Veteran Ryan Palmer will make his 500th career start on the PGA Tour when he tees off it the 2024 Cognizant Classic beginning on Thursday at PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The 47-year-old Palmer has four wins, 11 runner-up finishes and more than $33.5 million in earnings since his rookie season. He has made only one cut in three starts this season, but that came last week at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. 

This week, Palmer is a +20000 longshot to win the 2024 Cognizant Classic. World No. 2 Rory McIlroy is the overwhelming favorite in the 2024 Cognizant Classic odds at +700. Cameron Young (+2200), Russell Henley (+2500), Eric Cole (+2500), Matt Fitzpatrick (+2800), Tom Kim (+2800) and Byeong Hun An (+2800) round out the top seven choices in the Cognizant Classic 2024 field. Before locking in any 2024 Cognizant Classic picks, make sure you see the PGA Tour predictions and best bets from golf betting and fantasy expert Sia Nejad.

Nejad specializes in betting and DFS in golf, among other sports. He's had incredible success in the outright and first-round leader markets and in betting head-to-head matchups. He also has been on fire with his head-to-head matchups since last year's Charles Schwab Challenge, going 32-18-1 and returning 10.70 units over that span. That's a $1,070 profit for $100 bettors since May 2023.

Nejad also nailed 75-1 longshot Wyndham Clark as the outright winner at the Wells Fargo Championship. In 2023, SportsLine debuted "The Early Wedge," and in the first three months of the show, he hit two first-round leaders and three outright winners.

Now, Nejad has focused his attention on the 2024 Cognizant Classic field and has locked in his best bets, top sleepers and favorites to avoid. See who they are at SportsLine.

Top 2024 Cognizant Classic expert picks

One surprise: Nejad is completely fading the clear favorite in Rory McIlroy. Listed at +700, McIlroy enters the week ranked No. 2 in the world. He will be making his 10th start at PGA National but first since 2018.

Nejad doesn't like how McIlroy has played so far this season on the PGA Tour. He finished 66th in the rain-shortened AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am before coming in 24th at The Genesis Invitational. In the latter, he lost 3.809 strokes to the field around the green. "He is too short a number to back given his recent play," Nejad told SportsLine.

However, Nejad is high on the chances of Keith Mitchell, who's going off as a +3500 longshot. Ranked No. 50 in the FedEx Cup standings, Mitchell is coming off a tremendous ball-striking year. Last season, he ranked second in total driving (62), seventh in strokes gained: off the tee (0.743) and 14th in driving distance (313.7).

Mitchell also secured a top-20 finish at the Mexico Open last week. In that tournament, he gained 8.079 strokes approaching the green, which ranked second in the field. "He won this tournament in 2019, was ninth in 2022 and has a game that is really coming around, particularly in the ball-striking department," Nejad said. See whom else to back at SportsLine.

How to make 2024 Cognizant Classic picks

Nejad has locked in his best bets for the 2024 Cognizant Classic and is backing several longshots, including one that is priced at more than 50-1. This player "is gaining strokes across all metrics in a big way" and is a longshot who could surprise. You can see Nejad's PGA Tour picks only at SportsLine.

So which players should you target or avoid for the 2024 Cognizant Classic, and which player in the Cognizant Classic 2024 field could bring a huge payday at more than 50-1? Check out the odds below, then visit SportsLine to see Sia Nejad's top picks for the 2024 Cognizant Classic, all from the expert who is 32-18-1 on his last 51 head-to-head picks.

2024 Cognizant Classic odds, field

See Nejad's picks, best bets and predictions here.

Rory McIlroy +700
Cameron Young +2200
Russell Henley +2500
Eric Cole +2500
Tom Kim +2800
Byeong Hun An +2800
Matt Fitzpatrick +2800
Min Woo Lee +3000
J.T. Poston +3000
Daniel Berger +3500
Corey Conners +3500
Stephan Jaeger +3500
Shane Lowry +3500
Keith Mitchell +3500
Chris Kirk +4000
Sungjae Im +4000
Sepp Straka +4000
Adam Svensson +4000
Beau Hossler +4500
Rasmus Hojgaard +4500
Luke List +4500
Tom Hoge +5000
Matthieu Pavon +5000
Denny McCarthy +5000
Christiaan Bezuidenhout +5500
Alex Noren +5500
Justin Rose +5500
Thorbjorn Olesen +6000
Jake Knapp +6000
Doug Ghim +6000
Erik Van Rooyen +6500
Brendon Todd +7000
Rickie Fowler +7000
Davis Thompson +7000
Akshay Bhatia +7500
Thomas Detry +8000
Brandon Wu +8000
Adam Schenk +8000
Maverick McNealy +8000
Mark Hubbard +8000
Lucas Glover +8000
Ryo Hisatsune +9000
Ben Griffin +9000
Ryan Fox +9000
Matt Wallace +9000
Taylor Pendrith +10000
Austin Eckroat +10000
Robert MacIntyre +10000
Vincent Norrman +11000
Chan Kim +11000
Carson Young +11000
C.T. Pan +11000
Taylor Montgomery +11000
Billy Horschel +11000
Andrew Novak +11000
Lee Hodges +11000
Kevin Yu +11000
Greyson Sigg +11000
Gary Woodland +11000
Chesson Hadley +13000
Sami Valimaki +13000
Sam Stevens +13000
S.H. Kim +13000
Ben Silverman +13000
Alex Smalley +13000
Michael Kim +13000
Justin Lower +13000
Chris Gotterup +15000
Tyler Duncan +15000
Cameron Champ +15000
Nate Lashley +15000
Max Greyserman +15000
Matt Kuchar +15000
K.H. Lee +15000
Justin Suh +15000
Dylan Wu +15000
Sam Ryder +18000
Alejandro Tosti +18000
Nico Echavarria +18000
Alexander Bjork +18000
Jacob Bridgeman +18000
Victor Perez +20000
Chandler Phillips +20000
Carl Yuan +20000
Parker Coody +20000
Bud Cauley +20000
Ryan Palmer +20000
Nick Hardy +20000
Nick Dunlap +20000
Matt NeSmith +20000
Joseph Bramlett +20000
Camilo Villegas +25000
Scott Stallings +25000
Ben Martin +25000
Ben Kohles +25000
Robby Shelton +25000
Patton Kizzire +25000
Nicholas Lindheim +25000
Jorge Campillo +25000
Joel Dahmen +25000
Joe Highsmith +25000
Jhonattan Vegas +25000
Garrick Higgo +25000
Chad Ramey +30000
Callum Tarren +30000
Aaron Baddeley +30000
Matti Schmid +30000
Lanto Griffin +30000
Kevin Streelman +30000
Jimmy Stanger +30000
Harry Hall +30000
Davis Riley +30000
Zach Johnson +35000
Zac Blair +35000
Troy Merritt +35000
Fred Biondi +35000
Francesco Molinari +35000
David Lipsky +40000
Ryan Moore +40000
Mac Meissner +40000
Rico Hoey +40000
Adrien Dumont De Chassart +40000
Pierceson Coody +40000
Peter Malnati +40000
Paul Barjon +40000
Patrick Fishburn +40000
Padraig Harrington +40000
Martin Laird +40000
Hayden Buckley +40000
Norman Xiong +50000
Ben Taylor +80000
Chase Johnson +100000
Tyson Alexander +100000
Michael Gligic +100000
Chris Crawford +150000
David Skinns +150000
Brandt Snedeker +200000
Jeff Overton +200000
J.B. Holmes +200000
Tyler Collet +250000
Braden Shattuck +250000
Ryan Brehm +250000
Kevin Kisner +250000
Robert Garrigus +500000