PGA Tour Odds and Predictions: AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
by Alan Matthews - 2/10/2011
The PGA Tour stops at the best and most picturesque public course in America at Pebble Beach this week, but arguably the stronger overall field is over in the Middle East for the Qatar Masters – world Nos. 1-3 Lee Westwood, Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods are playing there.
But basically every top American player outside of Tiger is at Pebble this week, so that’s what we will focus on for our weekly golf betting predictions article. Overall, 11 of the Top 50 and two of the Top 10 are playing this week: Phil Mickelson and Jim Furyk.
This tournament is similar to the Bob Hope from a couple of weeks ago in that the amateurs play with the pros and the tournament is spread over multiple courses: Spyglass Hill, Monterey Peninsula and Pebble Beach. The pros play one round each at all three courses. The final round is at Pebble Beach. But the AT&T is different because even on the final day the amateurs still play with the pros. But because of the celebrities (Bill Murray, Kevin Costner, etc.) mixing with the crowds and hamming for TV, rounds here take forever (hence no Tiger anymore). Pebble Beach, by the way, is the shortest course on Tour. But it also has small greens, and no course had tougher greens to hit on Tour last year in overall percentage.
It’s very rare that you will find a tournament in which Mickelson is entered and Tiger isn’t and Lefty isn’t the betting favorite. But that is the case this week with Mickelson at +500 for PGA Tour odds on WagerWeb and Dustin Johnson at +450. And that’s how it should be.
Johnson is the two-time winner of this event and three years ago he finished in the Top 10. He had three eagles on the par 5s last year and took home the title despite a 74 on Sunday. He made a three-foot putt on the 72nd hole for birdie to win by a shot over David Duval and J.B. Holmes. It should be interesting to see his first round, however. Remember last year he took a three-shot lead into the final round of the U.S. Open in June at Pebble Beach (although obviously with very different conditions) and blew up with an 82.
Mickelson is a three-time champion of this event, with his wins coming in 1998, 2005 and ’07. Last year he finished tied for eighth in this tournament and then played well at the U.S. Open at Pebble with a tie for fourth. How good has Lefty been at this event? He co-holds the tournament record of 268 (2007), holds the 54-hole tournament record of 196 (2005), holds the 36-hole tournament record of 129 (2005) and co-holds the low round of the tournament as well as the course record at Spyglass Hill (62 in 2005). Lefty opened 2011 with six consecutive rounds in the 60s before shooting 71-71 last week in Phoenix to finish T29.
It’s clear that Lefty and DJ are heads and shoulders above the rest. But here are three good value bets and some nice value predictions:
J.B Holmes (+1800): He can bomb the ball and comes off a T5 at Phoenix. More important, perhaps, is that you know he will make it to the weekend, as he is 4-for-4 in that category in four stops at this tournament, topped by T2 last year.
Vijay Singh (+2200): Singh has played this event more than just about anyone still active on Tour and has a win and three runner-up finishes at the AT&T. Last week he finished third in Phoenix, his best result since 2003. Plus, he likely needs to finish no lower than second this week to make the WGC-Match Play.
Mark Wilson (+3000): How can Wilson get such long odds? All he has done is win twice this year, including Monday in Phoenix. But the long odds no doubt are because he hasn’t shot a sub-70 round at this tournament since 2008. He finished T70 last year.
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