Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Back Burns and Billy Ho in the Bayou
After a brutal betting week at the Masters, our expert panel was determined to get back off the mat at the RBC Heritage. And boy, did we come close to doing just that, with our caddie selecting Patrick Cantlay as his outright winner at 20-1.
Alas, runner-up finishes don’t cut it in the outright betting game. Jordan Spieth broke the hearts of many Cantlay bettors with his Sunday heroics, which got him back in the winner’s circle for the first time since last year’s Valero Texas Open, which also ended on Easter.
We’re back at it this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, the only team event on the PGA Tour schedule. We’re long past due for a winner, some would say. If outrights aren’t your thing, might we direct you to our matchup picks, which were a near clean sweep if not for one of our authors, whose last name happens to start with H and ends in a Y.
Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2022 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Our experts' outright predictions
Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Tyrrell Hatton and Danny Willett (35-1, DraftKings) — Two Englishmen with a chip on their shoulders. Hatton hasn’t won in the U.S. since Bay Hill in 2020, and Willett played great at the Masters. People will associate Hatton with his comments about Augusta, but he’s really playing some nice golf … so it wouldn’t surprise me to see this duo get over the line while pairing up.
Pat Mayo, DraftKings/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel (12-1, DraftKings) — Out of all the favorites, this duo makes the most sense. Billy Ho is a former winner here and is trending toward another win, and Burns has had plenty of wins recently. Plus, you know these two are serious about winning. I'd bet their groupchat has been chatting strategy for months now.
Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel (12-1, FanDuel) — One of the stronger overall teams in the field, this duo finished T-4 here last year, and both are in strong form currently. They also seem like the type of pairing to take this event seriously and push for a win to give Horschel three victories at this course.
Rick Gehman, data scientist and RickRunGood.com founder: Sergio Garcia and Tommy Fleetwood (16-1, DraftKings) — You’ve got to be excited about what you’re seeing from this pair as of late. Garcia hopefully broke out of a mini ball-striking slump by gaining 6.83 strokes on approach at the Masters – per the RickRunGood.com golf database. Fleetwood has been stellar, piling up five consecutive top-25 finishes in stroke-play events. The last time these two played together was the 2019 Zurich Classic, when they finished runner-up.
Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman (10-1, DraftKings) — I’m not gonna overthink this one. The defending champs are in the double-digits despite Cam Smith winning the Players (another Pete Dye course) and playing great golf through 63 holes at Augusta. Plus, it’s a Presidents Cup year.
Christopher Powers, Golf Digest assistant editor: Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley (36-1, FanDuel) — These two have become a popular play this week and for good reason. Obviously, Zalatoris continues to close in on a maiden win, while Riley took Sam Burns to a playoff at the Valspar Championship last month. That will have these two 25-year-olds hungry for what would count as an official win on their resumes. It should help, too, that they are longtime buddies from their junior playing days, which included Zalatoris beating Riley in the finals of the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur.
Lee Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel (12-1, FanDuel) — Burns and Horschel both come into this event ranked top 20 for SG/total course conditions, SG/total over the last two months, Opportunities Gained over the last two months, SG/total over the last two years and both ranked fifth for SG/putting on Bermuda greens. This is a lethal duo.
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. We’re already off to a hot start in the new season, too, with Christopher Powers nailing Scottie Scheffler’s win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 29-1 and then backing it up with Joaquin Niemann at 60-1 to win at Riviera. A few weeks earlier, Pat Mayo correctly predicted Luke List’s victory at Torrey Pines at 70-1. Rick Gehman also 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.
Listen to Golf Digest's weekly betting podcast, "Be Right," (above) where we interview the industry's leading experts (and sometimes Hall of Fame running backs) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to "Be Right" wherever you get your podcasts!
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Sleepers/Dark horses who could win
Caddie: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (90-1, DraftKings) — Kiz has been playing well, and he’s got his buddy Scott Brown next to him. It was 2017 when they fell shy in the playoff to Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt. I’ve seen both these guys get a blazing hot putter … they can fill it up with the best of them.
Mayo: Will Zalatoris and Davis Riley (30-1, DraftKings) — This might be the perfect format for Willy Z's first win ... he doesn't need to make every crucial putt 5 feet and in!
Gdula: Adam Hadwin and Adam Svensson (46-1, FanDuel) — Hadwin’s form is really strong all things considered, and this is one of the better iron tandems in the field. That’s appealing for the Canadian duo. They’re pretty similar in distance off the tee, too, and should play a similar game together.
Gehman: Maverick McNealy and Joseph Bramlett (90-1, DraftKings) — This format, more than most, lends itself to volatility. Making a few bogeys isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you can offset them with a bunch of birdies. It’s unlikely both partners make bogey on the same hole in the four-ball format, so investing in highly volatile golfers can be beneficial. McNealy and Bramlett certainly fall into that category, making four birdies per round combined—the seventh-best rate in this field. Throw in the fact that Bramlett is one of the longest hitters on tour and you have some pretty appealing skill sets in this pairing.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Peter Uihlein and Richy Werenski (200-1, DraftKings) — If you can get into the each-way market, I’m liking this duo as a top-five flier. Uihlein had a runner-up recently on the Korn Ferry, and though Werenski hasn’t been playing great—he hits it a long way, which is a huge asset at this 7,400-plus yard layout. Plus, they finished third here last year … so I like the good vibes.
Powers, Golf Digest: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (90-1, DraftKings) — The Aiken, S.C. bros were half this price a year ago in this event, likely on the strength of their T-5 in 2019, T-15 in 2018 and runner-up in 2017. They miss one cut in 2021 and suddenly jump to triple digits? I’ll happily hop on this price break and hope they catch lightning in a bottle in this volatile format.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd (50-1, DraftKings) — Kirk comes into this event ranked 20th for SG/total on similar course conditions, 14th for SG/total over the last two months and seventh for Opportunities Gained over the last two months. Todd is the second-best putter in this field for SG/putting on Bermuda greens so these two have the potential to surprise a few people.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Players we're fading
Caddie: Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay (8-1, DraftKings) — This is a formidable duo in the Ryder Cup, but I just see them kind of enjoying the week … and if they don’t get off to a hot start, they’ll have the girls book some fun weekend activities for them to enjoy.
Mayo: Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland (+650, DraftKings) — There's no way to justify betting these two at these odds in a volatile format like this one.
Gdula: Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia (17-1, FanDuel) — Tee-to-green play is generally the key factor in team events, but believe it or not, this is one of the weaker tee-to-green pairings among the favorites in the field. Their 2019 runner-up has their odds inflated.
Gehman: Harold Varner III and Bubba Watson (25-1, DraftKings) — This will be the first time that these two have played together at the Zurich which can sometimes result in growing pains. Especially when one of the partners is Bubba Watson, who sees the game a lot differently than most players—often opting for creative angles and shots. Watson has two top-25 finishes in four trips to this event, playing with Scottie Scheffler and JB Holmes. Varner hasn’t had much success at all in the team format, missing the cut in all four starts.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Scottie Scheffler and Ryan Palmer (9-1, DraftKings) — Doing the very dangerous thing and fading the Masters champion in this one. I’d guess he took some time off after Augusta … and rightfully so.
Powers, Golf Digest: Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland (+650, DraftKings) — By far the two best players in this field. If they are on their games, they could win by five-plus strokes. But you are out of your mind if you’re betting a sub-7-1 favorite in a format that Scott Piercy and Jonas Blixt have been winners of since it changed to team play. Bombs away this week.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland (+650, DraftKings) — I will be going nowhere near favorites that rank 95th and 133rd in the field this week for SG/putting on Bermuda greens over the past two years.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Matchups
Caddie: Sungjae Im and Ben An (-110) over Keegan Bradley/Brendan Steele (DraftKings) — I know Steeley and Keegs are great buddies, but man … you need some hot putters in the team format. And … that’s not exactly either of their strong suits.
Mayo: Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman (+105) over Collin Morikawa and Viktor Hovland (DraftKings) — Where's the love for the Aussies?
Gdula: Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter (-118) over Harold Varner III and Bubba Watson (FanDuel) — Lowry’s super hot right now, and Poulter’s short-game has a lot of value on a team-play setup. Poulter, over the past year, has been better than Watson, and Lowry has easily been the best of the four.
Gehman: Graeme McDowell and Seamus Power (-120) over Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd (DraftKings) — McDowell and Power create a shockingly formidable pair for this week. McDowell has plenty of International team experience to lean on and he’s rarely going to play you out of a hole. That experience has created three straight top-25 finishes at this event. Power has really turned into a stout player on tour who has back-to-back top-10 finishes at the Zurich Classic. Now they team up and could apply a lot of pressure on the field.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman (+100) over Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele (Bet365) — The defending champs at plus money seems mighty tempting.
Powers, Golf Digest: Joaquin Niemann and Mito Pereira (-110) over Harold Varner III and Bubba Watson (DraftKings) — The vibes will be strong with Team Chile, and I’m not sure how much Varner will have in the tank after a few emotionally draining weeks at Augusta National and Harbour Town.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd (+100) over Patton Kizzire and JT Poston (Bet365) — I think Kirk and Todd are going to surprise some people this week. On the other hand, neither Kizzire nor Poston rank in the top 40 for SG/total over the last two months.
Matchup Results from the RBC Heritage: Caddie: 1 for 1 (Cantlay (-110) over Smith); Mayo: 1 for 1 (Morikawa (+105) over Thomas); Gdula: 1 for 1 (McCarthy (-126) over Frittelli); Gehman: 1 for 1 (Fleetwood (+100) over Kokrak); Powers: 1 for 1 (Morikawa (+105) over Thomas); Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Lowry (-120) over Conners); Hennessey: 0 for 1
Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Mayo: 17-4-4 (up 12.57 units); Powers: 14-8-3 (up 5.71 units); Caddie: 14-9-2 (up 4.42 units); Alldrick: 13-11-1 (up 0.02 units); Gehman: 9-12-4 (down 3.65 units); Gdula: 11-14-0 (down 3.77 units); Hennessey: 11-13-1 (down 5.16 units)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: Top 10s
Caddie: Will Zalatoris/Davis Riley (+275, DraftKings) — So much firepower here. Though they might have a bit too much inexperience to lift the trophy, they should put up birdies in bunches.
Mayo: Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (+700, DraftKings) — This squad has a proven track record together in this format and at this course.
Gdula: Talor Gooch and Max Homa (+210, FanDuel) — This is the third-most similar pairing, statistically, according to my data, and both are good drivers who can make birdies. It’s a really good recipe for success at a team event.
Gehman: Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd (+350, DraftKings) — These two offer complementary skill sets with Kirk handling the ball-striking categories and Todd handling the short-game categories. If they can stay on script in the alternate-shot format, they could be quite dangerous. They’ve also played together in this event before, helping with the experience side of things.
Hennessey, Golf Digest: Will Zalatoris/Davis Riley (+275, DraftKings) — I’m tailing our caddie on this one.
Powers, Golf Digest: Harry Higgs and Austin Smotherman (+900, DraftKings) — After a 14th at the Masters, Higgs played fine at Harbour Town but missed the cut on the number. Expect a bounce back in a format and atmosphere Higgs should thrive in, especially with his former SMU teammate Smotherman, who owns a pair of top 25s in 2022.
Alldrick, FanShare Sports: Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele (+330, DraftKings) — Tee to green, this duo is a dream combo this week. They both rank top 15 for SG/total on similar courses and both rank top 40 for SG/total over the last two months and Opportunities Gained. The only reason these two aren’t one of the favorites is due to their collectively poor putting on Bermuda greens. However, we can hope that one will have a warm putter this week.
Top-10 results from the RBC Heritage: Alldrick: 1 for 1 (Matt Kuchar +500); Everybody else: 0 for 1
Top-10 results from this season: Powers: 9 for 25 (up 29.55 units); Alldrick: 7 for 25 (up 26 units); Mayo: 4 for 25 (up 0.55 units); Gehman: 4 for 25 (down 4.3 units); Caddie: 6 for 25 (down 8.35 units); Hennessey: 4 for 25 (down 9.53 units); Gdula: 1 for 25 (down 21.6 units)
Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks 2022: One and Done
Gehman: Shane Lowry and Ian Poulter — Depending on your rules, you might have to burn either one or both of your golfers this week. I’m proceeding with the expectation of the latter. Over the last 24 rounds for both, Lowry and Poulter have gained 1.41 strokes per round to the field. That’s the best mark in the field. Lowry has been splendid from tee-to-green and can rely on his friend, Poulter, on the putting surfaces. Plenty of experience and good vibes coming from this pairing.
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.
Hennessey: Sam Burns and Billy Horschel — A perfect place to deploy Billy Horschel if you haven’t already.
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.
Powers: Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia — Unless you think these two Ryder Cuppers can contend in a major later this summer, this is a good spot to use them both.
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.
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.