2022 American Express Betting Pick: Should Bettors Back Phil Mickelson for ‘The Gimme’ Prop?

2022 American Express Betting Pick: Should Bettors Back Phil Mickelson for ‘The Gimme’ Prop? article feature image

Stacy Revere/Getty Images. Pictured: Phil Mickelson.

Every week during the PGA TOUR season, “The Gimme,” our streaming show on the GolfBet platform, will offer an exclusive prop bet with boosted odds that is available through BetMGM. Here is the breakdown for this week’s Gimme prop.

Bet Phil Mickelson at BetMGM and get a risk-free bet up to $1,000.

The American Express

Phil Mickelson to finish top-20 (including ties): +450

Old-school golf fans still lovingly refer to this week’s event as simply The Hope — as in comedian Bob Hope, who long served as the tournament’s host back in its glory years.

Over the past dozen iterations of this one, the eclectic list of hosting duties ranged from George Lopez to Arnold Palmer to Yogi Berra. Two years ago, the Phil Mickelson Foundation took over as tournament organizer, leading to its namesake similarly taking over as tournament host.

Since 2000, Mickelson has only missed competing in this event six times — and the 16 that he’s played have tended to be all-or-nothing results for the ebullient lefty.

True to his image as one of the game’s ultimate high-ceiling/low-floor stars, Mickelson has won here twice (2002 and ’04) and also owns a second-place finish, a third and two other top-10s. When it hasn’t gone his way, though, it really hasn’t gone his way, as he’s failed to reach the weekend in three of his last four starts at this event, including each of the past two years.

In fact, betting Phil for a top-20 doesn’t seem to fit his narrative here, as those half-dozen top-10s have only been accompanied by one other result inside the top-20. Based on those previous results, we might be better off only playing him for a top-five or top-10 at a longer number than a seemingly cautious top-20.

Then there’s the fact that in his last 28 starts on the PGA TOUR, Mickelson owns exactly two top-20 finishes. One of them was a T-17 against a limited field at last year’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. The other one was his victory at the PGA Championship.

So, yeah, there isn’t exactly a whole lot of equity in a “safe” play on Lefty for a top-20.

Which is exactly why I like it.

Think about it: Mickelson has made an entire career out of doing the unexpected – both on the positive side and the negative. When you think he’ll win, he finds a way to lose; when you think there’s no way he can win, he finds a way.

There’s little in those past results — either at this event or in general over the past couple of years — to suggest a top-20 should be a viable option, but Phil doesn’t often do “viable” too well.

I’m not putting the mortgage on it by any means, but I think there’s some pride at stake, considering the tournament host hasn’t played a Sunday round since he’s taken over, which offers some value here.

With the boosted odds, this feels like a decent time to play Phil — especially if you were going to spend the next few days rooting for him anyway.

Pick: Bet the prop at +450

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