The Zurich Classic has been on the calendar since 1938. After nearly 80 years as a solo tournament, this was changed to a team event in 2017 in order to stir some post-Masters interest and it has largely been a success.
Four teams of two play alternating foursomes and fourballs across the tournament and, while the biggest players tend to sit it out, there is a strong field down in New Orleans. The golf betting community has also welcomed the changes so let’s see if we can pick out some winners this week.
Leading the Zurich Classic outright betting odds market by a narrow margin are the Australian pair of Jason Day and Adam Scott (+650 with Bovada). The Aussies lead the Power Rankings, largely due to a dominant performance back in 2013 when they took out the World Cup of Golf.
Day and Scott have been paired together since that triumph but this is their debut at the Zurich classic.
Just behind the favorites are Tommy Fleetwood and Sergio Garcia (+750). Fleetwood was tied for fourth year last year when playing with Chris Paisley and while backers may have preferred to see Francesco Molinari teeing up, Sergio will clearly be a formidable partner.
The two Patricks – Reed and Cantlay – kick off the chasing pack at 12/1 and this is a solid pairing who have appeared in each of the previous team events here. With top 10 finishes in both, they will attract plenty of interest at a generous price.
Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer (18/1) follow and while this might seem like an unlikely pairing, it is one that has stirred our interest. They look to have games that will complement each other and both are in decent individual form coming into Thursday.
Behind Rahm and Palmer we now come to the defending champions. Billy Horschel and Scott Piercy (16/1) took out the Zurich Classic in 2018 by one stroke over Jason Dufner and Pat Perez and they have decent backing for a successful defence.
Piercy is in good individual form with a tie for third at the RBC Heritage on Sunday while for Horschel, last year’s win was his second in this event. The 32 year old claimed a solo win in the Zurich Classic back in 2013.
Other pairs worth mentioning in this middle division include another unlikely partnership in Bubba Watson and JB Holmes (16/1). Explosion and precision will be their key to success and it is hard to find golfers with more different approaches.
We also have Henrik Stenson and Graeme McDowell (18/1) while the pairing of Tony Finau and Kyle Stanley (20/1) should be the most powerful off the tees.
Only two pairs have won this event so it may be surprising to see Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt (40/1) as one of the outsiders in the Zurich Classic odds this week. The Swede and Aussie won in a playoff in 2017 and their opponents, Scott Brown and Kevin Kisner (33/1) are also back and in contention this year.
The Koepka brothers, Brooks and Chase (33/1), could also be worth a small wager while the 2018 runners up, Dufner and Perez (50/1), are also back together in a strong overall field.
Our Preview’s Zurich Classic Course & Betting Trends with Picks & Predictions Verdict
We are back at TPC Louisiana down in Avondale, New Orleans on a par 72 course with a healthy distance of 7,425 yards. Distance off the tee may be a factor and with wide fairways throughout, the likes of Finau, Bubba Watson and Brooks Koepka can load up and fire with relative safety.
This is only the third renewal of the Zurich Classic so there is little to look back on in terms of trends. Favorites haven’t prevailed but American pairings have dominated the top 10 placings to an extent.
It may help to find a partnership that has experience of playing together and that is why the defending champions Horschel and Piercey are attracting interest this week. Ryder Cup success could also be a pointer in the case of Garcia and Fleetwood but we are really looking for players who complement each others’ game.
With that in mind, Rahm and Palmer are our Zurich Classic predictions for success this week. Form is sound for both men and individually, they have key stats that can lead to a trophy and some useful FedEx points.
The nature of the tournament means that we may not see much in the way of top 10 finish options but we will add a couple of picks to consider.
- Jon Rahm & Ryan Palmer to win @ best odds of 18/1 with BetOnline. This pair are generally 16/1 with the other major online American sportsbooks.
- If the bookies ever offer any top 10 finish markets on this event, and Bovada would be the most likely candidate, then bet on the pairs of Brooks Koepka / Chase Koepka and Billy Horschel / Scott Piercy.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.