2024 Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches Betting: Picks, Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

2024 Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches Betting: Picks, Odds, Predictions and Best Bets

This article is part of our Golf Picks series.

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches Betting Preview

The Florida Swing is next up on the schedule, and it begins in Palm Beach Gardens with the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches -- formerly The Honda Classic -- at PGA National. 

It's the first of four events being held in the Sunshine State, and the field is noticeably stronger this year, with four top-20 players in the Official World Golf Ranking on hand, a group headlined by former champion and tournament favorite Rory McIlroy, who is listed at 13-2 odds and will be making his first appearance in this event since 2018. 

Last year, Chris Kirk -- at 25-1 -- defeated Eric Cole on the first playoff hole and picked up his fifth PGA Tour victory. 

All odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 6:00 PM ET Tuesday.

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Course Characteristics

Par-71, 7,147 yards

Average Strokes Gained Rankings: Tournament Winners Since 2019

  • SG: Off-the-Tee: 10.2
  • SG: Approach: 9.2
  • SG: Around-the-Green: 16.0
  • SG: Putting: 23.8
  • SG: Tee-to-Green: 2.4
  • Driving Distance: 22.6
  • Driving Accuracy: 26.4

PGA National has been the host venue for this event since 2007 and is most known for the 15th-17th holes -- a stretch dubbed "The Bear Trap" in honor of Jack Nicklaus. It is a difficult three-hole stretch that includes a pair of par-3s over water that are sandwiched between a par-4 with water in play both off the tee and on approach. Simply, these holes can break a player's round. Off the tee, players aren't faced with a long golf course, as there are only three par-4s over 460 yards. Players will often lay up instead of using driver. As we can see from the stats above, a solid all-around game is needed, and the winner has ranked top-5 in SG: Tee-to-Green six straight years. In addition to well-rounded players, I'll be looking towards those who rank well in bogey avoidance and those that hit their irons well from 150-200 yards, as a lot of approach shots will be struck in that range. 

Proficient at PGA National

The following players, with a minimum of two appearances, have the lowest scoring average at PGA National over the last five years.

After making the cut in his first four trips to PGA National with a best finish of only T21, Lowry took his game to another level here the last two years with a runner-up result in 2022 and a T5 last year. He's had a slow start to 2024 with a best result of T25, but he typically plays well during the Florida Swing and offers nice value at 35-1 odds. Defending champion Kirk also makes the list, and his victory here last year wasn't a fluke. He was trending in that direction with a T25 in 2021 and a top-10 the following year. Kirk wasted no time to start the year, winning in Hawaii. He has cooled off, but he should be well-rested at a course that fits his game very well. 

Tee-to-Green Titans

These golfers, on a per-round basis, gained the most strokes from tee to green over their last 20 rounds.

McIlroy tops the list despite a slow stateside start to the year with results of T66 and T24, but perhaps a non-Signature event is what he needs to get going. The 2012 champion at PGA National also finished T2 here two years later. His driving dominance isn't rewarded as much here as it is at other Tour stops, but he's amazingly the only golfer priced better than 22-1. Another player who has had a slow start to the year results-wise is Glover. His tee-to-green game is still in good form but the putter has gone cold again. He has played this course plenty of times as a nearby resident and made the cut in five of his last six trips with a best finish of a share for fourth. Glover is a dark horse at 80-1 to win.  

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches: Outright Bets

Eric Cole (25-1)

Cole was relatively unknown before nearly winning here last year, and with five top-5 finishes since it's only a matter of time before he picks up his first PGA Tour victory. He's a solid 25th in SG: Total this season, and his lack of distance off the tee isn't much of a detriment at PGA National.

Byeong Hun An (28-1)

I know it's still early in the year, but An is 21st in SG: Tee-to-Green and is gaining shots in every Strokes Gained category. His track record here includes a pair of top-5s across five appearances. Combine that with two top-5s this year and you have someone who should find himself in contention this week.

Adam Svensson (40-1)

Svensson's course history doesn't jump off the page, but he has made the cut in all three tries and led the field in SG: Tee-to-Green en route to a T9 result here two years ago. His all-around game plays well here, and he's coming off a top-10 in a Signature Event two weeks ago.

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches: Top-10 Wagers

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (11-2)

Bezuidenhout continues to trend in a positive direction, gaining over a stroke per round on approach in five consecutive tournaments. That's led to three top-25s through five starts this year, highlighted by a runner-up at The American Express last month.

Taylor Pendrith (17-2)

Pendrith disappointed a lot of golf bettors last week, but this isn't the time to abandon ship, as he bounced back from his last three missed cuts with top-10 results. He made the cut in both of his prior trips to PGA National.

Robert MacIntyre (10-1)

MacIntyre broke out of his slump in Mexico with a T6 finish in which he was third in SG: Off-the-Tee and 15th in approach -- a testament to his ball striking capabilities. He tends to be hit-or-miss, often missing the cut or finding himself near the top of the leaderboard. At these odds, the risk factor is more than priced in.

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches: Head-to-Head Matchups

Denny McCarthy (-120) over Alex Noren

I'm still looking for my first outright winner of the year, but the matchup bets chugged along with another 2-0 showing in Mexico. I'll start this week with McCarthy, one of many golfers who reside in nearby Jupiter. Unsprisingly, he knows the course and conditions well. He finished tied for third here in 2021 and is in better form than Noren, who has a best result of T25 across four starts this year.

Luke List (-110) over Tom Hoge

I know that Hoge has been playing well to begin the year, but this is a course that doesn't seem to fit his eye, as he skipped this event the last two years after missing the cut in four straight appearances. On the other hand, List is in good form following a T2 result at Riviera, and he notched a runner-up here back in 2018.

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Ryan Pohle
Ryan Pohle is a DFS Product Specialist at RotoWire and has written for the site since 2020.
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