Betting Analysis

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Our favorite breakthrough candidates

June 25, 2024
ANCASTER, ON - JUNE 02:  Maverick McNealy of the United States gets ready to play his shot from the fourth tee during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club on June 02, 2024 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Julian Avram/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Death, taxes, and Scottie Scheffler winning every event he plays in. Why do we even bother?

Wait a second ... Scottie isn't playing this week! Or any of the next three weeks, for that matter. At long last, everybody else finally has a chance. And obviously we are referring to us, the gambling public, as "everybody." Now is our time.

But it's also an opportunity for a number of breakthrough candidates who are actually playing in the event, and we intend to find the winner out of that crop.

Our betting panel is comprised of a caddie reporting anonymously from the grounds of Detroit Golf Club, Pat Mayo of Underdog/Mayo Media Network, Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel, Andy Lack of, your two authors and Keith Stewart, the CEO of Read The Line. Stewart, our newest member of the panel, is our new betting content partner as well.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Cameron Young (16-1, BetRivers) — Fresh off a 59 last week, he has shown he is in form—especially with his new putter—to continue to make birdies. Detroit Golf Club is a birdie-fest especially with the rain making it softer than usual here. I expect him to contend for his first win.

Pat Mayo, Underdog/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Keith Mitchell (35-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — The ball-striking, that’s always there. No player in this field has been better over the past 24 rounds in that regard. As always, Mitchell’s short game takes him out of tournaments come Sunday. But that is sneakily getting better if you’re looking hard enough. He’s gained around the greens in three of past four starts after losing in 10 straight. And he managed to gain on the greens his last time out in Canada. Greens similar to what the field is going to see in Detroit. Plus, there’s the Valspar crossover. A tournament he was favored to win standing on the first tee Sunday… and ended up in a tie for 17th. Hopefully he’ll have learned from that.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Min Woo Lee (18-1, FanDuel) — Lee sets up well as a golfer with good distance and a hot putter, which fits the archetype of some of the winners here at Detroit (Tony Finau, Cam Davis, Bryson DeChambeau). Lee’s a better Bengtrass/Poa putter than he is on Bermuda, too.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Maverick McNealy (28-1, FanDuel) — Mav McNealy is an elite player in this field. Prior to the three-week signature/major run we have been on, McNealy finished top 25 in his last three starts. Since coming off his shoulder injury, Mav has only missed one cut, and that was in January. I walked with him back at WMPO, and I was impressed with his ball-striking. McNealy has always been a great scorer from close range, but now he has heat off the tee and an approach game to complement it. He’s fifth in this field for birdie-or-better percentage and seventh in par-4 scoring. Listen to the trend and take him as your top gun this week.

Watch the below video for our favorite bets and players we're fading for the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic:

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Taylor Pendrith (28-1, BetMGM) — It’s easy to make the case for Pendrith here. He’s got a runner-up to Tony Finau here in 2022 as well as a 14th-place finish last year and is coming off a win at another birdie-fest at the Byron Nelson. The Canadian’s ranked sixth in SG/putting over the past 24 rounds, per, and is the longest off the tee out of those putting gainers, plus his Bentgrass splits raise his stats even more.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest senior writer: Davis Thompson (35-1, FanDuel) — Smells like a prime breakthrough spot for Davey T, much like it was three years ago for Cameron Davis, who plays a very similar style of golf: hit it far, go find it, wedge it on, make some putts. Helps that the form is strong, too, which is why he’s at 35-1. Four top-30s in his last six, including a sneaky T-9 at the damn U.S. Open. He’s ready.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Maverick McNealy (28-1, FanDuel) — Maverick McNealy feels primed for a breakthrough, and Detroit Golf Club is the perfect venue for that to come to fruition. McNealy also already recorded a 21st and eighth in two appearances at the Donald Ross design, and he is coming off a top-10 finish at the Canadian Open where he gained 2.5 strokes on approach and 4.1 strokes putting. That formula should pay dividends again in Detroit.

Past results: The boys another bagged a major (!), and once again it was our anonymous caddie and Christopher Powers who cashed in. CP and our caddie have both hit the last two majors, Xander Schauffele at the PGA Championship (14-1) and Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open (20-1). Our caddie now has four winners on the year, which leads the way. Pat Mayo has two while Stephen Hennessey has one (Akshay Bhatia at the Valero, 65-1).

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Pierceson Coody (250-1, FanDuel) — He has been finding some form recently as he has been going through a swing change with Chris Como. Having three weeks off allowed him to keep improving the swing. He has shown the ability to win and is a great putter, so I expect him to have a good week.

Mayo: Jake Knapp (110-1, FanDuel) — Knapp’s results have been horrid, basically, since winning in Mexico. However, following his breakthrough win he’s almost exclusively competed in signature events against the world’s best. The Rocket Mortgage is not that. He has two top 10s in his past non-signature starts. Knapp can unleash driver with impunity at Detroit GC, and he’s excelled so far this year in weaker field which have afforded him that luxury — Mexico (1st), Torrey Pines (T-3), Byron Nelson (T-8). He just needs to make certain the hot putter shows up with him.

Gdula: Mark Hubbard (80-1, FanDuel) — Hubbard is a plus across the board in strokes-gained over the last 50 rounds, and while he’s not long off the tee, he makes up for it with extra accuracy. The form here includes three straight MCs, but that’s after a T-12, so I think we can downplay any course fit issues and look more into the current form.

Stewart: Matt Wallace (55-1, FanDuel) — Like many players, Matt Wallace was blocked out of the PGA Tour/USGA fields for the past three weeks. Instead of sitting around, Wallace played the KLM Open on the DP World Tour. The Englishman finished T-15 and gained nine strokes total on the field. A winner in Corales last year on tour, Wallace loves to go low. He’s a scoring machine on courses like TPC Craig Ranch and Detroit Golf Club where he has a 10th- and 12th-place finish. More battle tested than most of this field in recent weeks, bet on Wallace to finish high in Detroit.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: S.H. Kim (125-1, BetMGM) — I’m following our guy Keith Stewart of Read The Line here. I like the Byron Nelson as a comp course, and Kim finished fourth there. He averages over 300 yards off the tee and is among the top putters in the field. I wouldn’t be surprised if he contends, and the odds are right.

Powers, Golf Digest: Jake Knapp (110-1, FanDuel) — There is a TON of red on this man’s Fantasy National page right now, but his last truly great start came at the AT&T Byron Nelson, a weak-field birdie-fest where bomb-and-gouge is the name of the game. Without Scheffler in the field this week, now is the time to fill up the card with bombs. Knapp is an ideal bomb candidate.

Lack: Matt Wallace (55-1, FanDuel) — Matt Wallace boasts the ideal combination of recent form and course history, with a 15th-place finish last week at the KLM Open and two top-12 appearances at Detroit Golf Club. Sneakily one of the better approach players in the field, the Englishman possesses the exact skill set I am looking for at Detroit Golf Club.

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Tom Kim (10-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — I know, I know, he is in good form after last week. But the high of being in a playoff might have worn him out this week. He will be gassed come Sunday and fade from contention.

Mayo: Rickie Fowler (50-1, FanDuel) — Maybe he has good vibes coming back to the site of his win a year ago. Maybe. It’s worth noting Fowler doesn’t have a top 15 since that win 12 months ago.

Gdula: Taylor Pendrith (25-1, FanDuel) — The 20-1 to 30-1 range is pretty interesting. Pendrith, though, is way more reliant on his putter than the others around these odds, so I just don’t have any specific interest in him and would rather look at Noren (33-1) or Rai (33-1).

Stewart: Cameron Young (14-1, FanDuel) — Heading into the Travelers Championship, Cameron Young’s odds to win were 66-1. I understand he shot 59 on Saturday, but did you know he lost strokes putting on the back nine during his sub-60 round? Young’s last seven starts since the Masters are Heritage (T-62), Wells Fargo (T-34), PGA Championship (T-63), RBC Canadian Open (MC), Memorial (T-50), US Open (T-67), Travelers (T-9). Over his last five starts, Cam has lost an average of 1.5 strokes putting per event. At 14-1, I’ll wait to risk the mortgage on Young’s first win.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Alex Noren (25-1, BetRivers) — Though Noren is gaining strokes across the board in the four main strokes-gained categories, he’s admittedly cooling off from his peak earlier in the season, coming off a MC at Pinehurst. I could be talked into the other elite players over Noren here.

Powers, Golf Digest: Cameron Young (14-1, FanDuel) — It’s an ideal course fit, but I’m not ready to jump back in the Cam Young pool at these odds. If he finally wins, God bless him And God Bless everyone who is not breaking even on him lifetime if he does at 14-1.

Lack: Akshay Bhatia (18-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Playing his ninth straight week in a row, this feels like a natural letdown spot for Akshay Bhatia. While his contending performance at the Travelers Championship was certainly encouraging, Bhatia missed the cut in his only appearance at Detroit Golf Club, and I can’t endorse taking the plunge on such a short outright number.

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Min Woo Lee (+125) over Tom Kim (DraftKings) — Any time you can get a matchup with a top 20 player in the world at plus money, you take it. I think most matchups are always a toss-up, so this is strictly a value play here getting a great player at plus money. Also, like it said earlier, Tom Kim will be exhausted.

Mayo: Min Woo Lee (+125) over Tom Kim (DraftKings) — Kim must be due for an emotional letdown after a combination of the Travelers playoff loss and this being his ninth week of playing in a row. Even if it’s not, Min Woo’s bomb, gouge, and make putts game should have him ahead regardless.

Gdula: Ben Griffin (-110) over Ryan Fox (FanDuel) — Griffin has a short-term and long-term edge in overall form in this matchup against Fox, and he’s the better iron player.

Stewart: Robert MacIntyre (+105) over Taylor Moore (DraftKings) — Taylor Moore has an incredible event history finishing fourth and sixth in his last two starts at Rocket Mortgage. Here’s the rub, Moore hasn’t finished in the top 10 since March and has missed three of his last four cuts. Robert MacIntyre just won the RBC Canadian, finished eighth at the PGA, sixteenth at Travelers and is gaining six strokes on average against the field over his last five starts. Take the Scot if you plan to get more out of this bet.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Min Woo Lee (+125) over Tom Kim (DraftKings) — I’ll probably end up betting Min Woo here with his distance off the tee and his propensity to gain strokes with the putter. That distance off the tee should give Min Woo an edge over Tom Kim coming off the stress of contending last week.

Powers, Golf Digest: Erik van Rooyen (-120) over Cameron Davis (DraftKings) — Neither has had particularly good results of late but EVR has shown much better flashes tee-to-green.

Lack: Maverick McNealy (-110) over Alex Noren (DraftKings) — I’ve already sung Maverick McNealy’s praises as my pick to win, and I love him in this matchup against Alex Noren. While Noren has played some great golf this year, he looks to be on the wrong side of a great run, now losing strokes ball-striking in three straight starts. I’ll gladly take my chances with McNealy at even odds.

Matchup Results from the Travelers Championship: Lack: 1 for 1 (Conners (-120) over Burns); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Harman (+105) over Henley); Caddie: 1 for 1 (Thomas (-120) over Fitzpatrick); Gdula: 1 for 1 (Harman (+100) over Theegala); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Harman (+100) over Theegala); Stewart: 1 for 1 (Bezuidenhout (-110) over Poston); Powers: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Lack 17-7-1 (up 7.91 units); Mayo: 15-9-1 (up 5.61 units); Caddie: 15-9-0 (up 4.05 units); Powers: 12-10-2 (up 1.82 units); Hennessey: 12-9-4 (up 1.76 units); Gdula: 13-10-2 (up 1.44 units); Stewart: 12-12-1 (down 1.21 units)

Rocket Mortgage Classic picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: Ryan Fox (+500, DraftKings) — This course is very easy if you hit your driver well. Ryan Fox is a great driver of the golf ball when he is swinging well. He will have a lot of wedges in this week because he also bombs it. I expect him to have a decent showing.

Mayo: Ryan Fox (+500, DraftKings) — Fox hits it a mile and can make putts. That’s basically his entire thing. He’s started hot in a few events over the past few months but has imploded on the weekend yet still managed to hold on to top 10s in two of his last five. Fox rates at the top of the field in proximity distance from 125-175 yards, the range where all the scoring comes from this week.

Gdula: Alex Noren (+300, FanDuel) — Noren has two top 10s at Detroit already and is in strong form with his ball-striking. He putts well on bentgrass/Poa and has played these greens well during both of his top-10 finishes.

Stewart: Tom Kim (+200, BetRivers) — Playing his ninth week in a row, Tom Kim is the favorite to win the Rocket Mortgage. Fatigue and that favorite role are the reasons why I don’t think he will win, but I will take the 10 places. Fresh off a playoff duel with Scottie Scheffler, Kim can convert on short low-scoring style venues. His 22-under par total last week was fueled by gaining over 10 strokes tee-to-green and another two on the greens.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Erik van Rooyen (+600, DraftKings) — EVR’s distance, form and strong putting stats make him a great fit for Detroit Golf Club.

Powers, Golf Digest: Kevin Yu (+600, DraftKings) — Yu has been striking the s--- out of the ball over the last few months but has absolutely nothing to show for it because of an ice-cold putter. Ice cold is underselling it, actually. It’s an ice age on the greens for your boy. Can we get a regression to the mean this week? If so, I fully expect him to be in the mix in Detroit.

Lack: Thorbjorn Olesen (+750, DraftKings) — Already a winner this year on the DP World Tour, Thorbjorn Olesen possesses the upside I am looking for this week. Olesen is coming off a 27th at the Canadian Open where he gained 3.9 strokes on approach and 4.4 strokes putting. Wedge play and putting is the name of the game at Detroit Golf Club, and Olesen excels in both categories.

Top-10 results from the Travelers Championship: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Akshay Bhatia +550); Powers: 1 for 1 (Justin Thomas +330); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Tom Kim +300); Lack: 1 for 1 (Patrick Cantlay +190); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 8 for 25 (up 57.85 units); Mayo: 5 for 25 (even units); Gdula: 5 for 25 (down 0.9 units); Caddie: 5 for 24 (down 2.05 units); Lack: 5 for 25 (down 7.55 units); Powers: 4 for 25 (down 10.1 units); Stewart: 4 for 25 (down 11.82 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

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. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith's winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports