Golf Expert Picks: Our Staff’s Favorite Bets for 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Butch Dill, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay
- Dustin Johnson (+600) and Jason Day (+900) are the favorites to win the 2019 Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
- Our golf experts share their favorite bets for this weekend's PGA Tour event.
The PGA Tour heads to the Monterey Peninsula this weekend for the 2019 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Dustin Johnson (+500) and Jason Day (+800) are the betting favorites, with Tony Finau (+1800) the only other golfer shorter than 20-1.
Here are our golf experts’ favorite bets for the tournament:
Top Player from Great Britain and Ireland: Shane Lowry (+400)
I like Lowry this week. He’s in form, with a win and a T-12 in his two European Tour starts this year. He’s (theoretically) motivated, having lost his PGA Tour card last season. And he’s a terrific bad-weather player, the type of guy who could thrive in the wind and rain.
Against just six other GB&I players, I love his chances to cash this bet.
Lowry is third-favorite behind Tommy Fleetwood and Paul Casey, the latter of whom I believe should be his greatest threat. Listed behind him are Matthew Fitzpatrick, Russell Knox, Martin Laird and Graeme McDowell, but I don’t foresee a big week coming for any of them, either, though Fitz could be an interesting punt in his maiden voyage to Pebble.
Even so, this feels like a Lowry/Casey battle to me. And at +400, I like the chances of Lowry winning this one.
Branden Grace Top South African (-135)
Grace is entering in good form after nearly stealing the title in Phoenix. He was also 20th last year at Pebble Beach in his debut. Meanwhile, he’ll be up against Dylan Frittelli, Ernie Els and Tyrone Van Aswegen for this bet. Els is making the trip over after a missed cut in Saudi Arabia and hasn’t made a cut here since the U.S. Open in 2010.
Frittelli is making his debut and mixing three courses with a pro-am for someone who has struggled to start his PGA Tour career may not be the best spot for success. Van Aswegen has missed 10 of his last 13 cuts on the PGA Tour with only one finish better than 65th. We shouldn’t need Grace to play amazing to get this bet to the house. If he comes anywhere near what he did last week, we should be good here.
Patrick Cantlay (-120) over Patrick Reed
Cantlay has played five events and finished in the top 10 four times. He doesn’t play a ton but when he does he shows up. Also, Reed just played in Saudi Arabia — where he finished 56th and almost missed the cut in a weak field — so he’ll have to adjust to the time change and travel.
(Editor’s Note: This piece was published before Patrick Cantlay withdrew on Wednesday afternoon.)
Shane Lowry -120 over Matthew Fitzpatrick
I am bullish on Lowry this week so I am investing in him in most formats. I wish Lowry had a better opponent (Fitzpatrick ranks well in my model) but I still see value with Lowry here.
Michael Thompson (+120) over Talor Gooch
Gooch has the superior long-term driving distance (300.1 yards vs. 295.4), but my colleague Joshua Perry has noted that because each of the three courses is shorter than 7,000 yards, the driver plays much less of a role at this event
And Thompson’s short game has been almost as good as Gooch’s, with 29.3 long-term putts per round to 29.2.
Gooch has two top-five finishes in his three tournaments this year, but he missed the cut at last week’s Phoenix Open, and Thompson has mostly respectable finishes of 13, 9, 69, 17 and 11 in his five PGA events dating back to August.
In this head-to-head matchup, it seems hard to say that Thompson deserves to be a dog.
I’d bet on Thompson down to +105.