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2023 Rocket Mortgage Classic: Preview, Props, Best Bets

Jun 14, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Justin Thomas hits a ball out from a bunker on the 16th hole during a practice round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Only eight events remain before the FedEx Cup Playoffs, beginning with this week’s Rocket Mortgage Classic starting Thursday at Detroit Golf Club.

Several marquee players added the Motor City to their schedule for the first time in an attempt to climb the season standings, including Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa.

Our golf experts break down keys to the tournament and provide favorite prop picks and best bets to win this week.

ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC
Location: Detroit, June 29-July 2
Course: Detroit Golf Club (Par 72, 7,370 yards)
Purse: $8.8M (Winner: $1.584M)
Defending Champion: Tony Finau
FedEx Cup leader: Jon Rahm

HOW TO FOLLOW
TV: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS)
Streaming on ESPN+: Thursday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
Twitter: @RocketClassic

PROP PICKS
–Keegan Bradley to Beat Tony Finau (+100 at DraftKings): The defending champ hasn’t played trophy golf since winning in Mexico two months ago. Finau has a missed cut and no finishes better than T32 in his past four starts due to struggles with the putter. That’s dangerous on a course where Finau said it might take 30-under par to win this week. Bradley wasn’t playing particularly well before his win last week, but he did show the ability to go record-setting low on another gettable course.

–Ludvig Aberg to Finish Top 20 (+150 at BetMGM): The young Swedish star has posted a T25 and T24 in his past two starts. A final-round 70 prevented Aberg from posting a top-20 last week, but we’re confident he scores his first one on the PGA Tour against a thinner field this week.

–Mark Hubbard to Make Cut (-180 at DraftKings): Hubbard was on a solid run before missing the weekend by two shots against an elite field in Hartford. He had made seven consecutive cuts, including three top-11 finishes, while rising as high as 87th in the world. Hubbard should return to form against an easier field.

2023 Prop Picks Record: 27-38-2

BEST BETS
–Finau (+1200 at BetMGM) will defend a PGA Tour title at the same course for the first time in his career and is seeking his fifth in win the past 12 months. He has been backed by the second most outright winner money with 9.0 percent at the book. Finau is being offered at +1400 at DraftKings, where he is third with 7 percent of the money backing him to win.
–Rickie Fowler (+1200) has four consecutive top-13 finishes but is still seeking his first win since 2019. He showed the ability to go super low with last week’s 60. Fowler is BetMGM’s biggest liability this week, leading the field in the most total bets to win at 12.7 percent and the most money at 15.8 percent. He also leads with way with 19 and 22 percent of the action, respectively, at +1400 at DraftKings.
–Collin Morikawa (+1600) is seeking to win in a tournament debut for the fifth time in his career. Only Tiger Woods (7) has accomplished the feat more times since 1983.
–Justin Thomas (+1600) is also making his tournament debut. Currently 66th in the FedEx Cup standings, Thomas is looking to build off a T9 last week and is BetMGM’s third biggest liability as he has drawn 8.0 percent of the bets and 8.2 percent of the money.
–Hideki Matsuyama (+1800) has shown solid form of late with five top-20s in his past nine starts. He is being offered at +1600 at DraftKings, where the Japanese star has drawn 5 percent of the bets and money.
–Max Homa (+1800) is the highest-ranked player in the field at No. 9. Homa has a pair of wins this season but has also missed his past two cuts and said his game isn’t conducive to going super low to win.
–Tom Kim (+2000) is already a two-time winner on Tour and finished T8 at the U.S. Open two weeks ago.

NOTES
–The Detroit Golf Club had several trees uprooted by storms on Sunday. All holes but No. 10 were open for players to practice on by Monday afternoon.
–Brian Harman (+4000 at BetMGM) leads the tour with three runner-up finishes this season, including last week. His 28 top-10s since the start of the 2017-18 season are the most among players without a win during that span.
–Hayden Buckley and Patrick Rodgers withdrew on Monday and were replaced in the field by Sean O’Hair and Nicolai Hojgaard. That also created a sponsor’s exemption for Kyle Stanley.
–The Open Qualifiers in the field are Kyle Reifers, Brett Stegmaier, Peter Kuest and Andy Spencer.
–Zac Blair (+15000), who tied for second last week, needs 25.482 FedEx Cup points in his next seven starts to be able to play the remainder of the season out of the Major Medical category.
–Chase Johnson will make his second start in the event after winning The John Shippen National Golf Invitational last week at Detroit Golf Club. He missed the cut two years ago.

–Field Level Media