Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches Sleeper Picks and Predictions: Rose Closer Than You Think

Justin Rose has loads of PGA National experience to go along with some encouraging secondary metrics. If he can find his approach game, our Cognizant Classic sleeper picks think he'll have a better shot to win than his odds suggest.

Feb 28, 2024 • 14:35 ET • 4 min read

It’s Florida Swing time with PGA National playing host to the newly-named Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches. All eyes will be on the golf odds betting favorite Rory McIlroy, as he’ll take on the demanding track for the first time in six years.

McIlroy will be joined by a second tier of favorites in the Cognizant Classic odds consisting of Cameron Young, Russell Henley, and Eric Cole in what has to be considered another weak PGA Tour field.

Because I’ve already invested at the top of the board with my free golf picks to start the week, I’m looking for long shots and sleepers to fill out my betting card for the Cognizant Classic. As always, I also recommend backing these players in the finishing position markets to compliment your outright bet.

2024 Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches sleeper picks

Picks were made on February 27 at 3:00 p.m. ET.

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2024 Cognizant Classic and PGA National key stats

PGA National is a demanding track that requires patience and bogey avoidance more than birdies and capitalizing on scoring opportunities. Windy conditions have caused havoc in past years and there are water hazards on 15 of the 18 holes. And, of course, the notorious Bear Trap features water on every full shot. 

There were bunkers removed and/or reduced in size ahead of the 2023 event, and this year, Hole No. 10 has been lengthened to 530 yards and will be played as a Par 5. It will provide another scoring opportunity, with PGA National now playing as a 7,147-yard Par 71. Additionally, the fairways have been widened since last year’s edition.

Still, I’m anticipating PGA National to be a bear, and the forecast is calling for the conditions to become more difficult in the afternoons with potentially high wind gusts. 

Limiting mistakes is priority No. 1 this week, so bogey avoidance, scrambling efficiency, and a solid short game are critical. I always look for solid ball-strikers, so I’m again eyeing strokes gained tee-to-green.

  • Strokes gained tee-to-green
  • Strokes gained around-the-green
  • Bogey avoidance
  • Scrambling
  • Strokes gained putting

2024 Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches sleeper predictions

Beau Hossler to win outright (+5,000)

This will be Beau Hossler’s fourth trip to PGA National and he posted a T16 finish in last year’s event. He’s played the weekend in all five tournaments this year with a T6 result at the challenging Farmers Insurance Open and another two Top 25s the highlights. He also hasn’t missed a cut since the Wyndham in early August.

Hossler shows off an excellent short game and ranks 11th in true strokes gained putting and 12th in true strokes gained around-the-green in this field across his past 26 measured rounds. He’s also above average in bogey avoidance and scrambling on Tour this season.

There's also an edge to placing this outright bet through FanDuel. DraftKings has Hossler listed at +4,500 with the difference in odds checking out at a positive expected value of 12%.

Pick: Beau Hossler to win outright (+5,000 at FanDuel, 0.25 units)
Pick: Beau Hossler Top 40 (-115 at FanDuel)

Justin Rose to win outright (+6,600)

The 11-time PGA Tour winner does a lot of things well that are important at PGA National.

He’s improved his scrambling and bogey avoidance numbers this season and is coming off a T11 finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where he gained true strokes on the field putting and around the green. Additionally, after finishing 26th in strokes gained putting last year, he’s also gained true strokes on the greens in five consecutive events.

Justin Rose has also had success at this event earlier in his career, including three consecutive Top-5 finishes and two more Top-15 results on his resume. 

His ball-striking is certainly a bit of a question mark, but a three-week layoff might be exactly what the doctor ordered. Rose ranks 155th in stroke gained on approach and 94th in proximity to the hole this year after finishing 17th and 14th last season, so I’m anticipating improvement moving forward. 

Finally, we’re also landing an excellent price through BetMGM. Rose is trading as short as +5,500 at DraftKings, so the +6,600 odds present a positive expected value of 21% compared to the DraftKings number.

Pick: Justin Rose to win outright (+6,600 at BetMGM, 0.25 units)
Pick: Justin Rose Top 40 (+110 at BetRivers)

Lucas Glover to win outright (+10,000)

This is a pretty simple handicap because Lucas Glover ranks second in true strokes gained tee-to-green and fourth in true strokes gained on approach in this field across his past 20 measured rounds. He strikes it as good as anyone teeing it this week, and he's gained true strokes around the greens in each of his past four events.

Glover is also heading to PGA National for the 15th time, and he's carded three Top 10s and another three Top 25s, so he's proven he can navigate his way around the demanding track. He’s also checking out above average in both bogey avoidance and scrambling to start the season.

The problem is — and usually has been — his putting. When Glover gains meaningful true strokes on the greens, he contends. Sometimes he doesn’t even need to putt well to show up on Sunday leaderboards. If he finds his happy place and rolls the rock, he’ll be right there this Sunday. 

Shopping for the best price is important here, too. Glover is trading at +8,000 to win outright through DraftKings and BetMGM, so the available +10,000 FanDuel odds present a positive expected value of 21%.

Pick: Lucas Glover to win outright (+10,000 at FanDuel, 0.25 units)
Pick: Lucas Glover Top 40 (+125 at BetRivers)

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