PGA Picks: The Genesis Invitational Expert Predictions and Golf Odds
The last stop on the West Coast swing of the PGA Tour is in Los Angeles, home of the Super Bowl champion Rams. We figure to see some brand new blue and yellow attire in the crowd Thursday through Sunday at Riviera Country Club
As strong as the field was in Phoenix last week, it will probably in more competitive this week, because it is an Invitational and is run by the Tiger Woods Foundation. That means the field will be just 120 selected players and 65 and ties will work on the weekend.
Max Homa, off his 14th place finish in Scottsdale, is the defending champion. And as this article was posted, he was +4,000 to repeat (down from opening +5,000), which places him in a group of others at 11th best to go back to back.
Get free golf picks for every event on Doc’s Sports PGA golf expert picks page.
A Look at the Field
Here is a look at the Top 12 and ties with the lowest golf odds to win it all at online sportsbooks.
Jon Rahm +1050 - Patrick Cantlay +1300 - Dustin Johnson +1500
Justin Thomas +1600 - Collin Morikawa +1600 - Rory McIlroy +2000
Cameron Smith +2200 - Hideki Matsuyama +2200 - Xander Schauffele +2200
Viktor Hovland +2500 - Scottie Scheffler +2800 - Will Zalatoris +2800
Once again, Rahm is the favorite, but it seems the bloom is off the rose with him at low odds every week, despite the fact in his last three starts at Riviera he’s finished of T-9, T-17, and T-5.
Cantlay is playing the best golf of his life. And for those using for Top 20 or daily Top 10 golf picks (even with numerous no value odds), he’s finished T12 or better after 23 of his last 24 rounds played.
Johnson won this five years ago and is annually on or just back of the main leaderboard. It will be curious to see how he plays without a lot of action.
Thomas has deserved odds and gained 12.7 shots Tee-to-Green a week ago, including 7.1 on approach. He’s finished in the top 25 in eight consecutive tournaments with four top 5’s in the span, but he’s missed the cut in Los Angeles the last two years which is disconcerting.
We can assure you that Morikawa is by far the most popular pick among sharp bettors this week, at least early. His game is perfectly suited for Riviera, having enough length and being a pure ball-striker.
McIlroy plays well on tough tracks. And though he missed the cut last year, his three prior trips to L.A. he was 20th, 4th and 5th. Expected to be a factor.
The feeling with Smith, Matsuyama and Zalatoris is either in Top 10 or better contention or back in the 30’s. Take your best shot at what you think.
Schauffele is playing well enough to secure a Top 10 finish. However, more likely he’s high-price Top 20 candidate.
Scheffler shot 62 on Saturday and needed 21 holes for his first win last week in Scottsdale. That’s a lot of used-up emotion. After an ugly missed cut last week, Hovland is a wild card it seems to back.
Course Characteristics of Those Who Can Win or Secure Winning Golf Bets
Riviera Country Club has hosted what was once known as the L.A. Open for years dating back to 1973, on all but two occasions. (1983 and 15 years later)
This has always been a test of golfers who have to have the complete game, which often brought out the best in many of the elite names over almost five decades.
The par 71 track plays to 7,322 yards and features some holes with considerable length. The pros will face six par 4’s that are at least 455 yards and one of the par 3’s measures 230 yards.
However, in recent years, because of seeming advancement in technology, both on the golf ball and golf club sides, long hitters are enjoying more success than in the past. Though longer irons still come into play throughout the course, the bombers are using seven and eight irons, rather something of less pitch, which makes it easier to hold greens with more lofted clubs. Thus, length has turned into a prerequisite.
Because there is not a drop of water at Riviera, though there are plenty of bogies; the number of double bogies or higher is lower than other PGA Tour stops.
The equalizers are well-positioned sand traps that players have to account for, especially for pin placements that are nearer to the bunkers. The other defense mechanism is poa annua putting greens, which are less familiar to many who only make a couple of stops out west, which are known for making mid-range and short putts trickier. Add on a good amount of undulation, where, depending on where the pin is, it can send a mishit putt three or more feet off the intended target.
Those who will do well at the Riv will be long off the tee, accurate with iron shots to avoid trouble, strong at scrambling, a solid green reader on breaks, and have steady confidence in their putting stroke.
Golf Picks: Who to Consider This Week
We are not going to argue with Morikawa for Top 5, Top 10 and certain head-to-head wagers. He should be a good play this week.
Until Cantlay finally falters, it seems impossible to leave him off the betting card with similar plays to Morikawa.
For Top 20’s, 13 different players have minus odds. We’ll look outside that group and use names like Jordan Spieth, who skipped this tourney last year, yet has five top 15’s on his resume here. And, we will add three-time champion Bubba Watson coming off a T-14 last week.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports was in the golf business for over 20+ years and understands the ins and outs of what it takes to find winners on the Tour. Doug is showing a profit thus far in golf in 2022 and this year in all sports, he’s up $6,007 profit.
Doug Upstone of Doc’s Sports has - 23 Documented No. 1 Titles - 96 Documented Top 10 Finishes - 2 Handicapper of the Month Awards. (Latest: MLB September 2021) Doug as a professional handicapper/writer has written for various well-known sports betting websites and several football newsletters.