Cognizant Classic predictions, best bets for this week’s PGA Tour props and longshot odds

Welcome to Florida.

Make yourself at home, we’re going to be here awhile.

The PGA Tour comes back to the U.S. after a quick stop in Mexico and will criss-cross Florida over the next month as there are four tournaments on tap in the Sunshine State.

This week’s tournament, the Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches, will be played at PGA National Resort and Spa.

The star power is gradually getting stronger. This week, 19 of the world’s top 50 golfers in the world will be in the field, up from just four in last week’s stop in Mexico.

Add in the fact there’s a $9 million purse and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner and more and more golfers are starting to get in the swing of things.

This tournament is also a great warm-up for next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, another signature event with a $20 million purse.

Hang on, it’s about to get wild.

This is Cognizant’s first year as the title sponsor. Golf fans will recognize this event from previous years as the Honda Classic which was won in 2023 by Chris Kirk.

Rory McIlroy odds to win Cognizant Classic

While there are a good number of top-ranked players in the field, some of them — like No. 2-ranked Rory McIlroy, the favorite on sports betting apps this week at — will likely look at this tournament as a warm-up for next week’s signature tournament.

We know McIlroy has the game and firepower to win this tournament, but he’s more of a big-picture kind of guy, and we’re thinking he will look at this event as a way to get his game in shape.

He’s had just two starts in 2024 and his best finish is a T-24 at the Genesis.

Normally he wouldn’t tee it up here, but we’re guessing those two middle-of-the-road finishes might be telling him his game needs a little work before the high-profile events.

Related: Top sportsbook apps for betting on golf

Defending Honda Classic champ Kirk longshot at Cognizant

Chris Kirk is the defending champ, and we love backing defending champs…just not this week.

He comes in at odds, so the pricing is great.

But, we’re going to shy away from backing him because of his recent performance.

Sure, he won the season-opening Sentry event on Maui to kick-start his season.

But since then, he’s got no top-10 finishes in his past four events, and he’s coming in to this week off a missed cut at the Genesis Invitational.

He might prove us wrong and go back-to-back, but we’re betting his game still needs some fine-tuning before he gets back into the winner’s circle.

Cognizant Classic prediction: Could Eric Cole continue PGA pattern of longshot winners?

So, we’ve ruled out two top players this week.

Where are we going with this?

Well, if you look at the first eight tournaments of 2024 there’s a pattern.

We’re missing big names in the winner’s circle.

Or should we say any big-name winners.

There’s been no McIlroy, there’s been no Scottie Scheffler, there’s been no Xander Schauffele.

We could go on and on.

So we’re going to see if that pattern continues this week as we look at Eric Cole at .

This is the tournament that brought Cole, one of the poster guys for the term journeyman golfer, into the PGA Tour spotlight in 2023.

We say journeyman for the simple fact that Cole is 35 years old and has been trying to find his spot on the PGA Tour.

Mission accomplished in 2023 … eventually.

He spent the first 11 events of his rookie season trying to find his way.

The first four tournaments were missed cuts. Then came a little spark of success as he made five straight cuts. That was the good news. The bad news is his best finish in that stretch was a T-27.

Then came another missed cut and set up the week that proved to be the turning point in this young man’s career.

It was time for him to either step up and prove he belonged or just tread water and hope lightning would strike.

He chose the former as his next event was his best…a T-15 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Then came the tournament where he proved he belonged.

He was solo second (losing in a playoff to champ Chris Kirk) last year in this event.

The rest, as they say, is history.

He wound up with five top-10 finishes (including his final three events of 2023) to wrap up Rookie of the Year honors.

He’s already played in seven events in 2024 but his best finish, a T-10, came in his last outing at the Genesis Invitational.

We’re thinking his playoff loss last year will bring back good memories in 2024, and he gets in the winner’s circle.

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Semi-longshot bet to consider for Cognizant Classic

We’re going to check out an Irishman, Shane Lowry, this week as a semi-longshot pick at .

Lowry calls Jupiter, FL, home and this will be his seventh time teeing it up at PGA National.

Add in the fact he was T-2 here in 2022 and you’ve got to figure this guy knows his way around this golf course.

Lowry has had a so-so start to the 2024 season with two made cuts in his three starts.

His best finish is a T-25 at the Farmers Insurance Open.

But we figure with this being a home event for him (as well as other golfers this week), he’s going to be in the hunt come Sunday.

Cognizant Classic prop bets

We’re going to stick with a player to finish in the top-10: Brandon Wu at .

Wu was T-14 in last year’s tournament and is coming off a T-13 finish in last week’s Mexico Open when we had him to finish in the top-10.

We’re betting he’s getting closer and closer to that first PGA Tour win.

But this week we just need him to be in the top 10.

A win would be a bonus, especially for him.

We’re also going to bet there will be a playoff this week at +300.

There was a playoff last year and in the past 10 years there have been four playoffs.

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