When it comes to golf betting, this may be one of the trickier weeks of the PGA Tour season.
With the Scottish Open and the British Open taking place over the next two weeks, many top players are opting to skip this week’s John Deere Classic. After Daniel Berger withdrew Monday, only two of the top 75 players in the world golf rankings are in the field – Webb Simpson and Christiaan Bezuidenhout.
So, without the benefit of the top players in the world teeing it up, which players are the public betting on?
It appears recency bias is taking over at the BetMGM online sportsbook as Sahith Theegala is generating the most tickets (10.9%) and handle (15.4%) as of Tuesday.
Theegala had a one-shot lead heading into his final hole at the Travelers Championship last weekend but made a double-bogey to finish in a tie for second place. In the group behind him, Xander Schauffele made a birdie to pick up his first PGA Tour win since 2019.
This was Theegala’s second close call of the season. He finished in a tie for third place at the WM Pheonix Open back in February following a costly bogey on the 17th hole on Sunday.
It isn’t just coming into the week in good form where backing Theegala makes sense; it’s also the course fit. TPC Deer Run is very similar to TPC River Highlands, where he shot 67 or below all four days last week.
Both courses have tight tree lines and place a premium on ball-striking while yielding a lot of birdies. A number of players have had success on both courses, including Jordan Spieth, who has won at them both.
Theegala ranks 71st in birdie average per round (3.77) this season, but that is one of the best in the field this week.
Simpson is also a top play, pulling in the second-most tickets (5.4%) and handle (9.3%). In addition, he’s the highest-ranked player in the field (No. 58) and seems close to 100% after missing several events earlier in the year due to a neck injury.
The 36-year-old has three top-30 finishes in his last four events, including a solid T-13 last week at the Travelers Championship. His 69.64 scoring average this year ranks 41st on Tour.
When it comes to golf odds to win, Theegala is +2500 after opening at +3300, while Simpson is the favorite at +1400.
Current Handle & Tickets
Hadwin (+1800) is generating some solid action as the second favorite. He is coming off a T-7 finish at the U.S. Open and has a decent track record at TPC Deer Run.
Lucas Glover (+5000) is the defending champion, finishing with a final score of 19-under. The finishing score has been 18-under or better every year since 2008.