Fantasy/Gambling Insights

(all lines courtesy, the Official Bookmaker of

Horses for Courses

Zach Johnson (12/1) – Ridiculous odds, but his history here is also comical. Four top 3 finishes here in the last five years, including a victory in 2012, and a runner up in a playoff a year ago.

Chris Kirk (25/1) – Showed flashes of brilliance a week ago, and we feel like he can take advantage of the weaker field this week and really rack up some birdies. Still hasn’t missed a cut this year!

Chris Stroud (33/1) – not much history at this event, but in great form with a T4 last week and a T18 the start before. Is sneaky high (to some perhaps) in the FedEx (41st) and OWGR (75th). Looking for that breakthrough first Tour win. Seems a ripe time to grab it.

Value Fliers

Billy Hurley (50/1) – T-4 a week ago at Greenbrier, and a T8 two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans, on top of his T8 in his last start here in 2012. A rough Sunday clouded what was really a special week for Hurley in West Virginia. We believe.

Luke Guthrie (50/1) – the books are all over this one, stripping most of the value off it, but at 50/1 it’s still worth a play. A home game of sorts for Luke (from Quincy, IL), he captured a T5 here in 2012 in just his second career PGA Tour start. He has top-50 OWGR game, but is struggling to find it and sustain it. A decent result last week in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia could portend very good things this week.

Scott Langley (80/1) – this is like the Guthrie Lite play this week. He’s an Illinois grad (born in Barrington, IL) who’s been in pretty good form lately (T11 at Travelers, T26 at Greenbrier) and has some starts at this event under his belt (including a T33 last year). If you’re feeling really spry, go ahead and throw him and Luke in an exacta box.

Morgan Hoffman (125/1) – Another young guy with lots of game who would fit really well as a first-time winner here. Finished T15 last year here in his first start. Drives it long (40th in distance) and putts it well (18th in strokes gained putting), can he dial in the wedges and take it low all week? Although from New Jersey, his time spent at Oklahoma State earns him bonus ‘Midwestern’ points.

Hudson Swafford (150/1) – Dude needs to justify his presence in that Bridgestone TV spot ASAP. He’s in decent form of late (T24 at Travelers, T11 at Quicken, and T52 at the Greenbrier), having been undone by a couple Sunday 74’s in the latter two. Upside, pedigree (trained in that UGA stable), and decent form. Smells like a flier to me.

The Fringe

  • Angel Cabrera winning a non-major last week was downright shocking. And if we’re being honest, a bit disappointing. I liked the idea of Angel ripping cigs, not giving a damn, and showing up now and then to bank majors. Winning a non-major almost makes it seem like he cares a bit too much.
  • JD Classic using it’s exemptions on some college standouts – good to see.
  • Louis Oosthuizen ain’t playing this year, which is notable only because his two passions are John Deere tractors and farming. Probably too viscerally overwhelming for him.
  • Since 2008, tournament organizers have chartered a flight leaving Sunday evening and flying non-stop to Great Britain for Open Championship participants. Affectionately known as ‘Air Deere,’ it’s a 767 that has lured many players who otherwise would have skipped the event to come play the Quad Cities. Pretty cool to think the vast majority of guys are playing this week for a seat on that bird. Do you over-pack in advance on the off chance of winning, or ball out in the Royal Liverpool pro shop if need be? Latter, for sure.
  • We joke about a lot of things, but this ain’t one of them–John Huston needs to be formally involved in the proceedings this week. I’m thinking at least something of an honorary wedge shot to start the event a la Arnie, Jack and Gary at Augusta. The guy won seven times on the PGA Tour, only one of those with a score worse than 13-deep! This guy practically invented the bird sanctuary. Long past time to honor him.
  • It’s worth noting that Big Dick Mast is listed last amongst the alternates again this week. I’m almost led to believe this guy is hoping for a wide-scale pandemic to wipe out half the field, as that’s really his only way in. For those unfamiliar, Mast has enjoyed moderate success on the Champions Tour over the last few years, harkening back to his STANDOUT 1990 season on the Ben Hogan Tour when he won three times. For someone headed into his mid-60’s, Dick is pretty cocksure about his skills.

“Half Mast”

Enjoy the week and catch us on twitter during coverage @NoLayingUp.