2019 Desert Classic odds: Surprising picks by top-rated computer model that nailed four golf majors
SportsLine simulated the Desert Classic 10,000 times and came up with some surprises
A trio of courses in La Quinta will host the 2019 Desert Classic, which tees off on Thursday and marks the first of five tournaments in California and Arizona over the next few weeks. It's an event where top players have the chance to shoot extremely low scores and get their PGA Tour schedule off to a strong start, just as Patrick Reed, Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer all have with wins at this event. The 2019 Desert Classic tee times start at 11:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, with players like Kevin Kisner, Justin Rose, and Russell Knox among the first to hit. Defending champion Jon Rahm is the Vegas favorite this time around at 13-2 Desert Classic odds, but players like Rose (9-1) and Patrick Cantlay (16-1) are hot on his heels. Before you make any 2019 Desert Classic picks or enter a PGA DFS tournament on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, check out the latest golf predictions from the advanced computer model at SportsLine.
SportsLine's prediction model, which was built by DFS pro Mike McClure, has nailed four of the past eight majors entering the weekend and called Tiger Woods' deep run in the PGA Championship despite being a 25-1 long shot. The model has also been spot-on early in the 2018-19 PGA Tour season. It was all over Rahm (12-1) at the 2018 Hero World Challenge, projecting him as a top contender from the start. It also correctly predicted Brooks Koepka's (9-1) victory at the 2018 CJ Cup earlier this season. Anyone who has followed the model is up big.
Now that the 2019 Desert Classic field is locked, SportsLine simulated the event 10,000 times, and the results were surprising. One huge shocker the model is calling for: Rahm, the defending champion and the Vegas favorite, falls short in his bid to repeat.
Thus far in the 2018-19 PGA Tour season, Rahm finished 22nd at the World Golf Championships-HSBC Champions and eighth at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. Although he won this event last year, he has only finished on top of the leaderboard once since then, at the 2018 Hero World Challenge, an unofficial PGA Tour event. Also, Rahm had just one top-10 finish in his final eight events last season. There are far better values to be had in this loaded 2019 Desert Classic field.
Another surprise: Adam Hadwin, a 25-1 long shot, makes a strong run at the title. He's a target for anyone looking for a huge payday.
Hadwin is the only golfer to have cracked the top 10 at this event in the last three years. He finished sixth in 2016 and followed that up with a runner-up finish in 2017 after shooting 19-under par. Last year, he earned a third place finish at 20-under par, just two strokes off the lead. He's also made the top 10 in four of his last five starts, which includes a fourth place finish at the ISPS Handa Melbourne World Cup of Golf.
Last season, the Canadian was in the top 40 on the PGA Tour in driving accuracy percentage at 65.60, fourth in putts made from 10 to 15 feet (37.30 percent), and 27th in par-4 scoring average (4.00 strokes). He has enough ammo to climb the 2019 Desert Classic leaderboard in a hurry and is a top value pick you should be all over.
Also, the model says five additional golfers with odds of 25-1 or longer make a strong run at the title. Anyone who bets on these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins the 2019 Desert Classic? And which long shots stun the golfing world? Check out the odds below and visit SportsLine now to see the full Desert Classic projected leaderboard from the model that nailed the winners of four golf majors.
Jon Rahm 13-2
Justin Rose 9-1
Patrick Cantlay 16-1
Charles Howell III 20-1
Adam Hadwin 25-1
Andrew Putnam 25-1
Aaron Wise 33-1
Abraham Ancer 33-1
Chez Reavie 33-1
Hudson Swafford 40-1
Luke List 40-1
Patton Kizzire 40-1
Phil Mickelson 40-1
Scott Piercy 40-1
Kevin Kisner 45-1
Lucas Glover 45-1
Sungjae Im 45-1
Brian Harman 50-1
Russell Knox 50-1
Zach Johnson 50-1
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