Nick Hardy and Davis Riley look to successfully defend their crown when they compete in the 2024 Zurich Classic, which begins Thursday at TPC Louisiana. After teaming up with different partners in 2022, Hardy and Riley got together for the event last year and took home the title as they set a tournament record with a 30-under par performance to finish two strokes ahead of the Canadian duo of Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin. It was the second straight top-five finish in the event for Riley, who tied for fourth with Will Zalatoris as his teammate two years ago.

Hardy and Riley are 80-1 longshots to repeat, while 2022 champions Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele are 5-1 favorites in the latest 2024 Zurich Classic odds. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry are listed at 8-1, Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala are 11-1 and Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama are 16-1. Tom Hoge and Maverick McNealy, along with siblings Matt and Alex Fitzpatrick, round out the top choices at 25-1. Before locking in any 2024 Zurich Classic picks, make sure you see the PGA Tour predictions and best bets from golf betting and fantasy expert Sia Nejad.

Nejad specializes in betting and DFS in golf, among other sports. He's had incredible success in the outright and first-round leader markets, as well as in betting head-to-head matchups. He also has been solid with his head-to-head matchups since last year's Charles Schwab Challenge, going 40-27-3 and returning 9.14 units over that span. That's a $914 profit for $100 bettors since May 2023.

Nejad also nailed 75-1 longshot Wyndham Clark as the outright winner at the Wells Fargo Championship. In 2023, SportsLine debuted The Early Wedge, and in the first three months of the show, he hit two first-round leaders and three outright winners.

Now, Nejad has focused his attention on the 2024 Zurich Classic field and has locked in his best bets, top sleepers and favorites to avoid. See who they are at SportsLine.

Top 2024 Zurich Classic expert picks

One surprise: Nejad is fading the team of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, even though they are among the favorites at +800. After recording 13 top-10 finishes, which included two victories and a pair of runner-ups in 18 events last season, McIlroy has posted just one over eight tournaments thus far in 2024. That came earlier this month when the 34-year-old was third at the Valero Texas Open. Since then, McIlroy has reverted back to the dismal form with which he began the year, as he tied for 22nd at the Masters and 33rd at the RBC Heritage last weekend. The No. 2 ranked player in the world was no better than 21st in his first four events before finishing 19th at the Players Championship.

Considering his compatriot's struggles, Lowry could feel more pressure than usual will be thrust upon him. However, the 37-year-old hasn't had much more success this season either, with just two top-10 finishes in eight events. Lowry, who hasn't posted a victory on the PGA Tour since winning the Open Championship in 2019, tied for fourth in the Cognizant Classic in early March and followed with a third-place performance in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Since then, he has tied for 19th, 43rd and 64th in three outings.

However, Nejad is high on the chances of Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala, who are listed at 11-1. Theegala set a career high last season with eight top-10 finishes, the last being his first PGA Tour win at the Fortinet Championship. The 26-year-old has begun this year in strong fashion, recording five top-10s in his first 11 events to match Ludvig Aberg for third-most in 2024. Theegala was runner-up at the Sentry in his season debut and is coming off another runner-up performance at the RBC Heritage last weekend.

Zalatoris did not fare as well in Hilton Head, tying for 44th place, but he has finished in the top 10 in three of his nine outings this season. The 27-year-old's best result of the year came at the Genesis Invitational in February, when he and Luke List were runners-up after finishing three strokes behind Hideki Matsuyama. Zalatoris is eager for a chance at another top-five finish in this tournament after missing last year's edition as he recovered from back surgery. See which other teams to back at SportsLine.

How to make 2024 Zurich Classic picks

Nejad has locked in his best bets for the 2024 Zurich Classic and is backing several longshot teams, including one that is priced at more than +3000. This team has a member who "may be coming into form" and is a longshot that could surprise. You can see Nejad's PGA Tour picks only at SportsLine.

So which teams should you target or avoid for the 2024 Zurich Classic, and which team in the Zurich Classic 2024 field could bring a huge payday at more than +3000? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sia Nejad's top picks for the 2024 Zurich Classic, all from the expert who is 39-27-2 on his last 68 head-to-head picks.

2024 Zurich Classic odds, field

See Nejad's picks, best bets and predictions here.

Patrick Cantlay/Xander Schauffele +500
Rory McIlroy/Shane Lowry +800
Will Zalatoris/Sahith Theegala +1100
Collin Morikawa/Kurt Kitayama +1600
Tom Hoge/Maverick McNealy +2500
Matt Fitzpatrick/Alex Fitzpatrick +2500
Taylor Pendrith/Corey Conners +3500
Rasmus Hojgaard/Nicolai Hojgaard +3500
Taylor Montgomery/Ben Griffin +4000
Sepp Straka/Brice Garnett +4000
Nick Taylor/Adam Hadwin +4000
Keith Mitchell/Joel Dahmen +4000
Thomas Detry/Robert MacIntyre +4500
Doug Ghim/Chan Kim +4500
Davis Thompson/Andrew Novak +4500
Daniel Berger/Victor Perez +4500
Kevin Yu/C.T. Pan +5000
Billy Horschel/Tyson Alexander +5000
Beau Hossler/Sam Ryder +5000
Andrew Putnam/Joe Highsmith +5000
Aaron Rai/David Lipsky +5000
Thorbjorn Olesen/Matt Wallace +6500
Taylor Moore/Matt NeSmith +6500
K.H. Lee/Michael Kim +6500
Greyson Sigg/Chesson Hadley +6500
Gary Woodland/Lee Hodges +6500
Garrick Higgo/Ryan Fox +6500
Austin Eckroat/Chris Gotterup +6500
Steve Stricker/Matt Kuchar +8000
Nate Lashley/Rafael Campos +8000
Luke List/Henrik Norlander +8000
Kevin Streelman/Martin Laird +8000
Dylan Wu/Justin Lower +8000
Davis Riley/Nick Hardy +8000
Chandler Phillips/Jacob Bridgeman +8000
Carson Young/Ben Martin +8000
Ben Silverman/Kevin Dougherty +8000
Zach Johnson/Ryan Palmer +10000
Vincent Norrman/Jorge Campillo +10000
Nico Echavarria/Max Greyserman +10000
Alex Smalley/Matti Schmid +10000
Thriston Lawrence/Aldrich Potgieter +13000
Ryan Brehm/Mark Hubbard +13000
Justin Suh/Rico Hoey +13000
Jhonattan Vegas/Bronson Burgoon +13000
J.J. Spaun/Hayden Buckley +13000
Erik Barnes/Harrison Endycott +13000
Chad Ramey/Martin Trainer +13000
Carl Yuan/Zecheng Dou +13000
Sam Stevens/Paul Barjon +15000
Peter Malnati/Russell Knox +15000