Betting Analysis

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Why we're resisting the Sahith Theegala urge

June 29, 2022
CROMWELL, CONNECTICUT - JUNE 26: Sahith Theegala of the United States reacts to a birdie putt on the 17th green during the final round of Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands on June 26, 2022 in Cromwell, Connecticut. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Believe it or not, none of us we’re on Xander Schauffele last week, not even Brandon Gdula, who normally picks Xander any time he tees it up. Such is life in the golf gambling space.

On to the John Deere Classic we go, even if the field is as bad as everybody says. We’ve still got to make picks, and hopefully those picks will make you (and us) some much needed coin before we head into a strong stretch of golf that includes the Scottish Open and the Open Championship in back-to-back weeks.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 John Deere Classic.

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Nick Hardy (40-1, DraftKings) — This kid is playing some really, really solid golf. He lost in a playoff on the Korn Ferry Tour before his T-14 at the U.S. Open and top 10 at the Travelers. He’s a talented kid who I think more people will get to know this weekend at the John Deere.

Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (20-1, DraftKings) — I feel like we’ve tried this a bunch of times already this year, but Bez at a wedge course where putting inside 10 feet counts for everything, is actually perfectly suited for the South African. He’s gained on the field inside 10 feet in each of his past four starts and even gained on his irons 125 yards and in last week at the Travelers when he lost almost three strokes on approach in only two rounds.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Maverick McNealy (29-1, FanDuel) — McNealy leads this field in birdie-or-better rate on the season, and you’ll likely need to go deep to win this week. Mav also putts well on bentgrass, and his weakness – around-the-green play – doesn’t matter much when you have to go low.

Rick Gehman, data scientist and founder: Webb Simpson (14-1, BetMGM) — Simpson is clearly the class of this field – with seven PGA Tour wins, he has more winning experience than just about anyone else at the top of the board. Even without that experience, Simpson is starting to find his stride again. He’s coming off a T-13 at the Travelers Championship where he gained over six strokes in the ball-striking categories (off-the-tee plus approach). That was ninth in the field last week, per the golf database.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Patrick Rodgers (35-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — I really cannot believe I’m picking Patrick Rodgers to win a golf tournament. But I know my co-author, CP, is not mushing Rodgers this week, so I’m on board. He had a great U.S. Open and rates out ninth in SG/off the tee in the past 12 rounds (per Fantasy National) and is 11th in SG/putting. He has also gained on approach in five of the past six measured events (he was a slight negative at Brookline per Datagolf), so I think he threatens for that long-awaited first title this weekend.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Cameron Champ (55-1, DraftKings) — Four straight missed cuts doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, but I dunno, weak field, wedge fest. It sounds very Cam Champ-y to me. Let’s not forget, in an equally weak field on an easy course last month in Mexico, Champ finished sixth. He’s the first name that has any real value on this board.

Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Webb Simpson (14-1, BetMGM) — After a long spell out of contention, Simpson looks to finally be getting back on track to finding the form that got him to No. 4 in the world. He ranks eighth in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months and has finished top 27 in three of his last four events. Simpson has never played a PGA Tour event at TPC Deere Run but does rank 11th in the field this week for SG/total on similar courses.

Past results: Golf Digest's betting panel had another strong season in 2020-’21, correctly predicting 14 winners in the last 28 events of the year. The 2021-’22 season has been kind to us so far, too. Just two weeks ago, two of our experts (Pat Mayo and Lee Aldrick) selected Rory McIlroy at 8-1 to win the RBC Canadian Open. Previously this season, Christopher Powers nailed Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backed it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks before that, Mayo also correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman hit Sam Burns (16-1) at the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall, as well as Viktor Hovland (19-1) at the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. Brandon Gdula also hit on Hovland at Mayakoba, and Stephen Hennessey cashed on Hideki Matsuyama (12-1) at the Zozo Championship.

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Anirban Lahiri (70-1, DraftKings) — This is another tight, short track like TPC Sawgrass, where he nearly won the Players. His strokes-gained numbers have been really good in the past couple tourneys, too … so I think it’s a nice chance for Lahiri to break through.

Mayo: John Huh (45-1, DraftKings) — The man of many question marks has gained an average of over seven strokes tee-to-green over his last three starts, while sitting second in the field in proximity from 125-150 yards, along with T-25 grades in birdies-or-better gained, par 4s 350-400 yards, and par 4s 400-450 yards over the past 24 rounds. His only win came at an alternate event, and this is basically an alternate event, so why not???

Gdula: Sam Ryder (120-1, FanDuel) — Ryder has missed a lot of cuts recently (seven straight until a T-35 at the Travelers), but the irons have been solid in his past five overall, and that’s a large enough sample to buy into. He just hasn’t putted well. At TPC Deere Run in his career, he putts well and has finished T-2, T-18, and T-58 since 2018.

Gehman: Sam Ryder (120-1, FanDuel) — Ryder has gained a staggering 15.52 strokes putting on the greens at TPC Deere Run in his career. That total comes in only 12 rounds played and easily marks the best putting course on tour for him. He enters this week with improved tee-to-green play, highlighted by the 5.17 strokes he gained at the Travelers Championship. If he can continue his tee-to-green success while finding that Deere Run putting magic, Ryder is in for a big week.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Adam Schenk (60-1, DraftKings) — Schenk has been playing really nice golf over the past month (he’s ninth in SG/ball-striking over the past 12 rounds per Fantasy National), and he returns to TPC Deere Run, where he was final group last year. The vibes will be good, and this number’s nice enough to get me onboard.

Powers, Golf Digest: Brandon Hagy (400-1, DraftKings) — It’s mega-bomb SZN. But not just any mega bomb. Hagy finished 18th here a year ago but was in serious contention right up until a back-nine slip-up on Sunday. Like Champ, my outright pick, his results have been downright putrid of late. But it’s the JDC. We’re throwing darts.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: David Lipsky (80-1, DraftKings) — Lipksy comes into this event ranked 10th in the field this week for SG/total over the last two months and sixth for Opportunities Gained over the same period. Lipsky has never played a PGA Tour event here at TPC Deere Run before but does rank fourth in the field this week for SG/total on similar courses.

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)

Caddie: Sahith Theegala (22-1, FanDuel) — It will be tough to get over the disappointment of last week. The No Laying Up interview with him was great: He admitted to being devastated after missing out at wins at the Sanderson Farms, and then he had the bad strategy decision on 17 at Waste Management. We saw the same thing last week on 18 at Travelers. I just think that will linger into his week this week.

Mayo: Adam Hadwin (10-1, DraftKings) — Nothing against Hadwin, but it’s pretty jarring to see him as the second favorite in any field. He’s been great, albeit inconsistent, over the past few months, but I just can’t get there at this price.

Gdula: Jason Day (22-1, FanDuel) — Day’s being carried by his short game right now. He has lost strokes with his irons in four straight events (and at least 3.5 shots in each). I’d rather go with the 29-1 tier than Day at 22-1.

Gehman: Charles Howell III (22-1, DraftKings) — Howell has had an amazing career, but he often lacks the upside worthy of an outright wager. He has exactly one top-15 finish in the last 15 months. He has three top-15 finishes since the tour returned from the COVID shutdown in the summer of 2020. That’s 42 events for Howell who will likely make the cut and finish inside the top 35, but it’s very unlikely that he wins this event and clicking his name at 22-1 just feels like a trap.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Charles Howell III (22-1, DraftKings) — I’m on board with Rick here. CH3 has three wins in his career … I think this number is outrageous.

Powers, Golf Digest: Adam Hadwin (10-1, DraftKings) — Adam Hadwin is a solid PGA Tour player. I don’t care how weak the field is, he should never be the favorite to win outright.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sahith Theegala (22-1, FanDuel) — Last week’s blow-up is going to hurt and may take Theegala a while to get over. On top of this he statistically loses shots to this field putting on Bentgrass greens.

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Matchups

Caddie: Chez Reavie (-120) over Kevin Streelman (DraftKings) — Chez is worth taking in a matchup coming off a great week at the Travelers and arriving at a course where he has past success. Streels had his first top-25 since April at the Travelers.

Mayo: Adam Long (-130) over Lucas Glover (DraftKings) — Sure, THE GLOVE is the defending champ at Deere Run, but it’s been a string of uninspiring weekend performances since the past few months. Weirdly, his best results are from The Masters and PGA Championship. In the standard PGA events, he hasn’t finished better than T-40 in any start since Augusta. Long meanwhile, has five T-35 finishes in seven starts over that same span.

Gdula: Scott Stallings (-102) over Patrick Rodgers (FanDuel) — Rodgers is riding a hot putter – too hot – and the data shows that the putting surfaces are easy this week. That’ll balance things out. Stallings has a huge edge in iron play.

Gehman: Chez Reavie (-120) over Kevin Streelman (DraftKings) — Reavie is in the midst of some solid golf, earning four top-27 finishes in his last five starts. His most recent result is a T-8 at the Travelers Championship where he gained strokes in all four major categories. Now he’ll head to TPC Deere Run which will reward his accuracy off the tee and precision with his irons.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Adam Svensson (-120) over Nate Lashley (DraftKings) — Svensson’s first in this field in the past 24 rounds in SG/approach, per Fantasy National, whereas Lashley’s a negative in the major strokes-gained categories in the same sample size.

Powers, Golf Digest: Nick Taylor (+105) over John Huh (DraftKings) — As much as I love the boldness of Pat’s Huh longshot play, I just feel like Taylor is the more solid player and he has decent history at the Deere. Huh’s numbers have been great of late, but I smell regression.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Denny McCarthy (+100) over Sahith Theegala (Bet365) — I’m not keen on Theegala this week. McCarthy on the other hand sets up really well for TPC Deere run and his putting on Bentgrass greens is statistically half a shot better per round than Theegala’s.

Matchup Results from the Travelers Championship: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Harman (-120) over Power); Gdula: 1 for 1 (C. Davis (-126) over Fowler); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Cantlay (+115) over McIlroy); Powers: 1 for 1 (Cantlay (+115) over McIlroy); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Harman (-120) over Power); Mayo: VOID (Riley (-115) over Koepka (WD)); Hennessey: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 23-6-4 (up 16.1 units); Powers: 19-13-3 (up 5.91 units); Caddie: 20-13-2 (up 5.65 units); Alldrick: 19-14-2 (up 2.44 units); Gehman: 15-15-4 (down 1.02 units); Gdula: 16-17-1 (down 2.17 units); Hennessey: 15-19-1 (down 7.9 units)

John Deere Classic picks 2022: Top 10s

Caddie: Cameron Davis (+450, DraftKings) — Davis is a good outright bet, too, based on how well he’s been playing over the past month.

Mayo: Kelly Kraft (+900, DraftKings) — Kraft has now strung together a weekend appearance in four of his past five starts (with two T-20 finishes), and it can be directly related to two key skills: putting inside 10 feet and scoring on short par 4s. Two things that are especially perfect for TPC Deere Run. With eight holes measuring between 350-450 yards, a quick scan of Kraft’s numbers reveal he’s one of the best players in the field on holes from that range over the past 24 rounds. While his putting overall has been good, he’s been excellent from in close, the key to contending at an easy course. He’s No. 1 in this field from inside 10 feet.

Gdula: Christiaan Bezuidenhout (+450, FanDuel) — Bezuidenhout has two top-15 results in his past four starts with missed cuts otherwise. Surprisingly, his wedge game isn’t on point, but he should get enough birdie looks to be in contention this week, given his accuracy and irons.

Gehman: Nick Hardy (+450, DraftKings) — Hardy has been rolling, making four straight cuts across the PGA Tour and the Korn Ferry Tour with three top-15 finishes during that stretch. He’s been stout off the tee, gaining 6.37 strokes to the field over his last three measured PGA Tour starts, and showing that he’s capable of finding a hot putter. Now he goes home to Illinois where he should be plenty comfortable to contend.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Hayden Buckley (+1000, Bet365) — If Buckley brings the ball-striking he displayed at Brookline to TPC Deere Run, he should feast on some shorter approaches. This is a nice top-10 number.

Powers, Golf Digest: Scott Stallings (+350, DraftKings) — Going to be honest, writing this from Bandon Dunes and I’m dead tired. Stealing this pick from our boss Sam Weinman, who has become a bit of a top-10 legend in 2022. He’s on Stallings this week. I’ll join him. It helps, too, that stallings has an eighth and a fourth in his last four starts and he has three top 20s in his last five starts at the JDC.

Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Denny McCarthy (+275, DraftKings) — McCarthy ranks second in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years and first for SG/total over the last two months so has both elite short-term and long-term form. He’s playing off of his best ever world ranking (No. 93) and has two top-10 finishes in his last three events.

Top-10 results from the Travelers Championship: Gehman: 1 for 1 (Brian Harman +400); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Brian Harman +400); Gdula: VOID (Im WD); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Alldrick: 12 for 35 (up 37.8 units); Powers: 11 for 35 (up 29.05 units); Gehman: 8 for 35 (up 3.7 units); Hennessey: 8 for 35 (up 0.62 units); Mayo: 6 for 34 (down 0.2 units); Caddie: 9 for 35 (down 3.5 units); Gdula: 3 for 34 (down 19.1 units)

John Deere Classic picks 2022: One and Done

Gehman: Cam Davis —
Last week was a rollercoaster for Davis who had the second best score through the first two rounds and the third worst score through the final two rounds. Diving deeper, he lost 8.54 strokes to the field on the weekend but 8.34 of that came via the short-game categories (around-the-green and putting). Davis had gained in the short-game department in eight of his previous 14 starts, per the golf database, so I’m willing to call it an outlier and expect him to get back on track.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na; Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Louis Oosthuizen. Zozo Championship: Hideki Matsuyama. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Abraham Ancer. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Scottie Scheffler. Sentry TOC: Sungjae Im. Sony Open: Corey Conners. American Express: Talor Gooch. Farmers Insurance Open: Tony Finau. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Daniel Berger. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Xander Schauffele. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Rory McIlroy. Players Championship: Jon Rahm. Valspar Championship: Dustin Johnson. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Patrick Cantlay. Mexico Open: Aaron Wise. Wells Fargo: Matt Fitzpatrick. AT&T Byron Nelson: Justin Thomas. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Max Homa. The Memorial Tournament: Will Zalatoris. RBC Canadian Open: Cameron Smith. U.S. Open: Collin Morikawa. Travelers Championship: Davis Riley.

Hennessey: Webb Simpson — I’d highly doubt you’ll use Webb Simpson anywhere else … and this is a perfect Webb course.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo; Sanderson Farms Championship: Carlos Ortiz. Shriners: Abraham Ancer. CJ Cup: Collin Morikawa. Zozo Championship: Takumi Kanaya. Bermuda Championship: Seamus Power. Mayakoba: Aaron Wise. Houston Open: Sam Burns. RSM Classic: Brendon Todd. Sentry TOC: Xander Schauffele. Sony Open: Marc Leishman. American Express: Sungjae Im. Farmers Insurance Open: Daniel Berger. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Lanto Griffin. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Viktor Hovland. Genesis Invitational: Will Zalatoris. Honda Classic: Russell Knox. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Keith Mitchell. Players Championship: Cameron Smith. Valspar Championship: Shane Lowry. Valero Texas Open: Chris Kirk. The Masters: Justin Thomas. RBC Heritage: Russell Henley. Mexico Open: Gary Woodland. Wells Fargo: Troy Merritt. AT&T Byron Nelson: Jhonattan Vegas. PGA Championship: Scottie Scheffler. Charles Schwab Challenge: Jordan Spieth. The Memorial Tournament: Jon Rahm. RBC Canadian Open: Cameron Smith. U.S. Open: Rory McIlroy. Travelers Championship: Joaquin Niemann.

Powers: Scott Stallings — Stallings has a couple top 10s in his last four starts, and he’s gained over seven strokes on approach in those two events. If he brings those scorching-hot irons to TPC Deere Run, he’s live.

Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele. Sanderson Farms Championship: Mito Pereira. Shriners: Aaron Wise. CJ Cup: Talor Gooch. Zozo Championship: Joaquin Niemann. Bermuda Championship: Patrick Rodgers. Mayakoba: Jhonattan Vegas. Houston Open: Marc Leishman. RSM Classic: Corey Conners. Sentry TOC: Daniel Berger. Sony Open: Kevin Na. American Express: Seamus Power. Farmers Insurance Open: Luke List. AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cameron Tringale. Waste Management Phoenix Open: Bubba Watson. Genesis Invitational: Adam Scott. Honda Classic: Billy Horschel. Arnold Palmer Invitational: Chris Kirk. Players Championship: Xander Schauffele. Valspar Championship: Sam Burns. Valero Texas Open: Charley Hoffman. The Masters: Brooks Koepka. RBC Heritage: Matt Fitzpatrick. Mexico Open: Abraham Ancer. Wells Fargo: Keegan Bradley. AT&T Byron Nelson: Sahith Theegala. PGA Championship: Jordan Spieth. Charles Schwab Challenge: Tommy Fleetwood. The Memorial Tournament: Patrick Reed. RBC Canadian Open: Tyrrell Hatton. U.S. Open: Shane Lowry. Travelers Championship: Davis Riley.

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long- and short-form content, owner of the Mayo Media Network and host of The Pat Mayo Experience. (Subscribe for video or audio.) Mayo (@ThePME) was named 2021 Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writing Association, while also being a finalist for Podcast of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year. Mayo won the 2020 FSWA Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and Golf Writer of the Year awards, along with the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Best Sports Betting Analyst award in 2020. He was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). Mayo is on the board of governors at

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for NumberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast.

Rick Gehman is the founder of and the RickRunGood YouTube Channel, is one of the industry’s leading experts on golf DFS and gambling. Gehman is co-host of the First Cut Podcast and appears regularly on the Pat Mayo Experience golf podcasts. Follow him on Twitter: @RickRunGood.

Lee Alldrick of FanShare Sports started out writing an article highlighting the best bargain plays for fantasy golf under his twitter handle @DKGolfBargains. His success at this prompted FanShare Sports to enlist him as a guest writer, which evolved into him writing the weekly Under The Radar article. As a U.K.-based expert, Alldrick’s insight into European Tour regulars and low priced, low owned plays has provided an invaluable edge for readers when it comes to DFS GPPs.