Picking winners of a golf tournament is hard. Doing it consistently is downright impossible. But finding value is something all bettors must practice in order to give themselves the best chance to make hay when the day finally comes that they ping a champion.
Below, we will cover the best bets for the Genesis Invitational based on current form, course fit, and -- of course -- the value of their odds over at FanDuel Sportsbook.
Another star-studded field tees it up at Riviera Country Club this week, and while the biggest name in the sport won't be competing Tiger Woods will be on-site fulfilling hosting duties once again. The field is plenty strong without him, including each of the top 11 ranked players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Invitational status means this field is whittled down to just 118 golfers, and with all due respect to the top of the board, we have to focus on value to maximize our long-term returns. With that in mind, we simply can't pass on three studs at the back end of the 25/1 and under range, and while we feel confident the winner will come from that portion of the board this week we'll still sprinkle a few longer plays that stand out as the best values.
For more info on Riviera Country Club, along with this week's key stats and comparable courses, check out the course primer.
At The Top
Collin Morikawa (+1700) - Morikawa has been a winning machine the past two years, most recently blitzing the field on Sunday at the DP World Tour Championship. Both driving and approach play are essential this week, and while the former is not nearly as formidable as the latter for Morikawa, he keeps it in play as well as anyone and gives himself good looks into almost every green.
A less than stellar event history (T43 and T26 the last two years) is to thank for his being priced this long, but Morikawa is determined to climb to the top of the sport. With two major championship wins already, Morikawa is a killer in strong fields.
Rory McIlroy (+2000) - McIlroy won his last PGA Tour start way back at THE CJ CUP, and since then he's finished 6th, 12th, and 3rd on the DP World Tour and climbed back into the top 5 in the world. His missed cut here last year was the anomaly in an otherwise strong record at Riviera, with two top 5s and two more top 20s since 2016. His game was out of sorts this time last year, but back in form, there is no reason to think he isn't every bit as likely to win as the five golfers with shorter odds than him this week.
Viktor Hovland (+2400) - Hovland is a winner of half his last six starts worldwide, but he's yet to earn a marquee PGA Tour victory even as he's rocketed to the top of the sport. He'll get there soon enough, and a fifth-place finish in his debut at Riviera shows he's got what it takes. He's still a mess around the greens, but he more than makes up for it with the long game, as he gained 8.0 strokes ballstriking here last year, according to stats from Fantasy National Golf Club,
He had nothing going last week as he lost 4.1 strokes tee to green, the second-worst mark of his career. In the midst of a hot streak, we can expect a major bounce back and he doesn't have to beat quite as many as usual to grab a Top 10 Finish (+250).
Sungjae Im (+3300) - Aside from a missed cut at the Sony Open, Im has had a very strong start to the new season. He won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October and finished 9th, 19th, 8th, MC, 11th, and 6th in his six starts since then. A rare two-week break should have Sungjae well rested for Riviera, where he's missed the cut in each of his first two tries. With plenty of practice and knowing his way around this course, he can make a push this week despite the poor prior record.
Jordan Spieth (+4600) - It feels predetermined that we'll look back after Spieth wins the Masters and the Open Championship that his season came alive risking his life hitting his second shot from the edge of a literal cliff at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Never mind the T60 in Phoenix, Spieth was runner up at Pebble and has been on the cusp of a big-time win for the past year.
If he can keep the driver in play, he can work his magic everywhere else and get back into contention at a course where he already has four finishes inside the top 15, including T15 last year.
Abraham Ancer (+8000) - Ancer's odds are just way out of whack here, priced down at 80/1 when he was in the hunt multiple times down the stretch last year, including when earning his first Tour win at the WGC-St. Jude Invitational. He drove the ball particularly well at Phoenix, gaining 5.5 strokes off the tee. He also overlaps with McIlroy and defending champion Max Homa (+4100) with a good record at another long, tough course with fast greens in Quail Hollow Club. Ancer was runner-up to McIlroy last spring, and Homa links the courses as a common winner.
Joel Dahmen (+13000) - Dahmen is the other link to Quail Hollow, with a T5 here in 2020 and runner up in 2019 to Homa. He is playing well of late with a fifth-place finish in the fall at the Houston Open and a sixth place at Pebble Beach. He had one of his worst tee to green performances of his career last week, losing 6.4 strokes thanks entirely to the off the tee and around the green elements. He still had a ball on Sunday, going shirtless on the 16th green along with playing mate Harry Higgs (+32000). Always a fast starter, we like Dahmen to get himself straight right out of the gate and grab a spot as the Leader After Round 1 (+8000).