Cam Smith has won two of the last three LIV Golf events and has separated himself from the rest of the pack for this week's event in Illinois.
LIV Golf Chicago is returning to Rich Harvest Farms where the 2022 edition was played... and coincidentally also won by Smith. Needless to say, he's the clear favorite for good reason.
Odds to win LIV Golf Chicago
|Harold Varner III||+2,200||+2,500|
Odds courtesy as of Sept. 20, 2023.
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LIV Golf Chicago field and favorites
As mentioned at the onset, Cam Smith has been playing some stellar golf. He beat out Patrick Reed in London to win by one shot, then won by seven shots behind rounds of 66, 67, and 68 in Bedminster. That moved the Aussie into a tie for first alongside Talor Gooch for the most LIV Golf victories (three).
His first win also came here at Rich Harvest Farms in what was the fifth-ever LIV event. He won by three over Dustin Johnson and returns in even better form this time around — which his +600 odds certainly reflect.
Bryson DeChambeau sits second on the board at 12/1 after getting his first LIV win in Greenbrier back in August, followed by Dustin Johnson who hasn't won since Tulsa in May but is always a threat to do so.
Three-time winner Talor Gooch is now consistently inside the Top 5 (fourth this week) after winning three times between April and July. Patrick Reed, Brooks Koepka, and Mito Pereira can all be had in the 16/1 range, with P-Reed still looking for his first victory.
LIV Golf Chicago picks and predictions
Dustin Johnson outright (+1,200 — 0.5 units)
Dustin Johnson was the betting favorite here last year, and I think the market has overadjusted due to Cameron Smith’s recent success. Should Smith be the betting favorite? Absolutely, he is the defending champion here, has won two of the past three LIV events, and is one of the best putters in the world.
However, Smith should not be six dollars shorter in the outright market than DJ. He played almost as well as Smith here last season with his runner-up finish, and even put together the best round of the week with his opening-round 63 on Friday.
He'll have a chip on his shoulder this week after failing to make the Ryder Cup team. He's talked with the media multiple times over the past few weeks and discussed how he does not feel he got “snubbed", but that he knows he needed stronger finishes to make the decision tougher for captain Zach Johnson.
Perhaps that extra motivation will help Johnson at a course where he has prior success and rewards long hitters. On LIV this season, he ranks third in average driving distance.
Pick: Dustin Johnson outright winner (+1,200 at DraftKings)
Patrick Reed outright (+1,600 — 0.5 units)
Setting aside any personal issues you may have towards Patrick Reed, there is no denying he's been a consistent force on the rival circuit. Despite failing to secure a win this season, Reed finds himself in third place in the individual standings behind multiple-time winners Cam Smith and Talor Gooch.
That placement is a product of his consistent play over the past few months with three Top-5 finishes over his past four tournaments. He keeps knocking on the door, and perhaps this is the week when he finally kicks it down for his first LIV victory.
Reed finished T12 here last year after battling back from a difficult opening 74 before rebounding with a 69-68 finish over the weekend. He could find himself towards the top of the leaderboard once again this week, especially considering how hot his putter has been.
At a 1.55 putting average, Reed only trails Smith on the greens this season — which is obviously great company to be in. He's also no slouch in the driving department. Yes, he’s not DJ, but Reed is still averaging just a hair under 300 yards off the tee.
Pick: Patrick Reed outright winner (+1,600 at DraftKings)
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Rich Harvest Farms notes
Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Illinois hosts LIV Golf in its 12th event of the season following last month’s tournament in New Jersey. This course is hosting a LIV event for the second time as Cam Smith won last year’s tournament to mark his first of now-three victories on the rival circuit.
A Par-72, 7,735-yard track (yardage subject to change) designed by Jerry Rich, Rich Harvest Farms is an absolute monster of a golf course — although strong putters proved key down the stretch as we saw Smith and Dustin Johnson battle it out on the final day.
Not only will Smith look to repeat in Chicago, but he's also looking to secure back-to-back wins following last month’s victory in Bedminster.
LIV Golf recent winners and odds history
Let's take a look at some recent LIV Golf winners and their closing odds to win:
|Bedminster (August 2023)||Cameron Smith (3)||+1,000|
|Greenbrier (August 2023)||Bryson DeChambeau||+1,400|
|London (July 2023)||Cameron Smith (2)||+900|
|Andalucia (July 2023)||Talor Gooch (3)||+1,600|
|Washington (May 2023)||Harold Varner III||+2,000|
|Tulsa (May 2023)||Dustin Johnson (2)||+1,200|
|Singapore (April 2023)||Talor Gooch (2)||+1,600|
|Adelaide (April 2023)||Talor Gooch||+2,500|
|Orlando (April 2023)||Brooks Koepka (2)||+4,000|
|Tucson (March 2023)||Danny Lee||+8,000|
|Mayakoba (Feb. 2023)||Charles Howell III||+4,000|
|Jeddah (Oct. 2022)||Brooks Koepka||+2,500|
|Bangkok (Oct. 2022)||Eugenio Chacarra||+15,000|
|Chicago (Sept. 2022)||Cameron Smith||+600|
|Boston (Sept. 2022)||Dustin Johnson||+600|
|Bedminster (July 2022)||Henrik Stenson||+6,000|
|Portland (July 2022)||Branden Grace||+3,500|
|London (June 2022)||Charl Schwartzel||+3,000|
Odds courtesy of GolfOdds.