2024 PGA TOUR Golf Bets: Cognizant Classic Final Thoughts, Betting Card, OAD

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Written By John Haslbauer | Last Updated
cognizant classic bets

PGA TOUR golf continues with PGA National next on tap to host the 2024 Cognizant Classic in Palm Beach, Florida this Thursday. Rory McIlroy is the odds-on favorite. Cameron Young, Russell Henley, and Matt Fitzpatrick also headline among Cognizant Classic bets this week, as John Haslbauer provides his favorite PGA TOUR picks among all the golf odds offered this week. Below, you’ll find the best odds across betting sites for each player.

The Florida Swing is just about underway now, as the PGA TOUR leaves the west coast swing behind for an extended stay in the sunshine state. First on tap is PGA National to host the 2024 Cognizant Classic.

The Cognizant Classic, formerly known as the Honda Classic, is one of the most difficult scoring events on the PGA TOUR schedule, and rewards precision off-the-tee to avoid its many water hazards, as well as elite ball-striking from inside the range of 125-200 yards. Bermuda specialists stand out as a consistent through line when tracking the list of contenders over recent years.

Ahead, we’ll review all the bets I’ve placed for the 2024 Cognizant Classic.

Click on any of the Cognizant Classic odds below for the best available prices across sportsbooks in your state. Navigate to my longshots post for more golf DFS picks and considerations.

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HOW I BUILT MY Cognizant Classic BETTING CARD

In a rare change from oddsmakers this week, we are being challenged to bet anyone but the favorite, Rory McIlroy to win the Cognizant Classic, as all other players can be found with odds generously drifting beyond 25-1. I can understand why McIlroy is the prohibitive favorite this week, but considering he’s posted just two finished better than T40 over his last eight trips to PGA National, it’s very clear to see a path in which he does not run away with this one. If he doesn’t there is an influx of value amongst longshots to be exploited on the board this week.

For my betting card, I prioritized players with proven long-term success on Bermuda layouts, and skilled ball-strikers who excel in Proximity from 125-200 yards.

In terms of my unit exposure, it’s back to business as usual for the 2024 Cognizant Classic:

  • Outrights – 3.5U in to pay 25U each
  • FRL – 0.5U in to pay out 10U+ each
  • Full Tournament Matchups – 1U in to pay out 2U
  • Props – 1.5U in to pay out 3U+ each

COGNIZANT CLASSIC BETS: OUTRIGHTS (3.5 UNITS)

For PGA TOUR DFS picks and longshot bet considerations, check out my golf sleepers for the Cognizant Classic.

Russell Henley

My Bet: +2800
Best Available Odds:

I have seen the full spectrum of good, bad, and ugly when it comes to sweating Russell Henley outrights. I was there when he was run down by Hideki Matsuyama on the Sunday back nine at the Sony Open. I was there for his 2021 Wyndham Championship collapse. I was also there when he prevailed in his most recent victory at Mayakoba. As a mature Russell Henley bettor, I know not to get over-confident in his win equity.

But, even as a top-three favorite in a pretty deep field with more name-brand players surrounding him, I could not help but start my card with Henley this week, regardless of the number. He remains in vintage ball-striking form as one of the most accurate drivers on TOUR and most lethal approach players from inside 200 yards, and a return to Bermuda greens should further cater to the strengths of this former champion.

JT Poston

My Bet: +3300
Best Available Odds:

Poston’s name may not carry the same star power as Major champions like Matt Fitzpatrick or Shane Lowry, but I’m comfortable betting on him at short comparative odds given his sustained run of all-around form. The former Wyndham Championship winner has a long history of success on positional Bermuda courses, and enters in the midst of a stretch of six top-20s over his last eight starts. He’d never shown indications of course fit at Riviera before his top-10 finish in his latest start at the Genesis Invitational, so I’m not concerned about his mediocre course history to date at PGA National.

Eric Cole

My Bet: +3500
Best Available Odds:
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I was admittedly not prepared for Eric Cole’s comeuppance this time last year, as he began his Rookie of the Year campaign with a playoff loss to Chris Kirk at the 2023 Honda Classic. The 35-year-old is a Florida mini-tour legend, and feels as safe a bet as any player in this field to have a positive showing putting on these familiar Bermuda greens. With two top-15s over his last three starts, the recent form and course history all point in Cole’s favor this week.

Akshay Bhatia

My Bet: +8000
Best Available Odds:

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it: Akshay Bhatia is a bona fide Coastal Elite who cannot be ignored on wind-exposed venues that further emphasize creative shot-making. Over his last five starts, Bhatia has piled up three top-15 finishes in comparable conditions between The Sentry, Sony Open, and Farmers Insurance Open. A consistent ball-striker, Akshay returns to PGA National with significant improvements to his putting since his 2023 debut, which could be the extra bump he needs to play himself into contention.

Taylor Pendrith

My Bet: +8000
Best Available Odds:

I caught the bad side of a Taylor Pendrith dud when backing him at last week’s Mexico Open, but an odds discount this steep one week later is too drastic for me to ignore. Pendrith has bounced back with a top-10 finish after each of his last three missed cuts, so I’m not as concerned about the disappointing showing in Mexico lingering into Palm Beach this week. He’s two-for-two in made cuts at the Cognizant Classic, and has contended before on the Florida Swing with an impressive top-15 showing at THE PLAYERS in 2022.

Davis Thompson

My Bet: +10000
Best Available Odds:

Similar to Pendrith, this is another odds discount too steep to ignore on one of the top favorites from last week’s Mexico Open. Is Thompson’s case, we don’t even need to hope for a bounce back, as he looked solid with a T24 finish. That marks his third top-25 finish over his last four starts. Now returning closer to home, Thompson may unlock a higher ceiling on these familiar Bermuda greens as he looks to sustain his hot recent ball-striking form.

Lee Hodges

My Bet: +17000
Best Available Odds:

As we get deeper down the list of longshots, Hodges is an appealing bet for me due to the course and comp course history alone. For this price, it’s tough to ignore his fit, considering he has finished top-15 in each of his first two appearances at this event. And it’s not as though his game is completely lost leading into the 2024 Cognizant Classic, as he’s coming off of a solid T24 showing in his latest start at the Genesis Invitational.

Sam Ryder

My Bet: +20000
Best Available Odds:

Like Hodges, I’m betting the number on Ryder in this case, as he has impressed with back-to-back top-10s at this event over his last two appearances. A cold putter has kept Ryder out of contention so far in 2024, but a return to Bermuda should pay dividends, as he finished top-15 in his last start in this part of the country at the 2023 RSM Classic.

COGNIZANT CLASSIC BETS: FIRST-ROUND LEADER (0.5 UNITS)

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Russell Henley

My Bet: +4500
Best Available Odds:

Whether you have the stomach to sweat a Henley outright or not, it’s usually a safe bet to find a stake in Henley in the opening rounds on courses that have historically suited his game before the pressure sets in. With no Rai in this field, Henley is my back-up FRL auto bet.

Davis Thompson

My Bet: +9000
Best Available Odds:

A successful FRL winner last season, Thompson is at his best on Bermuda courses that reward elite ball-striking, which is exactly what we have in store at PGA National. Coming off of a T24 at the Mexico Open, there’s a ton of positives to draw from Thompson’s current form leading in.

Akshay Bhatia

My Bet: +9000
Best Available Odds:

Bhatia continues to be a reliable birdie-maker regardless of conditions being easy or difficult. I’m very bullish on his fit for PGA National, and expect Akshay to score well in this event for many years to come.

Billy Horschel

My Bet: +10000
Best Available Odds:

It’s never a hard sell to get onboard with Billy Horschel in the Florida Swing, especially with his recently improved ball-striking. Horschel has a better history at other Florida venues, but it would not surprise me at all to see him light up these greens on Thursday.

Taylor Pendrith

My Bet: +11000
Best Available Odds:

Pendrith has the power to generate eagle opportunities on the three par-5s at PGA National, is a proven Bermuda putter, and has had success across a diverse mix of positional and challenging courses. It’s almost hard to believe he can be found with odds this long.

Justin Suh

My Bet: +15000
Best Available Odds:

Justin Suh brought PGA National to its knees in his 2023 debut from a tee-to-green standpoint, but could not buy a putt en route to a T5 finish. Consistently one of the best putters on TOUR last season, I expect some positive regression on the greens in his return, while he enters in dramatically improved form off-the-tee.

COGNIZANT CLASSIC BETS: PROPS (2.5 UNITS)

Full Tournament Matchup: Sungjae Im > Min Woo Lee

My Bet: -105

It pains me to bet against Min Woo, but in a head-to-head matchup with Sungjae, I’m also going to side with the proven resume of the past champion. Elite driving distance is what separates Min Woo as a budding star in today’s game, but PGA National is designed to remove the advantage from typical bomb-and-gougers. With so many forced layups off-the-tee, I have concerns about Lee separating from the field from fairway to green. Conversely, Sungjae has a more proven track record on this course with a win and T8 finish over the last four years.

Top-20 Finish: Akshay Bhatia

My Bet: +300
Best Available Odds:

For the same reasons, I love Bhatia as an outright and FRL value, I’m happy to double down in the prop market as well. three top-20s over his last five starts supports he is trending well to start the 2024 season.

Top-20 Finish: Justin Suh

My Bet: +500
Best Available Odds:

A top-5 finisher in his debut last year, I’m happy to jump on the discount from his recent inconsistent form if he can channel the same game plan that worked so well for him in 2023. Expecting a better showing on the greens, Suh can finish top-20 at this event without his best ball-striking form.

Top-20 Finish: Sam Ryder

My Bet: +600
Best Available Odds:

A top-10 finisher in each of his last two trips to PGA National, these odds are too long to ignore he chases a third straight. Like Suh, I expect some positive putting regression for Ryder to return to his high baseline on Bermuda greens.

ONE AND DONE

My Pick: Russell Henley

There are many options to choose from in OAD this week. Rory is a prohibitive favorite but likely will not draw any notable OAD ownership, with shrewd players choosing to save him for a higher purse, less volatile event. This opens the floodgates for a big group with balanced ownership between Shane Lowry, Eric Cole, JT Poston, Sepp Straka, Byeong Hun An, and Chris Kirk all making for sensible plays.

Russell Henley will also be a popular consideration, but his sticky history at the Wyndham Championship and RBC Heritage feel like enough for most bettors to save him for later. For me, I’ve seen enough signs of his form and putting trends to comfortably pull the trigger now as we head to a venue in which he has finished top-10 in each of the last two years.

If not Henley, I would also consider playing Akshay Bhatia, Shane Lowry, or Chris Kirk in OAD.

COGNIZANT CLASSIC: THE BETTING CARD

That’ll do it for this week’s PGA TOUR golf bets. Best of luck this week with your own Cognizant Classic bets, and see you next Sunday for the Arnold Palmer Invitational preview. For more, follow TheLines on Twitter.

Cognizant classic ODDS

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