Rocket Mortgage Classic Betting Preview: Matchups

Rocket Mortgage Classic Logo - Detroit Golf Club

This is a slow week for the PGA Tour, not ‘88 Geo Metro slow but we can say that most of the worlds top twenty will not be in the field this week.

Dustin Johnson, though, will be there and is the overwhelming favorite at 6 to 1 odds.

The “Iron Man” Hideki Matsuyama and “The Pastel Pompadour” Rickie Fowler are up there as well at 12-1 odds to win.

US Open winner Gary “Hard” Woodland follows them on the betting sheet.

Every other golfer in the field is at least +2500 to win beginning with last week’s champ at The Travelers Championship, Chez Reavie.

I want to do things a little different this week and focus solely on some matchup bets for one golfer to simply outplay another.

Easy, right?

One guy just has to do better than one golfer, not the entire field.

Well, not that simple.

The sportsbooks know what they are doing and make each potential wager more difficult than it could be.

The nerve of some people!

This is the inaugural playing of the Rocket Mortgage Classic and it will be held, surprisingly, in Detroit Rock City.

This will be the first of several tournaments that make up the Midwest Swing portion of the yearly PGA Tour before the best golfers in the world head to Northern Ireland for the 148th British Open in July.

There isn’t any course history at this week’s Detroit Golf Club but it is designed by a man who has put his stamp on several beautiful golf links golfers visit nearly every year.

I’ve used this info to guide us a bit but not entirely to steer the ship one way or the other.

Golf betting sites have provided us with some matchup odds.

Let’s grab a few and get that money.

Chez Reavie vs Billy Horschel

CHEZ REAVIE
-130
BILLY HORSCHEL
+110

Yea, yea…

I know what you’re going to say.

Chez is coming off of a win and this isn’t a big tournament so he’s probably going into chill mode, blah blah.

I’m not buying it. He has played well in spurts this season and he is 100% dialed at the moment.

Reavie tied for 3rd at the US Open at Pebble Beach two weeks ago and, of course, won the Travelers Championship from Hartford last week.

What was so impressive about that was not just him shooting 17 under par for the tournament but the fact that he was only 1 under on Sunday and still won by 4 strokes.

Billy, on the other side of the wager, doesn’t have any one thing he does particularly well ranking 50th or worse in almost every major statistical category including 125th in driving distance which is the one he needs, in my opinion, to outplay Reavie.

The reason these matchup odds are so close is that the sportsbooks are counting on Chez to fall out of his outstanding current form, not because Horschel is that much better.

Horschel has been on a nice run himself and rates out fairly well for this tournament.

It’s not an easy call, though, but I think the fact that Chez will be grouped with Dustin Johnson puts him over the top for me.

Johnson is top 3 in the world and Chez should be able to follow his lead at least for Thursday and Friday then hopefully continue throughout the weekend.

My Pick
Reavie to outplay Horschel

Ryan Moore vs Patrick Reed

RYAN MOORE
-110
PATRICK REED
-110

Patrick hasn’t cracked the top 25 in a PGA Tour event since early February.

Ryan Moore has a 2nd and a 3rd place finish under his belt this season and is coming off of a solid 15th at last week’s Travelers.

It’s hard to argue that Moore isn’t in better form and having a more productive season.

How do they stack up statistically, though?

Well, shots gained approach is probably the biggest statistic I’m looking for this week and it’s not even close.

Moore is 23rd and Reed way back at 135th.

Greens in regulation is also a key stat.

Moore is a respectable 58th.

Okay, not great but he gets it there.

Patrick Reed ranks 150th!

Baby-faced Pat is also 147th in driving accuracy while the UNLV Runnin’ Rebel Moore is 3rd!

Reed does outshine Moore in one statistical area this season and that’s shots gained around the green where he excels ranking 9th on the Tour and Ryan is way back at 93rd.

Overall statistically, though, and as well as current form, I have to give this one to Moore.

My Pick
Moore to outplay Reed

Bubba Watson vs Viktor Hovland

BUBBA WATSON
-120
VIKTOR HOVLAND
+100

Let’s wrap things up with a fun one!

It could go either way, really!

Bubba can appear to be one of the world’s best at times and as soon as you put your faith or in my case money into him, he looks like any other guy named Bubba out there.

Regarding his recent performances, he hasn’t cracked the top 30 in months.

That probably means he’s gonna come out to Detroit and dominate.

He is the antithesis of consistency and normally the former is what we look to avoid at all costs in the betting world.

I couldn’t help it, though.

You’ve got the wily veteran of 40 years old with multiple major championships already in his possession, and nothing really left to prove versus a very young rookie who is being touted as the next big thing.

Add in the fact that Bubba is a southern boy at heart from Florida and educated at the University of Georgia as well as Viktor being from Socialist Norway and this might as well be a movie.

I hope the same film came to mind.

Such a classic and both of these men are comedic geniuses.

Hey, if anything, at least you can add some storyline to this week’s tournament as there is zero course history for the PGA Tour at Detroit Golf Club.

If this turns out to be a bomb and gouge type of tournament, then Bubba Watson could win the whole thing.

He is definitely due for it!

Everyone is talking about Hovland because of his T-12 finish at the US Open.

Cool story, I guess.

He followed it up by placing 54th last week at The Travelers and hasn’t finished inside the top 30 in his other 4 events he appeared in this season including 2 missed cuts.

Watson can shape shots with the best of ‘em and his shots gained off the tee is second on Tour for the season.

I’m going with a guy who rates out here very very well, is waaay overdue, and has much more experience than the other golfer in this matchup wager.

My Pick
Watson to outplay Hovland

In Conclusion

This week is a quiet one, yes, but let’s make it interesting at least.

Many of the worlds best will not be in attendance but don’t let that stop you from betting, potentially making some money or just adding some much-needed excitement to this tournament.

Course history is huge for me when picking golfers to win, place, and matchup as well but that simply isn’t available at Detroit Golf Club.

That’s alright.

I tried to either go with the golfers who are in great form like Chez Reavie, of course, guys who rate out here well like Bubba Watson, or someone like Ryan Moore who has been statistically dominant over his “opponent” for the whole year.

Sit back with a few cold ones in your recliner after a frustrating morning 18 holes you played yourself or enjoy your own grass from a satisfying mow, and let’s win some money in the “New Detroit”.

Mike Pruitt / author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.