Updated 2022 Genesis Invitational Odds, Picks: Riviera Country Club Fits Rory McIlroy & Dustin Johnson
Oisin Keniry/Getty Images. Pictured: Dustin Johnson.
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|
The PGA TOUR’s West Coast swing makes its final stop at historic Riviera Country Club to play the 2022 Genesis Invitational. This event is consistently one of the best tournaments of the year at one of the most iconic golf courses in the world.
Riviera Country Club is a Par 71 that measures 7,322 yards. The fairways and rough consist of Kikuyu grass, and the greens are Poa annua.
The Genesis Invitational field will consist of 121 players and is absolutely stacked at the top and very deep. All of the top-10 players in the Official World Golf Rankings are teeing it up at Riviera this week, and it’s looking like it will be the strongest field in the history of the event.
We’ve backtested past tournaments at Riviera Country Club to see which metrics matter most this week.
Past Winners at The Genesis Invitational
- 2021: Max Homa (-12)
- 2020: Adam Scott (-11)
- 2019: J.B. Holmes (-14)
- 2018: Bubba Watson (-12)
- 2017: Dustin Johnson (-17)
- 2016: Bubba Watson (-15)
- 2015: James Hahn (-6)
Let’s take a look at several metrics for Riviera Country Club to determine which golfers boast top marks in each category over their last 24 rounds:
Strokes Gained: Ball Striking
I rarely use Strokes Gained: Ball Striking in these models, but I find it to be especially important this week. Riviera requires golfers to play well in all facets of their game.
Ball striking includes both off the tee and approach, as one or the other will not be enough this week. Golfers will need to excel with the driver and irons this week if they want to contend.
Total Strokes Gained: Ball Striking in Past 24 Rounds
- Jon Rahm (+37.6) (+900)
- Luke List (+36.1) (+9000)
- Will Zalatoris (+30.9) (+3300)
- Viktor Hovland (+27.8) (+2500)
- Sungjae Im (+27.2) (+4000)
Strokes Gained: Off the Tee
While off the tee is included in the ball striking stat, I am double-dipping here by incorporating SG: Off the Tee. Driving distance is very important, as the course is long and there are many fairway bunkers that require length to carry.
Driving accuracy is also important because the Kikuya rough can be quite penal.
SG: OTT Round in Past 24 Rounds
- Jon Rahm (+23.3) (+900)
- Rory McIlroy (+20.4) (+2200)
- Sungjae Im (+19.0) (+4000)
- Cameron Young (+18.2) (+20000)
- Luke List (+16.8) (+9000)
Strokes Gained: Putting (Poa and Fast)
Riviera’s fast and firm greens are notoriously difficult. Putts from 10 feet and in are far from a guarantee, and this is an area we will see many golfers struggle in this week.
SG: Putting (Poa and Fast) Past 24 Rounds
- Brian Stuard (+21.4) (+60000)
- J.T. Poston (+19.9 (+30000)
- Wyndham Clark (+21.6) (+25000)
- Sepp Straka (+17.5) (+35000)
- Patrick Reed (+17.1) (+8000)
Poa can get really bumpy late in the day, making tough par saves late in the tournament even more difficult. Average three-putts per round are much higher at Riviera than the TOUR average.
3-Putt Avoidance: Gained in Past 24 Rounds
- Talor Gooch (+9.27) (+6000)
- Matt Jones (+7.28) (+16000)
- Beau Hossler (+6.79) (+30000)
- Sam Burns (+5.91) (+3500)
- Cameron Smith (+5.79) (+2200)
Strokes Gained: Around the Green
This event will be far from a birdie-fest. As mentioned, Riviera is a true all-around test.
With fairways relatively difficult to hit, playing out of the rough will create a lot of missed greens. Golfers will need to make some tricky up and downs to get away with par at Riviera.
SG: ARG: past 24 rounds
- Sungjae Im (+16.5) (+4000)
- Robert MacIntyre (+11.6) (+14000)
- Matt Kuchar (+11.0) (+1750)
- Harold Varner III (+10.9) (+12500)
- Luke List (+10.6) (+9000)
Below, I’ve compiled overall model rankings using a combination of the five key statistical categories previously discussed.
These rankings are comprised of SG: BS (28%), SG: OTT (24%), SG: Putting Poa and Fast (17%), SG: ARG (17%) and 3-Putt Avoidance (14%).
- Patrick Cantlay (+1200)
- Jon Rahm (+900)
- Sam Burns (+3500)
- Sungjae Im (+4000)
- Rory McIlroy (+2200)
- Maverick McNealy (+10000)
- Justin Thomas (+1600)
- Will Zalatoris (+3300)
- Talor Gooch (+6000)
- Hideki Matsuyama (+2500)
2022 Genesis Invitational Outright Bets
Dustin Johnson (+1800)
The younger talent on the PGA TOUR is arguably as good as it’s ever been at the moment. Jon Rahm is playing at an all-time level, Patrick Cantlay seems to contend every single week, and Collin Morikawa has two majors at the age of 25.
With loads of hype surrounding these players, it would seem that future Hall-of-Famer Dustin Johnson has slipped through the cracks this week. For a golfer who hasn’t finished outside of the top 16 in his past eight starts at Riviera, including a win and three additional top-five finishes, there is extraordinary value on this number.
We last saw DJ at Torrey Pines, where he was fresh off of a long layoff from playing, and he managed to play very well despite the rust. He finished in 25th and gained 8.3 strokes from tee to green.
The following week, he found himself in contention at the Saudi International and was dominant from tee to green but failed to sink enough putts to fall to win.
With evidence of peaking form from the 37-year-old, Riviera is one of the most likely spots on TOUR for Johnson to notch his 25th PGA TOUR victory.
Rory McIlroy (+2200)
Sticking with the undervalued theme, this number is a bit disrespectful to McIlroy, in my opinion.
In his most recent start at the Dubai Desert Classic, he was in position to win on the 18th hole, but his ball found the water to end his chances.
McIlroy has a strong history at Riviera, including three top-five finishes in his past three starts.
The track is an immaculate fit for Rory, who hits the ball long and straight. He has also gained 0.7 strokes on the field in Strokes Gained: Around the Green for his career, which is an underrated part of his game that will come in handy this week.
There is a strong correlation between Quail Hollow and Riviera, due to the obvious overlap with the winners at each event. The Northern Irishman has won at Quail Hollow twice, including last year when he gained 5.3 strokes on approach.
The most appealing aspect about McIlroy this week is the potential return of his elite driving ability. When he’s in form with the driver, there is no one on TOUR (perhaps with the exception of Jon Rahm), who possesses his ability to hit it both long and straight. He gained almost four strokes off the tee in Dubai and seems to be getting along well with his new TaylorMade Stealth driver.
Rory has a lot to prove this year, and his path back to the top starts with a trip to one of golf’s most historic courses.
Marc Leishman (+5500)
Leishman checks all the boxes this week and is in the spot on the betting board where he has historically gotten it done. His most recent win on TOUR (individually) was at the 2020 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
That week, he was in the 50-1 range. Now, he heads to a course that has some correlation to Torrey Pines. He has also shown a liking to Riviera, where he has two top-five finishes in his past six tries.
The Australian has gained strokes from tee to green in six consecutive starts and has seemingly begun to figure out the driving woes he faced last season. It will be important to avoid three-putts and to scramble around the green this week, and those are two areas in which Leishman excels.
In this elite field, he ranks 31st in Strokes Gained: Around the Green and 18th in three-putts avoided.
The 38-year-old has win equity, and when he gets himself in contention, is one of the more clutch putters on the PGA TOUR. He also comes into the event off of a hot round in his most recent start at the Saudi International, where he finished his final round with a 64 (-6).
If you’re backing an elite player this week, Leishman is a name you don’t want to see lurking on Sunday.
Joaquin Niemann (+6600)
Joaquin Niemann is incredibly talented. He’s another golfer who I feel is a bit mispriced in this field. The Chilean hits the ball long and straight, which is a major piece of the puzzle when trying to tame Riviera.
He was impressive in his first start of the season at Torrey Pines, where he finished in sixth place and gained 7.6 strokes from tee to green. I also like the fact that Niemann won’t have to keep up with a birdie-fest and putt lights out in order to win.
If he can have a ceiling ball-striking week and keep the ball in play, he can get away with having an above-average putting week.
Niemann also fits the profile of a golfer who played well at Quail Hollow. He finished 18th last season at Wells Fargo and gained 5.2 strokes off the tee. While this would admittedly be a major jump in his career and a massive feat, this is an upside play as the 23-year-old has the raw talent to make the leap.
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