PGA Tour Picks: Genesis Open Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
When I went to bed Saturday night, I was quite comfortable in thinking that I was going to get some nice cash on Dustin Johnson winning the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for the third time in his career. The world No. 1 was the +550 favorite entering the tournament and was co-leading with journeyman Ted Potter after three rounds on a course DJ practically owns.
I gave the 34-year-old Potter little to no shot as he had 46 missed cuts with only four Top 10s in his previous 83 starts on the PGA Tour. So, naturally, he won the dang tournament by three shots. Potter shot a final-round 69 - after a brilliant and career-low 62 on Saturday - with Johnson struggling to a weekend-worst 72 to finish T2 with Phil Mickelson, Chez Reavie (his second straight runner-up finish on Tour) and Jason Day.
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While I would have liked the money, it's hard not to be happy for Potter, who had to watch as Johnson outdrove him by some 50 yards on some holes Sunday. Potter's only other Tour win was the 2012 Greenbrier Classic. At the Canadian Open in 2014, he stepped awkwardly off a curb while wearing flip-flops and messed up his ankle so badly that he missed two full years. Potter had to go down to the Web.com Tour last year to earn his card back. Now he'll have no worries for a few years and gets to play the Masters and other big events. Potter jumped up from 246th in the world to a career-best 73rd. He made 24 birdies on the week, a personal best and also leading the field.
Needless to say, I didn't even mention Potter in my Pebble Beach preview. Killed in Top 10s for Johnson (-165), Day (-120) and Mickelson (+275). Also Day at +115 as top "rest of the world" player. I threw some longer-shot money on Patrick Reed at +3500 to win. He missed the 54-hole cut following rounds of 75-66-72.
The West Coast Swing concludes this week - that means the Masters is getting close! - with the Genesis Open at storied Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. It's known as Hogan's Alley as the legendary Ben Hogan won the 1948 U.S. Open there as well as three Los Angeles Opens. It's probably the best field of the year so far with 14 of the world's Top 25 in action and some big-name European Tour guys coming over for the first time in 2018.
Yet the biggest name in golf remains someone ranked 550th in the world, and of course I mean Tiger Woods. He plays this event for the 10 th time overall and first since 2006 - he has yet to win it. The Tiger Woods Foundation benefits from the event. Tiger's first-ever PGA Tour event was here in 1992. He missed the cut in shooting 72-75, but all the pros knew he was going to be special. Woods played his first official Tour event in a year a couple of weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open and was a very solid T23. Woods is +3300 to win at Bovada . That he makes the cut is -150 and no +115.
Johnson is the defending champion - he finished at 17-under 267 to beat out Scott Brown and Thomas Pieters by five. That started a streak of three straight wins on Tour by DJ and also shot him to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time in his career, something he hasn't given up. Johnson became the 20th player to reach No. 1 since the world ranking began in 1986, ending Day's 47-week stay at the top.
Golf Odds: Genesis Open Favorites
Johnson is an even bigger favorite this week than last at +500. He's looking to become the first repeat winner since Mickelson in 2008-09. Since '09, Johnson has either finished in the Top 10 here (also two runners-up) or missed the cut (twice).
McIlroy is +1100. I wasn't confident on him doing much last week in his tournament debut and he didn't, missing the cut. McIlroy made his tournament debut here two years ago and was 20th.
Jordan Spieth is +1200 with Justin Thomas at +1600 and Mickelson at +2500. After missing the cut in Phoenix, Spieth was T20 last week. He has one Top 10 here: T4 in 2015. It's Thomas' fourth trip to this event and he hasn't been better than 39th. Mickelson is off back-to-back Top-5 finishes for the first time since 2013, and in addition to his two wins here he has two runner-up finishes.
Golf Odds: Genesis Open Picks
For a Top 10, roll with Johnson (-225) and Mickelson (+200 again) along with Paul Casey (+250). He lost in a playoff here three years ago. Head-to-head, go Casey (-130) over Marc Leishman (even), Spieth (-125) over Thomas (-105), Mickelson (-140) over Tommy Fleetwood (+110), and Johnson (-150) over McIlroy (+115). Your lone Tiger option is at +115 vs. Ollie Schniederjans (-150). Go Ollie, who was T8 here last year.
I will throw some money on Casey, Mickelson and Tiger at +900 vs. the field (-2000). I give Woods no shot of winning, but both Casey and Lefty easily could. I'm also going to put a bit on Bubba Watson at +5000 to win. He has been slumping for a while but appears to be shaking out of it and has two wins and three other Top-20 finishes here.
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