Sepp Straka is among the favorites in the John Deere Classic Odds

John Deere Classic Odds & Picks: Lots Of Value In Wide-Open Field

It’s likely to be another week of accessible pins and red numbers on the PGA Tour, factors which widen the pool of prospective contenders considerably. Just look at what happened this past weekend in Detroit, when lanky Australian Cam Davis—who hadn’t had a top-10 all season, and whose best finish in his previous five starts had been T48—won the Rocket Mortgage Classic. And just look at what happened last season in the John Deere Classic, when Sepp Straka fired a final-round 62 to beat Brendon Todd and Alex Smalley by two strokes.

It’s that time of year, when most of the big stars take time off between the U.S. Open and Open Championship, and leaderboards are dominated by ridiculously low scores and players we haven’t heard from since the Valspar Championship. The John Deere, which opens Thursday at 7,289-yard TPC Deere Run, was once the domain of workhorse tour pros like Steve Stricker, Kenny Perry and Zach Johnson. Its last five winners have been Straka, J.T. Poston, Lucas Glover, Dylan Frittelli and Michael Kim.

That creates a vexing situation for sports bettors, to say the least. Two-time winner Jordan Spieth is the biggest name competing in a field that also includes Jason Day and Sungjae Im—but minus former odds favorite Patrick Cantlay, who WD’d on Monday. Yet consider the players who’ve won non-major, non-Signature events this season: Davis, Robert MacIntyre, Davis Riley, Akshay Bhatia, Taylor Pendrith, Stephan Jaeger, Peter Malnati, Austin Eckroat. Davis was ranked 67th in the world before he won last week. No matter the weather in the Quad Cities, the wagering forecast this week is cloudy.

2024 John Deere Classic Odds

Odds To Win The 2024 John Deere Classic 
Sungjae Im+1300
Sepp Straka+1500
Aaron Rai+1800
Jordan Spieth+1800
Denny McCarthy+1900
Davis Thompson+2250
Maverick McNealy+2400
Jason Day+2900
Keith Mitchell+2900
J.T. Poston+2900
Nick Dunlap+3300

Odds as of July 2

John Deere Classic Picks

Davis Thompson to Win (+2250)

He may be ranked 70th in the world, but Thompson has also shown a penchant for being able to go low on courses with accessible setups—like Detroit last week, when he went 68-69-66-68 to tie for second. He opened with a 65 en route to another T2 in the alternate-field event in Myrtle Beach, and added a 64 in the Mexico Open. Thompson has also shown some grit when playing with the big boys, like a final-round 68 that netted a T9 at the U.S. Open. While Thompson has yet to win on the PGA Tour, the Atlanta native is also in the midst of his best season, and has been T17 or better in four of his last six starts.

Sepp Straka Top-5 Finish (+380)

You have to go back to Stricker in 2010 and 2011 to find the last repeat winner of the John Deere Classic, and Straka has been somewhat hit-and-miss in the tournament given that he missed the cut in his appearance prior to last season’s victory. But there’s no doubt that the Austrian has played some really good golf this season, particularly in T5 finishes in the Memorial, Charles Schwab and Heritage. His most recent outing at the Travelers closed with a 61 (thanks partially to lift, clean and place), and outside of the majors he’s shot in the 60s in half of his last 16 rounds.

Aaron Rai Top-10 Finish (+270)

Like Thompson, Rai is another rank-and-file PGA Tour player who’s never won, but is enjoying arguably the best season of his career. The Englishman was in contention last week until the 72nd hole, when he pushed a drive right into the rough and then hit an approach long into a bunker. But the resulting T2 finish in Detroit continued a very nice run that included T19 at the U.S. Open—where he carded a 68 and a 69—and T14 in the Canadian Open. Another apt comparison for this week: the Byron Nelson CJ Cup, where Rai shot 20-under to tie for fourth.

John Deere Classic Betting Tips

Spieth brings lots of name recognition to the tournament, but the most recent of his two victories at TPC Deere Run came way back in 2015, when he was arguably the best player in the world. He hasn’t won anywhere in over two years, and his best finish in his past nine starts is T37. Can he rekindle the magic this week? That would seem a remote prospect at best, given that Spieth hasn’t been a serious contender anywhere on tour since the Phoenix Open in early February.

The other notable name in the Quad Cities this week is Im, who this season has been either fantastic or terrible, with almost nothing in between. When he’s on, he’s great: T3 at Travelers, T4 at the Wells Fargo, a second-round 64 en route to a T9 at the Charles Schwab. But at the other end of the spectrum, he’s missed the cut at the U.S. Open, PGA Championship, Masters, Valspar, Cognizant and Farmers. There’s been zero consistency to Im’s game this season, and in two previous appearances in the John Deere, his best finish is T26.

Day, playing the Deere for the first time since 2011, has been off the map since a T4 at the Wells Fargo. Maverick McNealy’s most recent Quad Cities start netted a T8 in 2022, and the injury-prone Nevadan has shown flashes this season in a T7 at the Canadian Open and a T9 at The Players. And keep an eye on resurgent “Full Swing” star Joel Dahmen, who’s been T10 and T25 in his last two starts, and tied for second in the John Deere Classic in 2018.

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