Genesis Invitational Betting Preview

Riviera Golf Course - Genesis Invitational Logo

After an entertaining, fun, and fairly laid back weekend at the Pebble Beach Pro/Am, the PGA Tour heads down highway 1 to Los Angeles at Riviera for the Genesis Invitational.

This week’s tourney will wrap up the West Coast Swing portion on the PGA Tour and ain’t no party like a SoCal party, apparently.

Among the entrants into this week’s tournament are world #1 Rory McIlroy, 2020’s top performer thus far Jon Rahm, JT, Tiger, DJ, Hideki, the X-Man Xander Schauffele, Adam Scott, and even Brooks Koepka. I guess you can say the boys are all here.

The season-season has started. The course here at Riviera is a classical dog-leg style with tight tree lines and uneven fairways. It is also a lengthy course that usually favors the heavy hitters.

This doesn’t mean the greens are going to be easy and with sunny dry weather, they may be a little quicker than usual.

With short roughs, driving accuracy shouldn’t be as much of a concern as long as players are able to give themselves a clear line on their second shot as the trees will be pesky.

That’s where course familiarity and history will come into play heavily.

Golfers like Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson, and Tiger Woods are all on the watch list to win this thing.

There should be some betting value somewhere else on the board, though. Some of the world’s best are all the way at the bottom of the list with 3-digit odds.

BetOnline.AG has the goods for us this week. Let’s get to the betting odds and predictions for the Genesis Invitational.

Jon Rahm

Even money!

I like what I see already. If you’ve been keeping up with the early 2019-2020 PGA Tour season as well as some of the Euro events, you already know Jon Rahm is playing like a man possessed and has been for months now.

Since the Open de Espana in early October, the Spaniard has consecutive finishes of 1st, 1st, 2nd, 10th, 2nd, and 9th.

In just one appearance here at Riviera last year he managed a 9th place position by the end of the weekend.

For a course where presumably successful golfers need a high amount of familiarity, I would say Jon did pretty well his first go-round here.

Stylistically, his game aligns well with the course but fit hasn’t even been a concern for Rahm in 2020.

He has played well everywhere on a variety of surfaces. I think he contends for the win but even money for a top ten seems reasonable.

We have to go back nearly 5 months to find the last time Rahm finished outside of the top ten.

The Bet
Rahm Top 10

Dustin Johnson

I’m going against my conservative golf betting ways here with an attempt to hit that top 5! He is (+125) for a top ten which carries excellent value but I really have a good feeling about DJ this weekend.

DJ hasn’t been a very busy man in the new decade but he has been fairly successful, nonetheless. Finishes of 7th at the Tournament of Champions and 2nd at the Saudi International hopefully have the competitor’s confidence at a high level.

DJ did have a rough go of it, especially in the fourth round this past Sunday at the Pebble Beach Pro/Am where he shot 6 over par for the final round.

I’m not counting that against him this week. In fact, I like the fact that he was checked out and his focus had shifted to Riviera, a course where he has had a tremendous amount of success.

2, 2, 4, 1, 16, and 9! Those are DJ’s finishing positions at the Genesis Invitational over the past 6 years.

Top 5 is pushing it, sure. Get this, though. His putts/GIR over the past two months is tied with Jon Rahm for 2nd of all golfers in the field. Only defending champion JB Holmes has been better.

DJ can rip it as well as anyone. We already know that but when his putting game is on, watch out!

The Bet
Johnson Top 5

JB Holmes

It’s elementary, my dear. The man won this thing a year ago. No other golfer is swinging a hotter flat stick over the past two months. He has top twenty finishes in each of his previous three outings.

The Kentucky-native is set to take over Riviera in Los Angeles at least one more time. On top of last year’s victory, JB has five top 12 finishes in his previous 10 appearances.

I think he rolls into LA with a fifth of Jim Beam and sticks to the non-alcoholic golf shots until Sunday when he celebrates with some beloved Bourbon.

In all seriousness, though, I love the value we are getting with JB here who has course fit, familiarity, success as well as current form.

The Bet
Holmes Top 20

In Conclusion

The 2020 Genesis Invitational feels like the true, pardon the pun, but the true genesis of this year’s PGA Tour season.

We have had several tournaments with some big names including the Tournament of Champions from Maui as well as Torrey Pines just down the coast in San Diego but this week, we have a course that is on par with a major and the field doesn’t disappoint in the slightest either.

I tried to work my way down the betting board for some sleepers but when you have guys like Jon Rahm and DJ staring you in the face with valuable placing odds, you have to pick ‘em.

The Spaniard, Rahm, has been top ten for nearly half a year now so that seemed like a no-brainer.

DJ has had his struggles but he always seems to bring his a-game to Riviera.

The Tiger Woods pick is sentimental, sure, I get it. I think Woods will do great. He is playing exceptionally well but these other guys just have better consistency and/or more valuable odds next to their names.

Enjoy the classical course and let’s hope our boys come through with their placings!

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Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.