Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Why Detroit Golf Club is a perfect fit for Max Homa
We’re thrilled to report that our expert panel returned to the winner’s circle in Minnesota. Lee Alldrick correctly picked Tony Finau at 14-1 odds to win the 3M Open last week, picking up his second outright win of the year (Rory McIlroy, 8-1 at the RBC Canadian Open). Do not let us get hot.
This week, at the Rocket Mortgage Classic, we’ll look to make it two winners in a row, something we haven’t done since the winter. Much like the 3M, the Rocket Mortgage has produced a couple of longshot winners in its infancy, though Bryson DeChambeau did bomb his way to victory as the favorite here in 2020. Mega-bombs are always worth a sprinkle in events like these, but with Patrick Cantlay, Will Zalatoris and Cameron Young showing up in Detroit this week, there’s a good chance we get a second straight sub-20-1 odds winner again.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Rocket Mortgage Classic.
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Our experts' outright selections
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Cameron Young (18-1, BetMGM) — Well, this isn’t a big surprise. The course is soft which will make distance even more important. He’s been close and playing well in big situations.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Max Homa (14-1, DraftKings) — Wedges and putting? That’s Patrick Cantlay and Homa at the high end. And guess who is the better price.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Max Homa (22-1, FanDuel) — Putting has largely separated the winners from the pack at Detroit Golf Club in the past, and Homa is one of the best putters on tour. He’s also one of the best in SG/tee-to-green, too. He’s played here twice with two made cuts, and he’s a value in my betting model at 22-1.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Cameron Davis (35-1, DraftKings) — It’s difficult for a golfer to successfully defend his title but it’s not impossible. We’ve seen it a few times this year with K.H. Lee, Sam Burns and Viktor Hovland. Davis’ title defense couldn’t come at a better time as he enters the week with three straight top-16 finishes. He’s been excellent in the ball-striking categories, gaining strokes in seven of his last eight and he’s added tangible gains with his putter. Davis has gained strokes putting in seven of his last eight starts, per the RickRunGood.com golf database, and seems primed to contend again this week.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Cameron Young (18-1, BetMGM) — The trendy pick and likely the most popular play of the week. Call me Stevie Squares, but we’re going with the runner-up at the Open Championship. He’s first in Opportunities Gained and Birdies or Better Gained over the past 24 rounds, per Fantasy National. We are betting an awful number, but hey, it’s my money to lose. We’re chasing Win No. 1 with the talented kid who grew up on a classic Golden Age design.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Troy Merritt (60-1, DraftKings) — This event last year was the site of one of my more gutting runner-up outright finishes ever, with Merritt losing in a playoff to Cameron Davis. This is strictly an avenge play, though it does help that Merritt had his best off-the-tee performance in the Fantasy National database last week. A cold putter sunk him to a T-49 finish, but that’s all the more reason to back him at a course he likes. If he can cook with the flat stick like he did here last year (and the year before that), we might be in the mix.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Tony Finau (13-1, FanDuel) — Finau comes into this event ranked second for SG/total over the last two years and first for SG/total over the last two months. Detroit Golf Club is perfect for him, ranking fourth in the field for SG/total at similar courses. He will certainly be there or thereabouts this week and I’ll certainly be backing him to win back-to-back PGA Tour events.
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. Lee Alldrick just selected his second winner of the year, hitting on Tony Finau to win the 3M Open at 14-1 odds. Earlier this summer, Alldrick picked Rory McIlroy (8-1) to win the RBC Canadian Open, as did Pat Mayo, who also cashed on Luke List (70-1) back in February at Torrey Pines. 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. Rick Gehman also picked up two wins in the fall by correctly predicting Sam Burns (16-1) to win the Sanderson Farms Championship in the fall and Viktor Hovland (19-1) to win 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.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (below) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark Horses who could win
Caddie: Cameron Champ (55-1, BetRivers) — He played really solid golf last week the last 55 holes. If the conditions stay soft, it’ll fit his game well.
Mayo: Alex Smalley (80-1, DraftKings) — Fresh off three top-25 finishes across his past four starts, Smalley’s week will likely be determined by his flat stick. It’s certainly not consistent, but he has stretches where it’s great—and ones where it’s the topic of a Foreigner track. Hopefully we catch him on a putting heater. Additionally, Smalley’s a member at next week’s Sedgefield Country Club, another Donald Ross design. So hopefully, his familiarity with Ross’ contours and strategy can be a hidden advantage.
Gdula: Scott Stallings (60-1, FanDuel) — I’m just going in on irons and putting this week, and that points me to Stallings. Then you factor in three top 10s in his past five events and the fact that he’s one of six golfers in the field to have three made cuts at Detroit Golf Club, and he’s an easy longshot pick.
Gehman: Taylor Pendrith (60-1, DraftKings) — Pendrith suffered a broken rib at the Players Championship that sidelined him for four months. However he’s back and looks like he hasn’t missed a beat. In his two starts since returning, he’s finished T-13 at the Barbasol Championship and T-11 at the Barracuda Championship. Detroit Golf Club will allow Pendrith to lean into his strengths, bombing it off-the-tee with little regard for accuracy. This is arguably one of the better setups on tour for Pendrith.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Mark Hubbard (55-1, Bet365) — Speaking of chasing: We’ll settle for another awful number with Hubbs! In a likely putting contest, Hubbard has gained strokes putting in every PGA Tour event since early May and is putting up some great results at birdie-fests (third at the Barbasol and 13th at the John Deere). I’m not a big model guy, but he’s first in my custom Fantasy National model this week.
Powers, Golf Digest: Danny Willett (95-1, FanDuel) — Willett has beaten much stronger fields in his career before and he’s coming off an extremely sneaky T-7 at 3M where he gained over five strokes tee-to-green. He also gained over five putting, which will be difficult to replicate, but Bentgrass is his favorite surface and the greens at Detroit Golf Club treated him very well in 2020, when he gained 1.7 strokes putting en route to a fourth-place finish.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Cameron Tringale (45-1, Bet365) — Tringale has had many flashes of brilliance of late. In fact, he ranks sixth in the field this week for SG/total over the last two years. Tringale is an excellent putter on Bentgrass greens so it’s not surprising that he ranks first in the field this week for SG/total here at Detroit Golf Club.
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Players we're fading
Caddie: Tony Finau (13-1, FanDuel) — It’s hard following up a big week like Tony had last week. He will play solid but finish outside the top 10.
Mayo: Will Zalatoris (12-1, DraftKings) — Will Zalatoris in a birdiefest? That’s a lot of short putts that need to be made. The breakthrough will come, but it will be at a tough course.
Gdula: Tony Finau (13-1, FanDuel) — Finau’s come-from-behind win last week has his odds inflated. He’s in fantastic form, yes, but the course fit isn’t perfect, he’s putting well above expectation, and there’s better value on the rest of the top five than on Finau at 13-1. If I have to pick one to avoid, it’d be Finau at these odds.
Gehman: Adam Scott (28-1, DraftKings) — It’s actually quite curious that Scott is even playing this event considering his recent schedule. Three of his last four starts have been major championships and he hasn’t played in an event with a strength of field under 300 this calendar year. His stat profile leaves much to be desired with little consistency to be found. When you consider his last win came in February of 2020, it’s difficult to back him at this price.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Will Zalatoris (12-1, DraftKings) — I’m willing to bet Willy Z on tougher courses where his great iron play is a separator. Not so much here on a course that requires deft wedge play inside 125 yards—and a putting week that gets you to 20-to-25-under par.
Powers, Golf Digest: Will Zalatoris (12-1, DraftKings) — Willy Z at 12-1 on an easy course which usually equals, as Jon Rahm would call it, a piece-of-sh*t putting contest sounds like burning money to me.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Will Zalatoris (12-1, DraftKings) — There’s no doubt that Zalatoris is an elite golfer, however, this is not the place for him to flourish. His 77th-place finish on his only visit here is not surprising seeing as he ranks just 126th for SG/total at similar courses. His putting on Bentgrass greens is the main reason for this. He ranks just 137th in the field this week for SG/putting on Bentgrass over the last two years.
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Webb Simpson (+100) over Mark Hubbard (DraftKings) — Webb hasn’t showed the results that we are used to seeing from him, but if you look closely—his past few MCs have been on the number. In talking to his caddie, he thinks Webb is close to breaking through and getting on a run.
Mayo: Alex Smalley (-110) over CT Pan (DraftKings) — If I like Smalley as a dark horse to win, I like him more than the Panimal.
Gdula: Gary Woodland (-102) over Maverick McNealy (FanDuel) — Long-term, both are very similar golfers, but Woodland has the better ball-striking, and he’s due for positive putting regression eventually.
Gehman: Kevin Kisner (-110) over Adam Scott (DraftKings) — While distance is certainly beneficial at Detroit Golf Club, it’s not required. Kisner has been the case study for that, earning a T-8 last year and a third-place finish in 2020. He’s snapped out of a mini slump, finishing T-6 at the Travelers and T-21 at the Open Championship. We are entering a part of the schedule that should have Kisner firing on all cylinders.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Cameron Davis (+108) over Max Homa (FanDuel) — Homa enjoyed a nice vacation in Italy after The Open, while Davis kept up his consistent play—recording his third straight top-20 finish. Consistency is key in these matchups, and Davis is back at the site of his first tour win.
Powers, Golf Digest: Joel Dahmen (+100) over Luke List (DraftKings) — Par is not a good score at Detroit Golf Club so we should all be fading Luke List. He’s also missed six of his last 10 cuts, while Dahmen has become a reliable cut-maker, making the weekend in 11 of his last 13 events.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Denny McCarthy (-125) over Gary Woodland (Betway) — McCarthy comes into this event ranked 10th for SG/total over the last two years and third for SG/total over the last two months. Woodland on the other hand ranks just 86th for SG/total over the last two months and had failed to make the cut here on both his previous attempts.
Matchup Results from the 3M Open: Mayo: 1 for 1 (Hardy (-110) over NeSmith); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Poston (-110) over Laird); Powers: 1 for 1 (Merritt (-110) over Day); Caddie: 0 for 1; Gdulda: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1; Alldrick: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 26-7-4 (up 17.61 units); Powers: 21-14-4 (up 6.73 units); Caddie: 21-15-3 (up 4.65 units); Alldrick: 21-16-2 (up 2.35 units); Gehman: 16-17-5 (down 2.11 units); Gdula: 18-19-1 (down 2.37 units); Hennessey: 18-20-1 (down 6.54 units)
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Cameron Young (+250, DraftKings) — Seems like a great bet given how consistently well he’s been playing.
Mayo: Chesson Hadley (+1200, DraftKings) — Putting faith in Hadley is always terrifying, but he’s cashed this top 10 in three of his past five starts and rolls into Detroit with the wedges and putting to get over the hump.
Gdula: Adam Scott (+390, FanDuel) — Irons and putting can go a long way this week, and that’s the core of Scott’s game at the moment. He can also gain distance on the field still, and that’s something the past two winners certainly did.
Gehman: Scott Stallings (+500, DraftKings) — Stallings is such a logical top 10 wager most weeks because of his volatility. He’s earned top-10 finishes in three of his last six starts but his missed cuts in the other three always seem to keep his odds in check. Stallings hasn’t missed a cut in three trips to this event with his results getting better every year – mostly recently a T-25 in 2021.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Michael Thorbjorsen (+1100, Bet365) — The kid’s putter was HOT at the Travelers in his most recent tour start, and these greens feature a similar grass makeup. He’ll be able to bomb his way around this place … and if he makes a few putts, don’t be surprised to see this name near the top of the leader board yet again.
Powers, Golf Digest: Sepp Straka (+1200, Bet365) — Straka has been slumping hard as of late, hence the major dip in his price. But he’s not that far removed from a spring that included a win at the Honda and tops 10s at the Players Championship and the RBC Heritage. After four straight missed cuts in five weeks, he took a much-needed week off last week and should be coming in fresh. In three trips to the Rocket Mortgage, he has a pair of top-11 finishes and just one missed cut.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Cameron Davis (+350, Bet365) — Last year’s winner comes into this event in great form. He ranks 20th in the field for SG/total over the last two years and 10th for SG/putting over the same period. He also ranks 15th for SG/total over the last two months and second for Opportunities Gained over the same period.
Top-10 results from the 3M Open: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Callum Tarren +900); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Alldrick: 13 for 39 (up 37.5 units); Powers: 12 for 39 (up 29.55 units); Hennessey: 10 for 39 (up 10.95 units); Gehman: 8 for 39 (down 0.3 units); Mayo: 7 for 39 (down 1.4 units); Caddie: 10 for 39 (down 2 units); Gdula: 5 for 38 (down 13 units)
Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Cameron Young — The “bomb-and-gouge” blueprint has been laid by Cam Davis and Bryson DeChambeau in recent years and now it’s time for Young to follow the plans. He’s elite in driving distance, currently second on tour, but he possesses a skill set that not many other bombers can boast. He’s excellent both on and around the greens. That rare combination is why he has four top-three finishes in his last seven starts and why he’ll contend this week in Detroit.
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. John Deere Classic: Cam Davis. Scottish Open: Tommy Fleetwood. Open Championship: Tyrrell Hatton. 3M Open: Sahith Theegala.
Hennessey: Cameron Davis — I’m sure he’ll be a popular One and Done pick this week, but rightfully so.
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. John Deere Classic: Webb Simpson. Scottish Open: Matt Fitzpatrick. Open Championship: Xander Schauffele. 3M Open: Sahith Theegala.
Powers: Cameron Young — It’s as square as it gets but I’ve missed out on a number of square winners this season and I won’t make that mistake again… and again… and again.
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. John Deere Classic: Scott Stallings. Scottish Open: Viktor Hovland. Open Championship: Will Zalatoris. 3M Open: Maverick McNealy.
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 www.fantasynational.com.
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 RickRunGood.com 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.