might Work

Not all teams in this event are matches made in heaven. There are a few where you go ‘Hmmm, this just might work.’

That’s the case with the twosome of Billy Horschel and Sam Burns, coming in at +1200 this week.

Hang on…stop laughing. There’s a method to our madness with this pick, we promise. Horschel is the only player in the field to win the title here playing both formats. He won when the tournament was an individual stroke-play event in 2013 (his first win on the PGA Tour) as well as after it started as a team event in 2018 when he teamed up with Scott Piercy.

Add in the fact Horschel and Burns teamed up to finish second in last winter’s QBE Shootout and the pair comes in with teamwork success under their belts.

A Look At A Few Props

One of the things that has been consistent for us over the last five weeks is the fact the sportsbooks are giving away money in some of the prop bets.

Well, not really giving it away…it just seems that way.

Once again the prop bet that the winner won’t be playing in the final group is a healthy +175. We’ve hit this one over four of the last five weeks so there’s no sense in slowing down now.

But this one might be a little dicey as one group could play well enough over the first three days to open up a big lead. We’re certainly hoping that doesn’t come to fruition.

We also hit our other prop bet last week with Corey Conners beating Billy Horscshel and Tyrrell Hatton in a three-way matchup.

We’re going to ride that type of bet again with another head-to-head-to-head matchup.

We like Davis Riley and Will Zalatoris at +180 over the groups of Harold Varmer-Bubba Watson (+150) and Tyrrell Hatton-Danny Willett (+180).

Zalatoris and Riley are longtime friends and rivals dating back to their junior golf days including the 2014 Junior U.S. Amateur Championship where Zalatoris beat Riley 5&3 in the finale.

Now, with the chance to work together, they just might be a formidable team. After all, they don’t have to win the tournament…they just have to beat the other two teams.

Also read: PGA Championship Betting Guide

About the Author

Bill Bowman

Bill Bowman is a Las Vegas-based writer who has more than 40 years in the sports-writing business. He's spent the past 18-plus years covering the golf scene in Vegas including 10 years as a writer/editor with VegasGolfer Magazine. He also contributes to the GolfNow Network of websites and Las Vegas Golf Insider.

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