Once again, last week’s CJ Cup showed exactly why golf betting can be highly profitable. Jason Kokrak took home the outright win at 80/1. To the average golf watcher that bet seems like a fool's bet. To us avid golf followers, we knew that Kokrak was trending in the right direction for the past month and seeing him take home the hardware was no surprise. Congratulations to Jason on the great start to the season. Now onto the ZOZO Championship.
Tiger Woods will be defending his title at the ZOZO and looking for his 83rd win in his illustrious career. The last time we saw Tiger tee it up was at the U.S. Open where he missed the cut. This week he comes in at 33/1 on DK Sportsbook. Those odds seem high for Tiger right? Not so fast, this field rivals a major championship in strength. Seventy-eight golfers will be battling this week out in a no-cut event to see if they can steal that trophy away from the Big Cat.
Jon Rahm who was the odds on favorite to win the CJ Cup at 10/1. He comes in again this week as the favorite at 10/1. Followed up by covid-free Dustin Johnson at 11/1, and coming off a 2nd place finish last week Xander Schauffele rounding out the top bets at 11/1.
The next tier has some juicy bets to heavily consider. Starting with Webb Simpson at 18/1, Colin Morikawa at 20/1, and since this course has comparisons to Augusta Patrick Reed at 25/1 is enticing.
Will any of these golfers make our top picks this week to bet at DraftKings Sportsbook? Keep on reading to get the Best Bets and more...
The Breakdown: ZOZO Championship
Dates: October 15th-18th
Course: Sherwood Country Club
Let’s take a look at the current odds from DK Sportsbook, as well as the best bets and more.
2020 ZOZO Championship Predictions and Best Bets
Alex White, SI Gambling and DFS Analyst (@coachwhitedfs)
***Always hedge your outright bets with a Top 5, Top 10, or Top 20 bet.***
BEST BETS TO WIN
Jon Rahm +1000
It may not be exciting to take the favorite to win, but he’s the favorite for a reason. Rahm has been exceptional on Tour for the last 4 months. The main two reasons I will be betting Rahm this weekend.
- This course has comparisons to Augusta. I believe Rahm wins the Masters this year and if I’m betting him there why wouldn’t I want action here?
- This course has five par 5’s. In a no cut event. That means Jon Rahm will have 20 realistic chances at a birdie or an eagle. He ranks 5th overall in par 5 scoring in this field. Do the math.
Collin Morikawa +2000
The California Kid is back in his home state. The last tournament he played in Cali he took home a win at the PGA Championship. Last week he managed a respectable 12th place finish in Las Vegas. That was his B game. He lost two strokes on the greens, and lost .3 strokes off the tee. If he can find the flat stick for a few days he will be in the mix on Sunday. The odds are more than fair for a golfer that rarely misses cuts and has winning upside every time he tees it up.
BEST VALUE PLAY
Daniel Berger +3000
Berger mustered up a 28th place finish at the CJ Cup after nearly a month off. That tournament was just his tune-up for this week. In his last 10 events, he has only one missed the cut, a win, three top 3 finishes, and no worse than a 34th place finish. The floor and ceiling do not match the price. Fire him up with confidence.
Cameron Smith +9000
Cameron is a streaky golfer that defines the term “boom or bust”. However, he has made his last nine cuts. His short game has been exceptional recently gaining strokes on and around the greens in his last three events. The key this week will be keeping the ball in the fairway. If he can find the short grass with his big stick he should give himself plenty of birdie chances to be in the mix on Sunday. Last year he took home 3rd place at the ZOZO.
Favorite Top 5 Bet
Tony Finau +550
Finau rises to the level of the field strength he plays in. He loves a challenge and brings his best game on Bentgrass greens. This is a prime top 5 spot for Finau. The only reason I didn’t bet him outright is the fact that he hasn’t played since the U.S. Open.
Ben Heisler, SI Gambling & Fantasy Analyst / Editor (@bennyheis)
BEST BETS TO WIN
Webb Simpson +1800
I’ll likely back Simpson this week on both DraftKings and also on DraftKings Sportsbook where his odds currently sit at just 18/1.
Sherwood plays shorter than traditional courses at just over 7,000 yards, giving guys that aren’t necessarily bombers off the tee a bit more of a competitive playing field. Simpson’s best performances since the restart have been at Harbour Town when he won the RBC Heritage and a T3 at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield, both shorter, more unique courses that reward accuracy on the driver and great iron play.
Simpson has three top 10 finishes in his last five events and hasn’t finished worse than T13 in his last five events. He also currently ranks 2nd in strokes gained: short game and SG: around-the-green. He’s also T8 in SG: putting and sets up exceptionally well for this tournament.
BEST VALUE PLAY(S)
Russell Henley +5500 & Joaquin Niemann +4000
Likely one of the chalkiest of chalk plays in DFS this week, Henley heads to Sherwood fresh off a T3 at the CJ Cup, and the third top 10 finish in his last five tournaments.
If you’re looking for a reason to talk yourself out of Henley, maybe it’s the fact that he gained an absurd NINE STROKES GAINED putting last weekend. But if you’re looking to talk yourself out of talking yourself out, he’s back on bentgrass greens for yet another week.
As for Niemann, he’s starting to get into one of his grooves where you consider rostering him in almost any circumstance. He’s improved in four consecutive tournaments: 27th at the Tour Championship, 23rd at the U.S. Open, 13th at the Shriners and T6 at the CJ Cup in Vegas, and had his best SG: total number (10.4) since his 5th place finish at the RBC Heritage in June. He’s absolutely locked in.
Sebastian Munoz +9000
There are no real flaws in Munoz’s game, at least right now. He’s no worse than 40th when it comes to any strokes gained category (SG: approach) and comes in 22nd in SG: total despite being in one of the lowest tiers for the tournament. Munoz still comes in sixth in SG: around-the-green and finished 9th at the CJ Cup last week. More importantly, Munoz has been excellent the last three weeks at bogey avoidance. Last week at the CJ Cup, he came in at 6.9 Bogeys Avoided over the course of the tournament.
Brendon Todd +10000
Todd’s game suits this course perfectly. He’s insanely accurate off the tee, a terrific putter and typically very solid with his irons.
Nothing worked well for him last week at the CJ Cup, but this is a spot where I like going back to him at over 100/1 odds. If he can start getting back to hitting greens in regulation (GIR), I think he has a chance to surprise a lot of folks this week.
Roy Larking, SI Gambling & Fantasy Contributor (@StatsGuru6)
BEST BET TO WIN
Tyrrell Hatton (+1800)
Looking past the top four favorites at DraftKings - Tyrell Hatton is my top play in the ZOZO Championship this week. Despite shooting a 73 during the third round, Hatton finished T3 at the CJ Cup last week. He ranked second in SG: Tee-To-Green at Shadow Creek and that skill set is a key to victory at the Sherwood Country Club. Prior to that, he posted a four-stroke victory over a strong field at the European Tour BMW PGA Championship in England. Hatton is looking for his second PGA Tour victory after he won the Arnold Palmer Invitation back in March.
BEST VALUE PLAY
Collin Morikawa (+2000)
Following two missed cuts, at the U.S. Open and Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Morikawa finished T12 at the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek in Las Vegas last week. Morikawa returns to his home state for the first time since he won the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco back in August. He finished the 2019-20 PGA season with two victories, seven Top-10 results and he made the cut 19 times over 21 tournaments played.
TOP 10 FINISH
Webb Simpson (+175)
A consistent contender, Simpson has finished T13 or better during his last five tournaments. That includes Top-10 finishes at the Wyndham Championship (T3), the Northern Trust (T6) and the U.S. Open (T8). He finished T13 with a -17 (267) at Shriners Hospitals for Children Open during his last start two weeks ago. Simpson has added power to his game to go along with precision shot making and putting skills. Accuracy over distance will be key this week at the Sherwood Country Club.
FAVORITE MATCHUP PLAY
Tiger Woods (-125) over Rickie Fowler (+100)
Tiger Woods vs. Rickie Fowler is one of many head-to-head matchup props on the ZOZO Championship betting board at the DraftKings Sportsbook. Woods hasn’t played since missing the cut at the U.S. Open in September. Fowler finished T49 at Winged Foot, missed the cut at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and finished T28 at the CJ Cup last week. While the course has been modified - the venue plays into this pick. Woods posted five wins, plus finished second five times, during 14 Hero World Challenge events played at the Sherwood Country Club between 2000 and 2013.