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The West Coast swing on the PGA Tour will conclude this week, and it may have saved the best for last.
Not only is the Genesis Invitational played at Riviera Country Club, one of the most elite courses in the country, but it’s a designated event, so all the top players on the PGA Tour are in the field, including tournament host Tiger Woods.
This will be Woods’ first official PGA Tour event since the 2022 Open Championship.
The event will have a major championship-like feel because of the loaded field playing a difficult but fair golf course.
At 7,322 yards, it’s not an overly long course, but it’s known for its narrow fairways and tight doglegs. As a result, players will not hit as many fairways as they are used to this week, which will place an emphasis on scrambling and avoiding bogeys.
And for the last time this season, players will be putting on poa greens. These are tough to figure out and give most players fits.
The players who are most likely to have success this week are the ones who can position themselves well off the tee by working their golf ball in both directions and then scramble well around the greens.
The most exciting hole at Riviera is the drivable par-4 10th hole at just over 300 yards. While every player in the field can most likely drive the green, it is very small and surrounded by multiple deep bunkers. As a result, players are just as likely to make birdie as they are bogey.
Over the last 10 years, Dustin Johnson is the only player with odds shorter than +2500 to win the tournament. The event’s winner has typically come from the second tier on the odds board, as long shots haven’t had much success.
Going into the tournament, Jon Rahm has the best odds to win at +750.
The winning score at the event over the last seven years has been between -11 and -19. If the wind picks up, the scores won’t be as good. But, as of Tuesday, winds are forecasted to be light.
Below are some players to target when golf betting, followed by my betting card for the week.
Jon Rahm is predicted to win Genesis Invitational with an 11.76% implied probability, according to betting markets. Rory McIlroy has the next best odds to win with a 9.52% implied probability. He’s followed by Scottie Scheffler at 9.09% and then Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele at 5.58%.
McIlroy is coming off a disappointing T-32 finish at the WM Phoenix Open, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t playing exceptional golf of late. That was the first event worldwide since last summer in which the No. 2-ranked player in the world didn’t finish inside the top 8.
He finished inside the top 10 at this event three of the last four years.
Finau is also playing outstanding golf of late. In four events in the 2023 calendar year, his worst finish is T-16 at the American Express.
The 33-year-old has played well at this event, logging two runner-up finishes (2018 and 2021)
Growing up a few miles from Riviera, it’s no surprise Homa is very comfortable at the course. He won in 2021 and finished in the top 10 two more times in the last three years.
Homa is becoming one of the best players on Tour; he already has two wins during the 2022-23 season.
Clark checks off a lot of boxes when it comes to the key metrics for the week, especially around the green, where he’s able to scramble well primarily because of his ability to putt well on poa.
He finished T-10 last week at the WM Phoenix Open and T-8 at this event in 2021.
The Georgia product has shown up a few times at majors in recent years, and with this having a major-like feel, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Harman on the first page of the leaderboard at some point this week.
Harman hasn’t had much success at Riviera, but if he can figure out the poa greens, he has a solid chance to perform well.
· Tony Finau Outright Win +1800
· Will Zalatoris Outright Win +4000
· Jordan Spieth Outright Win +4000
· Tony Finau Top-5 Finish +350
· Adam Scott Top-20 Finish +175
This was a tough card to put together. The top players in my Fantasy National didn’t provide much value and/or haven’t had the best of success at this event.
I went back and forth between going all in on Finau or Max Homa but ultimately went with Finau on a coin-flip decision.
Scott has had a ton of success at Riviera. He’s the tournament’s all-time earnings leader, which includes a victory (2020), a T-4 (2022) and a T-7 (2019) in the last four editions. So at plus money to finish in the top 20, it seems like a no-brainer.
As for Spieth (43) and Zalatoris (30), they don’t rank highly in my model, but +4000 at a major-like event is probably the best value I’ll get on either player for the rest of the year.
The top 10 of my model was:
1. Jon Rahm
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Jason Day
4. Tony Finau
5. Max Homa
6. Scottie Scheffler
7. Patrick Cantlay
8. Xander Schauffele
9. Sungjae Im
10. Matt Fitzpatrick.
Who are you betting on to win the Genesis Invitational? Bet on them risk-free at BetMGM using the offer below!
Ryan Hannable is a copy editor on the Web Content Team for BetMGM. Previously, he was a New England Patriots beat writer for WEEI in Boston. He also has published a golf book, “The Ultimate Book of Golf Trivia: 600 Questions and Answers.”