Tuesday, 7 July 2015

John Deere Classic - Betting Analysis

Based on the statistics on Golf Predictor for the John Deere Classic, here is my analysis of the tournament for betting purposes. The analysis for fantasy golf or DFS golf would be similar, except of course at the top end, where picking the favourites makes more sense (if possible from a usage or salary point of view). Of course, you are free to disagree and log in to Golf Predictor to make your own informed choices for the tournament! 


As usual for this event, which is held the week before the Open Championship on a different continent, there aren’t a lot of big names in the field. While most of the top golfers are already in the British Isles honing their links course skills, Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson are the biggest names joining the event’s biggest supporter, Steve Stricker, in Illinois. The weather may be be a little wet on Friday and Saturday, but shouldn't be a major factor this week.

Form Golfers

Except for his blow out at the Players Championship, Jordan Spieth has had an incredible season, with his two major wins, three second places (one solo) and a tied third place finish. More recently, he’s coming off that Chambers Bay victory of course, but he also has second and third place finishes in his last four events. Zach Johnson, Kevin Kisner, Steven Bowditch, Robert Streb and Tony Finau also have good recent form. Of these, while being consistent, Finau hasn’t finished in the top five in his PGA Tour career yet. All the others have at least one top five in their last five events, one achieved without a putter for half of his final round (Streb at the Greenbrier Classic)!

Horses for the Course

Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson are the real course specialists, both with an impressive record over the last six seasons at TPC Deere Run. Stricker has had three consecutive wins here from 2009-2011 and backed it up with two top tens and a tied eleventh place finish since then. Johnson also has an amazing recent record on the course with a win in 2012, three runners up finishes (one solo) and a tied third place in the last six seasons. Of the guys with less course history, Jordan Spieth and Scott Brown both have two top seven finishes here in the last three seasons, with Spieth recording the first win of his already impressive career here in 2013.

Long Shots

Scott Brown has good course form and solid recent form, including one tied twelfth place finish. This makes him a good long shot pick. Chad Campbell has had two top fifteen finishes in the last two years here and is showing decent recent form, including a top ten in the FedEx St Jude Classic.


Based on their statistics, Steven Bowditch, Robert Streb and Tony Finau are the main undervalued golfers from the top echelon in the tournament. Lower down the order, Scott Brown and especially Chad Campbell are undervalued by the bookies.


Obviously, the bookies are very afraid of Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson and are priced to deter backers. The consistent Kevin Kisner doesn’t offer much value either. Justin Thomas is very overvalued, especially in light of his meltdown last Sunday at the Greenbrier Classic. Defending champion Brian Harman is also somewhat overvalued as the bookies are putting too much stock in his win last year and his third place finish last time out at the Travelers Championship.


Both Jordan Spieth and Zach Johnson have great stats, but they are priced accordingly. Spieth is available at a prohibitively low price of around 4/1. Zach Johnson is not much better, available at around 10/1 with most bookies. Part timer Steve Stricker hasn’t been playing enough or well enough this season, so he is available at a more generous 30/1. He has been off the boil recently and is thus hard to back, despite his great record at TPC Deere Run. Serial play-off loser Kevin Kisner has been knocking on the door lately, but at around 16/1 his price isn’t very attractive. Tony Finau (about 40/1) has had good recent form, without placing at any event and his length won’t be a huge advantage on this average length course.

The golfers who offer good value for an each way bet based on their stats are Robert Streb, Steven Bowditch, Scott Brown and Chad Campbell. Streb (around 33/1 to 40/1) and Bowditch (around 50/1) know how to win, have good recent form and are available at decent prices. Bowditch has had top twelve finishes in the last two years here, while Streb has had two solid, if not spectacular, results at the event. As for the long shots, Scott Brown has good course form and solid recent form, including one twelfth place finish, thus making him a good pick at around 66/1. Punters wishing to push the boat out a little further should consider Chad Campbell, who is available at around 100/1, despite having similar recent and/or course stats to many of the more fancied players.

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