PGA Tour Betting Picks: Pebble Beach

The PGA Tour makes their way back north to majestic Monterrey, California for the annual Pebble Beach Pro/Am, although this year there will be no celebrities playing in the tournament because golfers don’t want their cooties.

Who would ever want to be that self important, anyway? I suppose there are some golfing prima donnas on the Tour but for the most part, especially from the younger generation, I am loving the attitudes.

One of those guys is Daniel Berger. He is one of the favorites this week even though he is coming off of a highly uncharacteristic missed cut this past week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

This was the redhead’s first missed cut since The Memorial last July. Many are on him this week but there is just one golfer ahead of him now on the betting board since Dustin Johnson recently pulled out and screwed up some of these betting lines for us.

There likely isn’t much value on Daniel Berger and one has to wonder if he possibly tweaked a muscle and just pulled back from there missing the cut. If he did, he is surely going to feel it this week and he will have a hard time keeping it warm.

The forecast for Pebble Beach this weekend is highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s with a high likelihood of rain on Thursday about a 50/50 chance to get wet on Saturday. The winds look to be fairly calm on Thursday but then picking up to gusts in the 20s over the weekend.

Please Note:

Coastal golf courses, even those like here at Spyglass which are used for major tournaments, do play fairly easily IF the weather cooperates. We will be using just 2 of the usual 3 courses for this tournament but the easier course is the one we are dropping.

The general rhythm of play should be much better overall without the Charles Barkley’s of the world out there shanking 3 in a row off the tee. I am not a golf purist or a golfer for that matter but listening to those who love the game talk about how happy they are about no Am’s in the field is hilarious.

I personally think it would be must see TV for the entire world if the UFC put on a celebrity Pro/Am. Can you imagine? How much would you pay to see a rematch between Tyler Durden and Tyler Durden?

Let’s get back to golf. We shouldn’t talk about those things anyway.

Patrick Cantlay, who always brings his A-game at Pebble Beach, is at the top of the betting board this week followed by Berger, another PB all star Paul Casey, the youngster Will Zalatoris, Jason Day, Francesco Molinari, and Jordan Spieth.

Everyone talks about how weak this field is overall but I like our guys at the top and there are only a couple of them who are juiced for a top twenty finish. Speaking of top 20 finishes, we had another profitable week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

That makes 5 consecutive weeks making money betting on golf for us dating back to The Masters when we were on Dustin Johnson to get the win. Really went out on a limb there but a win is a win.

Last week, Berger failed us as we said by missing his first cut since last Summer and Matt Kuchar is having a hard time keeping pace with these young guns that are much better than most PGA Tour pros were when they were 24 or so.

Kuch is playing well. You can look at the numbers but age is more than a number. Sorry, Aliyah and R Kelly. I love y’all’s music but anyone who bets on sports has to be completely honest with themselves about an athlete’s age.

Betting Kuch, a former winner at Phoenix at more than 100 to 1 seemed like a great idea. Well, Brooks Koepka was 54 to 1. That should be good enough and a lesson learned. If a betting line is that far off, bet it even if you don’t think your guy or gal can win.

As well as we did last week bringing a nice chunk of return on our investment, I couldn’t help but be mad at myself for not taking a stab at Brooks Koepka. Before the tourney, I thought Xander had the best chance to win from looking at the stats but he choked again and Big Poppa Pump is a DOG.

He smelled the fear on the X-Man before Schauffele could even feel it himself and by then, it was too late.

We missed out on the Brooks train but Corey Conners came through for us with a top 20 that paid a peachy (+275). Sungjae Im hit on a (+125) top 20 and Will Zalatoris looked great until Sunday as he slid to 17th. That was still good enough for a (+175) payday.

We wagered 6 units in total and profited 2.75. Let’s keep the winning train chugging along this week at Pebble Beach.

Francesco Molinari

Top 20

The Italian superstar has been in great form lately and even though he isn’t the most powerful golfer off the tee, he should be able to hang with the field at Pebble Beach. Most of the golfers playing this week aren’t bombers because the courses here don’t really reward that style of play.

I love his iron game, especially his approach which will be all important this week at Pebble. As long as Franky can make the putts he is supposed to make, I believe he cruises for a top 20 and possibly contends for the title.

I am actually surprised we are getting plus money on the 38 year old from Turin.

The only reason we are, I suppose, is because this is his first time playing this tournament. Molinari shows up this week and probably finishes inside the top ten. We are getting him at plus money for a 20 so bet #1 is Francesco.

Pick: Molinari Top 20

Jordan Spieth

Top 20

I know. We aren’t talking about the most consistent guy out there but Jordan is not short on talent and now has the experience of struggling so if he does gain his old form back and keep it, he will be that much more dangerous.

This is a golfer who was touted as the next Tiger Woods and maybe it was too much too soon for the Texan, Spieth, who has the weathered face of someone 37 years old not 27. I think the mental side of things is where Spieth really struggles so it is hard to back him with a big chunk of your bankroll but small shots on Spieth in small spots can turn us a profit.

This is one of those weeks. He is coming off of a top 5 finish in Phoenix, a course where he doesn’t have the most outstanding history, and it was his approach shots that were gaining him the most strokes, not his putting.

That is a great sign for Spieth backers heading into this week’s tournament in Monterrey at Pebble Beach.

Even when Jordan Spieth couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn with a 5-wood, he has always scored very low at Pebble Beach. In his career, he has averaged a finish of 12th at this tournament finishing no lower on the leaderboard than 22nd.

Top tip:

I think the guy is going to finish inside the top ten. He is plus money for a top twenty, though, and I have this silly rule that even if I think a golfer has a good chance to finish higher, I have to take the plus money.

This is really hard to do because this field normally has much better competition than it does this year. Jordan averages a 12th place finish here plus he is in some of the best form we have seen from the Texan in years.

He could win this thing, guys, and he is usually an all or nothing guy over the past several years so a bet on a top 10, 5, or even a win seems like the right move albeit aggressive so you have the green light but our official play will be Spieth for a top twenty at (+120).

Pick: Spieth Top 20

Henrik Norlander

Top 20

Is there a more Scandanavian name out there than Henrik Norlander?

The 6’4” Swede is a graduate of Augusta University so you know he spent more than half of his time sharpening his golf game at the granddaddy of them all, Augusta National. I mean, there isn’t that much more to do in that town.

It is the home of Fort Gordon, James Brown, and a lot of bar fights. If anyone invites you for a night out on the town in a military town, don’t get too drunk because you will probably get into a fight with a group of soldiers.

Fort Bragg or Camp Lejeune, North Carolina… forget about it.

I digress:

Henrik Norlander wasn’t a name that I saw on the betting board like Spieth or Molinari who were each plus money for a top twenty. I found Henrik’s name in the statistics. He has been playing some of the best golf lately out of all of the golfers in this week’s field.

Hen is your typical tee to green guy and is quite well balanced and consistent off the tee. His success this weekend in NorCal will rely more heavily on his approach and putting games. Statistically, he has been better than average at his weaknesses and slightly above his normal level of play at his strengths.

There are a lot of similarities between Pebble Beach and its SoCal neighbor, Torrey Pines. Henrik finished tied for second with some other stars as Patrick Reed ran out ahead of everyone for a 5 stroke victory.

What I love more than anything here is that the weather will mimic that of his home country’s and Norlander doesn’t disappoint when the winds and the rains come.

Pick: Norlander Top 20

Paul Casey

Top 10
Top 20

Okay, he wasn’t very expensive at (-125) for a top twenty and last week we went with one golfer who was juiced for a top twenty, Daniel Berger, and he missed the cut!

Paul Casey has been under the radar playing some of the best golf of anyone in this entire field!

The Brit didn’t finish off 2020 very well but he is off to a statistically astounding start to 2021. His approach and shots gained total numbers are better than anyone and his putting hasn’t let him down either.

With finishes of 8th, 1st, and 10th so far this year, it appears that Paul Casey could be a problem this week at Pebble Beach. We are taking a chance here with a top ten play on him.

I do worry about his rest as he did play in the Middle East last week.

He has just been so freaking lights out this year. Paul has played Pebble just a few times in his career, each of the past three years and he managed 8th place in his debut here, a runner up finish in 2019, and a very disappointing 64th last year.

Chilly, cloudy, windy…The Brit is right at home. He is 43, though. He was traveling west which is better than heading east when you start losing hours. I feel like I need more sleep whenever I travel west, though, as opposed to heading east when I can’t get sleep.

Can’t sleep is still not sleeping and the latter is worse than jet lag, in my opinion. I am changing my pick here. I still like him for a top 20 as he is in far better form than when he faltered here a year ago.

Top 20 for the Brit.

Pick: Casey Top 20

Kevin Streelman

Top 20

The man has five consecutive top 20 finishes here and the last three years, he has been top 7.

The 42 year old Duke Blue Devil has been playing some pretty solid golf lately. He hasn’t been placing super highly but his statistics are there.

What stands out to me is his history at this course. The last three years inside the top 7 is something bested by only Jason Day who has three straight top 5’s here at Pebble Beach.

I am not as high on Kevin as the rest of our picks so just wager half of a unit on him.

Pick: Streelman Top 20

Jordan Spieth

To Win

Now that Dustin Johnson has withdrawn from the tournament, Jordan Spieth is the most talented golfer in the field. When he is on, he is on!

We all know this and he played great last week and I already mentioned all of the signs that are pointing towards Jordan Spieth finishing inside the top five for a second straight week or potentially winning the Pebble Beach Pro for a second time.

I think Patrick Cantlay should surely be the favorite this week although he does not have a good course history at all here at Pebble Beach. His betting odds are something like (+700) to win, though. You’re going to give me 350% more on Jordan Spieth?

Hey, I’ll take it. He doesn’t at all have the consistency of Patrick Cantlay but we aren’t matching the two up. Spieth is in great form already and he already has the confidence to attack this course.

Cantlay has neither.

Pick: Spieth to Win

Place Your Bets Now!

In Conclusion

This weekend should be a lot of fun. We don’t get to see the regulars of the Pebble Beach Pro Am in action this week but that’s just fine.

I don’t need to see Tony Romo anymore than I have to listen to him call football games and flawlessly at that. I’m just happy that as a fan of the Washington Football Team, he was an MVP for us more than once.

Now, we get to see a select few outstanding ball strikers and putters attack Pebble Beach without the amateurs getting in the way or the pressure of it being a major tournament.

I really like our first few picks today but I am not so high on Streelman. The reason I left him on there is that the last two times I have written a golfer down as a play and deleted it, well you know that guy had the weekend of his life.

Since I mentioned it, though, he will likely miss the cut so bet accordingly. Paul Casey is another questionable 40 something but he enters this tournament in better form than we have seen him in the past 3 years in February.

2 of those years, he finished inside the top 8 but last year was rough for the Brit. I think the youngsters might struggle this week in the elements. That is partly why I have a few elder statesmen on our betting card.

Henrik Norlander has the experience and blood to weather the weather. Plus his form is outstanding over the past couple of months. 2nd at Torrey Pines in a much stronger field than this weeks is a great sign.

Finally, Francesco Molinari has a golf game that is designed for courses like Pebble Beach and Spyglass. As long as he doesn’t struggle with the putter in his hands, I see him sliding into the top 20 or even 10 without much issue.

Get your bets in now or forever hold your clubs. And try to catch some of the links this weekend. It is still too cold to go out and play and foosball is frozen for a few so catch a few holes at one of golf’s most beautiful courses.

Monterrey, California is freaking gorgeous!

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.