Updated 2022 Farmers Insurance Open Betting Odds & Picks, Including Xander Schauffele, Sam Burns, More
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: Xander Schauffele.
- An elite field is at Torrey Pines this week for the 2022 Farmers Insurance Open.
- Jon Rahm is atop the leaderboard, but there are five other top-10 players lurking closely behind him.
- Jason Sobel breaks down his best bets for the week and who he's backing in Southern California.
2022 Farmers Insurance Open Odds via BetMGM
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|Si Woo Kim||+6600|
|Dawie van der Walt||+75000|
|Seung Yul Noh||+75000|
|Jared du Toit||+75000|
Once upon a time, Tiger Woods was the most dominant force in golf.
All right, so chances are that if you clicked this link, you probably already knew this. From major wins to money earned to consecutive made cuts, there are a million ways to explain just how dominant he was.
Here’s one, though, that speaks as loud as any of those records: We used to frequently engage in pre-tournament debates over the question, “Tiger or the field?”
That’s not just sports-talk rhetoric, either. As far as I can tell from past research, the biggest Woods was ever the favorite happened at Bay Hill in 2008, when he was -110 in the pre-tourney betting market. And yes, he won that week. That one was preceded by him being listed at even-money seven weeks earlier at another of his old ATM events at Torrey Pines. And yes, he won that week, too.
All of which leads us to Jon Rahm.
Before you press send on that angry tweet, no, I’m not comparing Rahm with Woods; I’m not giving him the Tiger treatment; I’m not suggesting he’s anywhere close to the same player.
That said, the question of “Rahm or the field?” is a potentially valid topic at Torrey Pines this week. At the very least, much as the case with Tiger in his prime years at his best events, you’ll have to decide whether you want some sort of Rahm investment — and if so, how much.
The world’s current No. 1-ranked player owns a notable history at this venue.
Rahm won his first career PGA TOUR title here in 2017, posting a final-round 65 that was punctuated by a final-hole eagle. Since then, he’s finished seventh or better three times in four starts at this event. And of course, then there’s last year’s U.S. Open, when he professed his love for this place throughout the entire week and wound up winning his first major.
All of which means the first question you should be asking yourself might not be, “Should I invest in Rahm this week?” but instead, “How and where should I invest in Rahm this week?”
Of course, this is all right on the heels of an NFL playoff weekend that featured three road ‘dog winners and complete anarchy on the scoreboards, so maybe that trend will continue with the golf.
One thing we do know: With this event slated for a Wednesday start and Saturday finish to avoid concluding during the NFL conference championship games, we’ll have one fewer day to figure out those bets, so let’s get right to it.
One player to win the tournament.
Xander Schauffele (+1600)
Trust me: I very rarely select the favorite for my outright play in this column, but I thought long and hard about Rahm here. In the end, the appeal to be (slightly) contrarian won out, though chasing the Spaniard’s admittedly short price doesn’t seem like a foolish plan.
I’m listing Xander Schauffele here for a handful of reasons.
First, that pre-tourney price is a bit more palatable than that of the fave. Second, he’s not just due for a victory; he’s overdue. Sure, there was last year’s Olympics, which was essentially deemed an officially unofficial (or unofficially official) win. And the previous year’s Tour Championship, when he posted the lowest four-round total but didn’t win because of the staggered scoring start.
Really, though, it’s been more than three full years since one of the world’s best players has claimed an actual title. That drought might scare off some, but it might only mean that victory is coming.
Third, in his only other start so far this year, Schauffele finished solo 12th at the Sentry TOC, but scores of 69-67-68-66 suggested he was feeling it by the end of the weekend. On Thursday, he lost 1.18 strokes tee-to-green and 0.80 on approach; on Sunday, he gained 2.59 tee-to-green and 2.73 on approach shots. Granted, it’s been a few weeks, but that’s a strong trend.
Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, he finally posted some solid results at his hometown event. Prior to last year, the San Diego native had finished MC-MC-MC-25th-MC in five starts here.
“I’m aware Torrey Pines has not been a place that’s been too kind to me even though I love playing here,” Schauffele said prior to last year’s Farmers Insurance Open, continuing on to explain how much it means to him. By week’s end, he’d finished in a share of second place, saying afterward, “It’s one of my favorite tournaments of the year, and I show up here every year and I miss the cut almost every time. It’s nice to sort of, like I said, get over the hump and have a good finish.”
Schauffele parlayed that into a T-7 result at the U.S. Open five months later, reiterating how he’s gotten over that hump. That feels like an important step at an important tourney for him — one which would be the perfect place to break that three-year drought.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
Jon Rahm (+800)
This might seem like an obvious choice, but I’m sure some OADers are saving Rahm for one of the majors or another “bigger” event. Here’s my counterpoint to that strategy: He’ll likely never have a greater win equity/probability than on a pair of courses where he’s owned so much success in the past.
I’m a fan of zigging when everyone else zags in these things, so it might be worth polling a few of your fellow poolers to gauge how many are playing the favorite this week and how many are saving him. Unless your pool offers an enormous bonus for majors — or if your gut tells you everyone else will take Rahm here — it should prove to be a smart play this week.
Marc Leishman (+4000), Ryan Palmer (+6600), Brandt Snedeker (+10000)
There are some serious course horses at Torrey Pines — and this trio works for OADs or any other platform. Leishman owns a win, two runners-up and seven top-25s in 13 starts here. Palmer played four times between 2004-10, only making the cut once, then returned after an eight-year layoff and has gone second-13th-21st-second since. Snedeker owns two wins, two seconds, two thirds and eight top-10s in 15 starts. Like I said, pick a format, any format. I’d expect plenty of top-10 tickets on these three and more than a few DFS lineups starting with them.
Max Homa (+6600), Aaron Wise (+8000)
Again, these plays can extend beyond OADs, but if you want to fade the big names and the course horses, then here are three West Coasters who tend to specialize in California-based events. Homa has finished 18th-ninth here the past two years. Wise is a guy I was excited to play last week, but he decided to change up his schedule, starting with this one instead. Like the names above, these guys are similarly in play for props and DFS this week.
One player to finish top-five.
Tony Finau (+500 for top-five)
I’m pretty sure I’ve had outrights or OAD plays or a ton of DFS investment or (likely) all three on Finau here each year over the past half-decade. Other than those outrights, they’ve usually paid off, as he’s finished second-sixth-13th-sixth-fourth during that time.
There isn’t a venue where he seems more comfortable and there isn’t one I’m more confident in taking him, even if, nearly six months removed from his second victory, we might be skittish about taking him for another. Finishes of T-19 (at the Sentry TOC) and T-40 (at The AmEx) might leave us similarly skittish, but the ball-striking numbers have been decent at both, so maybe he’s just easing his way into the year.
Finau ranks 211th this season in putting after finishing last season at 91st, but at a place where fewer putts are traditionally holed, I’m less worried about it here.
One player to finish top-10.
Sam Burns (+225 for top-10)
One might suggest that Burns needed last year’s Farmers finish in order to make the ascendancy he’s enjoyed over the past 12 months. In that one, he entered the final round just two strokes behind co-leaders Patrick Reed and Carlos Ortiz, only to start with a double-bogey and add three other bogeys to shoot 75 and finish in a share of 18th.
Sometimes young players need a few bad experiences while getting into the mix in order to figure it out the next time they get there. Two months later, Burns won the Valspar Championship; he now has two wins and is a top-15 player.
I still think his price is a little depressed when playing against elite fields. It’s as if the books don’t quite trust what we already know — that this dude is super-talented.
Well, I might as well take advantage of that. Burns owns an impressive six top-10s in his previous 10 starts dating back to last summer, so there’s plenty of value in this play.
One player to finish top-20.
Lanto Griffin (+275)
Griffin hasn’t often found his name on leaderboards over the past couple of years, but on the occasions he does, it usually happens in mini-bunches with two or three strong results in a row. Fresh off a T-3 at The AmEx and with a T-7 at the Farmers last year, Griffin should be a nice value for this bet.
One player to finish top-30.
In last week’s preview, I listed Theegala for a top-10 at +1800. Well, he was T-11 entering the final round. Wanna guess how this story turns out? You got it: He posted exactly one birdie during a final-round 75 that left him in a share of 33rd.
That’s been a couple of times now that Theegala has gotten into the mix entering a Sunday, only to falter, but it’s all part of that experience.
Much like I wrote about in the above section on Burns, Theegala might just need a few of these to figure out how to handle ‘em better. I’ll lower my expectations against a deeper field this week, but I still want to bank on Theegala’s talent on the West Coast and could see another solid result here.
One player to finish top-40.
Jason Day (+120)
If I’d told you five or six years ago that I liked Day for a top-40 at a place where he’s won twice previously, you probably would’ve laughed at me for taking -1000 odds. This, of course, is a different Day than the one who won the 2015 PGA Championship and was once ranked No. 1 in the world.
He hasn’t finished inside the top-40 since the Fourth of July last year, but if he’s ever going to do it, then I like him at a place where he ranks third on the all-time money winner list, with two wins and five top-10s in a dozen starts. I’m not ready to dive in on Day, but I’ll dip a toe here and test the waters.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
Don’t feel bad if you faded Zalatoris last week. He was playing his first event of 2022, fresh off global finishes of 37th-MC-54th-MC to end 2021, so there was plenty of rationale behind taking a wait-and-see approach. Well, for those who waited, you’ve now seen it.
Even though he wasn’t quite in contention over the weekend in Palm Springs, a late eagle propelled Zalatoris into a share of sixth place and suggests bigger and better things in the near future. Because he grew up playing junior golf against the likes of Jordan Spieth and Scottie Scheffler in Dallas, it’s easy to forget that he actually spent his formative years in his native California and has produced some of his better finishes there, including a T-7 at this one last year.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
Based on past results, Mitchell might be a low-owned play this week, considering he’s made just one cut in four starts — and that was a T-63 four years ago. His 10 scores include just one round in the 60s. And he’s just 1-for-8 in making the cut at California-based events on the West Coast over the past three years.
I’ll admit that none of that sounds too persuasive, but as one of the guys I’m most bullish on this year, I can’t get over the idea that Mitchell’s driving prowess should set him up for some success this week. There might be plenty of reasons to avoid him in DFS this week, but remember: Everyone else sees ‘em, too. There’s certainly an upside here, if he can finally figure out Cali golf.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Much like last week, you’ll want to take note of the multiple courses in play. Most books will separate South Course FRLs from the North Course FRLs, but if they don’t, jump on those North Course players. Last year, the scoring average for the first two rounds on the North was 70.131, while the average on the South was a whopping 73.955. While the weather helped account for higher scores last year, the differential between the two should continue.
I’m writing this before course rotation has been assigned, but Matsuyama should be on your radar. Not only is he coming off a victory two weeks ago, his second of the season, but he’s playing a course where he owns three top-20s in eight starts and has posted 9-of-16 under-par scores in the first two rounds of this event.
More importantly, though, there’s this: Hideki has figured out how to start hot. He ranks sixth on the PGA TOUR this season in R1 scoring average and his six Thursday totals so far haven’t dipped into the 70s: 66-69-64-66-65-69.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Keegan Bradley (+8000)
As you’ve seen, I’m targeting some of the better drivers this week and that certainly fits for Bradley, who also owns six top-25s in 10 starts here, including a pair of top-fives. Coming off a T-12 two weeks ago at the Sony Open, he should have some good vibes going into this one. And anytime I like Keegan, I’ll play him for an outright ticket, too, since he’s proven he can win against some elite-level fields.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value.
Justin Rose (+6000), Cam Davis (+10000), Francesco Molinari (+10000), Charley Hoffman (+12500), Wyndham Clark (+15000), Joseph Bramlett (+15000), Scott Stallings (+20000)
The Big Fade
One top player to avoid at this tournament.
Patrick Reed (+4000)
Yeah, I’m the same idiot who picked Reed to win the Sentry TOC just a few weeks ago (where he finished T-15), but my optimism toward him has quickly turned into pessimism. A big part of this has to do with his alarming loss of distance off the tee when so many others are chasing it.
Three seasons ago, he ranked 71st in driving distance at 297 yards; two seasons ago, 108th at 296; last season, 149th at 291; and this season, he ranks 201st with an average drive of 286 — and that’s a small sample size which includes Kapalua, where driving distance numbers are always inflated.
This week’s defending champion, Reed can still get up and down from the proverbial trash can. But at a venue like Torrey, where distance remains a major advantage, he’ll need to be close to perfect in all other aspects of his game. I don’t like a repeat performance — or anything too close, really.
My favorite non-PGA Tour play of the week.
Viktor Hovland at the Dubai Desert Classic (+900)
At the risk of getting too chalky on both sides of the pond, Hovland is a guy who scares me to fade right now. A triple-bogey and a double-bogey in Sunday’s final round were the difference between him winning in Abu Dhabi and finishing in a share of fourth place, two shots back.
I like Tommy Fleetwood’s history at this one, but I’m not sure he’s ready to win again yet. Bernd Wiesberger should be a solid play, as well. Hovland, though, is playing at the highest extended level of his career so far and I’m not betting against him at this one.
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