Genesis Invitational picks, sleepers, betting advice

Sporting News

The Genesis Invitational -- formerly the Genesis Open -- has always been one of the best events on the PGA Tour schedule, but this year features perhaps the best non-major field that we have seen in the last decade. Nine of the top-10 players in the world will tee it up in Los Angeles at Riviera Country Club this week, with Webb Simpson being the lone exception. The stacked field means that we are going to see some excellent value on outright bets once we get past the favorites of Rory McIlroy (7.5/1), Justin Thomas (9/1), and Jon Rahm (10/1).

Riviera Country Club plays at a long 7,350-yard, Par-71 course that is going to require players to go driver heavy off the tee all week. The three Par 5s are all gettable holes, while the driveable Par-4 10th is one of the best short Par 4s in all of golf. Off the tee, players will not only have to be long, but they will also have to shape drives in both directions. The rough at Riviera isn’t the deepest that we’ll see on tour, but the kikuyu grass is sticky and can lead to some brutal lies. Finally, the green complexes at Riviera can be punishing if you short-side yourself, and getting up and down there can be among the toughest on tour.

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It’s going to be very tempting to load up on the longer hitters this week, but looking back at the history of this event, we surprisingly see a ton of shorter hitters who can find fairways and get up and down around the greens. Steve Stricker, Bill Haas, and Aaron Baddeley all have won here within the past 10 years, so while off-the-tee stats are undoubtedly important, we absolutely cannot discount the short game.

If you have more questions or are looking for more betting and DFS advice (NFL, MLB, NBA, PGA), check me out on Twitter (@DFSBenj).

Key Stats

Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
Strokes Gained: Around the Greens
Par-4 Scoring (450-475 yards)
Par-5 Scoring


Genesis Invitational Betting Advice, Odds

Outright Bets to Consider

*odds via DraftKings Sportsbook

Bubba Watson 25/1

Half of the battle in golf betting is not to overthink obvious situations, and betting on an in-form Watson at Riviera at 25/1 in as obvious as it gets. Bubba has won this event three times and is coming off finishes of T6 and T3 in his past two events at Torrey Pines and TPC Scottsdale. His stats are all lining up for what I’m targeting this week: He ranks ninth in "SG: OTT" and 21st in "SG: APP" on the season. I was tempted to start my card with Jon Rahm or Dustin Johnson, but there is just too much value to pass up on Bubba at a course at which he simply dominates.

Brooks Koepka 26/1

The second bet that I’m not going to overthink this week is betting Koepka at 26/1. While Koepka hasn’t flashed his best form since coming back from a knee injury, he has slowly shown improvement in each tournament he’s played in 2020. Koepka is too talented of a player to be priced at over 25/1 in any tournament, and the elite quality of this field should help to bring out the best in a big-tournament player like Koepka. When you look at what is required to play well here -- off-the-tee and short game -- it’s easy to make a case for the four-time Major winner.

Justin Rose 43/1

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Rose listed at 43/1. While Rose has yet to show much of anything in 2020, He should not be above 30/1 in any field in which he plays. Rose is one of the best ball strikers in the world when his game is on, and he posted a T4 finish the last time he played this event in 2017. Whether you’re a fan of Rose, you have to look at him as one of the top value bets of the week considering where other players in his class, such as Patrick Cantlay (17/1), Tony Finau (22/1), Hideki Matsuyama (26/1), Jason Day (35/1), and Adam Scott (35/1), are priced.

Max Homa 110/1

I liked Homa a lot last week at Pebble Beach, and he came through on the T20 bet with a T14 showing. I’m going right back to the California native again this week at a course that, on paper, fits him even better than Pebble Beach. Homa claimed his lone PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow last year, which has a lot of crossover characteristics as Riviera in terms of being demanding off of the tee and features plenty of long Par 4s. Homa is playing the most consistent golf of his career right now on the back of seven consecutive made cuts and three straight top-15 finishes.

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