Rocket Mortgage Classic Picks, Outrights, & Best Bets: McNealy Can Rise Above Light Field

With the well-rounded game needed to contend and a light field teeing it up at Detroit Golf Club, we have our eyes on Maverick McNealy. Read more in our Rocket Mortgage Classic betting picks below.

Neil Parker - Analyst at
Neil Parker • Betting Analyst
Jun 26, 2024 • 08:35 ET • 4 min read
Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA Tour
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The PGA Tour heads to Motor City for the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club, with Tom Kim, Cameron Young, Min Woo Lee headlining the field as the betting favorites in the golf odds.

Chalk the lack of star power in the field up to the busy recent schedule of major championships and signature events, but you can still expect plenty of fireworks with the Rocket Mortgage an annual birdie fest and one of the lowest-scoring events on the calendar. Here are my free golf picks based on the Rocket Mortgage odds for this week’s tournament.

Best Rocket Mortgage Classic picks

Rocket Mortgage Classic outright picks

Pick to win: Maverick McNealy to win outright (+3,000 at FanDuel)
This is an event that sets up for Maverick McNealy and he’s played well here in the past with a T8 showing in 2020 and a T21 in 2021. The 28-year-old American has also been going low this season with ranks of fourth in scoring average and 21st in birdie-or-better percentage on the PGA Tour.

Additionally, he has a well-rounded game and ranks eighth in true strokes gained tee-to-green and 14th in true strokes gained off-the-tee in this field through his past 10 events. I’m encouraged by him heading to Motor City with three consecutive Top 25s, and he's a solid wedge player, which is particularly important at this short track. McNealy is 37th in proximity from 75-100 yards and 29th on approach shots under 100 yards.

There's also an outlier +170 number through bet365 for Mav to finish Top 20, which is worth targeting as a compliment to your outright ticket.

Sleeper pick: Davis Thompson to win outright (+4,000 at DraftKings)
This will be Davis Thompson’s first event since a standout T9 in the U.S. Open, where he finished 12th in true strokes gained tee-to-green. He also ranks third in this field in true strokes gained tee-to-green dating back to his career-best T2 finish in the opposite-field Myrtle Beach Classic in May. More importantly for his success this week, he ranks 11th in true strokes gained on approach and 25th in true strokes gained off-the-tee during the run.

I also value him ranking 18th in scoring average and 39th in birdie-or-better percentage on Tour this season and he showed well at this event last year. Thompson improved in each round and concluded with a final-round 67 to finish T24 while ranking fourth in true strokes gained off-the-tee.

Finally, I wouldn’t be surprised to see his odds drop ahead of Round 1 on Thursday and I also recommend targeting him in the Top-20 market, where he's widely priced at +200.

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Rocket Mortgage Classic prop picks

Matchup pick: Robert MacIntyre over Taylor Moore (+105 at DraftKings)
With Taylor Moore posting consecutive Top 10s in this event, we’re landing an excellent price on Robert MacIntrye — and it’s the Scot heading to Detroit in better form. Moore has missed the cut in three of his past four events and he’s lost true strokes on approach in each of his past six. The 30-year-old American also ranks 126th in scoring average and 130th in birdie-or-better percentage on Tour this season.

Additionally, he ranks 135th in true strokes gained tee-to-green and 103rd in true strokes gained putting in this field during the noted four-tournament stretch where he only played the weekend once. Turning to Bobby Mac, he’s 18th in true strokes gained tee-to-green and fourth in true strokes gained putting across his past 20 rounds while also ranking ninth in scoring average on Tour this season.

Finishing position pick: Aaron Rai Top 30 (+120 at bet365)
The Englishman enters with consecutive Top 20s and ranks ninth in scoring average on Tour this season. Aaron Rai mitigates his lack of distance off the tee with precision and I’m also encouraged that he gained true strokes on the greens during his T19 finish at the U.S. Open.

Finding fairways sets up his elite approach play and he’s been tidy around the greens. He’s second in true strokes gained tee-to-green, fifth in true strokes gained on approach, and 11th in true strokes gained off-the-tee in this field across 20 rounds dating back to his T4 finish at the Byron Nelson.

Finally, there’s a nice edge in the numbers with DraftKings hanging -105 for Rai to finish Top 30. The difference attaches a positive expected value of 13% to the +120 bet365 odds.

Rocket Mortgage Classic first-round pick

Round 1 pick: Davis Thompson over Taylor Moore (-122 at DraftKings)
Maybe Moore can return to a track he’s had success at and flip the script, and sometimes that’s how struggling players kick a funk, but there's still no comparison in current form between him and Thompson. In addition to the highlighted results and statistical gaps already discussed, I also value Thompson's improvement in every round during last year’s Rocket Mortgage. He’s set for a strong week.

While the two are close in first-round scoring average — with Thompson ranked 43rd and Moore 52nd — other scoring metrics I’m targeting this week have Thompson way ahead.

Statistic Davis Thompson Taylor Moore
Scoring average 69.66 (18th) 70.7 (126th)
Birdie average 4.03 (42nd) 3.57 (132nd)
Birdie-or-better percentage
23.08% (39th) 20.58% (130th)
Birdie-to-bogey ratio
1.59 (32nd) 1.29 (126th)

Rocket Mortgage Classic odds

  • Tom Kim (+1,200)
  • Cameron Young (+1,600)
  • Min Woo Lee (+2,000)
  • Akshay Bhatia (+2,000)
  • Taylor Pendrith (+2,500
  • Stephan Jaeger (+2,500)
  • Maverick McNealy (+2,800)
  • Keith Mitchell (+3,000)
  • Alex Noren (+3,000)
  • Aaron Rai (+3,000)

Odds courtesy of DraftKings.

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