PGA Picks: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Odds and Betting Predictions
It's too bad no sportsbooks offer odds on a golfer to finish inside the Top 30 instead of Top 10, because if they did I'd be betting Webb Simpson every week. He won the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Sunday in a playoff over Tony Finau - they finished 72 holes at 17 under, three shots clear of the field. Simpson looked like he might miss the cut after shooting a first-round 71 but then shot a second-round 63. He leads all Tour players (minimum of 60 rounds) in percentage of rounds at 65 or lower at 18.1 since the start of last season.
It was Simpson's sixth career victory and first since the 2018 Players Championship, but the guy hasn't finished worse than 30th since last year's Masters. Sunday's win was his third consecutive top-three finish and sixth top-three finish on the Tour since June 1, more than anyone else. Simpson jumped to second in the FedEx Cup points race and to seventh in the world rankings. He's proof that you don't have to be a bomber off the tee to be one of the top players around. Simpson ranks just 145th in average driving distance. Finau, meanwhile, seems to contend often but hasn't won since the 2016 Puerto Rico Open.
My winning pick was Chez Reavie at +6600, but he missed the cut to continue a disappointing season. Had both Matt Kuchar and Hideki Matsuyama for Top 10s and both missed that by one dang shot.
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After a one-week stay in Arizona, the PGA Tour is back in California this week for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. When previewing the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week, I mentioned that was one tournament you should attend as a fan outside of the Masters.
Well, here I will say that if you can only play one course in the United States and it's not Augusta National - and trust me, unless you are mega-rich or mega-connected, you can't play Augusta - then it should be public Pebble Beach Golf Links. There just is no course like this par 72 that measures around 6,815 yards along Carmel Bay. Pebble also hosted the U.S. Open for a sixth time last year and Gary Woodland claimed his first major championship. A few guys have won this tournament and a U.S. Open at Pebble.
Because this is a pro-am with so many players - 156 professionals and 156 amateurs, each player/team has a round at Pebble, Spyglass Hill (par 72 at 6,950 yards) and Monterey Peninsula's Shore course (par 71 about the same length as Spyglass). Then there's a 54-hole cut for the pros and 25 low teams and all play Pebble in the final round.
If you were wondering, here are some athletes in this year's pro-am competition: Larry Fitzgerald (won in 2018 with Kevin Streelman), Wayne Gretzky, Eli and Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Matt Ryan and Steve Young. Oh, and Carl Spackler (i.e. Bill Murray from Caddyshack).
This event started in 1937 as the Bing Crosby Pro-Am and took a break from 1943-46 due to World War II. Pebble Beach has been part of the hosting rotation ever since. The other two came around later. Tiger Woods hasn't played here in years - he doesn't like pro-am events because the rounds take forever - and isn't this year. He did win it in 2000, which is the same year he won the U.S. Open at Pebble by an incredible 15 shots. Tiger will tee it up again next week at Riviera.
Golf Odds: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Favorites
Dustin Johnson is the +600 favorite. He won here in 2009 & '10 and should have won the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble but imploded with a final-round 82. DJ also has been runner-up a few times in this event, last in 2018. He also was runner-up last week in the Middle East on the European Tour.
Patrick Cantlay is +1200 with Jason Day and Paul Casey each +2000. Cantlay's best result here is ninth. Casey was runner-up to Phil Mickelson last year by three shots. Day's worst finish here in the past five visits is 11th, but he hasn't won it yet. Lefty last year at 48 (now 49) became the oldest winner in tournament history. It was his record-tying fifth win in this event. He's +2500 to repeat.
Simpson isn't playing this week.
Golf Odds: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Picks
Take Johnson (even) and Day (+300) for Top 10s. Don't like Mickelson (+300) for one. The best value to win is Scott Stallings at +8000. He has improved here each of the past three years, capped by a third in 2019.