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2021 Zurich Classic odds, predictions: Consummate golf insider breaks down PGA Tour field, reveals surprising picks

Golf stats expert Sal Johnson has showed an uncanny knack for picking winners, and now he provides his best bets, including some monster longshots, for this week's team event in New Orleans
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Jon Rahm and Ryan Palmer will team up again this week to defend their title from two years ago at the PGA Tour's 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The event, which was canceled last year, tees off Thursday at TPC Louisiana. 

William Hill Sportsbook lists the pairing of Rahm and Palmer as the 15-2 favorite in its latest 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, followed by Xander Schauffele/Patrick Cantlay (8-1) and Cameron Smith/Marc Leishman (11-1). 

Before you lock in any 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks, you HAVE TO see who Sal Johnson is backing.

A media legend and consummate golf insider, Johnson has a strong feel for what it takes to win on the PGA Tour.    

Before Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters two weeks ago, Johnson made special mention of Jordan Spieth, Xander Schauffele and Will Zalatoris as golfers to watch. 

He listed Spieth and Schauffele in his top three contenders and had Zalatoris as his top rookie. Zalatoris nearly caught Matsuyama and finished as runner-up, while Spieth and Schauffele tied for third. 

The golf expert knows these players and how they fit the courses. At the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month, he pegged Bryson DeChambeau as his top choice to win before his second victory of the year.  

He also knows when surging players are poised for a breakthrough. He tabbed Sungjae Im as a top contender before his first Tour win at the Honda Classic last season before touting Tyrrell Hatton to get his first tour victory the following week. Anyone who has followed Johnson's advice has cashed in HUGE.

Now Johnson, the first producer of "Inside the PGA Tour," a longtime ABC Sports golf producer who worked with Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman, and the founder of the world's top golf stats database, has released his highly confident 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans picks, and they will surprise you.

We can tell you the golf expert is fading the pairing of Schauffele and Cantlay, which comes in as the second favorite! On paper, it appears to be an unstoppable team, with both ranking in the top 10 in the world. But Schauffele's costly blunder in the Masters and Cantlay's sudden string of missed cuts are red flags. Johnson is heeding those warnings and will go in another direction. There are several other dynamic duos to choose from in the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans field.

Instead, Johnson says you should keep an eye on a long-shot pairing that is listed higher than 25-1! This team is made up of golfers whose skills should work together seamlessly, and both players have seen some success in the past couple of months. Anyone who backs these underdogs could cash in BIG!

Who wins the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans? Where do Morikawa/Wolff and Watson/Scheffler finish? And which MONSTER long shot is a MUST-BACK? ... Join SportsLine now to see Sal Johnson's full leaderboard and picks for the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, all from the insider who has a strong feel for what it tales to win on the PGA Tour!

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SportsLine Staff
SportsLine Staff