We told you we all actually had a chance to win last week with no Scottie Scheffler in the field, and we were damn close to being right. Our experts had Davis Thompson and Min Woo Lee, two of the runners-up, as well as Cameron Young, who let one slip away. Unfortunately, nobody had Cam Davis, who hadn’t posted a top 10 since October.

But at least we were on the right track. And now we have another Scottie-less field at the John Deere Classic. Another prime opportunity to cash a ticket. Oh, right, also another prime opportunity for a breakthrough winner on the PGA Tour. We have some candidates.

Our betting panel is comprised of a caddie reporting anonymously from the grounds of TPC Deere Run, Pat Mayo of Underdog/Mayo Media Network, Brandon Gdula of numberFire/FanDuel, Andy Lack of RunPureSports.com, your two authors and Keith Stewart, the CEO of Read The Line. Stewart, our newest member of the panel, is our new betting content partner as well.

Scroll down to see who we like this week at the 2024 John Deere Classic

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John Deere Classic picks 2024: Our Experts’ Outright Predictions

Anonymous Caddie Picker of the week: Sungjae Im (14-1, BetMGM) — The class of these players—Sungjae is strutting around with confidence again, which is a dangerous thing for the rest of the field. If he’s figured out his wedges, he might run away with this tournament.

Pat Mayo, Underdog/Fantasy National, Mayo Media Network analyst: Sungjae Im (14-1, BetMGM) — Like caddie said, the clear class of this field who also happens to be playing some really strong golf as of late, with five top-12 finishes in his last seven starts.

Brandon Gdula, FanDuel/numberFire managing editor: Sepp Straka (16-1, FanDuel) — Straka has the accuracy and tee-to-green game to play TPC Deere Run well, so it’s not a surprise that he won here last year. He enters with positive strokes-gained/approach in eight straight events and ranks sixth among the field in that stat over the last 50 rounds, per datagolf. The form and fit are there.

Keith Stewart, Read The Line: Sungjae Im (14-1, BetMGM) — At the start of the week, Sungjae Im was listed in the low 20s for betting odds at the John Deere Classic. He was my Monday target in the Odds Drop weekly article. Suddenly, Patrick Cantlay withdrew, and the betting board quickly realigned to have Im become the betting favorite. With four top-10 results in his last six starts, Sungjae is playing some impressive golf on non-major championship courses. TPC Deere Run is not a U.S. Open venue and therefore sets up perfect for his recent form. No stranger to scoring, Im has won in a birdie-fest before and is ranked top five in the field for strokes-gained/tee-to-green.

Stephen Hennessey, Golf Digest dep. managing editor: Davis Thompson (25-1, BetRivers) — It almost backfired last week with Akshay Bhatia—taking your chip off the roulette wheel when your guy is playing great, and he almost wins, is nightmare fuel. The Loop boys were all on Bhatia at TPC River Highlands, then he should’ve won last week. We got away with it. I won’t make the mistake with Davis Thompson here, who we sweated out to a T-2 finish. TPC Deere Run is another scoring fest, though you do have more trouble off the tee and around the greens. But DT’s in the top 20 in this field in SG/approach, SG/around the greens and birdie or better percentage. Not overthinking it.

Christopher Powers, Golf Digest senior writer: Maverick McNealy (28-1, DraftKings) — There is nothing I love more than a guy everybody was on last week and is now off because of a middling performance. McNealy fits that mold, having entered the Rocket Mortgage off a top 10 at the RBC Canadian Open but then finishing outside the top 40 in Detroit. I expect him to sharpen up those irons again and gain with the putter, as he always does. That’s the recipe that’s helped him finish inside the top 20 in back-to-back starts at the JDC. Let’s see if he can cook up a maiden victory this week.

Andy Lack, Run Pure Sports and Inside Golf podcast: Davis Thompson (25-1, DraftKings) — Coming off back-to-back top-10s at the U.S. Open and Rocket Mortgage Classic, Davis Thompson is playing some excellent golf at the moment, and he’s doing it a wide variety of golf courses. Thompson gained over 3.5 strokes in both ball-striking categories last week, and he feels primed as ever for the inevitable breakthrough.

Past results: The boys another bagged a major (!), and once again it was our anonymous caddie and Christopher Powers who cashed in. CP and our caddie have both hit the last two majors, Xander Schauffele at the PGA Championship (14-1) and Bryson DeChambeau at the U.S. Open (20-1). Our caddie now has four winners on the year, which leads the way. Pat Mayo has two while Stephen Hennessey has one (Akshay Bhatia at the Valero, 65-1).

Listen to Golf Digest’s weekly betting podcast, “The Loop,” (below) where we interview the industry’s leading experts (and sometimes tour pros) to help you make your bets and pick your fantasy lineups. And be sure to subscribe to “The Loop” wherever you get your podcasts!

John Deere Classic picks 2024: Sleepers/Dark Horses Who Could Win

Caddie: Brendon Todd (125-1, FanDuel) — I’m surprised you can catch this short-course savant at such a high price. He was runner-up here last year, and even though the results haven’t been there this year, Todd has a knack for showing up out of nowhere at courses he should contend on.

Mayo: Joel Dahmen (80-1, Bet365) — Dahmen has made five consecutive cuts and finally got two good results in his last two starts, consecutive top-25 finishes at the RBC Canadian Open and the Rocket Mortgage. He’s live this week at TPC Deere Run, where he finished runner-up back in 2018.

Gdula: Mark Hubbard (60-1, FanDuel) — Hubbard hasn’t flirted with the top of the leaderboard in a while now but comes in at a good price in a field like this one. He’s finished T-6 and T-13 here the last two years and sets up as a strong course fit based on the emphasis on fairways and Bentgrass putting.

Stewart: Sam Stevens (50-1, DraftKings) — Sam Stevens is going to overpower this golf course. An incredible driver of the golf ball, put Stevens in a scoring situation and he thrives. Sam was 15-under par through three rounds at the Rocket Mortgage. His putter is the secret to why he scores so well. Length off the tee sets him up with wedge in hand or on the green in two when it comes to the par 5s. From there he gains with that flat stick. The approach game could be stronger but let’s face it — no 50-1 player is perfect. The celling is high, and he has shown it on weaker layouts where the driver gives you an incredible advantage.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Luke Clanton (45-1, DraftKings) — I fired this in on Monday, and I’ll endorse the 45-1 still standing. It’s only two tournaments, but he’s been stellar—excellent enough to rank first in SG/total in this field, per RickRunGood.com. He’s the longest hitter in this field, averaging over 315 yards off the tee, and also the most accurate (again, small sample size). I think the talent is there for him to do what Ludvig Aberg almost did at TPC Deere Run last year.

Powers, Golf Digest: Eric Cole (50-1, DraftKings) — Cole finally snapped out of a mid-season slump with a top 10 at Detroit Golf Club, where he gained in every major strokes-gained category. He performed best with his irons, an area of his game that completely went bye bye after the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing ended. Now that he’s got those back, he might just return to his top-10 machine ways. We’re going for the dub, though.

Lack: Seamus Power (80-1, DraftKings) — Seamus Power always seems to raise his baseline on easier golf courses that emphasize wedge play and putting. Power has recorded four top-25 finishes in five appearances at the John Deere, including an eighth and a 13th in his last two appearances. Coming off a 20th at the Travelers where he gained strokes in all four major categories, I expect Power to make some noise in the Quad Cities once again.

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John Deere Classic picks 2024: Players We’re Fading

Caddie: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — As a golf fan, I’m rooting for Jordy to figure his game out at a course that he’s excelled at in the past. In reality, he hasn’t looked close to himself. This is likely just a tune-up for the next two weeks.

Mayo: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — A 2017 Spieth price for the 2024 version of Spieth. No thanks.

Gdula: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — Spieth’s two wins at TPC Deere Run have come about a decade ago, and the form now for him is vastly different than it was then. Even the bentgrass putting is weak right now, so I’d rather go with other names at the top of the board.

Stewart: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — Across his last five starts, Jordan Spieth is losing strokes to the field. What was just an approach issue has leaked significantly into the putter. Spieth has lost strokes putting in five of his last seven starts. The irons have failed him in six of his last eight events. That’s why Jordan is here. The two-time JDC winner has not been to the Quad Cities since 2015. Spieth is 59th in FedEx Cup points and needs a lift. I understand the start, but unfortunately cannot back the motivation.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — It might reach a point where hundreds, not just dozens, of other pundits are writing the same thing this week. It’s tough to justify this price tag. Spieth is ranked 43rd in my custom model at RickRunGood.com this week. Fading Spieth is an easy conclusion to come to.

Powers, Golf Digest: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — Just one top-10 finish for Jordy since early February. He just doesn’t have it right now, and that was never more apparent at the Travelers, an event he’s won in the past. Yet he lost nearly nine strokes tee-to-green this year. Who is the sicko that is entertaining him at 20-1 right now? Show yourself.

Lack: Jordan Spieth (20-1, FanDuel) — I understand that Jordan Spieth is the biggest “name” in this field, but he’s certainly not playing like it. Spieth has finished top 10 in one event since prior to the Masters, and it appears to be getting worse before it gets better. Spieth is coming off a 61st at the Travelers where he lost five strokes ball-striking, and neither his short game nor his putting has been up to snuff either.

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John Deere Classic picks 2024: Matchups

Caddie: Sungjae Im (-120) over Sepp Straka (DraftKings) — Straka’s playing solid golf, but don’t underestimate the stresses of being a defending champ. Sungjae has none of that and is playing better.

Mayo: Denny McCarthy (-134, three-way) over Keith Mitchell (Bet365) — Denny’s putter remains as hot as ever and he finally, for the first time in seven events, gained strokes with his irons in his last start at Travelers. When he does that, he’s always a threat.

Gdula: Lucas Glover (-120) over Eric Cole (FanDuel) — There’s a massive tee-to-green gap between Glover and Cole, and Glover has played TPC Deere Run well in the past, including a win in 2021.

Stewart: Lee Hodges (-115) over Doug Ghim (DraftKings) — Lee Hodges’ iron play has been impressive in recent weeks. Hodges is gaining nearly three strokes per start over his last five events with his approach play. A missed cut at the Rocket Mortgage came from an off first round. Lee is still top 10 on approach and tee-to-green heading into the John Deere. Doug Ghim struggles to score because of a lackluster putter. The failing flat stick continues to put pressure on other parts of his game. Four missed cuts in his last seven starts and this bet might cash before the weekend even begins.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Ben Griffin (-115) over Eric Cole (DraftKings) — Cole had a nice week last week, but if you look at a longer sample size, Griffin has a clear edge on Cole. You’d think Cole would be a great fit at a wedge and putter fest, but Griffin outpaces him in all the strokes-gained categories and has a 78-percent chance to win this matchup, per RickRunGood.com, over a 24-round sample size.

Powers, Golf Digest: Brendon Todd (+100) over Andrew Novak (DraftKings) — Novak has been sneaky solid in his last two starts, though last week his putter did some very heavy lifting en route to a top-20 finish, his second in a row. I’ll take the horse for the course in Todd, who only has so many events in a season where he feels like he can really hang. This is one of them.

Lack: Adam Svensson (-110) over Jason Day (DraftKings) — This is more of a fade on Jason Day than anything else, as Day has now lost strokes in both ball-striking categories in four straight starts. Adam Svensson is playing some strong golf in his own right and has recorded a top-25 finish in all three of his appearances at TPC Deere Run.

Matchup Results from the Rocket Mortgage Classic: Lack: 1 for 1 (McNealy (-110) over Noren); Mayo: 1 for 1 (M.W. Lee (+125) over T. Kim); Caddie: 1 for 1 (M.W. Lee (+125) over T. Kim); Hennessey: 1 for 1 (M.W. Lee (+125) over T. Kim) ; Gdula: 1 for 1 (Griffin (-110) over Fox); Powers: 0 for 1; Stewart: 0 for 1

Matchup Results from this season (Wins-Losses-Pushes): Lack 18-7-1 (up 8.82 units); Mayo: 16-9-1 (up 6.86 units); Caddie: 16-9-0 (up 5.3 units); Hennessey: 13-9-4 (up 3.01 units); Gdula: 14-10-2 (up 2.35 units); Powers: 12-11-2 (up 0.82 units); Stewart: 12-13-1 (down 2.21 units)

John Deere Classic picks 2024: Top 10s

Caddie: Lucas Glover (+400, DraftKings) — There are few better fits for Glover on the schedule, and he’s coming in with his approach game figured out, which should translate well for TPC Deere Run.

Mayo: Seamus Power (+490, Bet365) — Power has been on quite the jekyll and hyde run, going 12th-MC-16th-MC-27th-MC-20th in his last seven starts. While he seemingly hasn’t been able to put back-to-back weeks together, I’m betting that he does this week at JDC, where he’s finished 13th and eighth in his last two trips.

Gdula: Maverick McNealy (+300, FanDuel) — McNealy has made all three cuts at TPC Deere Run in his career and has finished T-18 and T-8 in his two most recent starts while putting extremely well in each. His irons are a little lacking, but the rest of the game is great right now.

Stewart: Maverick McNealy (+300, FanDuel) — We loved him last week and were disappointed. It happens in golf betting, but that doesn’t change the fact Maverick McNealy is playing some very solid golf. While the irons were slightly off in Detroit, Mav’s putter and driver were hot. I believe he gets the iron game locked back in on a course where he’s finished inside the top 18 in his last two trips. Ranked second in par-4 scoring and birdie-or-better percentage, that complement of skills alongside an eighth-ranked tee-to-green game makes him consider winning, but I’ll take the 10 places.

Hennessey, Golf Digest: Mark Hubbard (+550, Bet365) — Hubbard is accurate off the tee and makes birdies, ranking 20th in both categories, and is positive in the important wedge proximity buckets.

Powers, Golf Digest: Neal Shipley (+700, DraftKings) — Purely a hot-hand play. Shipley is riding a wave right now, with back-to-back low-am finishes at the Masters and U.S. Open and now a top 20 at Rocket Mortgage where he gained 5.1 strokes on approach. If not for an ice-cold putter, he may have had a legitimate chance to win last weekend.

Lack: Mark Hubbard (+550, Bet365) — Mark Hubbard has developed into one of the most consistent cut-makers on the PGA Tour, and I’m expecting a lot more than just a made cut this week at TPC Deere Run. Hubbard finished sixth at this event last year, and he has gained over 2.5 strokes on approach in his last three appearances at the Weibring design. Similar to Power, Hubbard possesses the ideal skill set of strong wedge play and Bentgrass putting that should play beautifully this week.

Top-10 results from the Rocket Mortgage Classic: Hennessey: 1 for 1 (Erik van Rooyen +600); Everybody else: 0 for 1

Top-10 results from this season: Hennessey: 9 for 26 (up 63.85 units); Mayo: 5 for 26 (down 1 units); Gdula: 5 for 26 (down 1.9 units); Caddie: 5 for 25 (down 3.05 units); Lack: 5 for 26 (down 8.55 units); Powers: 4 for 26 (down 11.1 units); Stewart: 4 for 26 (down 12.82 units)

About our experts

Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. Mayo helped create the golf stats and research website Fantasy National along with the Race for the Mayo Cup One and Done contest. Mayo won the 2022 Fantasy Sports Writing Association Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year and is a finalist for three FSWA Awards in 2023 (Best Podcast, Daily Fantasy Writer of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year). His 27 FSWA nominations lead all writers this decade and are second-most all-time. Follow him on Twitter: @ThePME. 

Brandon Gdula, managing editor and analyst for numberFire, a FanDuel daily-fantasy analysis company, recently won the 2018 FSWA Golf Writer of the Year. Gdula also co-hosts the DFS Heat Check podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @gdula13. 

Keith Stewart is a five-time award-winning PGA professional, a betting contributor for Golf Digest and founder of Read The Line, the premier on-site live golf betting insights service covering the LPGA and PGA TOUR. Subscribe to Read The Line’s weekly newsletter here and raise your golf betting acumen. Keith’s winning content can also be found on Sports Grid, Bleacher Report and The Sporting News. Follow him on Twitter @readtheline_.

Andy Lack is a PGA Tour writer and podcaster from New York City who now resides in Los Angeles. He hosts Inside Golf, a twice weekly podcast focused on the PGA Tour, betting, daily fantasy, golf course architecture, and interviews, as part of the BlueWire podcast network. As well as contributing to Golf Digest, Andy is also the head of golf content for Run Pure Sports, where he covers PGA Tour betting and daily fantasy. He came to Golf Digest’s betting panel after previously writing for RickRunGood.com, the Score and GolfWRX. In his free time, Andy can likely be found on a golf course. Follow him on Twitter: @adplacksports 

This article was originally published on golfdigest.com