Read The Line Betting Breakdown: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Read The Line Betting Breakdown: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

This article is part of our Golf Picks series.

Full article available at Read The Line.

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: 1 + 1 = 31!

It has always been our goal to find creative ways to win. RTL takes great pride in covering the men's and women's game from a betting perspective. Combining our knowledge of both tours to come away with a +3000 win on the two best players in the world is really rewarding. Now the cash is nice, but this win exemplifies our mission to get everyone excited about golf betting. Take a little of that extra cash and go play 9-holes this week. Buy a range bucket, and work on your own Scottie shuffle. The best part about betting on golf is that you can go enjoy the game after you win!

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: TPC teams

Life on the PGA TOUR is quite funny at times. The Masters is one of the easiest 36-hole cuts to make, major championship or otherwise. Following Augusta National, 69 of the game's elite just played a guaranteed 72-hole no cut cash grab on Hilton Head Island. Now we travel to New Orleans for the Zurich Classic. This annual event brings together 80 teams of PGA TOUR(?) professionals. We go from 69 guys last week in the low country to 160 guys in Louisiana! Even better, only the top 33 teams and ties will make it to the weekend to compete for $8.9 million dollars.

If you asked me to help make sense of it all, I just can't. Chances are the schedule will just change again in 2025 when we figure this calendar of events out. Meanwhile, take this week for what it is, a unique opportunity. We will limit our exposure and make the most of live betting. The ladies also have a fantastic event to bet and with a Nelly WD on Monday the field suddenly has a chance. Cue the walk-up music and enjoy some of the pairings the PGA TOUR's battle in the bayou is about to get started.

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: TPC Bayou

A big part of successfully betting the Zurich is understanding the format. This is not a regular 72-hole stroke play event. The 80 teams of two will compete in a Fourball (better ball of partners) format on Thursday in round one. On Friday, the teams switch to Foursomes (alternate shot). Those who make the cut and compete over the weekend for the first-place prize of $1.3 million dollars (each) will play the same two formats again. Saturday is Fourball, and Sunday is Foursomes. These are the same two team formats you see in the Ryder Cup.

The team format began at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in 2017. Since then, the average winning score is 22 under par. With two separate formats, it is important to note how the winners got there. The last six winners average 16 under par in the Fourball format and six under par in Foursomes. Find the right alternate shot combination and you can make some serious cash. It's tough for a longshot to win in individual stroke play. Give everyone a partner, and the elite tend to take the title. The average winning odds of the seven champion teams is +3000.

The weather this week looks entertaining for a team battle. Temperatures are forecasted in the mid-80s and the only chance of rain comes on Sunday afternoon. The wind will be another story. Keep following the local weather through the link above, but as of now it is going to be breezy in the bayou. Round one starts in the mid-teens and then by Saturday we are going to see sustained winds in the 20-mph range and gusts into the 30s. Hold onto your hats as this Pete Dye design (2004) has 106 bunkers and eight holes where water comes into play.

TPC Louisiana has been the host venue dating back to 2005. Every team edition has been played here. The par 72 layout covers 7,425 yards. For the second week in a row, we have Pete Dye's diabolical mind to contend with. The most noticeable feature of this flat setting are the bunkers. In stark contrast to one another, you will see some of the largest and smallest sand hazards on TOUR. The greens are the fifth smallest on TOUR at an average of 5,225 sq/ft. Of course, these will look huge compared to the tiny targets at Harbour Town.

There's a fair amount of drama on this design. We have four par 4s over 470 and the average par 3 length is 215 yards! The final three holes have water in play to catch your attention and with all of these areas to avoid that wind prediction should play havoc on the oversized field. Good luck finishing any round on time unless they light up the eighteenth hole. Even though it is a tough test, team scoring pushes that cutline pretty deep. The average score to get inside the top 33 and ties is six under par.

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Teamwork makes the dream work

The science of predicting who will win a team event on the PGA TOUR is difficult. I can narrow down the field to best birdie makers, but in the end the biggest intangible is do these guys have chemistry on the course. We have witnessed it each year starting with the first team title when Jonas Blixt and Cam Smith won. The +10000 long shots blended their skill set perfectly to take home the trophy. Consider the annual favorites Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele. They are both great golfers, but alongside their OWGR skill is a competitive friendship. This is another reason why being on-site for so many weeks matters.

I see these guys interact with one another all around the facility. After three years, I can really start to tell who gets along with whom. The better your team chemistry, the better your chances are to perform. This is exactly why Tiger Woods never had a good partner in the Ryder Cup. How hard would it be to partner with Woods and live with the fear of letting him down. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry aren't worried about that. Our outrights will lead the field in strokes gained camaraderie.

Our outrights will also be birdie machines. The best Fourball players are aggressive scorers. That's not always the best type of player for individual events, but in this format, give me two guys who average more than four birdies per round. I want guys who lead the TOUR in opportunities gained and GIRs. Who tends to go for the par 5s in two and who can putt. Look at some of the recent winners. Cam Smith has won this event twice, Billy Horschel who can putt plays well here, and again Patrick and Xander.

We have four par 5s and four par 4s under 400 yards. Those eight holes require solid scrambling skills to score. Short game skill will lead to birdies in bunches and that's my secret weapon. Guys who build their weekly birdie average by pitching the ball and using their wedges adeptly. A little acumen from close range and you can make more sub-par scores. My last key is putting from close range. The best way to separate from the field is during Foursomes. The toughest skill in alternate shot is making the last putt.

In most cases, the guy who has to knock in that testy five-footer did not hit the approach putt or chip prior. Without any feel, you must make your short putts. We see it year after year. The best putters perform better in alternate shot. Securing those short strokes keeps the team chemistry positive and your group in contention. It sounds simple, but finding the right combination between two PGA TOUR alpha players is tough. I know these teams are tight and therefore lead our betting card in the bayou.

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Outright Winners

Tom Hoge Maverick McNealy (+2500)

The complementary skill set between Hoge and McNealy has to catch your attention.

  • Both are playing well, Hoge the 36-hole leader at RBC and McNealy finished ninth at THE PLAYERS.
  • Hoge leads the field in approach and Mav's short game and scrambling skill will lead to sub-par scores.
  • Both men are ranked top-10 in SG: Total for the field.

Adam Hadwin Nick Taylor  (+2800)

Hadwin and Taylor are ranked top-5 in the field for team chemistry.

  • Taylor has won twice in the last 11 months.
  • Hadwin is a sneaky good birdie guy. He's top 15 in the field for BoB% and birdies gained.
  • Nick's approach game and ball striking will give Adam more birdie chances than he is used to seeing.
  • These two finished runners-up a year ago.

For tips and picks, check out Read The Line!

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