Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: The best bet our caddie and expert love
Well, that was a pretty fun week at Whistling Straits, wasn't it? If you tailed some of our pre-event and live Ryder Cup bets, it was a really fun week.
As usual, though, we don't point to past success—it's onto the next betting opportunity—the 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson in Mississippi. It's the second event of the fall swing on the PGA Tour, and the field is ... for lack of a better term, lacking strength.
Of course, a weak field doesn't make this event any less bettable, which is where we come in. Unfortunately, we didn't have Max Homa to win at the Fortinet Championship (though we did have him on "Be Right" this week!), so it's time we get back to our winning ways. A few of our experts are targeting a certain four-time tour winner who is looking to snap a lengthy five-year win drought this week.
Read on to see who we like this week at the 2021 Sanderson Farms Championship.
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Charley Hoffman (36-1, FanDuel) — Not only does Hoffer love this course, he’s playing great golf recently. He’s due for another win soon, and it would make complete sense this week.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Mito Pereira (35-1, DraftKings) — Let’s make it a Mito week. With three wins on the Korn Ferry Tour a year ago, it’s clear he wins at easy setups. And with the amount of top-priced, elite ball-strikers in this event, he’s really the only one who is making putts on a consistent basis.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Charley Hoffman (36-1, FanDuel) — Hoffman’s scoring ability is really appealing for the Country Club of Jackson. He has finished 23rd and sixth here and enters this week with some of the best long-term iron play.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Sam Burns (16-1, MyBookie) — I wrote a piece about the Top 10 golfers who will make you money this season, and Sam Burns was a focal point of that list. It begins right here in Jackson. He’s the ideal “modern player” with upside that few on tour can match. In fact, he gained five or more strokes in 12.9 percent of his rounds last season, the highest rate on tour. When he cleans up the bad rounds, he will be winning in bunches.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Will Zalatoris (16-1, MyBookie) —I bet Sam Burns heavily in 2019 before he MC hammered. I liked Lucas Glover and his course history last year before he MCed. So take this pick with a grain of salt. I know the data shows iron play isn’t necessarily predictive here. But Sergio’s ball-striking last year was a path to success. Zalatoris MCed here in 2020, but that was all short game related. I caught a 20-1 on Willy Z on Monday—I could see a course with easy-to-read greens being the spot of his first tour win.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Keegan Bradley (35-1, DraftKings) — Historically, players like Keegan Bradley fare very well at C.C. of Jackson, where elite ball-striking reigns supreme. He played here last fall for the first time in his career and finished in the top 5 with ease. Of course, he gained three strokes with the putter that week, something he has not done in a start since. Maybe he can rekindle some flat-stick magic in Mississippi. If so, the four-time PGA Tour winner is one of the better value plays in a weak field.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sungjae Im (22-1, Caesars Sportsbook) — Due to his excellent off-the-tee game and putting on Bermuda, Sungjae ranks second in FanShare Sports’ course-suitability ranking. A runner-up here in 2019 is further proof. His form coming in is also good, as he ranks ninth in the field for SG/total over the past three months.
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. Unfortunately, the gambling gods don’t care about last season. As Bill Belichick says, “We’re on to 2021-’22,” and our goal is to continue steering you in the right direction when it comes to betting on the PGA Tour each and every week. Good luck to all and let's cash some tickets.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (above) 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!
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win
Caddie: Trey Mullinax (300-1, MyBookie) — This seems like a crazy price for someone who nearly won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship a few weeks ago and is in the upper 15 or 20 guys distance-wise in this field.
Mayo: Matthias Schwab (65-1, DraftKings) — Can the Austrian make enough putts to get in the winner’s circle? Since he’s the European version of European Grillo, the answer is probably not. But fairways and wedge proximity will be no problem, per usual, and he enters in pretty good form—a T-12 at Wentworth and T-8 at the KFT Championship.
Gdula: Taylor Moore (100-1, FanDuel) — Moore missed the cut at the Fortinet Championship but should fit well enough from a distance standpoint after finishing above average on the KFT. His long-term data suggests he should be closer to 65-1.
Gehman: Scott Stallings (60-1, MyBookie) — Stallings is fresh off of a T-6 finish in Napa two weeks ago. Stallings' style of play is to find consistency off-the-tee, where he has gained strokes in seven consecutive events. He then usually backs that up with a scorching hot putter, which is something he’s done recently. Over his past 12 measured events, he’s gained 20.99 strokes to the field with his putter—compared to the 6.12 strokes he lost over the previous 12 starts.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Taylor Pendrith (66-1, MyBookie) — I will sip the Kool-Aid on Taylor Pendrith. In my custom model on Fantasy National this week, which is heavy on off the tee and driving distance, Pendrith is third for me. He’s first in SG/par 5s, 17th in birdies or better gained and 18th in SG/putting all over the past 36 rounds. I will jump on this number, hoping the Pendrith coronation is real this week.
Powers, Golf Digest: Matt Wallace (125-1, BetMGM) — Betting on Wallace is always a volatile experience, but I have no problem risking it at this number. The Englishman was ranked in the top 25 in the world not that long ago, and he’s shown some decent form of late. Yes, he’s coming off a WD from the Northern Trust followed by back-to-back MCs, but before that he had four top-20 finishes in 11 starts worldwide, including a pair of top-sixes on the PGA Tour.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Adam Schenk (140-1, FanDuel) — Schenk has finished top 45 all four times he has played here. That includes a seventh in 2018. His form has been excellent, too, ranking 15th for SG/total over the past three months and 13th for Opportunities Gained over the same period, per Fantasy National.
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: Players to Fade This Week (who will disappoint)
Caddie: Sergio Garcia (20-1, MyBookie) — He played nicely at Whistling Straits, but he is surely just fulfilling an obligation.
Mayo: Sam Burns (14-1, DraftKings) — Best player in the field? One of them. But backing Burns at an elite price in a birdie fest, which opens up the entire field, seems like a poor idea.
Gdula: Si Woo Kim (28-1, FanDuel) — Kim always has the upside to contend when things are clicking, but he’s at his worst when putting on Bermuda and hasn’t shown much at this course in the past. Among all golfers shorter than 30-1, he’s the one I have the least interest in.
Gehman: Matthew Wolff (40-1, DraftKings) — It’s been five weeks since we’ve seen Wolff in action, and as a fan, I hope he has figured his game out. However, as a potential investor, I’ll be taking a more wait-and-see approach on Wolff this season. The big concern is his driver. He’s lost strokes off-the-tee in 10 of his past 16 measured events. That’s so far from his original DNA that it has to raise massive red flags.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Sergio Garcia (20-1, MyBookie) — My model puts Sergio as the second-ranked player in this field, but golf betting is about more than just the stats. His ball-striking could surely pop, but he must be drained from last week.
Powers, Golf Digest: Sergio Garcia (20-1, MyBookie) — If he wasn’t the defending champion, are we sure Sergio would have even shown up after Europe’s Ryder Cup loss? He played great at Whistling Straits and was playing well leading into the Ryder Cup, too, but this has early-exit written all over it.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sam Burns (14-1, DraftKings) — Burns ranks just 47th in FanShare’s course-suitability ranking this week and has just one top-40 finish here in four attempts. Burns is clearly playing well, but it's a big ask for him to win here.
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: Matchups
Caddie: Sungjae Im (+100) over Sergio Garcia (DraftKings) — Sungjae is here to win (and he might). Sergio’s here until Saturday—that’s it.
Mayo: Mito Pereira (-120) over Seamus Power (DraftKings) — Since his hot run, ending with a victory at the Barbasol, the Irishman’s results have been pretty flat. Nothing horrendous, but nothing inspiring, either. That’s unlike Mito, who just keeps ascending and playing excellent golf.
Gdula: Patton Kizzire (-112) over C.T. Pan (FanDuel) — Kizzire has been nearly half a stroke better per round than Pan over the past year, according to my field-adjusted database. He’s also a much better birdie-maker, which is what should matter at C.C. of Jackson.
Gehman: Sungjae Im (-105) over Will Zalatoris (Caesars Sportsbook) — Im has started to round into form recently, relying on his ball-striking, and that’s a great sign. He’s gained strokes off-the-tee in six consecutive measured events and has gained strokes on approach in four of his last five. Now he gets back on Bermudagrass, which is (by far) his best putting surface.
Hennessey: Keith Mitchell (-105) over Matthew Wolff (MyBookie) — Wolff isn’t a bad win bet, but it’s always easy to wager against his volatility in matchups. Mitchell’s ranked second in SG/off the tee over the past 36 rounds, and he putts best on Bermuda, so he figures to be a factor this week. Wolff could finish DFL or first, but that range of outcomes is why Mitchell has value.
Powers: Aaron Wise (+100) over Cameron Davis (DraftKings) — Wise has been consistently good in nearly every strokes-gained area (except putting) over the last handful of months. Davis, on the other hand, has struggled since his Rocket Mortgage win, failing to post a top 25 in five starts since.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Will Zalatoris (-135) over Si Woo Kim (Betfair) — Zalatoris ranks first in our course-suitability ranking this week, first for SG/total in the field over the past two years and 12th for SG/total over the last two months. Kim on the other hand ranks 98th for SG/total over the last two months and just 28th in our course-suitability ranking.
Matchup Results from the Fortinet Championship: Caddie: 1 for 1 (McNealy (-110) over S.W. Kim); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Pereira (+100) over Reavie); Gdula: 0 for 1; Gehman: 0 for 1; Hennessey: 0 for 1; Powers: 0 for 1; Alldrick: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Caddie: 1-0-0 (up 0.91 units); Mayo: 1-0-0 (up 1 unit); Gulda: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit); Gehman: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit); Hennessey: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit); Powers: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit); Alldrick: 0-1-0 (down 1 unit)
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: Top 10
Caddie: Carlos Ortiz (+450, MyBookie) — Ortiz has great course history (two top-5s the past three years) and is one of the elite drivers in this field. Plus, he must be motivated by his buddy Sebastian Munoz winning here in the past. Bank on Ortiz playing well.
Mayo: Henrik Norlander (14-1, DraftKings) — Last spotted playing pretty poorly at the Northern Trust, the Swede does his best work in weaker fields like this very one. After struggling with his driver for most of 2021, he fixed it around Memorial and reeled off six straight positive performances off the tee to go along with spike irons and consistent putting. Considering his odds, he’s just too much of a longshot in this field.
Gdula: Aaron Wise (+500, FanDuel) — Wise has elite tee-to-green data relative to this field and is in the top 10 in birdie or better rate gained over the past 50 rounds, according to Fantasy National. The weak putter might hold him back from a win, but he has the game to finish in the top 10 here.
Gehman: Seamus Power (+275, DraftKings) — In his last eight events of last season, Power notched six top-20 finishes, including a win at the Barbasol Championship. With his card locked up, Power is making his season debut on a course that should suit him very well. Power was one of the few golfers on tour last season who gained in all four major strokes-gained categories, per the RickRunGood.com golf database.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Tom Hoge (+1000, MyBookie) — When will Tom Hoge earn the respect of oddsmakers?! The guy just finished T-5 in a playoff event on a course where you need to drive it long and straight. That’s the recipe for success this week.
Powers, Golf Digest: Doc Redman (14-1, DraftKings) — Since his runner-up at Palmetto, Redman has been BAD bad. He made the cut at Travelers right after Congaree but has since missed five straight cuts, including at the Fortinet. That said, he finally played OK tee-to-green in Napa and he almost always pops in these weaker-field events.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Zach Johnson (+800, DraftKings) — Johnson has back-to-back top-25 finishes here. He’s an excellent putter on Bermuda greens and comes into this event ranked 29th for SG/total over the past three months.
Top-10 results from the Fortinet Championship: Powers: 1 for 1 (Patrick Rodgers +1200); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 1 for 1 (up 12 units); Caddie: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Mayo 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Gdula: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Gehman: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Hennessey: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit); Alldrick: 0 for 1 (down 1 unit)
Sanderson Farms Championship 2021 picks: One and Done
Gehman: Mito Pereira — Since his promotion to the tour last summer, Pereira has played seven tour events. He has finished inside the top six in three of those events and also added a fourth-place finish at the Olympics. He’s a stout ball-striker, leaning on his driver and irons to find success. He appears close to hoisting a trophy on the PGA Tour, something he did three times on the KFT last season.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Kevin Na.
Hennessey: Carlos Ortiz — Ortiz will probably be a popular pick this week, but it’s a perfect week to burn him. I do think he’ll make a leap up in terms of class of players this year and win...and it very well could be this week.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Emiliano Grillo.
Powers: Mito Pereira — I better be in on this Mito Pereira party in some capacity. This is a good spot to use him after he showed some solid form at the Fortinet.
Previous weeks: Fortinet Championship: Brendan Steele.
RELATED: 17 parting thoughts from the Ryder Cup
By The Numbers (courtesy of Rick Gehman of RickRunGood.com)
2.19 - The average strokes gained per round by Carlos Ortiz at the CC of Jackson, the best mark of anyone with at least ten rounds played.
+2500 - The winning odds for Cameron Tringale this week, the shortest odds he’s had since the Valero Texas Open -- 13 starts ago.
70 percent - The rate in which Will Zalatoris has gained strokes from tee-to-green in his career -- that’s 21 out of the 30 measured events he’s played.
5.95 - The combined strokes-gained/putting for Sergio Garcia in his last three events. That’s his best three-event stretch since March 2019.
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) won the 2020 Fantasy Sports Writing Association 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, and was finalist for four FSWA Awards in 2020 (Best Podcast, Best Video, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 21 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. 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 fantasy sports-writers association Golf Writer of the Year *(congrats, Brandon!)*. 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.