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John Deere Classic: Preview, Prop Picks, Best Bets

With only 70 players qualifying for the FedEx Cup Playoffs this year, several tournaments are enjoying stronger fields than they typically see. That includes this week’s John Deere Classic, which features nine players ranked in the top 50 in the world for the first time since 2012. But with none of them ranked in the top 15, it still creates an excellent opportunity for those trying to make a push with five weeks to go before the playoffs.

Our golf experts preview the event that begins Thursday at TPC Deere Run, and provide their favorite prop picks along with best bets to win.

JOHN DEERE CLASSIC Location: Silvis, Ill., July 6-9 Course: TPC Deere Run (Par 71, 7,289 yards) Purse: $7.4M (Winner: $1.332M) Defending Champion: J.T. Poston FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm

HOW TO FOLLOW TV: Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS) Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7:45 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Twitter: @JDClassic

PROP PICKS –Cameron Young to Finish Top 10 (+210 at DraftKings): Young’s results of late haven’t been great — a pair of missed cuts preceding a T57 at the RBC Canadian Open, a T32 at the U.S. Open and a T60 at the Travelers. However, he insists his game is in good shape and that he was a bad two-hole stretch on Sunday away from being in contention at the end of the U.S. Open. He’s the top-ranked player in this field at No. 19, and should be able to eat up a course primed for low scoring.

–Russell Knox to be Top Scot (+100 at BetMGM): This is essentially a player matchup with Martin Laird (-125) the only other Scot in the field. Both veterans are multiple-time winners on the PGA Tour who have fallen on rough times inside the ropes. Laird has plummeted to 254th in the world while missing 11 of 15 cuts this year. Knox has also seen his ranking fall to No. 244 as he has failed to reach the weekend in 10 of 17 events in 2023. However, he has made three of his past four cuts, including top-50 finishes the past two weeks.

–Christiaan Bezuidenhout to Beat Byeong Hun An (-105 at DraftKings): Neither player is flashing great form of late. An has missed a pair of cuts following a string of three consecutive top-25s. Bezuidenhout followed a missed cut at the Travelers with a T56 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. However, he did tie for second at TPC Deere Run last year while An failed to make the weekend. On a course that requires going low, Bezuidenhout posted four consecutive rounds in the 60s last year.

2023 Prop Picks Record: 28-40-2

BEST BETS –Denny McCarthy (+1400 at BetMGM) finished T6 last year and has three top-10s in his past six starts. That includes losing in a playoff to Viktor Hovland at the Memorial and a T6 at the Travelers Championship, where he set the 36-hole scoring record before finishing seventh. McCarthy is +1600 at BetMGM, where he leads the book with 10 percent of the total bets and 11 percent of the money backing him to win.

–Russell Henley (+1400) was the 2019 runner up at the event and is the second highest-ranked player in the field at No. 29. With the same odds at DraftKings, Henley is third with 8 percent of the money backing him.

–Cameron Young (+1800) continues to chase that elusive maiden PGA Tour victory. He’s making his tournament debut and is third at BetMGM with 6.9 percent of the total bets and 8.3 percent of the money backing him. He has been even more popular at DraftKings, drawing 10 percent of the bets and 9 percent of the money at +1600.

–Ludvig Aberg (+2500) is making his ninth career PGA Tour start and was tied for third last week before a closing 72 dropped him to T40.

–Emiliano Grillo (+2800) won the Charles Schwab Challenge earlier this year and finished T2 at the 2022 John Deere Classic.

–Taylor Moore (+2800) is coming off a T4 last week and the Valspar Championship winner is 20th in the FedEx Cup standings.

–Adam Hadwin (+2800) is riding a wave of momentum after losing in a playoff to Rickie Fowler last Sunday. He leads the way at BetMGM with 7.6 percent of the total bets backing him.

–Eric Cole (+3300) is BetMGM’s biggest liability this week, drawing 10.0 percent of the total money to win. Cole has yet to win on tour but has rocketed from 434th in the world to start the 2022-23 season to No. 74.

–J.T. Poston (+4500) offers intriguing longshot odds. He won wire-to-wire last year and is trying to become the fourth player to successfully defend a title this season.

NOTES –U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson (+10000) has made the cut 14 consecutive times at the event. He can tie Jay Delsing’s tournament record of 18 cuts made this week. –Peter Kuest (+6600) is in the field following his top-10 last week as a Monday qualifier. With a two-way tied for 76th or better, Kuest would earn Special Temporary Membership for the rest of the season.

–2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Individual Champion Gordon Sargent (+8000) is in the field on a sponsor exemption. He needs four points to become the first player to secure his card via the PGA Tour University Accelerated. He would receive one point for making the cut and another for a top-10 finish. Sargent will also receive two points for competing in the 2023 Walker Cup at St. Andrews in September.

–Michael Kim (+6600) holds the tournament scoring record of 27-under 257 set in 2018.

–Field Level Media


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