Farmers Insurance Open Betting Picks & Predictions: Best Bets for Tony Finau & Cameron Champ at Torrey Pines

Farmers Insurance Open Betting Picks & Predictions: Best Bets for Tony Finau & Cameron Champ at Torrey Pines article feature image

Marianna Massey/Getty Images. Pictured: Tony Finau

  • The 2020 Farmers Insurance Open gets underway on Thursday, Jan. 22, and the latest odds make Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm the clear betting favorites, with Tiger Woods not to far behind, given his historical success at Torrey Pines.
  • What picks should you be making as the PGA Tour returns to Torrey? Our golf betting experts pick out their favorite props, top-20 bets, and matchups for the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open.

The Farmers Insurance Open tees off on Thursday and isn’t short on talent or storylines.

Tournament favorite Rory McIlroy (+600) and Tiger Woods are each making their 2020 debut, while Justin Rose — who won Farmers last year — is in great form after a runner-up finish last week.

So what bets does our crew like for this week’s tournament? See how their betting the action at Torrey Pines.

Josh Perry: Tony Finau top 20 +110

We all know how important distance is to playing well at Torrey Pines. Finau is one of the best off the tee on Tour and his results have shown that here.
He’s finished inside the top 20 in four of his five appearances at this event. His only time missing out was a 24th in his debut at the event.

He’s also finished inside the top 20 in both starts in 2020 as well, albeit in weaker fields, but the game appears to be in good shape and he’s heading to a tournament where he feels comfortable.

Jason Sobel: Cameron Champ over Lanto Griffin (-105)

Look, I’ve enjoyed the rags-to-riches story of Griffin, who won in Houston a few months ago and has a bright future. But this matchup is clearly mispriced.

Part of that is a vigilance to not overvalue Champ again. There’s been a tepid response to the aftermath of his second win. When he won for the first time during the fall part of last season’s schedule, he was being hailed as the second coming of Brooks Koepka, a long-hitting stud who was just making a few pit stops on his way to a top-10 ranking.

It never happened, of course — or at least, it hasn’t happened yet. The shine quickly wore off the PGA Tour’s newest prize pig, the Collin Morikawas and Matthew Wolffs of the world passing him in the fast lane. When he won again during the fall part of this season’s schedule, the celebration of Champ’s talents was more muted, but he’s already followed with results that have given us reason for optimism.

After a missed cut in his next event after winning the Safeway Open, he has now finished 33rd or better in six straight tournaments. While the markets immediately overpriced him after that first win, Champ is now undervalued as bettors tend to have long memories. Against Griffin, on a course that suits big bangers, he’s a juicy play.

Bryan Mears: Ryan Palmer (-125) over Billy Horschel

Historical data from Torrey Pines shows that recent form and distance are important factors coming into this event, and Horschel doesn’t look good in either of those categories. He’s played just once over the past two months, missing the cut at last week’s American Express. He’s near the bottom of the field in distance off the tee, and he really struggled with his driver last week, both with distance and keeping it in the fairway.

To be fair, his history at this event isn’t awful, but it is volatile. He has two eighth-place finishes in the past four years, sandwiched with a 54th and 64th.

Palmer, meanwhile, has crushed this season and already has two top-20 finishes in his two events in 2020. He’s been great off the tee, and in his last two events here (his last one prior to that was back in 2010, which I’m throwing out at this point) he finished 13th and second.

So far this short golf season, Palmer is 29th in Total Driving vs. 138th for Horschel. Palmer also ranked ahead all of last season.

If the name of the game is off-the-tee play and recent form, I’m taking Palmer in this matchup.

Justin Bailey: Byeong-Hun An (-145) over Francesco Molinari

Shorting Molinari at a course that favors bombers seems optimal, especially since he seems to be inside his own head after his ejection at the Masters last April. Both golfers struggled last week at The American Express, but Torrey Pines sets up better for An than Molinari.

An has an obvious edge over Molinari in driving distance, and he’s also superior tee-to-green, ranking 10th in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over his last 50 rounds (Fantasy National), compared to 61st for Molinari.

Additionally, I’m giving some weight to short game since golfers at Torrey Pines hit around 3% fewer greens than at average tour event, per Fantasy National. An has an edge there as well, ranking second in Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green, while Molinari ranks 47th, respectively.

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