2022 Genesis Invitational Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Big Week From Patrick Cantlay, Matt Fitzpatrick
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Patrick Cantlay.
Click here for full updated Genesis Invitational odds from PointsBet
|Si Woo Kim||+6600|
|Erik Van Rooyen||+10000|
|Harold Varner III||+10000|
|Andrew D. Putnam||+17500|
|Min Woo Lee||+20000|
|Mito Guillermo Pereira||+20000|
|J. J. Spaun||+30000|
I’ll be honest here: I’m not exactly sure when the best time to recruit the world’s premier golfers and promote a rival golf league largely based on promises of massive contracts to sportswash prior human rights misdeeds really is, but during a stretch that’s included brilliant golf porn in the form of gorgeous scenery and unparalleled spectator support at the game’s biggest party, this probably ain’t it.
It might be difficult to find a lull in the PGA TOUR’s annual schedule when the product seems more ordinary than extraordinary, but it’s fairly simple to realize that the current sequence of events is not one easily infiltrated.
That won’t change this week, as all 10 of the top-10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking will be in the Genesis Invitational field at one of the game’s enduringly resplendent venues.
No, Riviera Country Club won’t afford the magnificent ocean backdrops of Torrey Pines or Pebble Beach, nor will it provide memories of beer raining from the sky like TPC Scottsdale. Instead, we’ll be treated to a stringent test of golf on a course which will assess every part of a player’s game, exposing any inefficiencies.
The timing extends past just riding that wave of momentum. In the post-NFL world, with the betting public begging for more action, the Genesis offers a major championship-like feel, with so much starpower on the outskirts of Hollywood.
Let’s get right to the picks, beginning with an outright play who isn’t listed too far down the board, but makes way too much sense this week.
*Odds below as of Monday at noon ET.
One player to win the tournament.
Patrick Cantlay (+1600, Caesars)
Full disclosure: I was all prepared to list Matt Fitzpatrick as my favorite outright this week until I saw his odds — and I wasn’t prepared for him to have a shorter number than the likes of Jordan Spieth and Sam Burns. Yuck.
Looking further down the board, I examined the pre-tourney prices of past winners, which over the last four years ranged from 30-1 (Adam Scott) to 100-1 (J.B. Holmes, and considered taking a shot here on Corey Conners. That felt too much like contrarianism just for the sake of it. I still want investments on each of those guys, as I’ll list below, but this might be a week where we don’t want to overthink it.
Fresh off a playoff loss at last week’s WM Phoenix Open, Cantlay seems like he’s on a mission to prove that he’s the world’s best player right now. Whether he is is subject to debate — I’ll still give that edge to Jon Rahm — but it’s the mission itself which is more relevant, as he continues to contend with something less than his most well-rounded game, posting finishes of 2nd-4th-9th-4th so far this year.
Last week is a perfect example: While his performance was terrific tee-to-green in Sunday’s final round, for the week he ranked a mere 27th in Strokes Gained: Approach. When his other clubs came around, his putting faltered, ranking just 55th on the greens Sunday.
At some point, all of the parts are going to be locked in at the same time — and this feels like the right week to expect it. Trying to follow in Max Homa’s footsteps as a second straight SoCal native to win his hometown event, Cantlay has finished 15th-17th-15th-4th over the past four editions of this one.
This is a great fit for him from an analytical perspective and he certainly owns enough narratives. The only thing we shouldn’t love is the price, but it’s the right number for a guy who’s been knocking on the door for another victory and could be walking through that door this week. Caesars offered the best number on Cantlay to start the week, but you’ll find him at 12-1 at most other places.
Potential selections for one-and-done options.
*Odds via DraftKings.
Cameron Smith (+2200)
There are a few players about whom you might’ve been saying, “I’m absolutely going to bet him” over the weekend, only to wake up Monday morning and think, “Well, maybe not at those odds…”
I’m not questioning where The Mullet is priced this week, only that it’s tough to convince yourself to play him at about the same number as Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler. While he might not be an outright play at this price, Smith is certainly viable for OAD pools, having finished solo fourth last year and T6 in 2018. Combine that with the fact that he seems to show up on the leaderboard in most of his starts these days and he seems to make sense.
Smith is the kind of player who holds some win equity in this type of field, but probably won’t give you FOMO later in the year if you “burn” him this week.
Adam Scott (+4500)
For a player who’s spent much of his career being anything but ordinary, Scott’s last few years haven’t exactly been attention-grabbing, but a deeper dive into those results offers a glimmer of optimism. He’s now finished top-10 in three of his last six worldwide starts, which doesn’t quite suggest he’s back on the path to elite-level status, but he is at least playable once again.
Let’s not bury the lede, though. The Aussie is a potential OAD selection mostly for his past results at this course, with six top-10s and nine top-25s in 13 career starts, including two wins and two runners-up.
If you’re the type who believes in the power of course history above all else, there are a few players you can target this week. Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson clearly fall into this category and each can be considered here, as well.
Corey Conners (+10000)
Not gonna lie: This one feels like a bit of a reach considering he’s MC’d in both appearances at this tourney in the past and MC’d in his first two starts of this year before a T-38 last week when his noted ball-striking hardly showed itself.
You’re going to have to do a lot of ignoring to play Conners in any platform this week, but it could pay off. I think he’s viable for an outright, based on his skillset, the course fit and, especially, his price. As an OAD, there are undoubtedly better options and probably better places at which to use him, but if you can do enough ignoring of form and history, instead simply looking at his (usual) ball-striking prowess, he’s at least worth some consideration.
One player to finish top-five.
Matt Fitzpatrick (+550 for top-five)
As mentioned above, Fitz is a guy I’d been targeting for this event — I even mentioned that in my Pebble Beach preview a few weeks ago — and his recent form hasn’t done anything to dissuade. He returned from a two-month absence with back-to-back finishes of T-6 at Pebble and T-10 in Phoenix.
There are a few reasons to like him this week and perhaps the foremost is his propensity for playing well when scoring is tougher. Last year, his four-round total of 7-under was good enough for a share of fifth place.
While I don’t think there’s enough win equity here to go all-in at his outright price — although we have witnessed first-timers win each of the last three events — I do believe he’ll seriously contend, based on that intersection of form and history.
One player to finish top-10.
Thomas Pieters (+500 for top-10) | Francesco Molinari (+1000 for top-10)
Might as well group together everyone’s two favorite sleeper picks* for this week. (*Hint: If everyone likes ‘em, they’re not that sleepy.)
It’s been a decade since Pieters won the NCAA individual title at Riv and five years since a final-round 63 netted a share of second place at this event. Now his performance is finally catching up to his potential, with two wins and nothing outside the top-25 in his last five worldwide starts.
As for Molinari, his course history is more like a course present, as he’s a member at Riv and should understand how the course is playing as well as anyone. Ben Everill, my partner on the Links + Locks podcast, recently did a little scouting mission at this course and was told by those in the know that Frankie is absolutely going to have a strong week.
Let’s not call either one a sleeper since they should be amongst the most popular plays on various platforms, but I’m going to side with the masses here and expect each to be on the leaderboard this weekend.
One player to finish top-20.
Sahith Theegala (+350 for top-20)
Four weeks ago, in my preview for The American Express, I wrote this about Theegala: “I strongly encourage a play on him in some form until the books finally realize his impending potential.” The following week, in advance of the Farmers Insurance Open, I offered a similar take on him.
Well, the books have finally realized his potential — and so has the rest of the world. Following a share of third place in Scottsdale, which saw him in serious contention all weekend, we might never be able to ride Theegala at the prices he was listed in previous weeks, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hold some value. In fact, this is the event I’d originally targeted for him, as he made the cut in his PGA TOUR debut here as an amateur five years ago.
I remember watching him that week and thinking he owned some star potential. After watching him last week, I’m completely convinced of it.
I do think it’ll be a little difficult to pick himself up and dust himself off after the physical and mental exertion needed in Scottsdale, but I also don’t want to miss him when he peaks again.
One player to finish top-30.
At some point, Ghim is going to be a very solid PGA TOUR player. Perhaps not a superstar, but a high-floor type of guy who shows up every week.
The 25-year-old has been showing that already, with eight consecutive made cuts — only one turned into a top-30 finish, though. That alone might not give us much hope for this week, but I believe he’s the type who’s a strong iron player, doesn’t get himself into too much trouble and should find more success when birdies are difficult to come by. That essentially describes the preferred profile for Riv, where it shouldn’t be a surprise if he posts his best result of the season so far.
One player to finish top-40.
David Lipsky (+275 for top-40)
It was just a few weeks ago when I recommended Lipsky for a top-40 at Pebble Beach, and he came through with a T-24 result. A solid ball-striker and West Coast native, this one should similarly suit his game.
It’s difficult to envision a serious title contention, but as a guy who’s won on seemingly every other tour around globe, I think he can have another strong week and cash these tickets, at the very least.
DFS Free Bingo Square
A safe plug-and-play option for DFS.
I might be following outright chalk with more chalk here, but there’s a point to be made: After Cantlay, JT is my favorite of those top-10 players this week.
With Rahm’s talent, Collin Morikawa’s (theoretical) course fit, Cantlay’s form and Johnson’s history, top-of-the-roster DFS plays should be split amongst the big names, keeping ownership a bit lower for all of them.
Every professional golfer in the world will contend, “I’m close” when he isn’t winning, but Thomas really is. Like Cantlay on a lesser scale, there’s one thing that’s been holding him back — whether it’s a singular poor round or an individual aspect of his game. Last week, it was putting, as he ranked second in the WMPO field in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green and with approach shots, but 60th with the flatstick out of the 67 who made the cut.
I firmly believe that when JT wins again, it might be a five-stroke romp. Missed cuts in each of his last two starts at Riv could move the masses off of him, which is only more reason to bank on him in some lineups.
A lower-priced option for DFS.
Erik Van Rooyen
The truth is, I wanted to fit EVR into a more high-profile category this week, because I think he owns a lot of value in betting markets. For the sake of this preview, I’ve listed him here as a strong DFS play.
On a course that yields more approach shots from the 175-200 range than most other venues, Van Rooyen ranks second in proximity from this distance. Considering there are so many other strong options and he hasn’t played since the Hawaii Swing, I wouldn’t expect much ownership on him this week, which only makes him more intriguing.
One player to post the low score Thursday.
Maverick McNealy (+7000 for FRL)
It wasn’t that long ago when McNealy was every bettor’s favorite West Coast Swing play, with some solid results that culminated in a T-33 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am when the entire world was on him.
I’d expect that love to have dissipated over the past two weeks but still want a McNealy investment somewhere and FRL seems like a solid fit. In seven starts this season, he’s opened with a sub-70 score in five, including totals of 69-67-65 in his last three Thursday rounds.
One player who should beat comparable players.
Joaquin Niemann (+7000)
While he doesn’t own a strong start to his Riv career, with results of 43rd-MC-44th in three appearances so far, Niemann is a massive talent who’s undervalued this week. In fact, those results remind me of his past history at Torrey Pines, where he went 72nd-49th in his first two starts, only to finish T6 a few weeks ago.
Just 23 years old, he’s still learning out here, but there’s reason to believe we should ignore that history. I’ll certainly sprinkle some on him outright this week and if I can get him at plus-money against the likes of Sergio Garcia, Tony Finau, Seamus Power, Marc Leishman and Paul Casey — each of whom owns shorter odds — I’d take it.
Also Receiving Votes
Other players who should provide value.
Will Zalatoris (+3500), Bubba Watson (+4500), Alex Noren (+8000), Keegan Bradley (+15000), Carlos Ortiz (+15000), Aaron Wise (+20000), Mito Pereira (+20000)
The Big Fade
One top player to avoid at this tournament.
Russell Henley (+4000)
I’m fully aware that in a field littered with top-10 players, fading a 40-1 isn’t exactly going out on a limb. Well, the truth is that I can see something in every player listed higher, from a strong course history to a bigger price than usual.
I’m similarly aware that I’ve been waving the flag for Henley, insistent that his results haven’t equaled his performance and that we should see a victory out of him at some point.
This week, though, won’t be the one.
He owns finishes here of 38th-17th-44th-61st-MC-MC and while his ball-striking talents should correlate to Riv, a rank of 48th in Strokes Gained: Approach last week suggests his irons aren’t exactly firing right now.
With the likes of Jordan Spieth, Talor Gooch and Sam Burns opening at the same number, this one is a clear fade for me.
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